In saving migrants we save ourselves


The migrant issue has become a decisive test for all those on the Left who campaign for the emancipation of the people and equal rights for all. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues that far from protecting existing rights, any concession to the politics of rejection, to the favouring of one nationality over others or to policies based on borders and identity, will simply help the cause of the extreme right.

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“Act in your place, think with the world!” was the advice of poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant, (1928 - 2011) for whom the poetic was also political. Putting his own recommendation into practice, Glissant was the first, right at the start of the Nicolas Sarkozy presidency in 2007, to warn against the return in France of the political poison that is national identity, the process of closing in on ourselves, of shutting out others, of forgetting our relationships with the world. This manifesto, Quand les Murs Tombent ('When the Walls Tumble Down') published by Galaade, was written with Patrick Chamoiseau who, ten years later in 2017, wrote the salutary Frères Migrants ('Migrant Brothers'), published by Seuil.