While the number of people that drown in the Mediterranean sea continues to increase, state violence and illegal push-backs at the land borders also increased. People who rescue migrants at sea are criminalized and Hungary adopted a new law which makes it illegal to support (in general) refugees. At the same time several German states introduced new police laws, the formation of the authoritarian state(s) in Europe is on it’s way. Enough is Enough will continue to support those who are fighting against these far right policies and those who are suffering from these policies. In two weeks, 2 members of the Enough is Enough team will join the Cars of Hope collective again to support refugees in Velika Kladuša (Bosnia), at the Bosnian/Croatian border.
Published by Enough is Enough. Written by Riot Turtle.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
The far right is waging war against refugees and political oponents across the continent. Life-savers are being paralyzed and criminalized: Rescue boats are either not allowed to enter harbours in Italy and Malta, or have their boats confiscated and sometimes crew members (Iuventa, Italy) or captains (Lifeline, Malta) are subject to criminal investigations. Other ships, like the Sea Watch 3, are also not allowed to leave the harbour in Malta. Earlier this week a plane that monitors the situation at sea was not allowed to leave Malta. The EU governments don’t want to have eyewitnesses of the mass drownings anymore. On top of that they are actively preventing rescue operations. The result is that more and more people are drowning.
On the land borders the situation isn’t much better. There is a lot of police violence against refugees in countries like Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia. In Croatia cops don’t even hesitate to use live-ammo against refugee children. Yesterday afternoon, the Watch The Med – Alarmphone (Warning Facebook link) received a distress call from a group of Syrian, Iraqi, Yemeni and Sudanese migrants who had crossed into Greece seeking international protection. The group was found by the Greek police. Shockingly, the police handed the group to Greek officers who did not hesitate to use violence and intimidation to scare the group and force them onto a boat (to cross the Evros river) in order to return them to Turkish territory.
The so-called EU war against smugglers is cynical. It’s the EU border regime that created the business model of human trafficking by smugglers in the first place. The EU member states are not fighting smugglers. They are fighting refugees and migrants. The result will be that apart from the drownings, people who are seeking refuge are being send to the Sahara desert (Algeria and Morocco are already doing that), where many of them will die. Others will end up in camps in Libya, where they are subject to violence and sometimes even sold as slaves. The ones who make it to EU member states will be locked-up (according to the results of last weeks EU summit) and many of them will be deported. Austrian PM Sebastian Kurz is even proposing for European border troops in northen-African states to stop refugees from coming to Europe. Re-colonizing African states to keep Europe white?
Illegal pushbacks are also not surprising anymore. More and more EU states are governed by coalitions with far-right parties or parties like the Bavarian CSU (which is also part of the federal German government) which now openly transformed into a far right party. Many governing conservative parties in Europe adopted far right policies, but even social-democrats like the German SPD or the “leftwing” Syriza government in Greece are implementing policies against migrants and refugees.
While fascists like the Italian interior minister Salvini describe people who were rescued on the Mediterranean sea as “human flesh”, far right politicians from the Bavarian CSU speak about “asylum tourists”. But more and more people start to resist. Apart from the many groups that are fighting against the EU border regime for years now, parts of civil society are starting to wake-up now. Tomorrow there will be several demostrations across Germany and also one in Amsterdam (Netherlands) to protest against closed borders and the letting-drown policies in the Mediterranean. The protests are organized by the Seebrücke/Sea-Bridge initiative (Warning Facebook link).
The demos by the Seebrücke/Sea-Bridge initiative are a good first step, but I am afraid demonstrations will not be enough. We need a diversity of tactics to abolish the EU border regimes and to stop the formation of the authoritarian state. Civil disobedience and direct action are also needed if we want to win this struggle. The discourse should be shifted to the actual problem. In short: The wealth in countries like Germany is being paid by people in poor countries. The borders of these countries were often drawn by European colonialists. Until today European corporations are exploiting (natural & other) ressources in these countries. The high-tech EU fishing armada is fishing coastal areas of many of these countries empty. European agricultural products are thrown on African markets for dumping prices, destroying local economies. Many European governments, like for instance the German government, authorize weapon exports of European corporations to war zones across the globe. German corporations are a major arms supplier of the Turkish army which invaded Afrin (Syria) earlier this year. And I didn’t even speak about the fact that our way of life is the main cause of climate change and its the people of the global south who suffer the most of the destructive capitalist system that causes climate change.
The problems are pure racism and capitalism and if we want to fight for change, we will have to fight against both. The European far right elite is aware of that and it’s about time that civil society wakes up out of their so-called liberal dreams and realize that we need a radical change. The far right is afraid that might actually happen at some point and that”s the reason why they are not only implementing harder border regimes, but are also introducing new police and psychiatry (In Bavaria, Germany its much easier to lock up people in psychiatry clinics now) laws.
One of the leading CSU politicians, Alexander Dobrindt, speaks about a “conservative revolution. What he actually means is a fascist take-over. An authoritarian police state. The CSU is the German party that also demanded (and got what they wanted from Merkel and the SPD) a new “border regime” and that introduced the new police law in Bavaria. The president of the CSU, Horst Seehofer, is also the German federal minister of interior and already said that the new Bavarian police law is a blue print for new police laws in other German states. Under the new Bavrian police law people can be detained for 3 months without being charged and these 3 months can be extended endlessly.
The first victims of the new police law in Bavaria were 10 refugees, who were pre-emptively in Schweinfurt. About one week later an anti-fascist was pre-emptively detained to prevent him from protesting against a party conference of the fascist AFD party in Augsburg. The anti-fascist was considered to be a threat for public securoty because he had spread some posters and stickers before the party conference. Apart from this kind of pre-emptive detentions and police violence at EU borders, the police violence inside EU member states is also increasing. Especially against refugees, other minorites and anarchist/leftwing political opponents.
Tomorrow Enough is Enough will tweet live from a demo against a similar police law in Düsseldorf, Germany. Thousands of people are expected to come to the first bigger demo aginst the new police law in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia. The cops already threatened to prevent the demo from marching.
Support Enough is Enough and Cars of Hope at the Bosnian/Croatian border
On July 19 2two people of the Enough is Enough team will join the Cars of Hope collective in Bosnia to work together with refugees and to produce independent border monitoring reports from the Bosnian/Croatian border. Read the reports of our last stay in Bosnia: here.
We urgently need financial support to maintain the supplies for refugees and to be able to keep on building emergency shelters.
Please donate for food, tents and other things for everyday life.
The Cars of Hope bank account details:
Bank: Volksbank in Bergisches Land
Account holder: Hopetal e.V.
Description: Cars of Hope
IBAN: DE51 3406 0094 0002 9450 87
Mutual Aid: Support Refugees in Bosnia
Support the work with refugees in Bosnia.