+++ Ferries not Frontex +++ Bus Tour of the Refugees from O-Platz +++ 8 to 10 May in Berlin: Blockupy Perspectives +++ 14 to 17 May in Münster: BUKO 37 +++ From 14 May: Tour for Freedom of Movement, Autonomy and the Good Life +++ 19 to 22 May in Warsaw: Anti-Frontex Days +++ Retrospective of the Resistance against the Tightening of Asylum Laws: Occupations, Demonstrations, Student Strike +++ Prospect: 10 June in Strasbourg: Action Day for Freedom of Movement +++
On 19 April “Ferries not Frontex!” was the immediate reaction of the Watch The Med Alarm Phones to the greatest refugee tragedy in the Mediterranean to this day with more than 900 casualties. The transnational hotline project, which has been supporting boat people 24/7 for more than six months, mentions in its press release who is to be held responsible for these massive deaths at sea. A follow-up text explains why even a second Mare Nostrum would be insufficient and that, on the contrary, a ferry service is what is called for if the casualties at sea are really to be put an end to (see below).
Apart from a few more life boats, the EU’s new 10-point plan is a pure repression and displacement program. Yet what will be done and how depends not in the last place on public pressure. Critical public opinion towards the lethal EU exclusion politics reached into broad parts of the mass media these last two weeks, at least critical voices were solicited everywhere. Even a UNHCR official talked about ferries as a better way and in a video clip a Swedish physician called into question the simple yet ultimately very fundamental issue of why boat refugees do not fly cheaply instead of expensively putting their lives at risk. The answer is clear: the EU visa regime is the problem (see the references below).
The right to freedom of movement is and will remain our central point of departure against the lethal inhumane border regime. For the Mediterranean the concrete proposal for a ‘humanitarian civilly-disobedient ferry’ is doing the rounds, while simultaneously and linked to it the resistance against the internal EU borders continues. The Refugee Bus Tour is at the moment on its way through numerous cities of Germany in order mainly to strengthen the self-organized structures of refugees and migrants. In many places actions against the new tightened asylum laws, which had been prepared for quite a while, have been and are still being carried out these days and in turn merge with the current protests against the ‘leaving-to-die-at-sea’ politics.
Within the polarisation of society, which momentarily manifests itself around the ‘refugee issue’, the blend of self-organized and left-wing antiracist groups is in a stronger position then in the years before. Whether and in how far we succeed in getting concrete improvements in migration policy implemented, or in doing so even kindle throughout society dynamics ‘for more justice’ may become apparent in the aggravations to be expected in the next few months. Our chances have been worse, times seldom were so open ….
In this sense and in solidarity,
The Kompass Crew