Kompass – AntiRa – Newsletter No. 53 – October 2016

Kompass-Newsletter No. 53 – October 2016 (pdf)

+++ Starting 8.10. in Bavaria: March From Munich to Nuremberg +++ Greece: „Hotspot“ Moria Burnt Down After Protests +++ Balkan Route: March (attempt) from Belgrade and renewed Live Feed +++ Worsening Situation in Calais +++ 21. – 23.10. in Paris: Transnational Social Strike Conference +++ 28.10. in Budapest: Demonstration in Solidarity with Röszke 11 +++ 29.10. in Nuremberg: Demonstration „Fighting Causes of Flight” +++ Welcome to Greece Guide – New Edition +++ Valetta Process +++ Reviews: Pro Asyl Award for Human Rights for Father Mussie Zerai, Alarm Phone Meeting and Ferry not Frontex in Tanger, Strike Conference Frankfurt +++ Outlook: 19./20.11. in Frankfurt about the Possibility of an AntiRa Conference in 2017; 3./4.12. Conference in Hamburg against the G20 in July 2017… +++

Dear friends,

scandalous deportations from Italy to Sudan, an extortionate remission agreement between the EU and Afghanistan, a planned new deal with Egypt – hardly one day passes without disturbing news and plans of deterrence from the various levels of a completely ruthless border regime. But at the same time, there is no day passing by without confrontations and struggles for the freedom of movement either! While the EU is trying by all means to equip Libya to be the new watchdog, on the two days of the 3rd and 4th of October alone 10,000 people entered the boats towards Italy. While ministers of Syriza in Greece maintain the “island detention” as demanded by the EU, the largest “Hotspot” on Lesbos burned down. While the very few holes on the Balkan Route are getting closed down by even more fences and military, more than 400 Refugees try out a new “March of Hope” from Belgrade. Fierce conflicts from Ceuta to Calais, and in Bavaria self-organized refugees start a protest march from Munich to Nuremberg on the 8th of October…

Straight through Europe spaces were and are fought for. Migration and the question of (equal) rights permanently determine the discourses of society. The following little example shows, that not everybody is moving to the right on these polarizing issues: On the strike conference at the beginning of October in Frankfurt, the chairwoman of the union NGG (which is not exactly known to be specifically radical) was asked how she coped with members voting for the AfD. Her answer was something close to this: “Of course we are having a substantial debate about it. But when single colleagues resign because of our clear position against the AfD, then” – literally – “fuck it!”.

Along these lines, with anti-racist regards,
your Kompass-Team

Kompass-Newsletter No. 53 – October 2016 (pdf)

Kompass – AntiRa – Newsletter No. 52 – September 2016

Kompass-Newsletter Nr. 52 – September 2016 (pdf)

+++ 10.9.: Action day for the Info Tent by Lampedusa in Hamburg +++ 10./11.9. in Bochum and Wuppertal: solidarity networking of refugee communities +++ 17.9. in Düsseldorf: demo for the right to stay +++ 22./23.9. in Hungary and everywhere: Free Röszke 11 – solidarity actions +++ Welcome2Stay – what’s next? +++ Central Mediterranean: persistently high numbers of people arriving +++ Greece: protests in the camps +++ 29.9.: strike and action day at schools and universities throughout Germany – No border lasts forever +++ 30.9. – 2.10. in Frankfurt: conference about “Renewal by strike action” +++ 30.9. – 2.10. in Cologne: conference about “Perspectives of solidarity against the grasp of technology” +++ 1.10. in Heidelberg: demo “against any form of racism and exclusion” +++ Newspaper Daily Resistance No.2 +++ Update Welcome2Europe +++ Reviews: Noborder Thessaloniki, Blockupy +++ Preview: Transnational Social Strike Meeting in Paris in October +++

Dear friends!

On the occasion of the 4th of September, many media tried to reconstruct the days of the opening of borders in 2015, from Hungary via Austria to Germany. As interesting as the layout of some chronologies may have been, the central historic actor far too often disappears behind the details of political decision making. It were the refugees and migrants who – with their persistent month-, even year-long, social struggle – in those days literally overran the EU border regime on a central route and inflicted a defeat upon the Dublin Regulation. During the following months hundreds of thousands of people could continue their journey to the north-west of Europe relatively easily, until the virtually military closure of the Balkan Route in March 2016. Against the odds of persistent exclusion, most of them managed to ‘grow roots’: only in the first six months of 2016 more than 200,000 refugees were granted a protection status in Germany. In the future they will contribute to the political landscape and they will become the motivation and the material support factor for future generations who want to, or have to, come. Neither laws, nor smear campaigns can reverse these achievements.

Yes, the roll back is and will remain awesome, in the literal sense of the word. New screening measures and AfD successes, planned tightening up through Dublin IV and unspeakable debates about the ban of burkas: it is difficult to assess towards which further polarization Europe is moving and how much more dangerous and lethal right-wing populism combined with the racist center may become in the near future. But we have no reason whatsoever to go in hiding. Our pole remains diverse and persevering. In every nook and cranny, from local to transnational, resistance is continuing. During the time this Newsletter is being produced, refugees in Munich call for a demonstration and the occupation of a city square, Lampedusa in Hamburg will protest next Saturday. The Women in Exile and NoStress Tour were, and still are, on the road crisscross through Germany and Oranienplatz activists in Berlin produce their own newspaper. The Voice from Jena organizes meetings of refugee communities in several cities, Refugees for Change again mobilizes people in August to attend a demo in Frankfurt.
In more and more towns and cities self-organized initiatives have sprung up, whereas simultaneously old and new solidarity structures are being perpetuated. The much used Welcome2Europe website offers updated and expanded contacts and information, the network Welcome2Stay meets to discuss new activities.

Transnationally there is no breathing pause either: during the Noborder Camp in Thessaloníki in mid- July very productive networking meetings were held by activist groups from all over the Balkan. In the refugee camps on the Greek islands – which are slowly but steadily filling up with newcomers – as well as in mainland Greece, protest actions are taking place permanently. In Calais the situation is aggravating again: almost 10,000 people are there trying their chances to get to Great Britain, and are allegedly going to be evicted. The number of boats leaving from Libya remains unrelentingly high, the reception centers in Sicily and the South of Italy are again overcrowded. Ventimiglia – the Italian city on the border with France – as well as Como – on the border to Switzerland – have meanwhile become new hotspots of resistance, where day after day the right to free movement towards the north is being claimed and until now being forced through. In this context we again ask the question, which we have already asked in the previous Newsletter: “Are the built-up and built-out of continuous every-day structures not the most enduring answer to a racist mainstream which seems to continue to worsen unrestrainedly?”,

With antiracist greetings,
The Kompass Crew

Kompass-Newsletter Nr. 52 – September 2016 (pdf)

Kompass – AntiRa – Newsletter Nr. 51 – July/August 2016

Kompass-NewsletterNr. 51 – July/August 2016 (pdf)
+++ 15/7 to 24/7: No Border Camp Thessaloniki … and Münster +++ From 15/7 in Berlin, Bielefeld, Brandenburg: No Stress Tour +++ 25/7 to 14/8: Summer Bus Tour by Wome in Exile +++ 4/8 to 7/8: Solidarity4all – Camp against the deportation camp im Bamberg +++ Central Mediterranean and Sea Watch Air +++ Push Back in the Aegean in the presence of Frontex +++Europe´s best hotel in Athens +++ Röszke II and situation in Hungary +++ Roma protests for the right to stay in Berlin and Regensburg +++ campaign by JoG +++ Petition for language courses for all +++ struggles against new labour law in France +++ Lexit not Brexit? +++ Reviews: Demo at embassies in Berlin, Welcome2stay, Defencing Festival +++ Preview for September and October: Blockupy blockade of the Labour Ministry in Berlin, Transnational Social Strike meeting in Paris +++

Dear friends,

come to the No Border Camp in Thessaloniki! It starts next Friday (15/7) and it might be one of the biggest and most transnational camps in the history of No Border. Various convois from Spain, Italy, the Balkans, and Germany have announced themselves, activists from Turkey and Tunisia intend to join. Thousands of refugees and migrants live/survive in isolated conditions in camps and factory halls around Thessaloniki. Establishing contact collectively and encouraging self-organisation are central intentions of the days of protest in the „hotspot of the European border regime“. An exchange of initiatives along the Balkans route under the new and old conditions af migration movements being pushed into clandestinity, networking for new transnational projects for freedom of movement, discussions about social struggles and last but not least protests at deportation prisons and at the Greece-Turkey border: the 10 days program promises much practical encouragement in exciting combination. We will see…

For those who can´t or don´t want to go to Greece there will be the opportunity to get together for a camp in Münster at the same time – or to participate in the bus tour by women in exile across Germany, the No Stress Tour through Brandenburg or the Solidarity4all camp against the deportations camp in Bamberg. There are countless possibilities to contribute to the intensification of networks of contact and new local initiatives. Aren´t the construction and extension of coninuous everyday structures the most sustainable answer to the racist mainstream which seems to gather strength unchecked? From the German law for (prevention of) integration to the renewed attempt to outsource the EU border regime to war-torn and dictatorial countries of transit and origin; from Bulgarian and Hungarian militias hunting transit refugees to the xenophobis and racist Brexit campaign in the UK, the success of which will spur on all nationalist assholes: the “divide and conquer” is working out all too well. But in the social-political polarisations across Europe glimmers of hope are appearing. A special example are the mass protests against the new labour law in France which have been going on for four months. The connection of these protests, at least at certain points, to resolute strikes and blockades have made new dynamics and potentials become apparent in recent weeks…

There is more information and numerous links about all this, as well as all the activities listed in this introduction, in the following agenda and summaries in this summer newsletter.

Greetings in solidarity
the Kompass team

Kompass-NewsletterNr. 51 – July/August 2016 (pdf)

Kompass – AntiRa – Newsletter No. 50 – June 2016

Kompass-Newsletter No. 50 – June 2016 (pdf)

+++ 9. 6. in Berlin: demonstration against the migration policy of the EU +++ 10.-12. 06 in Leipzig: Welcome2Stay summit +++ 11. 6. in Paris: Transnational Social Strike Meeting +++ 24.-26. 06 at the Slovenian-Croatian border: Defencing Festival +++ More than 1000 further victims of the EU border regime in the central Mediterranean +++ Eviction of Idomeni +++ Actions by Roma for the right to stay in Berlin +++ Newspaper “Daily Resistance” +++ Hotel City Plaza in Athens +++ Review: Ende Gelände +++ Outlook into the summer calendar until July and August: Anti-Ra festival in Athens, Nobordercamp in Thessaloniki , No Stress Tour, Summerbustour Women in Exile, Camp against the deportation camp Bamberg +++

Dear friends,

the EU border regime has claimed more than 1000 additional victims in the central Mediterranean within ten days. Shortly before that, the camp in Idomeni has been evicted. And over here, the next curtailments as well as labor-law related disciplining measures of the asylum law are disguised as a so called “law of integration”. None of these are exactly encouraging developments in the fight for a freedom of movement and equal social rights.

The crew of Sea Watch recently went through their worst days at sea, and hence decided to publish a photograph picturing a drowned baby in order to call attention to the cruel border regime. Also the people of WatchTheMed Alarm Phone had to be earwitnesses of yet another tragedy with presumably more than 400 dead: the “calculated and monitored dying at sea”, as the project phrased it afterwards. And Moving Europe can’t do much more at the moment than document the disastrous conditions in the Greek camps and making it a scandal.

Without them it would be even worse! This may be cold comfort, but still it is true: Without the civil rescue ships of Doctors Without Borders, SOS Mediterranee, Sea Watch and Sea Eye, and without the helpline of the Alarm Phone there would be countless further casualties in the Mediterranean. And even less publicity – which is even more important when the dominating media discourse frames the deaths in the Mediterranean as a mere natural disaster and keeps blaming the “ruthless traffickers” for it.

The Alarm Phone puts it straight: “We scream out, once more and over and over again. About the dead of the past 20 years, about the dead of yesterday. Nobody would have to die at sea if legal and secure access paths existed. The dying at sea is neither a nature catastrophe nor an accident. It is in fact the calculated product of a EU border and visa regime. The dying at sea is man-made and could be ended by tomorrow as a dark chapter of history: by opening the borders and granting free access to ferries. The long summer of migration in the Balkans revealed it: open borders mean no more ‘traffickers’. Only people being forced by Frontex and the like will choose the costly and dangerous trip. A world without borders is possible: Frontex as well as the ‘traffickers’ will then have disappeared. In this sense: Ferries not Frontex.”

There is still hope: The persistent fight of the Roma people for a right to stay with current campaigns in Berlin. The squatted Hotel City Plaza in Athens, self-organized by Refugees and supporters. The successful civil disobedience of “Ende Gelände” in the Lausitz. And the ongoing social strike against the new labor law in France. There are moments of resistance – of “Daily Resistance”, as stated by the title of a new newspaper, organized by Refugees in Berlin – and there is living solidarity, which give hope and courage.

The next weeks offer two exciting transnational mobilizations within the anti racism movement – first the defencing festival at the Slovanian-croatian border end of June and second the no border camp in Thessaloniki in the middle of July (more below). This could be the beginning of more moments like the ones described above. At least they could help not to forget in these hard times that migrants and refugees struggled continuously and will do it in the future.
In this words: see you in Berlin, Leipzig, Paris, Ljubljana, Thessaloniki … and a lot of energy and power to those who run the fights locally.

Yours Kompass-Team

Kompass-Newsletter No. 50 – June 2016 (pdf)

Kompass – AntiRa – Newsletter No. 48, April 2016

Kompass – Newsletter Nr. 48 – April 2016 (pdf)

+++ Roll Back in the Aegean? +++ Resistance from Chios to Idomeni +++ Thousands reach Sicily +++ From 15 to 18 April ‘No Frontex Days’ in Catania +++ 23 April in Padborg: Cross the Border Denmark +++ Call-out for Trains of Hope +++ Must-read Book: Die Bleibenden (The Stayers) +++ Reviews: overthefortress, NoBorder Action Days Freiburg-Basel +++ Previews: Welcome2stay Summit, ‘Defencing’ at the Slovak-Croatian Border, NoBorder Camp Thessaloniki, No Stress Tour… +++

Dear Friends,
Fourth of April 2016: the so-called ‘Turkey Deal’ is starting on the fast track. More than 200 refugees are pushed back to Turkey from the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios, the operation being carried out by Frontex and stage-managed in the mass media as an exemplary action. With disregard for the overt breach of the Geneva Convention, determent at any price. After the closure of the Balkan Route, will we now get to direct mass expulsions? The ultimate roll back in the Aegean?

That is how they would like it and the antiracist movement should be on its guard against reproducing the demonstrative power of the border regime. Without a doubt, the Fourth of April marks a major incident, as well as the brutal attempt to break the dynamics of the refugee movements with every available means. But the daily struggles will decide about the social reality in the near future, that is how it has been in the past few years. Also the greatest successes until now in the struggle for freedom of movement in the summer and fall of 2015, were the result of the tenacity of the social movements of refugees and migrants.

For many years – and also in the ‘record year’ 2015 – October has been the month during which the most people arrived on the Greek islands. That still gives us seven months. So seven months at least during which the solidarity and the common struggle for a different, more open Europe, are needed more than ever, and during which it will become clear whether, and to what extent, the rulers will succeed in permanently stabilizing their new racist regime of migration control.

The EU-Turkey agreement was executed rashly; whether and how long it will remain in force may already be questioned in many ways. It is true that a new break-through along the Balkan borders is not to be expected at this moment and it would immediately be blocked with military force, but the potential resistance of the refugee and migration movements remains permanently strong in hard-won places across Greece. In the camp in Idomeni and during blockades on the highway to Macedonia, in the dozens of new camps on the mainland, as well as during protests on the islands of Lesbos or Chios, during street demonstrations and in newly squatted houses in Athens and Thessaloniki: “Open the borders” is the slogan shouted everywhere by thousands of people, the echo of which will keep Europe moving in the next weeks and months.
In this respect the NoBorder Camp in Thessaloniki from 15 until 24 July (see below) may– as a booster and catalyst – take place at exactly the right moment.

In solidarity,
The Kompass Team

P.S. concerning our newsletter: Kompass is urgently seeking translators, in particular for French. Please contact us.

Kompass – Newsletter Nr. 48 – April 2016 (pdf)

AntiRa-Newsletter Nr. 47 – March 2016

Kompass – Newsletter Nr. 47 – March 2016 (pdf)

+++ Balkan route closed – up to 15.000 refugees in Idomeni +++ Deal of Turkey and NATO-Operation in the Aegean +++ AntiRa manifestations in several cities +++ 12.3. in Cologne: Our Feminism is anti racist +++ 12.3. Freiburg: For unlimited human rights +++ 19.3. in Hannover: Fight against racist mobilization +++ 2.4. in Bielefeld: Freedom of movement instead of deportation camp +++ Freiburg – Basel, Italy – Austria: Actions at the borders +++ WatchTheMed-Alarmphone: Video clips and campaign newspaper +++ Review: Conference in Hamburg; Safe Passages; 1. March action day against border regime and precariousness +++ Prospects: Defencing from 27. to 29.5. at the Slovenian-Croatian border and Nobordercamp mid of July in Greece; 10. – 12.6. in Leipzig: Welcome to Stay-Summit +++

Dear friends!

7 March 2016 – a new round for polarization. The Balkan route is so to say closed, NATO ships are in the Aegean, Calais vacated, the Asylum package is rushed through and the extreme right-wing persons of the AfD rise – on all levels we are confronted with a racist rollback. The EU-border regime should be straighten up with might and main and the control over the flight and migration movement should be restored at any cost.

Eidomeni 7 March 2016But also the social and political resistance is not broken yet. 15.000 people stay in tents and mud in Idomeni. They demand open borders while thousands are looking for new ways to the north. And until now the cross overs to Greece, which has been ongoing the whole winter, are especially braking by the bad weather. Simultaneously up to 2000 activist have meet in Hamburg, mainly self-organized groups of refugees. Never before there were such a good visited conference in Germany, also the antiracist movement is better organized now.

Hard confrontations are foreseeable for the coming weeks and month: heavy defencing actions on the outer borders, fights for the right to stay and socio political and antifascist resistance inside. Whole Europe will become a highly competitive space, the question is how will the continent look like in future? The Research Institute for Flight and Migration express it like this in their worth reading comment:

“The number of migrants in itself is not the problem, also 5 or 20 million would not have to starve and could be provided in a dignified way. The political and medial production shows the importance of the subject and asks questions about the character of the prospective Europe. It will be either the opening of the borders or a fortress of prosperity, it will be either an open society or militarisation and firing order. This questions are asked because the migrants are coming. They move Europe and they don’t will vanish, we have to act!“ („Europe in Limbo“, look at http://ffm-online.org/category/kommentar/)

Let’s get involved, let’s mobilize! For an open Europe from its bottom, by any means necessary!

Your Kompass Team

Kompass – Newsletter Nr. 47 – March 2016 (pdf)

Kompass – AntiRa – Newsletter Nr. 46 – February 2016

Kompass – Newsletter Nr. 46 – Febrary 2016 (pdf)

26.-28.2.: Refugee conference in Hamburg +++ Aegean in January: High arrival numbers, many dead +++ 13./14.2.: Several coordination meetings concerning the Balkan Route +++ 1st March: Transnational decentralize action day against border regime and precariousness +++ Stop asylum package II +++ Against the racist-populist discourse +++ reviews: summer of migration, actions in Calais +++ Preview: regional conferences in Frankfurt, Ferries not Frontex campaign, Welcome to stay conference…

Dear friends,

in the first newsletter of 2016 we want to emphasize three points:

First: Go to Hamburg!
There will be an international conference of refugees and migrants from 26 to 28 February. “This self organized gathering shall tighten existing networks of refugees and contribute to develop new ones. Furthermore the conference offers the possibility to analyze the current situation in Germany and Europe. Our aim is to concentrate on what we could to together and to give as much space as possible to all the voices, experiences and perspectives.”
Facing the present struggles which coming to a crisis and the polarization within society – from the outer borders until to the countries of destination – we have to very welcome this initiative for a common ‘space’ of discussion of the anti racist movement. We hope strongly that the precise title „The struggle of refugees. How to go on? Stop war on Migrants“ will become a powerful signal for the ongoing struggle for freedom of movement in 2016 (see more below).

Second: “Upper limit, we don’t get it”
This is how the ‘Stern’, a weekly newspaper, is headlining an article on 28 January 2016. The article describe that it’s actual impossible to close the borders around Germany for refugees effectively. In view of the general medial roar which oscillates between “Sexmob” and “use of firearms at the borders” is it a considerable sober analyse. Because at the latest after Cologne (below more) a new and old mixture of “racist agitation and laws” dominates the public discourse. We quote again the ‘Stern’: “The policy of Angela Merkel might have pushed the stream of refugees, but she neither causes nor initiated it. And by saying yes to an upper limit we can’t stop it.” Who wants to know it in more detail: activists from the project moving-europe.org took the trouble to convert the unbelievable successful “long summer of migration” into a detailed chronology. It’s very recommended to read it and to remember the dynamics nobody judged to be realistic – and which will keep Europe busy! In January 2016 over 60.000 people arrived with boats in the Aegean, in the middle of winter and as many as in July last year. Simultaneously 250 people died there at sea, more than ever in one month. More intensification at the outer borders, along the Balkan route into the target countries are predetermined for spring and summer of 2016.
Highly embattled spaces and Europe 2016 facing crucial decisions! „Orbanisation” with high security fences and firing order at the borders, state of emergency, more right wing governments and racist pogroms? Or new breakthroughs in the refugee movements fight for freedom of movement, transnational de-fencing actions (see below), for an open Europe from the roots, a new socio-political raise? Everything seems possible…

Third: Solidarity for All – against that racist roaring!
“Will the momentum of the autonomies and fights of migration spread into other social issues? Will the marches of hope bolster to arouse a new dynamic in Europe’s social fights? … “Solidarity for all”, seize this slogan of emancipatory networks in Greece, to openly fight all attempts of division and ‚normality of austerity‘, to attack precarity and severe reduction of social contribution. Affordable living space via new residential building programmes, access to health care and education for all, unconditional basic income and higher minimum wages: those social claims may and must be filled with new life, by social acquirement and social strike, local to transnational.”

We already formulated this in our Newsletter of October 2015 and can only reiterate it here. We should not allow the new wave of racism to force us onto the defensive. The successful struggles of the refugees and migrants have vigorously put the social question on the agenda again. We have to zero in on the full scale of these struggles and in doing so develop new alliances. The transnational action day on 1 March offers the first opportunity at a decentralised level “to make several precarious realities visible and bring them together in a joint communication process” (see below). In early March the title of a regional conference in Frankfurt will be ‘Solidarity for all’, similar initiatives will be organized in several other cities, and a big ‘Welcome to Stay’ conference is being planned for May (see below).

In this frame of mind: the struggle goes on!

Your Kompass Crew

P.S.: On the occasion of the Hamburg Conference, this Newsletter will also be available in printed form and in three languages (English, French and German).

Kompass – Newsletter Nr. 46 – Febrary 2016 (pdf)

Kompass-Antira-Newsletter Nr. 45 – December 2015/January 2016

Kompass-Newsletter Nr. 45 – December 2015/January 2016 (pdf)

+++ Action Day 18 December 2015 +++ Moving on – One Year Alarmphone +++ Idomeni and the Balkan Route +++ Beyond Welcome: Socio-Political Offensive? +++ Asylum Laws tightened +++ Oury Jalloh-Demo 7 January 2016 in Dessau +++ Commemoration Day from Rabat to Berlin 6 February 2016 +++ Blockupy Conference 5 to 7 February 2016 in Berlin +++ New Journal and Film by Afrique-Europe-Interact +++ Reviews: Refugee Demo Hamburg, Occupation of Sudanese Embassy; School Strike Berlin, 10 Years of Jugendliche Ohne Grenzen +++ Previews: End of February 2016 Refugee Meeting in Hamburg; Transnational Social Strike Action Day on 1 March 2016 +++

Dear Friends!

“Anything is possible, strong social movements can change everything. That’s what we learned once again, through the experiences of our Alarmphone project and in an incredible year of successful struggles for freedom of movement”. These are the first sentences of the introduction to the brochure ‘Moving on – One Year Alarmphone’ (see below), which documents the impressive stories and developments from the entire Mediterranean of this truly historical year.
MovingEuropeBusIn 2015 the external borders of Fortress Europe were more than ever being demolished, at first the massive crossings of the Aegean extended into breakthroughs along the Balkan Route, followed by corridors into the very centres of the EU. Along the entire route ‘Welcome’ initiatives were spontaneously established and later on evolved into permanent support structures. To be sure: in September the ‘long summer of migration’ reached its dynamic zenith and now is increasingly being confronted by ‘a winter of reaction’. But even in mid-December the numbers of arrivals in the Aegean are comparatively high, with thousands of people still moving every day through the (controlled) corridor to the north. The most recent struggles at the Greek-Macedonian border moreover show (see below), that the Balkan Route remains a hard-won space. It is far from clear how things will develop there in the forthcoming weeks and then in the spring of 2016, when in all probability the numbers of refugees will start increasing again…

We mentioned it in our last two issues as the main challenge and are therefore more than delighted that in many places the necessity of a ‘Beyond Welcome’ is increasingly being elaborated; that at conferences and in seminars the discussions and first practical activities focus on how to develop common social struggles that go beyond the ‘Welcome’ initiatives. An example is the heading ‘Frankfurt for All – Solidarity City’ of a statement from Rhine-Main concerning the International Day of Human Rights (see below).
StadtfueralleThe squatting of a house on the same day for the Shelter Project in Frankfurt may at first have failed, but then in Göttingen and later also in Cologne the self-organised appropriation of housing could be maintained (see below).

In early February Blockupy invites people to a conference in Berlin at which, among other things, the possibilities for a socio-political offensive will be investigated jointly with the new citizens. And when these initiatives increase in dynamism, the ambitious call for an action day ‘towards a transnational social strike’ on 1 March 2016 might be well-timed: “We call up all ‘precarity’ workers, migrants and refugees, activists, autonomous groups and unions to turn 1 March 2016 into a day of decentralised and coordinated actions and strikes, by disturbing the regular production and reproduction procedures, by creating an exchange between different labour realities and by making the often hidden conditions of exploitation visible, as well as by attacking the border regime and those institutions that are responsible for this management of mobility and precarity” (see below).
In this sense we already wish you all a very good start of the new year.

In solidarity,
the Kompass team

Kompass-Newsletter Nr. 45 – December 2015/January 2016 (pdf)

Kompass-Newsletter Nr. 44 -November 2015

+++ Europe at the crossroads – Balkan – http://moving-europe.org and http://live.w2eu.info +++ As of 11 November in Lesvos: Sea Watch in operation +++ 11 November in Berlin: Anti-Military Action +++ 14 November in Hamburg: Preliminary Meeting for Refugee Conference and Demo +++ 19 November in Berlin: Refugee School Strike +++ 20 and 22 November in Magdeburg: Networking Meeting for Refugee Women +++ Services for Refugees in Germany +++ Alarmphone is receiving 100 distress-at-sea calls per week +++ Reviews: Jury Jalloh, Ohlauer School +++ Previews: Transnational Social Strike Action Day on 1 March 2016 +++

Dear Friends!

“… Meanwhile an autonomy of migration has evolved, partly as a consequence and continuation of the Arabellion. The new assertiveness of migrants, and the strength with which they enforce their freedom of movement, their right to move, will no be easily crushed by the EU and its policy of fending off migrants….If the Fortress Europe is to be defended, it cannot be achieved peacefully anymore.
FotoEurope is at crossroads: Are hundreds of thousands at the external borders to be condemned to die, to be detained in camps or even to be shot at? … Europe will change, but it must not fall back into the old patterns of deportation, detention and repression. Instead, Europe could open up and allow a process of re-orientation and pluralisation which would be be fitting of the 21st century. …
Foto (5)Will all those people that have welcomed migrants enthusiastically be able to withstand the increasing attacks from the political right and the blowbacks that the next months will inevitably bring? Can we communicate that austerity and precarity goes hand in glove with competition and racist division? And will we be able to develop processes of solidarity and common struggles? Are we ready and willing to not merely ‘integrate’ migrants, but to allow and foster more drastic changes that will also re-align our own lives?…”

http://moving-europe.org is the name of the co-operation project which, with practical emphasis on the Balkan (see below), was initiated at the end of October and with these few lines try to find a political assessment.
And yes, the situation is and will remain contradictory and open.
On the one hand: the right and the racists sense a new opportunity and mobilize, no longer only in Dresden. Simultaneously the EU Governments – and also “Mama Merkel”- step up the control regime at all levels. Accelerated asylum laws, announcement of fast-track proceedings and mass deportations, of deprivation of rights and registration zones: there is no lack of ‘clear Foto (2)terms’ expressing the racist public authority. Reluctant improvements in residence law of recent years are being abolished again with one stroke of the pen.
On the other hand: the rulers know that most of their right-wing populism only feigns legal competence and will remain deterrence rhetoric. The announcement for instance that Afghan asylum seekers will be mass-deported, will not be enforceable, but also rumours can and do make people insecure.
The social movement of migration is and will remain unstoppable though. The institutionalised corridor of trains from Serbia to Austria and then on to Germany is not a favour, but has been set up in reaction to the big flights being unstoppable. “The EU Commission is expecting the arrival of a further three million refugees in Europe until 2017” (5.11.15). This sounds as if Foto (1)fences and the military offer no alternatives and that – at least until now – a majority of the rulers wish to avoid the dissemination of ‘Orbánism’. They know that it would mean the irreversible end of the European promise of freedom.
Besides, the support for refugees from civil society remains perseveringly strong along the entire route: Sea Watch is currently starting sea rescue operations on Lesvos, in the Balkan dozens of local and transnational projects are operative, many on-the-spot welcoming initiatives are becoming permanent, the support chain reaches up to Scandinavia (see http://live.w2eu.info/ ).
In the previous Newsletter we already emphasized it: for the coming months the challenge and outlook are in the development of coordinated, common social struggles. This means the development of a solidarity with the new citizens, which demands the same social and political rights for all. Or as aptly expressed in the closing sentence of the mission statement of the abovementioned project: “In this way we want to contribute to keep open a path into a new Europe – for those that are arriving as well as for ourselves.”

In solidarity,
The Kompass Crew

Kompass – Newsletter Nr. 44 – November 2015 (pdf)