“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Monday, 12 September 2011

Slavery in the 21st century.

As I have mentioned previously on this blog, what is unfolding at Dale Farm is more complex then either the local objectors to the site or the Vanessa Redgraves of the world would care to admit to. Now the news that a police raid on a traveller site in Bedfordshire has resulted in a number of half starved slave workers, some held for up to fifteen years, being freed will hopefully concentrate the minds of those people who are keen to support anyone who is in conflict with the authorities. This is not to suggest that all travellers are slave masters of course but we should not be blind to the fact that the travelling community is home to some very unpleasant individuals. This recent raid comes after a similar case in Hampshire in June and will no doubt be used as ammunition against Dale Farm.
This case is about a few dozen vulnerable men held for years to work as labourers. They deserve our sympathy, but no more so than the hundreds of women sold into the sex trade of our major cities. It's a shocking reality that slavery did not end with William Wilbeforce but is still a feature of the modern world.


Gitane said...

The cops have been sitting on this for 2 years so the timing , in view of the ruthless attitude shown the travellers at Dale Farm, is typical opportunist, demonising cop hype to justify the outcome of a probably violent and expensive eviction in Essex.
Over the years the identity of "travellers" has become somehow fouled and smeared by the media and politicians alike. The allegations of slavery certainly put a top hat on the justification for predjudice and persecution. Propoganda the Nazis would have been proud of.
Travellers may be a pain in the arse but are they no more anti social than bankers and hedge fund players? Who does more to threaten little England , stock exchange gamblers or travellers? Some perspective please comrades.

Jemmy Hope said...

When Sa'udi princes visit this country accompanied by slaves - sorry, faithful returners who refuse to accept payment for their services - will the metropolitan muskers be nicking them?

Gitane said...

And what's "internment" all about? Slavery with the possibility of a job; and when was a job freedom? Sounds like an opportunity for more slavery. Marcel Mauss had a little known theory that all authority was structured by someone in the distant past doing something for someone for nothing. The death of relative recipocracy meant slavery for some and power for others.

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