facebook feed fist header movement-text refugee-movement-text twitter youtube
Border monitoring / Demo

A report from an activist perspective on current protests in Hungary and Serbia

September 2015. Tens of thousands of people are on their way to Western Europe. Thousands are stuck at the Keleti train station in Budapest. On the 4th of September, in increasingly difficult conditions, they decide no longer to wait for the trains to take then on, but start walking towards their destination. As in the case of a collective push to open the border at the Greek-Macedonian border two weeks earlier, the goal of the March of Hope is clear: cross the Hungarian border, then go to Austria, Germany or further, with the hope of security and better living conditions. Finally in the middle of September, when the last meters of Hungarian border fence are sealed with barbed wire, there is a clash between refugees and the police in Röszke. People direct against fortress Europe of foreclosure and against the border regime as an expression of racist nationalism – and decide to disobey it and to cross the borders.

During this time, numerous convoys from Germany start to show practical solidarity on the so-called Balkan route. In catastrophic conditions, they assist people on the move, through the supply of a warm meals. The developing dynamics lead to discussions, whether this is humanitarian aid, political activism or something else. State structures benefit from the work of these people. They are now busy in reestablishing the lost control. For this, trains and buses are chartered to bring people to where they want to go. In 2017, only detention prisons and border fencing remain.


Röszke has disappeared from the media long time ago. It has become quiet in this small border village. A deceptive idyll, which only exists because Hungary has completely closed off its borders. 19 months after the refugee protests, a demonstration passes through Röszke. The participants shout: “Nem kell a kerités, szabadság!” (“We don’t need fences, freedom!”) and “Vesszen a fasizmus!” (“Down with fascism!”). They are directed at the Hungarian fascist system, which has closed all open camps, and is holding asylum seekers in a container prisons near the border. Even though much less people manage to pass through, the closing of the borders can never stop the movement of people. According to Médecins Sans Frontièrs, many people are severely wounded, many have their bones broken, in the attempts to cross. Refugees in Serbia report brutal pushbacks by the Hungarian police, which are legal at up to 8km distance from the border.

Pictures in Belgrade in April 2017 are reminiscent of pictures from the year 2015. Many people on the Balkan route are stuck there, because the surrounding states isolate themselves with powerful means. About one thousand people live in former warehouses near the railway station in Belgrade. Under a parking deck, minors sleep in tents. Several activist and humanitarian organizations are also on the ground. English courses and a sports facility are self-organized. Demonstrations and information events are being held. The most common languages spoken are Pashtu, Urdu, Farsi, English, German and Spanish. In the barracks, as the warehouses are rightly called, there is a charging station for smart-phones and improvised sanitary facilities. On the walls, signs in different colors are written: “The problem is borders” and “I am a person too”. In addition to these statements you can also read: “We need shoes”. Neither the ruins of old warehouses nor the personal equipment available are sufficient to protect people from cold and wet weather. Not only do people drown in the Mediterranean daily, but also people in the metropolis of Belgrade are dying as a consequence of the EU border regime. Even the two hot meals a day are organized by non-governmental kitchens.

At the beginning of May, the No Name Kitchen alerted via Facebook: “WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT SERBIA.” The Commissioner for Migration and Refugees Serbia has announced the evacuation of the barracks. The people are to be accommodated in the official camps and forced to apply for asylum in Serbia. “The camp system in Serbia is an extended way of doing business in a fast way, is copy-pasted from other EU countries,” says the No Border Serbia collective. According to the state, camps should provide shelter and supply for refugees. In fact, they represent a further restriction of freedom for those who live in it. On the 11th of May, the evacuation starts in the early morning hours. Employees of the Commissariat for Migration and Refugees already sprayed insecticides in the halls the day before. Resistance is rising among the people living there, some of them starting a hunger strike.

Despite the protests, most of them are finally forced to get on buses. If people do not enter voluntarily, they are threatened with being deported to the closed camp in Preševo. Protest is also rising by supporting groups. The rooms of the No Name Kitchen were the first to be demolished. In the evening they write their struggle goes on, because they did not just come for cooking.

Behind the evacuation stands the large project Belgrade Waterfront of the Eagle Hills Company. New luxury buildings are planned, they would cover two million square miter of this urban area. What is described as an innovative “facelift” for the city on their website is a source of indignation. More than 200 tenants have already been deprived of their living space. Protests after the election of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić as the President of the Republic raised the topic of difficult living conditions in Serbia. Many people live extremely precariously, the average income is 350 euros a month, the youth unemployment at 44% and the social welfare system works only rudimentarily.

“Many people are fleeing from here because they have no other chance,” reports an activist. This makes it clear how difficult political activism is if one’s own existence is not adequately secured. The German government ignores this situation and in recent years has massively deported people back to the Balkan states, including some who left decades ago, or have never even lived there. This symbolizes the political pre-eminence of the German government. It has the freedom to decide on exacerbating asylum laws in the interior and relocating the devastating effects to the external borders.

The article is written by a feminist collective whose individuals are active in different anti-racist contexts. The question of how effective political activism is to be organized remains open. The decision to participate in the demonstration in Röszke and the visit to Belgrade came through existing contacts on one hand. On the other hand, it was still important to visualize the current situation on the Balkan route, as a continuation of the solidarity actions of 2015. We want to continue the discussion about (joint) political work with local activists. For this purpose, is scheduled to invite them to Germany to in September 2017.


Border monitoring

Border monitoring / Demo

A report from an activist perspective on current protests in Hungary and Serbia

September 2015. Tens of thousands of people are on their way to Western Europe. Thousands are stuck at the Keleti train station in Budapest. On the 4th of September, in increasingly difficult conditions, they decide no longer to wait for the trains to take then on, but start walking towards their destination. As in the… Read more »

Border monitoring / Demo / international / News / Support/Solidarity

#RefugeesSRB We Are Still in #Serbia

Posted on April 16, 2017 by Enough is Enough! We are still in Belgrade. One of us joined the Cars Of Hope Wuppertal team, who are working with refugees and support the Soul Welders projects in the Serbian capital. Another short impression from Belgrade. Written by Riot Turtle Solidarity not charity! The situation in Belgrade changed… Read more »

röszke protest Hungary
Border monitoring

European Borders update 15.4.2016. Greece starts rejecting people as Turkey labeled ‘safe third country’

TURKEY: Up to 30.000 refugees started heading to Turkey during the last 48 hours, Spiegel Online reports based on the information provided by the volunteers. This follows several attacks by IS at refugee camps in Northern Syria. However, Turkey refuses to let them to cross the border. As already known, Turkey is building a 911km… Read more »

Featured

Daily Resistance Newspaper / News

Daily Resistance Monthly Editorial Meeting continues on May, 14

On May 14, 2018, the current editorial team of >Daily Resistance< will continue its new monthly meeting. It is the third in a series of social and working get-togethers that tries to bring together people who want to share their ideas about the newspaper, who want to contribute and who want to work on upcoming… Read more »

berlin news / Demo / News / oplatz / School / Support/Solidarity

Kundgebung & Demo zur Räumung der Ohlauer/GHS, 11.01.2018, 7:45

Räumung der GHS am 11.01.2018 – Solidarität mit den Bewohner_innen. Eviction of GHS, 11.01.2018 – Call for solidarity Die Chronologie der GHS auf Deutsch und Englisch Pressestatement der Nachbarschaftsinitiative Ohlauer Straße (NIO), 19.7.2017: Wir kennen die beteiligten Menschen, wir respektieren die Umstände, wir erinnern die Absprachen Solidaritätsaufruf Andere Zustände ermöglichen (*aze) ____ DEUTSCH (English, French,… Read more »

Demo Ohlauerstr.
News / oplatz / Statements / Support/Solidarity

Aufruf zu Solidarität mit den Bewohner*innen der Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule

  Englisch/Französisch below Bewegungsfreiheit statt Staatsgewalt! Aufruf zu Solidarität mit den Bewohner*innen der Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule Am 11. Januar soll die Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule geräumt werden. Es ist zwar in den letzten drei Jahren etwas ruhiger um die Ohlauerstraße geworden, aber die Relevanz der Kämpfe dieser Gruppe ist nach wie vor groß. Lange vor der ‘Willkommenskultur’ zeigte der March… Read more »

Gerhard Hauptman Schule

Recent

Lager Mobilization – Wedding / Lager watch / LMNB - Lager Mobilisation Network Berlin / News

Was ist ein AnKER? / What is an AnKER?

+++ deutschsprachige Version; english version below+++   Was ist ein AnKER? Mit dem Bild eines Ankers verbinden wir vielleicht ein Tattoo, das Stärke ausdrücken soll oder einfach einen Haltepunkt für ein Schiff im Meer. Nun bekommt Anker jedoch eine weitere Bedeutung: als Symbol für ein rassistisches Lagersystem und eine unmenschliche Asylpolitik. Wovon ist die Rede?… Read more »

Demo / News / Photos / Videos

JetztRedenWir! Demonstrationszug in Ellwangen

JetztRedenWir! Eindrücke von dem Aktionstag in Ellwangen. Über 300 Menschen zeigten ihre Solidarität mit den Bewohner*innen der LEA und gingen gegen Rassismus, den Populismus der Medien, Polizeigewalt & die Kriminalisierung von Geflüchteten auf die Straße. Es wurde die ganze Zeit gerufen und gesungen: We are refugees not criminals! Stop Deportation! Bleiberecht für alle! Demonstrationszug in… Read more »

Ellwangen Presskonferenz
Demo / News / press review / Statements

Viel wurde über uns geredet, jetzt reden wir! Mahnwache, Pressekonferenz und Demonstration am 9. Mai 2018 in Ellwangen

Pressemitteilung 08.05.2018 Wir, Bewohner*innen der Landeserstaufnahmeeinrichtung Ellwangen laden für Mittwoch den 9. Mai 2018, um 17 Uhr zu einer Pressekonferenz ein und rufen ab 18 Uhr zu einer Demonstration auf. Zwischen 12 bis 18 Uhr findet auf dem Marktplatz in Ellwangen eine Mahnwache statt. Die Pressekonferenz wird direkt vor der Landeserstaufnahmeeinrichtung Ellwangen stattfinden. Dort wird… Read more »

Demo / News / Support/Solidarity

DEMO – politisch motiviert Gewalt gegen Geflüchtete in Ellwangen am 9. Mai um 17 Uhr

  Wir treffen uns am Mittwoch, dem 9. Mai um 17:00 Uhr an der Ellwangener LEA  Georg-Elser-Straße 2, 73479 Ellwangen (Jagst)  12:00 Mahnwache am Marktplatz  Kommt vorbei, wenn ihr hören wollt, was tatsächlich passiert ist. 17:00 Kundgebung und Demonstration vor der LEA Georg-Elser-Straße 2, 73479 Ellwangen (Jagst)

Ellwangen Demo Refugees4Refugees
Demo / News / Statements / Support/Solidarity

Was ist in Ellwangen passiert? Ein Statement von den Geflüchteten in Ellwangen

by refugees4refugees english below Die Situation in Ellwangen begann schon vor der Razzia am vergangenen Donnerstag. Nämlich im April 2018: „Wir haben uns mit dem Leiter der LEA in Ellwangen getroffen. Wir haben ihm über unser Leben in der Unterkunft und wie die Leute sich hier fühlen erzählt, auch wegen die Duldung und Dublin regeln.“… Read more »

refugees4refugees Ellwangen
deportations / Media Watch / News / Support/Solidarity / the message / The Voice

A Very Big SALUTE to the Refugee Resistance in Ellwangen

by The VOICE Refugee Forum With a strong and powerful fist raised towards the sky, we The VOICE Refugee Forum salute the bravery and courage of our fellow refugee brothers and sisters, for valiantly preventing the callous and inhuman deportation of a Togolese refugee and defending his right to human dignity. Since the incident last… Read more »