Two of the foundations of European citizenship are the right to free movement across the continent and to move freely in the Schengen area without border controls. These rights have been called into question by French, Italian, and Danish leaders as a response to new migrants and refugees from Maghreb countries, JEF (the Young Federalists) and European Alternatives launched a Facebook page and issued an appeal. In response a protest has been organised from 4.30 to 6pm at the French Consulate in Edinburgh on the 23rd June.
This is part of a series of protests which have been organized outside French, Danish and Italian consulates throughout Europe. Some have already taken place (see the Facebook page for details, including the pictures – some Federalists in particular brought down mock border barriers, mimicing what the Federalists actually did in the 1940s and 1950s with real ones), and are also considering organizing protest meetings in as many European cities as possible on the 23rd June, which is when the European Council is to take place in Brussels. The names of the organizations promoting or supporting this campaign throughout Europe can be seen here. We are planning to organize a similar event in Edinburgh on the 23rd June with all the local groups, associations or individuals that agree with the reason of this protest. So far the promoters are European Alternatives and Sinistra Ecologia Libertà (an Italian political grouping with a section in the UK). The venue will be the French Consulate, on Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh.
The protest will take place between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m on the 23rd June. As the slogan of the Europe-wide campaign “I want my Schengen back” can’t apply to Britain (which isn’t a member of the Schengen free-movement block), we will highlight the following issues:
- Europe without Borders European citizenship (enhancing and expanding on what we already have)
- Equal rights for migrants Equal rights for citizens of all EU countries (e.g., an end to the double standard against Romania and Bulgaria who wanted to join the Schengen Area and have been turned down)
- The rights of refugees Common foreign, security and social policy, democratically deliberated (to stop internal European power games being played out at the expenses of the weakest, or, more in general, at the expenses of equality and citizenship rights)
If you’d like to participate please let us know as soon as possible. For any question or requests for information please write to francesca.lacaita (at) gmx.net