Kompass-Newsletter No 41 – July/August 2015

+++ 23. – 28.7. in Frankfurt: Project Shelter and precarious station +++ 2.8. in Barcelona: Invisible Borders Action +++ 15. – 27.8: Back to borders III on Lesvos +++ 21. – 23.8.: Break-Isolation-Days: Nationwide Refugee Conference in Hannover +++ On 6.9. in Tunisia: Freedom Ferry Action +++ Sea Watch – First rescue operations and the situation on the Central Mediterranean +++ Ferries not Frontex campaign +++ Route through Balkan, new fence and protests in Hungary +++ How to continue after the tightening of asylum law +++ further reviews: boat action in Strasbourg, one week permanent Syrian protest in Dortmund, the dead arrive…in Berlin +++ Preview: Social Transnational Strike- Conference from 2. – 4.10. in Poznan +++

Dear friends!

Exceptionally we don´t publish in the beginning of the month and on our homepage we had announced briefly already: we decided to release a double edition for July and August. Insofar the introduction is longer than usually because it has happened a lot and it is “high season” regards different perspectives.

First of all and enduring at the outer borders of EU
That there will be more boat people on their way this summer could have been anticipated. Pointedly one could say that the border regime is being overrun by the persistence of migration movement and that the critical public has emerged as an important factor of support. Central Mediterranean as an example: there is a variety of projects in the civil society as eye (keyword Sea Watch) and ear witnesses (keyword Alarmphone) watching, intervening, acting and rescuing – regarding this further down there is some summarizing information and links.

“We have to see the dead. Their final resting-place shall become our political unrest.” These resolute phrases come from the worth seeing mobilization video by the Centre for Political Beauty (see further down) which mid-June in the context of the campaign “The Dead are coming” has called out to a “March of the resolute” to go to chancellery. The question has to be discussed about if and how an enraged remembrance could be possible, if and how such an artist´s action could live up to the situation of the dead´s relatives. That there were more than 5.000 people participating in the protest against the “burocratical murderer in Berlin” was a big sign and the campaign caused at least that the continuous will to let die in the Mediterranean is brought once again into a broader public.

“Ferries not Frontex” keeps on being our main demand against the death-bringing border regime and for legal access to Europe. An according campaign was founded at a meeting in Frankfurt in June (see further down). This campaign has to relate to the entire Mediterranean and thereby also include the Aegean where again and again people capsize on the passage and drown. On the Greek island meanwhile there arrived more people than in Italy, the current situation is an emergency. Who has finally made it to Athens is confronted to closed inner European borders. There are thousands who don´ t have a choice but make their way on the Balkan route through Middle and Northern Europe.
At Greek-Makedonian border as well as at the Serbian-Hungarian border there occurs one drama after another when refugees and migrant encounter brutal border patrol and very soon new fences. At the same time it is remarkably that in lots of places on the route there are built new supporter networks (see reports on Hungary and Greece).

“Dublin is dead actually”
Statistically there is a big gap between the number of requests of transfer e.g. to Hungary or Italy and the number of factual return-removals which is continuously growing. Also here it was and is the persistence of the migrant movement which literally undermined this EU regulation. Refugees and migrants resist on all levels against the forward shifting of the inner European borders. Wherever possible the disposal of finger prints is refused already in the first country of arrival and where there was executed a deportation to Budapest or Rome the persons affected come back and try it again.
Innumerous return-removals are fought against juridically, are made impossible through church asylums or through direct blockades. The attempt to go against this crisis by means of a numerically rather symbolic distribution of a quota on the EU level has failed in the last weeks, too. At the moment Dublin seems to be a hollow Credible Threat of Force only which is desperately maintained by the rulers merely out of a principle and as intimidation but whose disfunctionality is more obvious than never before (according to this topic in detail the recent edition by http://www.hinterland-magazin.de/).

The bitter defeat tightening of the asylum law
After all in no way we don´t want to draw a rosy overall picture: Dublin is still executed with custody pending deportation in individual cases like currently against the refugee activist in Hannover and maintained as means of threatening. In addition, like feared before, the law concerning the redetermination of the right to stay and terminating of residence was ratified in the German Parliament in the beginning of July (see further down).

This opens up new scopes to deportation authorities to incarcerate especially in Dublin processes. The big achievement of the last years, to have almost beaten custody pending deportation, is now brought up again. This defeat shows us quite plainly the limits of the antiracist movement. Decentralized, variegated and everytime composed newly the resistance against exclusion and deportation has developed very quickly in the last years but this is not sufficient for a well coordinated initiative against a federal law. It remains one of the crucial challenges of the antiracist left.

“Oxi” to the regime of crisis and also of migration…
The second challenge contains the extension with regard to contents and practical “bridges” to other fields of society. For example Greece: It is more than impressive how the “Oxi”, the No of the referendum was carried out by the majority of the Greek general public against the policy of austerity by the institutions. On June 20th there was among other an attempt to organize a big demonstration in Berlin by people from the Blockupy network which should have brought together the solidarity with Greece and refugees. The mobilization remained lowly like currently, after the German dictatory extortion, where there exist calls for protest but they never reach no more than only a small part of the political movement. The problem of mobilization will not be solved by more participation by people of the antiracist movement but even with Greece which is the central current focus according to migrant struggles in Southern Europe these two fields could be easily connected.
Welcome to Europe had prepared a statement before the referendum has passed:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/welcome-to-europe/a-no-is-a-yes-for-a-social-and-democratic-europe-for-all/930463680329738. However further practical alliances aren´t built yet.

From the international Blockupy network there was created an initiative which we mentioned already in our last newsletter edition and which offers another connective approach.
Under the expression of a social transnational strike they invite for a overall process. In the current call for a conference in October in Poznan (see further down) it says: “A new regime of mobility produces hierarchies between and within European regions and tries to restrict the migrant movements from inner and outer Europe. The global chains of production and care work which go crisscross through Europe use the different wage levels and labour legislation for the purpose of profit…At the moment there are numerous struggles for wages, housing space, access to the social system and freedom of movement in Europe. From different approaches they fight against the current attack on our living and working conditions. Facing the transnational European dimension of this attack it is obvious how necessary the overcoming of their isolation is and how important it is to find common priorities.“

With antiracist regards,
the Kompass-Team

Kompass-Newsletter No 41 – _July/August 2015 (pdf)