Slovenia. Statement by the Anarchist initiative Ljubljana – Federation for anarchist organizing (APL-FAO) on the struggle of the imprisoned migrants in the camp at Veliki Otok near Postojna’.
Originally published by Komunal.
Solidarity with the struggle of the imprisoned in camp at Veliki Otok near Postojna
In the shadow of the normalized state of emergency in the name of protection of public health the entrenchment of the authoritarian regime at the borders of Fortress Europe continues. The current government of Slovenia continues the policies of terror, dehumanization and criminalization of people that was first set and then faithfully followed and deepened by the previous governments. In recent years razor-wire, fence, military patrols, police terror, employment of high technology in human hunting have all become part and parcel of everyday experience for both people that are trying to find a way to a secure and better life and for many others that have long lived in the areas that were chosen by the security experts as a testing ground for their violent games. While the latter count the euros on the accounts of sub-contractors that erect the fence at the border, the rest of us regularly read in sadness about yet another death in Kolpa river, on the road and in the forest.
Suffering that the phrase “migrant crisis” at the same time implies and hides indicates the double nature of the system we live in. On the one side there is a mirage of democracy for the citizens and on the other a totalitarian management of lives of the non-citizens. But the boundary between the two is becoming increasingly fragile. Declarations of this or that emergency situations – due to people on the move, dangerous virus, war, soon also climate crisis – have become common and are clear indications that we live in the midst of an accelerating transition towards the openly undemocratic regime with clear fascist flavour. This explains why the governments – both of the extreme centre and the extreme right variety -respond to every new crisis, regardless of its nature, with the same move towards ever more militarized society. In the wake of the recent pandemic the local Slovenian government thus reacted to what clearly was a health crisis with a push for an increase in the militarization of its borders, the move that was itself
made a legal possibility only during one other not so distant crisis episode that was imposed on the population by government of the time. On the one hand the normalization of fascist and/or para-military formations opens the way for discarding of any doubts about the use of brutal and open violence against those that are officialy recorded as ‘surplus’, ‘illegal’ and ‘unjustified’. On the other hand the declaration of an epidemic opens the way for the hidden use of medicine for the purpose of policing the population.
None of this is an excess, but only already well established contours of the regime of modern totalitarianism. This is why the struggles of migrants who by their very existence and disrespect for the borders of Fortress Europe threaten its very foundations are also struggles for a real life of all of us. We need to connect our future with the future of everybody, regardless of where they were born or where they want to live.
One of the places where terror of the Slovenian state and police is most obviously visible also to the eyes of general public is a concentration camp in Veliki Otok near Postojna. In many years of its existence the so called Center for foreigners has been a place of most brutal violations of human rights of people which due to many different sets of circumstances find temselves its prisoners. There people are imprisoned without ever having commited a crime and with very limited options to claim their rights. In addition they are regularly targets of police violence, psychological harrasment, are subjected to threats and to many other forms of dehumanization.
Lately the need of Fortress Europe to intensify the terror over migrants is adding to the determination of local human hunters. In last few months the police added new facilities to the camp in Veliki Otok. Since the number of the imprisoned has risen sharply it has even established a ‘container department’ in a big, old and previously unused warehouse. It has put fence around it and now many people who applied for asylum are forced to wait there for weeks and months to see what the destiny will bring them. Many of them are put there still injured from the police violence and left without proper clothing and basic provisions.
Despite the fantasies of the police officers, their political bosses and those who embrace politics of hate those who are imprisoned in the camp in Veliki Otok are people who want nothing else but what all of us desire and deserve: freedom, dignity, respect, possibility of life. In last few weeks again in the middle of all the horror of a concentration camp these legitimate desires gave rise to a wave of resistance. For more than a month the imprisoned are engaging in different forms of protest, including a hunger strike, to bring public attention to their seemingly hopeless situation.
As an expression of our solidarity with the imprisoned in concentration camp in Veliki Otok near Postojna (and in all the other camps) and of our support to their struggle we will assemble on Tuesday 25th August 2020 at 5 pm in front of the camp at a public protest. We demand an immediate closure of the camp and a stop to all the deportations. At the same time we express our anger with the murderous borders and with the police violence against migrants at Kolpa river, in Aegean Sea and elsewhere.
We reject the regime that divides people to citizens and migrants!
We reject racism and nationalism!
Destroy Fortress Europe!
25th August 2020
Anarchist initiative Ljubljana – Federation for anarchist organizing (APL-FAO)
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