Speaking on behalf of the Greens/Europe Free ALlliance MEP group at the European Parliament, this is a translation of Michele Rivasi ‘s statement on the recent terrorist attacks in France.
“ One does not protect Human Rights by negating them; one cannot protect freedom with less freedom”
Mr President and dear colleagues,
My sympathy, our sympathy, goes to the 17 victims, artists and journalists, police officers, Jews , Christians, Atheists and Muslims, their families and their nearest and dearest.
My thoughts go to those millions of citizens in France, Europe and in the World who have expressed their sadness and support and who have reminded us again only yesterday that fear and hatred has not won.
And yet, following these terrorist attacks, when this huge awakening jolt in France and in Europe has taken place, we must be vigilant not to fall into a double trap:
The trap set by fanatics responsible for those dreadful terrorist attacks, but also the trap laid down by demagogues of all types who consider these recent events as a declaration of war against Islam in the rest of the planet. Just as we will not accept the idea of a war of civilisations, we will not accept either sickening conflations, such as those adopted by nationalists and those stoking the fire of a nationality identity crisis across Europe.
A second trap is also looming: that of seeing our freedom drowned under a new security arsenal invoked under the pretext of fighting against terrorism.
The “Patriot Act” voted on in the US in response to 11th September has led to the scandal of state sponsored illegal imprisonments and the CIA violating the rights of individuals to privacy. This has put in danger European citizens’ rights and freedoms too.
Let’s not fall into this trap: one does not protect Human Rights by negating them; one does not protect freedom with less freedom.
Let’s take action against the stigmatisation and discrimination towards the children of Europe because of their religion, their names and their origins or because of the neighbourhood they come from.
Let’s stop this spiralling downwards trend where failing our young people turns into despair for all of them and hatred and barbarism from a few of them.
And since we are preparing for a European investment plan, let’s use this opportunity to give priority to education, training and public services for those millions of young people.
Let’s give to the children of Europe “ More love and less hatred” as illustrated only a few days ago on the cover of Charlie Hebdo newspaper.