I am Ali: The waiting

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Migrant Tales insight: Katie Bell wrote us an email a while back and asked if she could publish a story about an Iraqi asylum seeker called Ali, who spoke on condition of anonymity. She writes in an email: “After interviewing him for more details and exactly what he wants to tell, I will compose a ghost-written account of his story. Could we post his story on your site and make his voice heard?”


 “I am Ali, I am 32 years old and I am from Iraq. Over two and a half years after arriving in Finland, I am still waiting ‘in peace’ for a decision about my status in this country. I want to share my experiences to feel heard and I am hoping, still, that something can change. Here is my story.

At first I trusted the police. My first night in Finland was funny for me. I had tried to dress and smell nicer for our landing, but the days of travelling had ruined my chances of escaping the police unseen. They didn’t have enough cells for all of us who had arrived so I was put in the smoking room. I spent the whole night smoking and talking with the policeman on duty. He told me about his whole life, his family and he listened to my story. I felt relief for the first time since leaving Iraq. I finally felt safe.

Now I find it hard to trust the authorities. Knowing about how refugees, just like me, are treated by the police has changed my opinion. It is hard to ignore the stories. I have heard from friends about and witnessed deportations. They don’t give them time for anything: not to pack, not to think and not even to take their phone. I know people who have stood in front of the police like a shield. Not to fight, because of course they can’t stop it, but to let their friend grab whatever is important to them and to give them time. I am not scared because I have known that this could happen to me for 3 years now, it is impossible to live in fear. Instead I try to remain positive and make the best of my situation.

I work hard in a job that is much lower than what I had in Iraq. Even though I am so grateful of being able to work and earn a living, it is not what I want from my life. At the moment I am appealing the rejection of my work permit application and waiting to know if I can stay and continue building a life here.

I have met many people with racist views. I try and create a conversation with them because actually they’re not racists; they just don’t know us yet. They haven’t had a connection with us because they haven’t talked to us. If they did, they’d change their minds.

There’s a story I have told before, one friend likes to call it the Celine Dion Story. I was staying in a refugee centre a few months after arriving. We experienced a lot of troubles at the time with people who had attacked the building, who threw stones and even set on fires. One night there was a group of guys parked outside. We were warned against going out due to the previous problems but that night I ventured out. I thought to myself: ‘it may be careless but I have lived through scarier events in my life, this is nothing.’ I approached them peacefully, knowing full well that they wanted to fight, but I stayed calm and just spoke to them. ‘You’re not racists’, I said, ‘you just don’t know me yet’. After finding out about my past they asked ‘but why didn’t you stay to fight the terrorists in your own country? Why didn’t you stay to defeat ISIS?’ I still believe in my response: ‘when a man does not know his enemy, when he must even suspect his neighbours, it is not a coward who leaves but it is a clever man.’ I felt like they were opening up to me and after curious questions about my temporary home, my living situation, my treatment they asked me the best question: ‘Who is your favourite singer?’ ‘Celine Dion, of course!’ From then on neither side could be scared of the other and they even offered to help me. I wish I could have this kind of conversation with everyone, and then perhaps our situation or peoples’ perceptions of us wouldn’t be so bad. I believe we wouldn’t all live in such fear of the other.

When I’m asked how I feel, it is hard to describe one state of mind. Due to the uncertainty of my life, I am constantly worrying and calculating my situation. What do I do next? Where will I live? Every day I must reassess my life. Every day my head is heavy with the weight of my situation.

I recently turned 32, surrounded by friends and people who have helped me to create a life here in Helsinki. Like everyone of my age, I am starting to think of having a family, of settling down. My ex-fiancée, whom I had to leave, is still waiting for me, in the house next door to my parents who are also waiting for my return. Every day I think about going back to them.

The worst thing is I am not free to make a decision. I don’t have the freedom of movement enjoyed by many of my European friends. My passport and, along with it, my fate is held in the hands of the Finnish authorities. I feel like a prisoner in a prison with invisible walls.”

This article is based on several conversations with Ali and ghost written by Katie Bell.

 

PS MP Teuvo Hakkarainen gets convicted for sexual harassment after ethnic agitation. Why is he still a lawmaker?

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Disgraced Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen was convicted by a Helsinki District Court for sexual harassment after he attempted to kiss MP Veera Ruoho by force, according to YLE News. Hakkarainen was convicted last year for ethnic agitation. 

The Helsinki District Court ordered Hakkaranen to pay fines amounting to 3,060 euros to the state and 1,400 euros in damages to Ruoho in damages as well as her court costs.

The incident took place at a Christmas Party last year at Parliament when Hakkarainen was intoxicated. He approached Ruoho grabbed her by the neck and forced her to kiss him.

On Tuesday, Helsinki prosecutor Eija Velitski said that she would appeal the decision that Hakkarainen receive a suspended jail sentence.

But on Tuesday Helsinki prosecutor Eija Velitski announced her decision to appeal the case requesting that Hakkarainen also receive a suspended jail sentence. Velitski that in the worst of circumstances, the PS MP could have caused Ruoho’s death.

While the politician saw his day in court, many are wondering why Hakkarainen does not resign as MP or why the PS, which is always blaming migrants for sexual harassment and rape, does not sack him from the party.

Read the full story here.

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The children of separated families in the US are telling us to change our greedy ways

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In Europe, the driver of millions of asylum seekers is us. We invaded with the United States and gave support to the destruction of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. In Latin America, the driver of refugees to the United States is Washington’s big-stick policy and economic exploitation of the region’s wealth and opportunities. 

In both cases, the finger is pointing at us. The problem has its roots in history.

Is this how the so-called developed world is going to react to the ever-growing climate-change crisis?

Yes, you can be sure that is how the leaders of the United States and other major powers will react.

The children that the Trump administration is separating from their families and locking up in cages are the ones fighting to restore our sense of humanity. They are telling us that matters must change or else.

They will succeed because nothing will be able to stop them except for turning the United States into a totalitarian tin-pot concentration camp.

Source: ProPublica.

Viva los validates inmigrantes del mundo!

Huikea määrä aikaa ja rahaa tuhlattu turhapaikkaprosessissa

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Turvapaikkaprosessissa ja sitä sivuavassa politiikassa käytetään aivan liian paljon aikaa ja rahaa vääriin asioihin. Siitä ihan tekemällä tehdään turhapaikkaprosessi.

Määritellään lasten ja nuorten ikää lääketieteellisin tutkimuksin, kun voitaisiin sekin aika käyttää heidän terveytensä edistämiseen ja kotouttamiseen.

Pidetään inkvisition tutkintaelinten kaltaisia istuntoja ihmisten uskovaisuuden syynäämiseksi, vaikka valtio voisi jättää uskovien paimentamisen seurakunnille.

Mennään kommandoasuissa susikoirien kanssa pidättämään lapsiperheitä, vaikka heidät voisi määrätä saapumaan vaadittuihin paikkoihin julkisilla kulkuvälineillä.

Vangitaan turvapaikanhakijoita siinä toivossa, että saataisiin heidät pakkopalautettua. Teetetään vapaaehtoisilla avustajilla valtavasti ympärivuorokautista työtä vainottujen ihmisten pelastamiseksi.

Lennätetään ihmisiä sotatantereille yksityiskoneilla ja suuressa viranomaissaattueessa. Jos palautusmaassa olisi kaikki kunnossa, voitaisiin ihmiset lähettää sinne ihan omin neuvoinensa reittilennoilla.

Käydään Irakissa kokeilemassa, josko Irakin viranomaiset ottaisivat palautettavat vastaan ilman matkustusasiakirjoja. Olisi voinut soittaa ja kysyä.

Suunnitellaan kampanjoita syntyvyyden lisäämiseksi ja samaan aikaan laaditaan hallituksen lisäohjelmia siitä, kuinka saataisiin nopeammin käännytettyä täällä syntyneitä takaisin kaaoksen keskelle.

Laaditaan rasisminvastaisia valtionohjelmia nuorten ja lasten suvaitsevaisuuden lisäämiseksi ja toisella kädellä annetaan lisää tukea rasistisille poliittisille nuorisojärjestöille ja kansanedustajat julistavat malliksi muukalaisvihaa eduskunnan puhujapöntöstä.

Julkaistaan uusi ohjelma työperäisen maahanmuuton lisäämiseksi, mutta pidetään ulkomaisen työvoiman tarveharkinta ennallaan ja tehdään ohjelma maahan saapuneiden koulutettujen nuorten nopeutetusta pakkopalautuksesta.

Koko hommassa on vikana se, että Suomen valtion päämääränä näyttäisi olevan ihmisten maahan saapumisen estäminen ja maahan saapuneiden mahdollisimman nopea poistaminen – ja toisaalta sitten taas toisen näköisten ihmisten maahan houkutteleminen. Ei se niin voi mennä, ei kukaan halua tulla sellaiseen maahan. Ihminen ei ole koskaan työperäinen, ihminen on rakkaus-, perhe- ja elämäperäinen ja työtä tekee kukin sillä energialla, minkä nuo muut perät tuottavat.

Aloitetaan siis pikimmiten hyväksyntäperäinen, positiivinen maahanmuuttopolitiikka, otetaan ihmiset ihmisinä ja annetaan heidän kotiutua ja alkaa pitää huolta itsestään ja perheestään. Jokainen ihminen haluaa pärjätä ja tehdä työtä sen eteen, kunhan hänen asiansa ovat muuten kunnossa ja turvallisuus taattu.

UNHCR

Pakoon lähdetään äärimmäisessä hädässä. Pakoon päässeitä tulee auttaa pysymään turvassa ja pitämään huolta perheestään.

Uudet kansalaiset ovat positiivinen asia – onko Kokoomus samaa mieltä?

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Viime viikolla uutisoitiin Britannian poliisin pidättäneen Suomen kansalaisen epäiltynä terroriteon valmistelusta.

Perussuomalaisten euroedustaja Jussi Halla-aho kiirehti seuraavana päivänä julkaisemaan puolueen nettijulkaisussa ajatuksiaan liian löysästä Suomen kansalaisuuden myöntämisestä. Juttu sidotaan samana päivänä julkaistuihin tilastotietoihin, mutta sisältö ja lopputägäykset osoittavat, mihin rasistinen propaganda on tähdätty.

”Suomen passilla tekemään terroritekoja”

”Suomen passi on matkustusasiakirjana arvokas. Suomalaiset voivat matkustaa ilman viisumia useimpiin maailman maihin. Tämä johtuu siitä, että näissä maissa suomalaisten arvioidaan olevan matalan riskin tulijoita.”

”Viime vuosina on uutisoitu useista tapauksista, joissa Suomen passilla matkustavia ulkomaalaistaustaisia henkilöitä on epäilty tai syytetty terrorismiin liittyvistä rikoksista. Kansalaisuuksien leväperäinen jakaminen vähentää näin ollen myös Suomen passin nauttimaa arvostusta maailmalla, Halla-aho sanoo.”

Suomen kansalaisuus Verkkouutiset

Suuri yllätys ei ollut, että Kokoomuksen Verkkouutiset piti terroristiuutisen propaganda-arvoa yhtä hyvänä, eikä malta keskittyä Tilastokeskuksen julkaisemaan positiiviseen uutiseen siitä, että Suomen kansalaisuuksia on viime vuonna myönnetty ennätysmäärä, vaan lähtee mukaan maahanmuuttajavastaiseen rummutukseen julkaisemalla “perussuomalaisten eduskuntaryhmän 1. varapuheenjohtajan Ville Tavion” ajatuksia aiheesta tyyliin ”Suomen kansalaisuuksia jaetaan kuin liukuhihnalta”.

Suomen kansalaisuus Tavio

Kokoomuksen Verkkouutiset 14.6.2018 Tilastokeskuksen uutiseen ennätyksellistä Suomen kansalaisuuden saaneiden määrästä

Suomen kansalaisuus Verkkouutiset

Kokoomuksen Verkkouutiset ja vastuullinen journalismi?

“Suomalaisterroristin” tapauksessa rasistinen öyhötys perustui jälleen kerran oletuksiin ja turhaan toivoon. Tänään uutisissa kerrottiin, että Suomen kansalainen on vapautettu eikä häntä enää epäillä terroriteon valmistelusta.

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The more politicians and racists vilify migrants the stronger we get

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No matter how much politicians vilify migrants and continue to attack us, the more desperate their situation becomes. We, migrants, are a near-endless resource. As long as people can dream and hope, migration will remain. You cannot kill it. 

As a person born in Latin America, it is incredible how selective the media is in reporting racism. After so much tampering in our internal affairs while exploiting our wealth, the United States, specifically the likes of President Donald Trump, are “surprised” by the hundreds of thousands of migrants that are fleeing strife, war, chronic inequality, and poverty.

A simple question: I wonder why people are fleeing to the United State?


In the United States they separate children from their parents. In Europe and Finland we are more “civilized” since we don’t separate children but incarcerate them with their parents.

It is the same story in the Middle East after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The United States and its European partners invade, pillage, kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Middle Easterners and expect opportunistically people to stay, inhabitants of the misery, we created for them.

A simple question: I wonder why people are fleeing to Europe?

The environment is another problem of our making and it is hitting us hard but with a difference from the latter two examples: the disaster includes us, the perpetrators.

A simple question: I wonder who is to blame and what are we going to do?

No matter how much tin-pot populist like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kruz, Italy’s Lega Nord, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark’s Islamophobia on steroids, and chaotic Brexit, try, we will prevail in the end.

Their knee-jerk reaction, their Islamophobia, and xenophobia, are ample proof of that.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Trump, snow jobs, and fake leader of the so-called free world

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“President Donald Trump is the end of a process that capitalism and corporate greed have created. A driving force of US foreign policy is a free-for-all to continue pillaging other countries and peoples with war and exploitation. One of the reasons why Trump can bow to Kim Jong-un and not to Iran is because racism is a strong factor in US foreign policy.”

In Europe and in Finland, we have politicians from the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) and others who would not think twice about selling out to corporate capitalism and the USAmerican model, which is based on chronic and pathological social injustice.

No, this is not a North Korean propaganda film. It’s a propaganda film made by the United States. There is no care for the suffering of the North Koreans never mind the human rights violations in that country. Trump and the US would not care less.

The voice of suffering from North Korea.