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…
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).