As the Gilets Jaunes movement continues, we republish this article by Paul Cudenec of the Shoal...
Plan C, as part of the Beyond Europe platform are supporting the No Borders camp this July in northern Greece. Our members will mainly be travelling there individually but if you have any questions about how to get involved or would like to organise transport collectively from the uk email info(at)weareplanc.org with the heading ‘No Borders’. Read the full call out below, for more technical details look at the Beyond Europe website noborder.beyondeurope.net
NO BORDERS – MAKE FORTRESS EUROPE HISTORY
an antiauthoritarian call for a No Border-Camp in Thessaloniki/Salonica 2016
The social and economic developments of the last few years shed light on the near future we are facing: deprivation of democratic structures and processes, an increase of economic insecurity and precariousness, a return of authoritarian forms of politics through an enormous increase of executive power and a resurgence of right populist and right wing parties all over Europe. While promising human rights, equality and peace for all, European political agenda is experienced by millions as a pure nightmare.
Europe is changing rapidly.
But these changes have never been made without a fight. The conflicts that formed along social, ecological, feminist and antiracist struggles were reinvigorated with the advent of the financial crisis in 2007. However, the implementation of austerity measurements that followed worsened the situation for people in southern Europe, causing extreme cuts to the social state, the health care system, pensions and workplaces.
NOT A “REFUGEE CRISIS” BUT A CRISIS OF FORTRESS EUROPE
Today the discourse on the financial and economic crisis, and its effects on people‘s lives, has almost completely disappeared from media and politics and has been replaced by a new crisis. A crisis that emerged with thousands of refugees shaking up Europe’s “safety zone”, by overcoming its militarized borders and -for a moment- making their racist regulations inapplicable. While the origins and those affected by these crises are not the same, their common point is the disgusting way they are being managed. The same authoritarian and neoliberal management, that was responsible for millions of Greeks being excluded from their health care system, is now errecting barbed wire fences all over Europe.
This crisis management – once again – means more isolation, more exclusion and more hatred of the unknown, the foreign, the Other. The fear of an “external” threat leads to a wider identification with the “inside”, to a new surge of nationalism and racism.
But Europe itself, as one of the winners of global capitalism, has been one of the main causes for such waves of migration and destroys millions of lives. As the old imperial Europe or in its new agressive style of nowadays foreign policies, it has been enforcing the logic of competition and alienation, of power and profit thoughtout the world. This logic keeps imposing its destructive dynamic today on the social, ideological and military battlefields from Athens to Aleppo.
This is why people have left everything they had behind, why thousands have overcome fences and borders, facing many barriers, violence and the gatekeepers of the EU who then decide who is allowed to enter and who should drown in the Mediterranean sea.
And it is the refugees uncontrollable autonomy that brought back the visible consequences of global politics to Europe’s doorstep and caused serious cracks in the walls of its fortress.
GLOBAL SOLIDARITY INSTEAD OF CHARITY
We neither want to be simply bystanders or commentators in this situation, nor fall into the civil societies’ charity discourse of “helping victims”. We want to fight – not for refugees demanding their freedom of movement, but side-by-side with them in a struggle for a better life for all of us.
This is why we invite you to join us on a journey of solidarity, a journey of action, a journey beyond Europe.
One of our stopping points will be Thessaloniki – close to the Greek-Macedonian border town of Idomeni, not far from the Greek-Turkish border. With institutions of the Greek and European authorities in the city itself, it has turned out to be one of the hotspots of Europe’s border regime. At the same time, it is hosting numerous solidarity groups, squatted houses for those forced to live on the streets and thousands of refugees stuck on their way north and so it has become a hotspot of resistance against the European fortress.
LET’S TEAR DOWN THESE WALLS
As part of the local No Border-Assembly in Thessaloniki ourselves and our comrades will organize a No Border-Camp right inside the city of Thessaloniki from July 15th to 24th – primarily for these three reasons:
The solidarity and struggle with refugees in the city has already lasted for years and resulted in local self-organized structures providing basic needs as well as tools for a political fight to everybody resisting the refusal of freedom and dignity. Together with you we want to show practical solidarity by actively supporting all self-organised antiracist structures that are already struggling everyday against the inhumane and repressive border regime, to support them and to talk about how we can translate these structures into sustainable supporting mechanisms.
We want to attack the symbols of power, their fences, their institutions and confront these symbols with all the anger and all the passion we have.
However, the fights against capitalism, sexism, racism or any other horrors of the current social order can not be successful if they are isolated from each other. That is also why we are going to Thessaloniki to get to know each other, to discuss, to learn and to build strong and transnational networks of anti-authoritarian groups and individuals and to not let the hope of a better future die.
We invite you to the Beyond Europe Barrio at the No Border Camp in Thessaloniki to not only discuss and organise our struggles ahead, but to live a vision of a better future for all of us.