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