Dear comrades and colleagues of the European Group

We hope this edition of the newsletter finds you and your family and friends safe and well.

In a recent email, we sent a short update from the co-ordination group – you can access it online here. As you will hear, we are continuing EG work with the help of country representatives, the EG press editorial team and many others in the Group who continue to lend support and insight – a huge thanks to all involved, especially at this time of uncertainty. 

This month’s newsletter is dedicated to our colleagues and friends Roberto Bergalli and Roger Matthews. We will continue to feel their loss as a Group, and send our sympathies to their closest and dearest. In the pages below we have some reflections from friends on their lives and work.

Along with many other feelings, there also seems much to be angry about at the moment. Various states have failed to respond appropriately to the likelihood of excess deaths. A lack of protective equipment, forward thinking or support for those who are most vulnerable has brought to the surface the impact of these political failings. Many migrants are experiencing further losses of rights and security, and those most affected by poverty, destitution and homelessness are experiencing compounded impacts of the Covid-19 crisis. However, as Dani highlighted in last month’s newsletter, this is not just a crisis of a pandemic, but of control, welfare, borders and institutional economic violence. It is a crisis of capitalism.

As we also see over the last days, the realities of endemic institutional racism have again come to the fore of global consciousness. The state facilitated death of George Floyd is a heavy reminder that police violence, disproportionately against people of colour, has not gone away. This disregard for human life is likewise reflected in the disproportionate numbers of deaths of Black and Asian people due to Covid-19 – related not only to urbanised inequalities and poverty, but reflective of who is at the front line of response in health and social care. In response, rather than embedding structural support or challenging such ingrained racisms, some governments instead use this crisis as an opportunity to further restrict the rights of migrants and second generation families, but also increase the intensity of policing in areas with high demographics of people of colour.

We send our solidarity to anti-fascists organising against state violence, but also to the family and friends of those who have been killed by state violence, or indeed state negligence. It is difficult to organise while we are apart, but we will still work in every other capacity to challenge such abuses, and strive for social justice. This pandemic has further exposed many of the social and economic problems the European Group has focussed on for 48 years. In light of this, we hope to reconvene in person soon, but work collectively in the meantime in an effort to obtain and uphold a shift toward social justice and away from creeping fascism, xenophobia, and state violence.

In hope and solidarity

Vicky, Katja and Dani