Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent

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New Press, The, Sep 4, 2012 - Social Science - 304 pages
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On the militarized Turkish-Greek border, Afghan migrants brave minefields to cross into Europe—only to be summarily ejected by Greek border guards. At Ceuta and Melilla, Spanish enclaves in North Africa, migrants are turned back with razor wire and live ammunition. Deportees from the U.K. and France have died of "positional asphyxia" on deportation flights, strapped to chairs, their mouths sealed with tape. In a brilliant and shocking account, Fortress Europe tells the story of how the world’s most affluent region—and history’s greatest experiment with globalization—has become an immigration war zone, where tens of thousands have died in a human rights crisis that has gone largely unnoticed by the U.S. media.

Journalist Matthew Carr brings to life these remarkable human dramas, based on extensive interviews and firsthand reporting from the hot zones of Europe’s immigration battles. Speaking with key European policy makers, police, soldiers on the front lines, immigrant rights activists, and an astonishing range of migrants themselves, Carr offers a lucid account both of the broad issues at stake in the crisis and its exorbitant human costs.
  

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Q. How did you like the book? A. It's a very interesting book for a reader like me, who is not up to date on the European situation. Matthew traveled around the borders of the European Union and interviewed whoever he could to develop a picture of their activities. Q. What did he find? A. Matthew believes in putting people ahead of borders, so this colors the book throughout. Q. Why does it color the book? A. Because, right or wrong, Matthew skewers the border maintainers but offers them very little in terms of realistic solutions. Q. So you're saying he gives a slanted viewpoint, slanted toward migrants attempting to enter the EU illegally? A. He is so slanted, but in the long run he's right, I think. In the long run, Fortress Europe and Fortress America and Fortress Australia, all of them, are going to have to change their policies to accommodate the inequalities in the world. They must do this because these nations helped to create the inequalities. Matthew cites many people making this argument. Q. The haves created the have-nots? A. Yes, through imperialism, capturing scarce resources from the have-not countries and not compensating them fairly. But now, they have a chance to compensate, in fact, they have no choice. Q. By taking in a horde of poor migrants? A. Essentially, yes. Matthew makes these arguments, and others, in the last couple of chapters. The book is worth a read no matter what you believe on this issue. 

Contents

Incidents on the Border
1
Hard Borders
9
A Gated Continent
11
Postcards from Schengenland
25
Policing the Spanish Frontier
45
Mare Schengen
64
The Greek Labyrinth
84
British Borders
107
Border Crossings
145
Difficult Journeys
147
Traffic
164
Hands Across the Border
185
Europes Borderlands
207
Beyond the Border
245
Notes
255
Index
267

The Internal Border
124

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About the author (2012)

Matthew Carr is a writer, broadcaster, journalist, and the author of Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain (a New York Times Editors’ Choice), The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism, and the acclaimed memoir My Father’s House. He lives in Derbyshire, England.

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