[Guest Post by David Clow.]David Clow in Paris

After spending some time in France’s largest refugee camp, my suspicions have been confirmed – these refugees can simply walk right out.

There are no fences keeping them in or guards preventing their escape. They are really just human beings on planet earth. These are good people.

I sometimes wonder about gun laws, being that criminals do not really follow laws, especially ones that outlaw the ‘tools of their trade’. In the same way, do any of you think that terrorists entering a country to do it harm will go through a lengthy and invasive application process to permit their entry? Do you really think they will pitch tents in the frozen mud to supplicate for our approval when they can just stroll right in?

Cafe au lait en la champs elysse.
Cafe au lait en la champs elysse.

Not a soul has checked my luggage, passport, or even looked at me inquisitively in mainland Europe; and I grew my beard out in disgusting fashion to look as ’non-conforming’ as possible. But there was no one even looking.

Is this a country on high alert? I didn’t even see a cop the first day here; and we drove around downtown. I did see some today, though, in a few key locations. But it was nothing more than I am used to seeing around a big city.

I am on a sunny balcony in Central Paris looking over the streets as I type this. It looks as peaceful and gorgeous as ever.

Come on, folks; let’s think this through…

To all you people pointing out the fact that there are mostly men at these camps, insinuating that means something: It does mean something. It means the brothers and fathers went ahead on the limited or nonexistent funds they had to secure employment and income to bring their family later. I figured this out first hand. But, really, there are women and children all over the place at the camp.

New friends. — in Cité Maubeuge, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France.
New friends. — in Cité Maubeuge, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France.

Listen, there were so many questions that led to my suspending belief about these suffering people; I actually entertained all the racist and xenophobic comments that people put forward. I do that often, so as to not make a mistake.

Now, reading their posts, I shake my head wondering how these folks spewing hate are so sure about what they say. I mean, I travelled all this way to answer these questions put forth; and I have to say, we are wrong. We are wrong about this.

We need to open our hearts and borders to these folks.

The borders are as unreal as the differences we assume exist between ‘us’ and those we close our hearts and minds to.

We need to remember that.

Niagara Centre’s David Clow is one of the incredible 2015 Green Party of Canada candidates I had the privilege of meeting during the election. David is currently in Paris as a COP21 Observer.

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