By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media
Edit 20th of June: Due to protests and pleas directed to Afghan autorities from Norwegian activists and others on behalf of the Abassi family, Afghanistan did not agree to the return and the family is again back in Norway to the great joy of friends and solidarity activists.
Saturday morning, Trondheim police arrested a family of refugees who have called Norway their home for half a decade. At 5am, 8 plainclothes officers surrounded the building where they had been living and detained the family in a police van, one by one. By noon, the family’s lawyer was no longer able to make contact with them. By 6PM, they landed in Istanbul, en route to Kabul. So quick was the police’s blitz, that Trandum, the internment camp where state typically detains its “undesirables” before deportation, was not even on the itinerary.
The Abbasi family, with three children aged 16 to 22, first came to Norway 5 years ago. Having fled Afghanistan in 1998, and facing persecution in Iran, they finally found a moment’s peace in in Norway in 2012. Taibeh (22) has never stepped foot in Afghanistan in her life.
Since February 2018, the family has been forced to live underground after the Supreme Court of Norway called for their immediate deportation. A key factor in the decision was the claim that Afghanistan was “safe” enough for their “return”. In January 2018 alone, the month before the the decision was passed, hostilities in Kabul caused 145 civilian deaths, with 266 injured. The Norwegian Foreign Affairs Department has issued a persistent travel advisory discouraging people from visiting Afghanistan since 2009. 10 Norwegian soldiers have been killed since the start of Norway’s participation in the NATO-led invasion of Afghanistan.
To reiterate for absolute clarity: Norway is legally engaged in an active, boots-on-the-ground war in Afghanistan.
Even the Norwegian state itself acknowledges that the war in Afghanistan has led to the emboldened position of the Taliban. In fact, a study commissioned by royal decree and released in 2016 found that the Taliban was stronger than it had ever been since 2001.
When proceedings against the family were carried out in 2017, thousands of students filled the main square in Trondheim to demonstrate. Saturday morning, dozens of protesters organized a spontaneous demonstration in front of the Trondheim Police Station. By Saturday afternoon, the demonstration swelled to the hundreds. Tjen Folket Media has received reports that hundreds of people joined another demonstration in Trondheim in support of the family on Wednesday.
Already halfway through Saturday’s demonstrations, several activists had taken to closed solidarity groups on social media to share their thoughts. Some well-meaning activists encouraged people to vote differently to ensure FrP would be ousted from government this coming election. Others offered to lobby representatives in other parties to postpone the action.
The demonstration, organized within hours of the news, is shining evidence of the discipline and battle-readiness of the masses to combat reaction and imperialism here and now. And we support those who would make every effort to protect the most oppressed among us by any and all means.
Yet, we have seen time and time and time again that today’s politicians have nothing to offer us. Underscoring this is the fact that appeal after appeal to “progressive” representatives do not alter the outcome for the Abbasi family–nor for any other families facing Norway’s austere immigration policies for that matter. We read the inspiring rhetoric that so-called “leftist” politicians offer us, but despite our most earnest hopes, those we were led to trust cannot resist the allure of the power that parliamentary capitulation offers them on a silver platter. Left, right, red, blue–none of this matters to politicians of all stripes when capital rears its ugly head and barks its demands. In each and every seat of Parliament sits a person who–regardless of “best intentions”–has determined their stance on immigration based on prospects for re-election. Capital says “jump” and Parliament asks “how high?”
No Trust in War Criminals – The People Make History
In the seventh circle, the murderers, war-makers, plunderers, and tyrants are immersed in Phlegethon, a river of boiling blood and fire… as they wallowed in blood during their lives, so they are immersed in the boiling blood forever, each according to the degree of his guilt. The Centaurs, commanded by Chiron and Pholus, patrol the ring, shooting arrows into any sinners who emerge higher out of the boiling blood than each is allowed.Depiction of hell, Dante’s Inferno
If we have learned anything from FrP’s imminent demise, it is that the struggle on the streets and in the moors gives results. Not the silver tongues and empty promises of politicians. Many gambled that Jens Stoltenberg and the more “moderate” Labour Party would surely be a better alternative than a Conservative government. This is a gamble with the lives of millions of people in the third world. This is a gamble with the masses in Libya, in Syria, in Iraq, in Venezuela, in Afghanistan. And above all, this is a gamble with the the Abbasi family.
Once an anti-NATO activist, Jens Stoltenberg oversaw the bombing of Libya in 2011. His reward? A front-row seat to the pillage of Kabul at the head of the war machine itself.
As of writing, Atefa Rezaie, mother of three, has been returned to Norway following health complications. Her children have remained detained in Istanbul for several days, as Afghan authorities have refused the family clearance for entry. It is likely that they will return home to Trondheim within the week, culminating in an expensive fiasco the xenophobic rightist Norwegian government. How the family’s dramatic tribulations are resolved remains to be seen, but what is certain is that we cannot assign any victories to politicians’ supposed “change of heart” on the matter. Not when the Norwegian state rejects refugee after refugee fleeing from the destruction the Norwegian state itself has wrought upon their homes.
We cannot trust the politicians further than we can spit. Only the peoples’ struggle, the rage expressed on the streets, an end to Parliament–not a merger with it–can change history.
Abbasi to Norway! Erna Solberg to the Seventh Level!