After more than 3 weeks of refusing to move from the Idomeni border (Greek-Macedonian), the police force has started to forcibly evict the protesters forcibly sending them to Greek cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki (source: http://livetickereidomeni.bordermonitoring.eu/2015/12/09/9-12-2015/). As a reminder, these are mostly the people who do not come from Syria, Irak and Afganistan and three weeks ago the EU with the cooperation with its potential member states closed its borders under the pretense of everybody else being an ‘economic migrant’.
The EU has finally struck a deal with the Turkish government at 29.10.2015 in which 3 bilion Euros per yer, visa liberalizations and unfrozen EU membership negotiations, negotiations that the EU froze with Turkey in 2005 under pretense of R. Erdoğans government style as authoritative, will be exchanged for the Turkish role as an external Schengen border ‘guardian’. With this EU again proved that its interests have to be protected at all costs, quickly ignoring previous comments regarding the current Turkish president R. Erdoğan, as well as his increased surpression of Kurdish people, media critics and activists in the recent years. Political Machiavellism labels and continue to label Western politics throughout the history and it doesn’t leave out other political actors around the globe.
Statement von leftvision clips zur Video-Reportage
…Innenansichten und kritische Perspektiven einer sich neu entdeckten “Willkommenskultur”.
Auf unserer Reise über den Balkan und Österreich nach Deutschland konnten wir uns ein eigenes Bild über die Situation an Bahnhöfen und Grenzstationen machen und sind mit Aktivist*innen in Kontakt gekommen, die eine kritische Perspektive auf die neuen Hilfsstrukturen eröffnen.
Dass Hilfeleistung wichtig ist, wird hier nicht in Frage gestellt. Doch erlauben wir uns in dieser kurzen Reportage einen kritischen Blick auf Handelnde und Initiativen zu werfen, die zwar helfen, das europäische Grenzregime aber kaum hinterfragen. Die Frage bleibt: Was müssen linke, antirassistische Aktivist*innen tun, nachdem wir Essen ausgegeben und Kleidung verteilt haben? Denn eines ist sicher: Europa wird keine „Refugee-Welcome“-Initiative.
News from Anti-Racist Front Without Borders, gathered by the activists from the borderzones:
Idomeni, Greece (Greek-Macedonian border):
Today, as yesterday, only Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis are allowed to pass, everyone else is halted.
Despair has started to spread among the people gathered there. Some have been in Eidomeni for four days. The food is not enough and the weather is getting really cold… This morning at least 6 people were transferred for medical care (on stretchers).
Currently there are around 1,500 people who are not allowed to pass. They remain in the camp, hanging around the borders area and in the village of #Eidomeni (local residents already started getting nervous). A large number of the people not allowed to pass remain near the borderline, mainly Iranians and Moroccans, shouting slogans and holding placards.
Rep. of #Macedonia intensified border surveillance, with more army and water cannons. At some point this morning there was some tension and immediately 2 more trucks with soldiers arrived – the once already there wore their bullet proof vest to intimidate the migrants. In any case, they seem ready to handle any tension, which in fact sooner or later will come.
About the future:
After todays visit of the Greek minister for migration, the following information was leaked:
– E.U. will harden its’ attitude further. The borders are closed definitively for all nationalities besides the 3 mentioned above (Iraqis, Afghans and Syrians).
– Those without passes will be transferred to #Athens, as Thessaloniki and other northern Greece cities are not suitable (they are too close to the border and this would leave migrants with a hope that they will finally pass).
– Three camps are prepared in Athens: a football stadium in the neighborhood of Galatsi, the Olympic Games Tae Kwon Do stadium and warehouses at the former airport of Hellinikon. Those wishing to return to Athens will be transported by bus.
– Most important, at some (unspecified) time the borders will close completely for 7 days to stop immigrants flows altogether. At some point, the borders will close permanently for Afghan nationals too – it is not clear if it will happen before or after the 7-day temporary closing of the border.
– The border will remain open for the two nationalities (Syrians and Iraqis) for some time after the seven-day temporary shutdown, but in the end the border will close for them too.
European’s Unions recent plans to manage the movement of people by slowing the flows at the so called ‘Balkan route‘ is apparently taking its first steps. To not enter the abstract theoretical discussions let us qoute the information posted from the Anti-racist Front Without Borders (17.11.2015), gathered by the activists and volunteers at the borders:
”At the border Croatia-Slovenia (Dobova) refugees are separated by country of origin and sent back!”
”Before even arriving in Slovenia, people are given documents to sign. The documents are not translated so people do not know what they are signing. When they arrive to Slovenia, people are then segregated according to these documents. Some are allowed to pass, while others are sent back to Croatia by train. Currently, people from Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq are being sent back.
In Dobova, there are international, self-organized volunteers who set up a tent behind the train station. People who want to help can come there. Help will be very much needed from Saturday (21.11.2015) onwards, because the international team is leaving on that day.”
IMPORTANT: However it is to say that it is not ment that all people from Africa, Afganistan and Iraq are being sent back! According to the Slovenian national media (source: http://www.rtvslo.si/svet/drzave-na-balkanski-poti-ustavile-prehod-ekonomskih-migrantov/379011) the Balkan countries, for now starting with Serbia (comming through Macedonia) are not letting anymore through people from Morocco, Bangladesh, Sri lanka, Algeria, Liberia, Congo, Sudan and Pakistan, as they are starting to be considered as economic migrants.
According to the media people from Syria, Iraq and Afganistan are let through!
However this is not clear, as for now Slovenian general secretary Boštjan Šefic is denying this, but people should prepare that this will most probably become the reality.
Moving to the northern border in Slovenia (bordercrossing Spielfeld/Šentilj (Slovenia-Austria). Information and video (15.11.2015):
“After the official statements that all is under control and volunteers are not needed, self-organized volunteers went to no man’s land. People are still waiting days and hours, no food, no water, no medical help, police uses violence and people are sleeping on cold wet floors waiting to be accepted into Austria.”
On November 10th 2015 at the ”emergency” government assembly in Slovenia Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar announced that the government with its ministers agreed on the establishment of the barbed wire, or what they politically correct call ‘technical obstacles‘, at the Croatian-Slovenian border. He announced that since Germany and Austria are tightening their asylum systems and threatening to let less and less people through their borders, Slovenia could experience a ”humanitarian crisis”, as the winter is comming and the country doesn’t possess enough infrastructure and resources. This is not just an egoistic move from the Slovenian supposedly centric government which by its own account promotes ”human rights and values”, but is a important part of the developing European Union’s immigration and asylum system. The move of building of the fence also comes after the end of the Greek fairy workers strike, which according to the mainstream media, temporarly slowed down the influx of people. After the strike, Slovenian minister of external affairs Karl Erjavec announced by its own sources that 30.000 are already on the way to Slovenia.
In the last week(s) there has been an establishment of the ‘official corridor’ through the so called Balkan route. This intergovernmental agreement’s aim is to control the flow of people who are fleeing for a better life in Europe. Even though it may sound as an improvement, for the better fluctuation of people, it is one of the steps of the development of the common European Union’s immigration system. The institutionalization of the corridor, which was before established by the constructive forces of incomming people and self-organized activists through the mutual struggle, means new forms of exclusive inclusion to the territory of the EU.
The aim of the so called official corridor is, as mentioned in the previous article, to let a certain number of people to the next country, where usually full EU member states (as Austria and Slovenia) hold a privileged position. This of course doesn’t always work as the number of people and their struggle to reach the desired destination is not manageble by such system. The reason for its establishment is always the discourse of security and liberal humanitarism of the EU and seperate member states. Political functionaries as well as repressive organs are saying, that if we don’t manage the flows well, it could come to the chaos and collapse of the EU. The only chaos in this case is the creative chaos of the incoming people who produce fear for the privileged economical and political castes that are responsible for the suffering of the wide majority of the worlds population.
This video was taken in Dobova (Slovenia) a few days ago. This is not just a sole example of the mistreatment of the incoming people. The situations in camps change through days – sometimes they are empty and next day filled with new people arriving from Croatia.
The situation at Šentilj/Spielfeld (Slovenian-Austrian border) is different, as people often get trapped in ‘no-mans land’ between Slovenian and Austrian borders, while waiting for the permission to cross the border. ‘Officially’ people have the possibility to stay in camps, but due to the lack of information, it is often though that waiting at the ‘no-mans land’ will result in the quicker crossing of the border. This often develops in the long hour waiting in the cold weather.
We must demand open borders for everyone!
In the last week, since the Hungary closed its borders, Slovenia became the ‘new hotspot’ for the so called Balkan route, where people, who traveled from Serbia or Croatia to Hungary, were forced to change their direction of traveling to their desired situations.
In the last post we talked about the hypocrisy of the seeming humanitarian and ‘open’ Western European countries, since in the recent political assemblies at the European Commission it is becoming apparent that the EU is trying to hold people at its external borders or just let inside the desired amount of people, whether those needed for the labor markets or ”those who really need the international protection”.
These days it is getting obvious that the European Union, a supranational entity supposedly built on the values of freedom and peace, is putting a stamp on it’s mostly non-existant immigration and asylum system. That the European leaders selectively apply such values only for the economic and political elites is nothing new. New and surprising aren’t even the new changes for the immigration and asylum laws that are being developed under the privileged position by the technocratic elites in Berlin and Brussels. We must never forget how many people continue to die while trying to cross Mediterranean every year, because of the already existing legal framework.