By Alexandre Beddock
The last few days were marked by various actions from citizens and civil society Ai??expressing their will for a more open and democratic Europe where freedom and human rights are the main priorities.
In over 130 cities and 31 countries, citizens demonstrated to call their national governments and the EU institutions to provide #safepassage for everyone seeking protection and to ease the procedures and conditions of asylum. 3500 died in the Mediterranean last year, thousands of broken lives that our governments still pretend not to see… #Brussels saw an important turnout for a citizen-led movement: more than 5,000 people took the streets in the European capital.
On the same day Ai??#London saw the biggest anti-nuclear march in a generation. Thousands of marchers, including some that had travelled from Australia protested against the renewal of the nuclear weapons program Trident, calling for investment in ai???books rather bombsai???.
This Saturday, in #Russia more than 20,000 marched to mark death of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov who was killed in the shadow of the Kremlin one year ago. In a country where demonstrations are usually rare and where the situation of human rights is worrying, the marchers chanted for freedom.
The following day in #Switzerland, a big majority of Swiss people rejected the plan of the Swiss Peopleai??i??s Party to deport foreigners, as well as second-generation Swiss, for minor offences, such as drug possession. More than 50,000 people, including hundreds of celebrities, also signed a petition against the proposal.
Over this weekend, 15,000 people gathered in #Warsaw on Saturday and the same number in Gdansk on Sunday in a show of support for Solidarity freedom hero Lech Walesa and rallying in defence of democracy against the controversial reforms of the right-wing conservative government over the constitutional court, the media and other institutions that threaten democracy and the rule of law.
Finally for a few days in #France, the hashtag #Onvautmieuxqueca has been trending amongst young people fighting a new law proposal that make conditions of workers even more precarious. Many French youth organisations call for a big mobilisation on March 9th to ask the so-called socialist government to withdraw this proposal.
Turnouts in elections seem to show disengagement from citizens. But in just a few days, we, Europeans showed that we do care about the major issues that Europe faces. We refuse the wait-and-see policy of our representatives on many urgent topics such as the ai???refugee crisisai???.
The messages carried by the citizens were messages of hope and openness while borders are being closed the ones after the others. These initiatives support a world where people can live together and have their rights be respected while our leaders restrict our fundamental freedoms and prefer national egoisms over a collective approach to tackle global issues.
When will our leaders answer our call? When will they understand that their inaction on major issues is the main reason of the distrust of the political system? When will they think about the next generation instead of focussing on the next election?