+++ 4.2. in Frankfurt: Demo for living space for everybody +++ 10./11.2. in London: Meeting of the transnational social strike platform concerning the Migrant Strike on the 20th of February in UK +++ 11.2. in front of the countries parliaments: Demos for an immediate deportation stop to Afghanistan +++ 13 more charter flights planned to Kabul: Stop deportations to Afghanistan! +++ 8.3. Global Women Strike +++ 18.3. Transnational action days against the border- and crisis regime +++ 25./36.3. in Berlin: Get Together 2017 – for a common AntiRa Conference in autumn 2017 +++ storming the fences in Ceuta +++ Central Med/Alarm Phone: “They want the Sea to kill – We want a bridge to Life!” +++ Welcome to Europe about the situation in Greece +++ Balkan Route: Push Backs, family reunification, Macedonia/Serbia +++ Taz-Dossier-Migration Control +++ Place of refuges – Solidarity Cities +++ Reviews: New Paper from Afrique-Europe-Interact; Oury Jalloh Demo Dessau; AntiRa-Action conference in Karlsruhe; Refugees Black Box Jena +++ Outlooks: Against the G20 in Hamburg +++
The new years begins in the same way as the old one ended: the mass dying in the Med continues, a second deportation flight went from Frankfurt to Afghanistan, Dublin readmissions to Greece are supposed to start again. The cruel attack on the Berlin christmas market serves as a welcome new reason for right-winged agitation and new security laws …. and then Trump! Can it get even worse? It can, as we know from the last 25 years of fight for asylum rights and freedom of movement. In the 90s there were racist propaganda and attacks even worse in Germany, deportations ended even deadly and keeping people in detention was usual.
In 2008, numbers of people who made it at all to claim asylum in Germany dropped under 30.000 and until the end of 2010 deportations to Greece were normality. From a migration-political perspective and in a longer-term review the years 2011 to 2015 may be stand for a phase of breakup. The arabic spring made an end to the time of externalisation to northern Africa, and also in Germany it led to a series of political-medial moments of success from flight movements (like for example against the residence obligation and the march from Würzburg to Berlin), to jurical improvements (for example social welfare in accordance with ALG II and against detentions) up to the breakthrough of the Balkan Route. There, the EU-border regime has been overrunned for a few months and therefore challenged like never before.
You can see that until today in the official statistics, a look in the “Report of December 2016” of the federal office for flight and migration might be worthwhile. It is said: “In the year 2016 all in all 695.733 decisions have been made. Total protection number of all countries of origin is 62,4% (433.920 positive decisions from a total of 695.733).” Thus more than 430.000 refugees – the majority of them have themselves fought through the borders in 2015 – received residence permit status. That topped all the numbers of the last 30 years and also shouldn`t be underestimated in its perspective effect. Flight-migration is enshrined in a new dimension in local realities.
We can and have to take this up, even if the signs for 2017 point in a direction towards more roll back.
Neo-liberal governments have decided – in case they are still in charge – for a more aggressive externalisation (have a look here: taz.de/migrationcontrol) and are acting – driven by right-wing and populist spectrums and campaigns of fear – especially with a so-called security policy.
If the right-wing parties are in power, like in Hungary, or will be in power, like now in USA, then an open racist exclusion is escalating. If in spring in France Le Pen wins the elections then we have to fear a new wave of structural racist violence in Europe. And even if an election victory of the AfD seems to be impossible in Germany, it is a difference if that rush party goes into the german parliament with 15 or 25 %.
Flight and migration are, and will be in the foreseeable future, a central political theme along which polarisation in society will increase. Our anti-racist movement – in its whole spectrum from enduring welcome initiatives to self-organised refugee groups, from refugee councils to noborder groups – has the potential to form a progressive pole and to contribute to a social mobilisation for an open Europe.
For this we firstly need a much tighter process of trans-regional networking and coordination. Until now only a small part of the movement seems willing to contribute, but below we name the efforts to increase momentum for this process, with decentral days of action (beginning on March 18th) and a potentially bigger conference in autumn.
Secondly we need a more comprehensive vision, a concrete design of everyday practical solidarity that must be tied to local structures. As an example of this we quote from an event announcement in Freiburg from mid-January 2017:
“Freiburg: a sanctuary city which protects all its inhabitants! Cities like Freiburg are committed to the well-being of all inhabitants, not just German citizens. Citizenship and residence titles should not lead to there being second- and third-class citizens. For this reason a movement of sanctuary cities has developed in the US, Canada, and the UK. Several hundred cities have announced themselves to be sanctuaries which provide access to public services for all and refuse to participate in repression against the undocumented and in deportations. One of them is Freiburg´s partner city Madison in the US. Madison declared in November 2016 that despite Trump´s threats against sanctuary cities it will not change its policy. In Europe a network of sanctuary cities including Barcelona and Oxford has developed. The city council of Barcelona, led by mayor Ada Colau, demands the formation of a European network of rebellious sanctuary cities.
We would like to start a debate how Freiburg can be turned into a city for everyone. We are calling on local politicians, local institutions (kindergardens, schools, businesses, chambers, hospitals…) and civil society to make Freiburg part of the sanctuary city movement. We would like to discuss what communal leeway we can use. What could be included in an agreement on a sanctuary city Freiburg?”
Around 300 interested people came to this event in Freiburg, and in many places there are signs of communal initiatives and sanctuary projects, which are tied into a more universal perspective for an open and solidarity society.
“What kind of society do we want to live in?” – this social global question is always implied, and these approaches make the struggle for equal rights for all to an everyday practice by developing concrete alternatives to neoliberal and right-wing populist politics of separation and exclusion.
In that sense – towards a solidary and open year 2017!
The Compass Crew