Kompass-Newsletter No. 54 – October 2016 (pdf)
+++ Beginning of November: Hunger Strike and Eviction of the self-organized Refugees in Munich +++ 11.11. in Berlin: Bus-demonstration – Stopping Valetta +++ 19.11. in Hanover and Frankfurt – (Further) Demonstrations against deportations to Afghanistan +++ 19./20.11. Meeting in Frankfurt – possibility of a common AntiRA conference in 2017? +++ Starting 22.11. – The Best Hotel of Europe on Tour! +++ 25.-27.11. in Osnabrück: Network meeting – Germany as a part of the ‘Balkan Route’ +++ 30.11. in Szeged/Budapest – Free the Röszke 11! Next day of hearing – Solidarity with imprisoned refugees in Hungary! +++ 3./4.12. in Hamburg: Conference against G20 in July 2017. Invitation to the action conference +++ After the eviction in Calais +++ Greece: Impressions from Lesvos +++ Sea Watch about the training of the lybian coast guard: +++ WatchTheMed Alarm Phone: Balance and an appeal for funds +++ Retrospect: Transnational Social Strike in Paris +++
“We might see it happen that ,Sanctuary City’, ,Welcome City’, as a place of asylum and the right to stay becomes a term for itself in Europe, from Barcelona to Hamburg and from Calais to Berlin. First it has to get filled with life from migrants and supporters, from churches and associations. There is significant progress to see when it comes to schools, there is church asylum, medicine for migrants and medical counseling points, supporters groups and several squats as well as sometimes even a growing tolerance from the police for the migrant reproductions sphere. All of this could get more dense and strengthen itself as a response to the failed migration policies”.
This is a quote from an article of the „Research Association for Flight and Migration” which deals with more and more examples of „sanctuary-cities“ in the United States and Canada. For us this approach is another challenge for the anti-racism movement which is being confronted with the aggressive and European wide deportation and determent policy, combined and carried with racist smear campaign.
It also correlates with the announcement for a series of events that will take place at the end of November and beginning of December in 11 cities in Germany and Switzerland with activists and migrants, who together had occupied the Hotel CityPlaza in Athen: „How to start processes of self organising in transit and beyond – and how to support them with transnational networks of solidarity? … Did we already start to build an ´underground railroad` for freedom of movement? Do we need safe spaces or even sanctuary cities all along migration routes as practical opposite pole to the racist and repressive political mainstream?”
In the invitation for a network meeting end of November in Osnabrück further is asked: “Which possibilities do we have to fight for the rights of those (legalized and threatened of deportation) people? How we can create new perspectives beyond asylum? How can we destroy the image of the criminal illegal? How can we make it happen that solidarity is widely shown in the public and not just by a few in clandestinity?”
The ‘Jungle of Calais’ was cleared with a huge presence of police to destroy the dreams of a life in Great Britain. Lesvos, which in 2015 was the transit station for many thousands of migrants and of which inhabitants were listed of potential nominees for the Nobel Prize of Peace, should step by step be declared as the island of hopelessness. The borders in the balkan route multiply and become higher. And right to stay-demands of the hunger striking protesters in Munich only face ignorance from authorities. There is a specific focus of the technocrats on the central Mediterranean: while the European military trains libyan border patrol units of a „phantom-government“, the German secretary of the Interior Maziere demands prompt pushback of all boat people to Tunisia and Egypt. More than 180.000 people will reach Italy until the end of the year, if the migrations movement takes place in the same frequency like of the last weeks. This marks a new record year inspite and against all the militarization and an all-time high of more than 4000 victims of the EU visa- and border regime in 2016.
“There is only one way to stop death at the sea: the creation of safe and legal means of entry”. In the beginning of November Sea Watch put emphasis on their demands of a #safepassage. The hashtag is also shared by other civil actors like ‘Doctors Without Borders’ or ‘Jugend Rettet’. They also were on permanent rescue missions near the libyan coast to save lifes. Their presence not only saved those in need, they also create transparency in a zone that is strictly surveillanced and guarded but at the same time is left for the arbitrariness of the political-medial tactics of European border policy.
Following the same path the WatchTheMed Alarmphone as a hotline for people in distress at sea was created to help those in need. Since its foundation it was in contact with over 1750 boats.
They see their project in the same context: “We understand the Alarm Phone as a concrete enactment of solidarity with those in transit, as part of what has come to be called the „underground railroad“ of flightmovements. We see ourselves as a transnational and multilingual node with varied connections to a growing network amongst those struggling for the freedom of movement.“
With anti-racist regards,