Many EU states are escalating the war against refugees and migrants. Border closures and (state) violence against refugees and migrants (for me personally there is actually no difference between migrants and refugees, people are people) are “normal” in many EU states. A refugee child shot and killed by Belgium cops last month. Two refugee kids shot and severly injured by cops in Croatia last week are only the tip of the Iceberg. The new Italian government with the fascist Lega Nord will make things even worse. What a difference with Bosnia, although the Bosnian state doesn’t do much for migrants and refugees, many many local people do what they can to support people that came to Bosnia. A few thoughts…
Published by Enough is Enough. Written by Riot Turtle.
Yesterday I came back from Velika Kladuša, a small town at the Bosnian side of the Bosnian/Croatian border. While many local people are in need of about anything (locals and refugees), they do everything they can to ease the suffering of new arrivals. People are bringing food, clothes, blankets and other things people need for their daily life to the makeshift refugee camp in Velika Kladuša.
What a difference with many of the racist governments and parts of society in many EU states. On Friday the fascist Lega Nord and the xenophobic 5 Star movement formed a new government in Italy. One of the first things the fascist interior minister of the new Italian government announced is that he wants to deport 500.000 people.
While EU states like Germany, France, UK, Italy and others are exporting more and more weapons to war-zones, and are therefore one of the reasons people are forced to leave their homes, the very same EU states are pretending that refugees and migrants are the problem. On top of that the EU is fishing the African coasts empty with their high-tech fishing armada and dumps agricultural products on African markets because of the overproduction in EU states. A policy that destroys the life of millions of people. Yes the problem is capitalism and racist European policies by governments that seem to think that the planet belongs to white supramists from Europe, North-America and Australia.
Many people who live in EU states are still supporting refugees and migrants, but many others are voting for parties with racist policies and I don’t mean fascist parties like the German AFD or Fidesz in Hungary. The German CDU/CSU and even the German SPD also implemented racist policies against refugees and migrants. The German government deports more and more people, also back to war zones like Afghanistan, and are planning to lock up refugees and migrants in so-called “Anker” centers. The German state Bavaria will already start with these “Anker” prisons.
The so-called “EU hotspots” on islands like Chios or Lesvos where people live in misery and with a lack of about anything since the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal (2 years ago) are another level of the EU war against migrants and refugees. And I didn’t even speak about the thousands and thousands of people that drowned in the Mediterranean sea because of EU border policies. Or the police violence against refugees and migrants in France, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and many other EU member states.
I just returned from Bosnia and I was pretty surprised. In Bosnia things were different. The Bosnian state is not doing a lot for refugees, but I didn’t see one cop at the makeshift camp in Velika Kladuša. I also had not one control by cops in the Bosnian border town. On Lesvos I was checked by cops again and again. People that are living in the makeshift camp told me a lot about the police violence by Croatian cops but also said that the cops in Velika Kladuša normally did not even check them. Local people told me a lot about their own “refugee” history and why the are supporting the many new arrivals in the small town. Many residents of Velika Kladuša were refugees themselves during the Balkan wars in the 1990’s and remember to well how it feels to be a refugee, to be treated like a refugee.
Because the Bosnian state is not really willing to support refugees (They say they can’t but I would say they have other priorities, but at least the Bosnian state did not close the border). Local people are organizing mutual aid and they are doing a great and important job. Sometimes I think they are more anarchist than many north-europeans that call themselves anarchists, although most people in Velika Kladuša probably don’t see themselves as anarchists. The way they organized themselves is impressive. People bring themselves in with the skills they have and it works really well. One of the self-organized groups in Velika Kladuša is SOS Team Kladuša and they work on many levels. From food, to tents, blankets, shoes, clothes etc etc.
A few international activists are working together with the new arrivals and local people. When I was there people organized mobile showers, food, clothes, shoes, blankets, tents and many more things. I was part of a group that also started to reconstruct old containers. These containers will be used as emergency shelters for so-called vulnerable people. Families, elderly and injured people. But there is an enormous shortage of money to buy more tents, shoes and food. The economic situation is pretty bad in Bosnia and the locals who are supporting refugees are running out of money.
There are still people sleeping in the open air, because there is not enough money for tents and soon there won’t even be enough money to buy food for all people. The reconstruction of the containers is also financed by crowdfunding campaigns of collectives like Team Kladusa and Cars of Hope. Next week I will return to Velika Kladuša to join the team again and continue my work there.
If you want to support the work of Cars of Hope and SOS Team Kladuša, you can support the crowdfunding campaign of Cars of Hope and SOS Team Kladuša or donate directly by PayPal, bank transfer, or bitcoins:
Mutual Aid: Support Refugees in Bosnia
Support the work with refugees in Bosnia.
Bank: Volksbank im Bergischen Land
Name of account holder: Hopetal e.V.
IBAN: DE51 3406 0094 0002 9450 87