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France has called for an easier mechanism to temporarily suspend an agreement which allows freedom of movement across 25 European countries.

The move follows an influx of migrants from Tunisia and Libya into Italy.

Italy's decision to grant Tunisians 20,000 temporary residence permits, allowing free travel in the passport-free Schengen zone, has angered France.

Last week, French officials temporarily stopped trains with migrants crossing the border from Italy into France.

The decision sparked anger between Italy and France, with Italy accusing its neighbour of overstepping the treaty on border-free travel.

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This is an update to this post.
20 April 2011 @ 01:02 am
Guests from the West, Pests from the East?
@ Krakow Post

In most cases, where you are coming from determines who you are going to become in Poland. Polish legislation is no less-immigrant friendly than that in the rest of the EU, but levels of state responsibility still fall short.

For a few weeks in March all of Poland was captivated by the story of the Mongolian Batdavaa family who, after 11 years of assimilated life in Krakow, were detained as illegal immigrants and threatened with deportation. After appeals from journalists and family friends the Batdavaas have been granted a tolerated residence permit and are currently waiting for citizenship. "If it hadn't been for media intervention, they would definitely have been deported," says Katarzyna Przybysławska, president of the Halina Niec Legal Aid Center in Krakow that helped the Mongolians.

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Current Music: colourblind - darius danesh

Only three quarters of Czech people averse to Romani - the best results since 2006
@ romea.cz (sorry, it's in Czech but I'm nice so I'll translate~)

Out of all the ethnic minorities in the Czech Republic, people have the worst attitude towards Romani. Almost three-quarters of people surveyed reported them as dislikeable. These are the results of the latest survey from the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM), the results of which are available here. In contrast to recent years, the public attitude towards the Romani population has improved slightly. Czech people themselves came top of the list, with Slovaks a close second being considered likeable by nine out of ten people.

The survey compared fifteen ethnic groups living in the country, including the native Czechs who served as a group to compare the others by. Respondents expressed their feelings using a seven-point scale, with the extremes being (1) very likeable and (7) very unlikeable.

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This made me so happy, haha. Not just from a selfish point of view (only 74% of my motherland kinda want me dead, WHOOOO), but the other groups - the immigrants who get hated on so so much and are always being told they're worthless drains on society and should ~go back home - are getting improved results too, which is absolutely amazing :3

Gives me hope that one day EVERYTHING WILL GET SORTED OUT (!!!!!!!) and we'll all live happily ever after ♥
Current Music: the flood - cheryl cole
18 April 2011 @ 05:34 pm
Tonight is the first of eight nights of Passover.  HaAretz, in an attempt to give us a heart-warming story of family unification weeks before the holiday of Liberation, tells us that some Ethiopian Jews celebrate Passover in Israel for the first time.  This is kind of a big deal because every seder ends with "next year in Jerusalem," i.e. next year may we be in a state of peace and wholeness typically conceptualized in Judaism by the land of Israel.

Falashmura immigrants celebrate first Passover in IsraelCollapse )Never mind that the only reason the right-wing religious faction of the Knesset agreed to let these "fake" brown Jews in for political purposes ("the Palestinians are breeding like rabbits! Must.get.more.Jews.to.come.here.now to maintain majority ownership of land!"), but they add insult to injury by assuming that their white-man's Ashkenazi Jewish practices are the ONLY way to "properly" celebrate a holiday.  So of course, they have to teach these "fake" Jews how to do it right... by doing it the white Jews' way.
Never mind that their children will have their Jewish identity doubted by the rest of Israeli citizens (the government invited the first wave to "community meetings" to re-circumcize the men "in case it wasn't done right the first time"), will be ostracized in the schoolyard from kindergarden up, and will be viewed as leeches on the system for collecting welfare because... no one will hire them.  It's a heartbreaking situation, snark aside.

If you're interested in learning more about the life of the Falashmura's in Israel, I highly recommend the movie Live and Become, which you can get on Netflix in the US.  I think it captures the difficulty of an immigrant's life very well, and not just in the Israeli context.

For those of you celebrating tonight, Chag sameach!
France acted within its rights when it halted trains carrying North African migrants crossing its border from Italy, the European Commission says.

Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said French officials had cited "public order reasons".

An EU spokesman also said France was not obliged to grant entry to people with the temporary residency permits given to some migrants by Italy.

Italy complained that the move violated EU rules on the free right to travel.

For those legally living in the 25 countries in the Schengen Area - to which France and Italy belong - no travel documents are required.

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17 April 2011 @ 11:19 pm
I have so far resisted doing some kind of weird THIS IS MY TAGGING SYSTEM DON'T MESS IT UP JUST SMILE AND NOD AND FOLLOW IT CORRECTLY post, for three reasons:
1. too lazy,
2. every time I would start I would just get distracted and start adding even more new tags to the list, and
3. I didn't want you guys to know just how much I love tagging things. I love it a lot. Like, a lot?

But then I realised only me and Ren were posting things which meant MAYBE YOU ALL WERE INTIMIDATED or something, and maybe I need to explain how to tag posts so that you don't end up confused and alone.

So here's a (tentative!!!!) guide to the tagging system in this comm.

aka wow, i'm a loser, please don't hold it against me.

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Current Mood: excitedomg tagging
Current Music: hole in the head - sugababes
Immigration Is Neither Good Nor Bad
@ the guardian

David Cameron's speech on Thursday was a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the debate on immigration. He starts off by identifying "concerns on the doorstep", "myths have crept in", pays a bit of lip service to "benefits of immigration" and then launches into "controls", "cuts" and "abuses". He, of course, leans into lazy Brits on welfare who do not want to do dirty jobs and his speech is full of anecdotes about immigrants abusing the system.

These are all very familiar arguments about the phenomenon of migration. But one thing that most politicians miss is that migration is neither good nor bad. It just is. Adding value judgments becomes problematic because when we talk about immigration, we are in fact talking about immigrants. When the prime minister, or others in power, talk about immigration as bad, abusive, criminal and threatening, they pass judgment on every person that migrated to this country. They are undercutting the work of every migrant that has made this country great. Is it a surprise that people are so afraid of the other?

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Current Music: gold forever - the wanted
2 articles about forced deportations against Romani immigrants in Germany and France this week.

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Current Music: wonderman - tinie tempah
13 April 2011 @ 10:40 pm

hullo and welcome to lifeodyssey <3

it's absolutely lovely to have you all here 
and we hope this comm'll be as super fantastic awesome as any comm run by two people who don't know what they're doing can be.

now, i know the comm is very new,
and that me and ren are both so very intimidatingly bad-ass fuck-your-shit-up, 
so it's not surprising that no-one's commenting right now.

so i figured hey, an icebreaker post where everyone introduces themselves will make everything less awkward and quiet, right? riiiight?


My name is __________ and I am __________. Sometimes I like ___________ and ____________, but my favourite thing of all is ____________. I currently live in ______________ and I was born in ___________. I really really hate ____________ and think ____________ is quite possibly the worst thing on the planet. The other thing you desperately need to know about is _____________. If you think you recognise me it's because I usually hang around comms such as __________. I know I am going to _______ this comm because the mods are _________.

as this comm is a space for people to talk about their personal experiences with racism, immigration or the intersection between them freely and without having to worry about allies talking over them, please feel welcome to talk about your own experiences (if you have them) in your intro comment too. in fact, we'd really really love it if you did <3
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: aj jaj jaj - terne chave