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Daniel Trilling reviews ‘Violent Borders’ by Reece Jones, ‘Refuge’ by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier and ‘No Borders’ by Natasha King · LRB 13 July 2017
There is also a tendency among No Borders activists to overstate the differences between their work and that of established humanitarian organisations. King sees her activism as prefiguring a new world that will come about through the coalescence of lots of little initiatives – or, as she puts it, ‘a multitude of micro-refusals that are connected to each other rhizomatically and in their connections render the state more and more redundant’. Personally, I don’t think that’s what is happening. I think that whenever solidarity is expressed, whether it’s in the form of a No Borders squat, a legal charity suing the government to make them take in refugee children, a large NGO mounting rescue operations in the Mediterranean or, crucially, the networks people on the move set up themselves in order to survive, a different kind of refusal is being made: a refusal to let our behaviour towards others be governed by categories imposed from above. This is less about a particular end – ‘no borders’ – than an approach to the world as it is, to act ‘without borders’. For most, this is a necessary defence against a system they have little say in, but there is nothing in principle to stop political parties and leaders embracing a new way of thinking, or even changing the system itself. ‘Are humans defined primarily by our attachments to place or by movement?’ Reece Jones asks at the end of Violent Borders. I’m not sure a choice has to be made. People develop attachments to places, they move, they develop attachments to new places, and to new people. If you think people have a right to do that, then the question is how to support it. If you don’t, then you need to ask yourself: what level of violence are you prepared to tolerate to keep people in their place?
Europe  migration  refugees  crisis  Greece  Italy  Balkans  borders  security  racism  identity  nationalism  LRB  dctagged  dc:creator=TrillingDaniel 
july 2017 by petej

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