OPEN LETTER

To the People of Europe,

In the face of the migration crisis over the past few months, Europe’s people have demonstrated that they do not stand for a culture of fear, but for a culture of care. This idea now has to turn into a promise.

Now, more then ever, it is time to reach out again – responding to Friday’s violence with full-hearted, unquestioning openness, rather than with angst, distrust and anger.

On Friday, November 13, 2015, Europe was under attack. But it was not Paris, Europe, or the “West” that was under attack. What was under attack, and is under attack now, after the tragedy of Paris, is the inspiring, deeply touching caring that people throughout Europe showed over the last few months – despite the shrill voices of a few.

In the very beginning of what is called the refugee crisis, a current of caring and love ignited all Europe – and showed that this “crisis” was a crisis of governments, not of the people. You acted, where state action failed, and reached out in an effort of care and solidarity – with no regard to where people came from, or who they were. What mattered was reaching out a helping hand. And reaching out you did. Europeans stood up and raised their voices for those who had no standing and no voice.

Many people died on November 13, and the world was full of tears. But if we are not careful, there will be more violence and more tears. People of Europe, you now stand at the precipice of a fundamental choice, a choice that will, without exaggeration, determine the fate of countless more lives.

Caring people cannot respond to the terror of Paris with our own terror. They can not respond by putting up fences around Europe. They must not refuse to reach out to those who seek help, those very ones who are fleeing the same terror that swept over Paris. Caring people can not give in to the fear that those who terrorize seek to spread.

We are deeply concerned about how Europe and the world will react to this terror. Putting up fences, refusing helping hands, closing down where we need to be open, resorting to distrust where we should be faithful: this is what those who attacked want. They did not attack Paris that night. They attacked what we stand for, what we wholeheartedly believe: We, the people of Europe, must commit ourselves to be open to everyone, to help those who seek help, to be together in fraterinté and solidarité.

But we have faith: We saw how Europe can be. You proved to the world that Europe indeed can be a safe harbor in a stormy sea.  Now that we are faced with the painful catastrophe that happened in Paris, we cannot destroy the faith that the world, and particularly those who seek our help, put in us. We are entrusted with a great responsibility: to care. This is who we are and need to be.

Going forward, we must work together on many fronts:

  • The media must not forget their responsibility for sobriety, avoiding reporting that fuels anger and xenophobia! And they must continue to report on the suffering of those who try to cross our borders, or who already live among us but without secure standing.
  • Our governments must not respond to violence with violence. Governments must not give in to the hatred and frustration that pain so easily justifies. We must not repeat the mistakes of our history that ignited the terror in the first place. We must not become a place known for its fences, surveillance and paranoia. Europe much be a place and symbol of openness and freedom.
  • And we, the people of Europe, must remember their power and responsibility to become a model of civility for a new age. We must remember what was achieved in the response to the so-called migration crisis. We must remember that reaching out makes a difference – to individuals, and to the whole society we share

So, yes, we have faith: We believe that Europeans will hold high the ideals their societies are built upon.
We have faith that the world will continue being touched by you.
Because you will inspire us by the actions you take in response to the horror of Paris.
As you will continue to care.

SIGN THE LETTER

Signed:

Achi, Fiona Gedeon
McGill University

Alac, Morana
University of California San Diego
Communication and Science Studies

Arregui, Aníbal
University of Rostock
Social Anthropology

Bachinger, Leo Matteo
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Banks, David A
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Becker, Peter
University of Vienna
Institute for History

Breyman, Steve
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Borle, Prem
University of Cabridge

Bouchey, Michael
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Bouchey, Stephanie
Brown University

Callahan, Brian Robert
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Caporeal, Linnda
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department of Science and Technology Studies

Costelloe-Kuehn, Brandon
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Chang, Robin
Technical University of Dortmund,
& European Urban Research Association

Dressen, Annelieke
University of Amsterdam

Duncan, Cameron
University of British Columbia
Department of Education

Eglash, Ron
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Departments of Science and Technology Studies and Computer Science

Engel, Nora
Maastricht University

Engelhart, Jasmin
University of Vienna

ETC. Magazine
www.etc-magazin.com
*thank you for your support in logistics and infrastructure*

Fortun, Kim
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Hansen, Sofie
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Harambam, Jaron
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van Hees, Susan
Maastricht University
Department of Health Services

Hernandez, Rodolfo
Tsinghua University
Institute of Science, Technology and Society

Hoffman, Karen
University of Puerto Rico

Horst, Maja
University of Copenhagen
Faculty of Humanities

Hoyer, Klaus Lindgaard
University of Copenhagen
Department of Public Health

Ingeborgrud, Lina
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture

Irwin, Alan
Copenhagen Business School
Department of Organization

Ismailzai, Misagh
University of Toronto
Department of Sociology

Kinchy, Abby
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department of Science and Technology Studies

Klein, Thamar
University of Cologne

Kunseler, Eva
PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Jack, Tullia
Lund University

Malazita, James W.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Mauthner, Natasha
University of Aberdeen
Management Studies/Business School

Miller, Georgia
University of New South Wales
School of Humanities

Mitu, Khadija
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Nelson, Lee
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Neumann, Victoria
University of Vienna
Department of Science and Technology Studies

Nielsen, Karen Dam
University of Copenhagen
Department of Computer Science
University of Amsterdam
Academic Medical Center

O’Doherty, Damian
University of Manchester
Manchester Business School

Pereira, Tiago Santos
University of Coimbra

Petrina, Stephen
University of British Columbia
Media, Science and Technology Studies

Pfister, Thomas
Zeppelin University
European Center for Sustainability Research

Pols, Jeannette
University of Amsterdam
Academic Meical Centre Amsterdam

de Rijcke, Sarah
Leiden University
Centre for Science and Technology Studies

Samaras, Georgia
Munich Center for Technology in Society

Schürz, Stefanie
Verein Wiener Jugendzentren (Vienna)

Sciannamblo, Mariacristina
University of Rome “Sapienza”
Department of Social Science and Economics

Sehgal, Saransh
University of Vienna

Shantz, Aaron
University of Toronto

Silva, Luís
Centre for Research in Anthropology
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Traweek, Sharon
University of California
Gender Studies

Tyrol, Katherine
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department for Science and Technology Studies

Weber, Jutta
University of Paderborn
Department of Media Studies

Wolkenstein, Maresa Barbara
University of Vienna

Wu, Shih-Ming
Tsinghua University

Wünsch, Sofie
etc. Magazin
Chief Editor
&
University of Vienna