+++ Come to Kehl-Strasbourg on 18 May: Start of the March of Refugees and Sans Papiers to Brussels +++ Struggles against Dublin II/III – e.g. on 8 May in Frankfurt +++ Movements of Migration at the external borders +++ From 15 May: International Days of Action of Blockupy +++ End of May, BuKo 36 in Leipzig +++ Review April: O-Platz Berlin and Lampedusa in Hamburg +++ Preview June: Residency Right Demonstration of Youth without Borders to the Interior Ministers Conference in Bonn, Refugee Women Conference in Frankfurt, Week of Action Brussels …
All of you for whom it is possible, should come to Kehl on Sunday, 18 May, to support the start of the March of Refugees and Sans Papiers at the first border crossing to Strasbourg. The march to Brussels will take more than five weeks and it is desired that people should also participate in stages of the march, e.g. during the weekend of 1 June, when the march will stop at the highly symbolic town of Schengen.
Since 1995 the Schengen Agreement stands for the freedom of movement for EU citizens, whereas so-called third-country citizens have been confronted with even sharper border checks and visa restrictions. Schengen symbolizes the distress and the thousand-fold death at the external borders of the EU, which will be made a public issue there.
Further places of action will be, among others, Saarbrücken, Luxembourg and three other borders (see below), before the march will be welcomed in Brussels with a first welcome demonstration on 20 June.
For the subsequent week of action, many protests against those responsible for and benefitting from the EU border regime have been planned. On Thursday 26 June, on the occasion of the first day of the Summit Meeting of EU Interior Ministers, a big rally and central demonstration will be organized and the next day a counter-summit on the perspectives of the struggles of migration.
In the last newsletter we said: “The march and the days of action have not by accident been planned in an early summer which, with regard to the ‘Movements of Migration’, the social and political struggles of refugees and migrants, could get a downright ‘historical’ meaning. Because there is a new dimension to what has been happening in the past weeks at the external borders of the EU.”
These past weeks the dynamics have been uninterrupted: in the Aegean the highest figures of arriving boat people since the record years of 2009/2010; in Morocco unremittingly –e.g. again on 1 May– the well-organised attacks on the border fences of the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta; and nearly every day reports of rescue operations in the Strait of Sicily, with figures ten times as high as last year. Whether or not and how the Italian navy operation ‘Mare Nostrum’ will continue is not only in Italy controversial (see http://ffm-online.org/2014/04/24/lampedusa-28-000-boat-people-nutzten-mare-nostrum-eu-militaer-nordafrikanische-haefen/).
Despite all the militarisation and armament with Frontex and Eurosur, the ‘border guards’ are currently everywhere in the Mediterranean with their backs against the wall. The speedy development in Southern Italy, the ‘collapse of the reception capacities’ (topical quote by the Chief of the Italian Border Police), could soon also have direct consequences for the Dublin regime. For the authorities and the courts it will anyway become more difficult to hide the homelessness and non-existent care of asylum seekers who are pushed back from all European countries to Italy because of Dublin II/III. And when – after Greece from early 2011 – Italy also fails as a place of refoulement, the Dublin system can be chucked straight in the bin.
It is therefore important that the struggles against the Dublin Regulation are intensified, that those involved organise themselves in order to increasingly prevent push backs even inside airplanes, that with Kirchenasyl safe houses are opened and that, even in case of a subsequent push back to Italy, they are not forgotten but supported upon their return to Germany.
In Frankfurt the protests against Dublin continue with a demonstration at the airport on 8 May (see below); on 1 May an old school was squatted in Hamburg to create a welcome centre (see below). In April Berlin went through a concentration around the O-Platz, which was initially caused by the successful discord spread among the refugees (see below the short chronology).
Self-organised groups from Berlin are simultaneously the driving force behind the transnational march; they will set off to Kehl-Strasbourg on 17 May, after a common action with the imminent crisis protests in Berlin.
For on 15 May the Days of Action that are organized all over Europe by http://mayofsolidarity.org/ are beginning. On 17 May regional demonstrations from Blockupy Coordination are taking place (see below); not only in Berlin, but also in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, the struggles of refugees will play a prominent role. Moreover initiatives from several countries have published their own calls, which –as to their content– link up the struggles against the crisis regime with the struggles against the border regime and –from a practical point of view– connect all these Blockupy mobilisations with the march that starts one day later. In this sense we hope that ‘Solidarity beyond Borders’ will really produce an effect in May and June, all the same we are in for two extremely eventful months …
All the best,
the Kompass crew