Zagreb, Croatia: A direct consequence of anti-refugee propaganda: AYS integration center targeted by fascists.
Originally published by Are You Syrious. Images by Are You Syrious Integration Center in Zagreb.
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.
For the third time in recent weeks, AYS’ van, free shop and integration center in Zagreb have been vandalized by unknown perpetrators who usually act during the night and on weekends. Such attacks occur when our media presence is higher or when anti-refugee propaganda is on the rise, as it currently is in Croatia. The last two incidents involved breaking our windows and smashing our van with bricks.
This attack is only part of the threatening reality. Recently, there’s an almost constant police presence in front of our integration center and it is still unclear if this is for our protection or if they’re trying to intimidate us. It’s unclear because our relationship with the Ministry of Interior has been very ambivalent due to our advocacy work which involves raising awareness about unlawful, violent push-backs perpetrated by Croatian police.
Because of this, our volunteers have been repeatedly held for hours in police stations for reporting unlawful activities, misdemeanor charges even though we are legally supporting asylum seekers, and threats of criminal charges with no legal grounds…however, it is important to note that we have a very decent cooperation with police officers in Porin reception center in Zagreb where we have a constant presence. Yet the Minister of Interior has called us out several times for “encouraging illegal migration”, which has also triggered a lot of hate coming from Croatian fascists.
Today’s events are just another vivid example of how such public government pressure and fake news propaganda make a toxic mix that erupts in violence and vandalism. Of course, this only motivates us to continue our work.
In solidarity, AYS, November 11, 2018.
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