Today European Commission ministers finalized a proposed Europe-wide asylum policy, which aims to curtail migration from outside the European Union and tighten policies for the intra-EU movement of refugees and others seeking relief and resettlement in member states.
Sometimes it feels like everything is happening at once. So came the events of the last few days, ricocheting with harrowing efficiency into seemingly every corner of the country, reverberating in the echo of shots fired into dead silence, cries of mourning from Baton Rouge to St. Paul to Dallas and again, to New York City. It's suspended in the tense withheld breaths of panic attack, waiting for the next attack to happen.
David Suzuki, a noted Canadian scientist and environmental activist, has the privilege of being able to look back and forward on life. He’s lived plenty of it, and at 80, he can look back with a sense wizened humility and continuity that tends to accompany a well-lived life. But over the decades he’s earned the authority to speak out on issues of power and politics with the urgency that tends to accompany the values of a grandparent.
They came to dance, and they left the world dancing. In the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy, people are wrestling with death, fear, and the ongoing threat of violence both from the state and from society.
Pugilist and poet, and the prettiest of them all, Muhammed Ali passed away on June 3. Son of a sign painter and a domestic worker, he racked up a dazzling array of trophies, accolades, and awed stares. And he left phrases in his wake that resonate more loudly than the cheering crowds he regaled.
“I come from far away where the angels live in misery, dress themselves in filth and eat dreams.”
--Poem by Jose Gutierrez, b. Guatemala 1974, d. Iraq 2003
Reports have surfaced of torture and abuse of immigrants in federal detention, though perhaps the stories come too late. The migrants have been sent back to their countries of origin already, part of a group of 85 South Asian asylum seekers who were repatriated on a charter flight after they had attempted and failed to secure humanitarian relief. As far as the US government is concerned, they are non-persons, aliens, and so they were "removed", excised from the American body politic. Today many are back in a hostile homeland, fearing political persecution and mob violence.