In less than a month the City of Paris will open two refugee camps in the city. I shivered at the news because it is the first time that camps will be created away from the borders and in the very heart of Europe. The initiative is local but the French government backs it up with François Hollande and Manuel Valls, and thus the well controlled refugee reception is confirmed. Hundreds of immigrants are arriving in Paris; some come from the so-called Jungle of Calais, which the French government has begun to dismantle after its population doubled during the summer. This has caused the streets of Paris to be filled with makeshift and unsanitary camps, causing many problems in the neighborhood where they are located. Of course, something must be done. I read the editorial of “El Mundo” calling for a firm immigration policy against populism. And I applaud because right now the reception of immigrants is not popular in France because of terrorism; nor in other European countries because it has become a key element. Populists want to close the borders.
And yet precisely, today we celebrate the day of St. Peter Claver, an example of love for the poorest and most marginalized. “He fought heroically against human trafficking, and gave his life to serving the slaves who arrived at the port, recognizing Jesus in those who were not even considered persons. He went to the holds of ships where they were crammed, and to the warehouses where they were left, to help them, heal them and teach them catechism. Upon making his final vows, he stamped the slogan of his life with his signature: “Pedro Claver, slave of the Negroes forever.”
And I? How do I get involved in the social situation we are living? Which mass media influence my thoughts and emotions more? How should I go with this moment, give a word and help in becoming welcoming in order to dignify human beings?
Silvia Rozas fi