Kompass – AntiRa – Newsletter No. 50 – June 2016

Kompass-Newsletter No. 50 – June 2016 (pdf)

+++ 9. 6. in Berlin: demonstration against the migration policy of the EU +++ 10.-12. 06 in Leipzig: Welcome2Stay summit +++ 11. 6. in Paris: Transnational Social Strike Meeting +++ 24.-26. 06 at the Slovenian-Croatian border: Defencing Festival +++ More than 1000 further victims of the EU border regime in the central Mediterranean +++ Eviction of Idomeni +++ Actions by Roma for the right to stay in Berlin +++ Newspaper “Daily Resistance” +++ Hotel City Plaza in Athens +++ Review: Ende Gelände +++ Outlook into the summer calendar until July and August: Anti-Ra festival in Athens, Nobordercamp in Thessaloniki , No Stress Tour, Summerbustour Women in Exile, Camp against the deportation camp Bamberg +++

Dear friends,

the EU border regime has claimed more than 1000 additional victims in the central Mediterranean within ten days. Shortly before that, the camp in Idomeni has been evicted. And over here, the next curtailments as well as labor-law related disciplining measures of the asylum law are disguised as a so called “law of integration”. None of these are exactly encouraging developments in the fight for a freedom of movement and equal social rights.

The crew of Sea Watch recently went through their worst days at sea, and hence decided to publish a photograph picturing a drowned baby in order to call attention to the cruel border regime. Also the people of WatchTheMed Alarm Phone had to be earwitnesses of yet another tragedy with presumably more than 400 dead: the “calculated and monitored dying at sea”, as the project phrased it afterwards. And Moving Europe can’t do much more at the moment than document the disastrous conditions in the Greek camps and making it a scandal.

Without them it would be even worse! This may be cold comfort, but still it is true: Without the civil rescue ships of Doctors Without Borders, SOS Mediterranee, Sea Watch and Sea Eye, and without the helpline of the Alarm Phone there would be countless further casualties in the Mediterranean. And even less publicity – which is even more important when the dominating media discourse frames the deaths in the Mediterranean as a mere natural disaster and keeps blaming the “ruthless traffickers” for it.

The Alarm Phone puts it straight: “We scream out, once more and over and over again. About the dead of the past 20 years, about the dead of yesterday. Nobody would have to die at sea if legal and secure access paths existed. The dying at sea is neither a nature catastrophe nor an accident. It is in fact the calculated product of a EU border and visa regime. The dying at sea is man-made and could be ended by tomorrow as a dark chapter of history: by opening the borders and granting free access to ferries. The long summer of migration in the Balkans revealed it: open borders mean no more ‘traffickers’. Only people being forced by Frontex and the like will choose the costly and dangerous trip. A world without borders is possible: Frontex as well as the ‘traffickers’ will then have disappeared. In this sense: Ferries not Frontex.”

There is still hope: The persistent fight of the Roma people for a right to stay with current campaigns in Berlin. The squatted Hotel City Plaza in Athens, self-organized by Refugees and supporters. The successful civil disobedience of “Ende Gelände” in the Lausitz. And the ongoing social strike against the new labor law in France. There are moments of resistance – of “Daily Resistance”, as stated by the title of a new newspaper, organized by Refugees in Berlin – and there is living solidarity, which give hope and courage.

The next weeks offer two exciting transnational mobilizations within the anti racism movement – first the defencing festival at the Slovanian-croatian border end of June and second the no border camp in Thessaloniki in the middle of July (more below). This could be the beginning of more moments like the ones described above. At least they could help not to forget in these hard times that migrants and refugees struggled continuously and will do it in the future.
In this words: see you in Berlin, Leipzig, Paris, Ljubljana, Thessaloniki … and a lot of energy and power to those who run the fights locally.

Yours Kompass-Team

Kompass-Newsletter No. 50 – June 2016 (pdf)