+++ 10.9.: Action day for the Info Tent by Lampedusa in Hamburg +++ 10./11.9. in Bochum and Wuppertal: solidarity networking of refugee communities +++ 17.9. in Düsseldorf: demo for the right to stay +++ 22./23.9. in Hungary and everywhere: Free Röszke 11 – solidarity actions +++ Welcome2Stay – what’s next? +++ Central Mediterranean: persistently high numbers of people arriving +++ Greece: protests in the camps +++ 29.9.: strike and action day at schools and universities throughout Germany – No border lasts forever +++ 30.9. – 2.10. in Frankfurt: conference about “Renewal by strike action” +++ 30.9. – 2.10. in Cologne: conference about “Perspectives of solidarity against the grasp of technology” +++ 1.10. in Heidelberg: demo “against any form of racism and exclusion” +++ Newspaper Daily Resistance No.2 +++ Update Welcome2Europe +++ Reviews: Noborder Thessaloniki, Blockupy +++ Preview: Transnational Social Strike Meeting in Paris in October +++
On the occasion of the 4th of September, many media tried to reconstruct the days of the opening of borders in 2015, from Hungary via Austria to Germany. As interesting as the layout of some chronologies may have been, the central historic actor far too often disappears behind the details of political decision making. It were the refugees and migrants who – with their persistent month-, even year-long, social struggle – in those days literally overran the EU border regime on a central route and inflicted a defeat upon the Dublin Regulation. During the following months hundreds of thousands of people could continue their journey to the north-west of Europe relatively easily, until the virtually military closure of the Balkan Route in March 2016. Against the odds of persistent exclusion, most of them managed to ‘grow roots’: only in the first six months of 2016 more than 200,000 refugees were granted a protection status in Germany. In the future they will contribute to the political landscape and they will become the motivation and the material support factor for future generations who want to, or have to, come. Neither laws, nor smear campaigns can reverse these achievements.
Yes, the roll back is and will remain awesome, in the literal sense of the word. New screening measures and AfD successes, planned tightening up through Dublin IV and unspeakable debates about the ban of burkas: it is difficult to assess towards which further polarization Europe is moving and how much more dangerous and lethal right-wing populism combined with the racist center may become in the near future. But we have no reason whatsoever to go in hiding. Our pole remains diverse and persevering. In every nook and cranny, from local to transnational, resistance is continuing. During the time this Newsletter is being produced, refugees in Munich call for a demonstration and the occupation of a city square, Lampedusa in Hamburg will protest next Saturday. The Women in Exile and NoStress Tour were, and still are, on the road crisscross through Germany and Oranienplatz activists in Berlin produce their own newspaper. The Voice from Jena organizes meetings of refugee communities in several cities, Refugees for Change again mobilizes people in August to attend a demo in Frankfurt.
In more and more towns and cities self-organized initiatives have sprung up, whereas simultaneously old and new solidarity structures are being perpetuated. The much used Welcome2Europe website offers updated and expanded contacts and information, the network Welcome2Stay meets to discuss new activities.
Transnationally there is no breathing pause either: during the Noborder Camp in Thessaloníki in mid- July very productive networking meetings were held by activist groups from all over the Balkan. In the refugee camps on the Greek islands – which are slowly but steadily filling up with newcomers – as well as in mainland Greece, protest actions are taking place permanently. In Calais the situation is aggravating again: almost 10,000 people are there trying their chances to get to Great Britain, and are allegedly going to be evicted. The number of boats leaving from Libya remains unrelentingly high, the reception centers in Sicily and the South of Italy are again overcrowded. Ventimiglia – the Italian city on the border with France – as well as Como – on the border to Switzerland – have meanwhile become new hotspots of resistance, where day after day the right to free movement towards the north is being claimed and until now being forced through. In this context we again ask the question, which we have already asked in the previous Newsletter: “Are the built-up and built-out of continuous every-day structures not the most enduring answer to a racist mainstream which seems to continue to worsen unrestrainedly?”,
With antiracist greetings,
The Kompass Crew