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Riot Turtle after #Moria burned down to the ground: “When European politicians speak about freedom, they speak about their freedom to repress non-Europeans.”

The atrocities on the Balkanroute and the Mediterranean Sea are happening on a daily basis for years now and everybody in Europe knows it. Now Moria burned down to the ground, and it was not an accident. A personal account on the Balkanroute: Appealing to European politicians doesn’t make sense.

Published by Enough 14. Written by Riot Turtle. Image above: Graffiti on a wall at Moria.

The European Union border policies, are not a “coincidence” or “mistake”, its a xenophobic policy with continuity. Tens of thousands took the streets in Gemany, not only last night, but again and again in the past years. People appealed to the European Union, the German federal government, state governments, local authorities and so on. Apart from a few symbolic actions, like the cynical PR move to take 50 vulnerable minor migrants from Moria by the German federal government (later about 400 more followed), nothing happened.

Earlier this year Greek soldiers and police shot at migrants at the Evros border, again and again migrants are being attacked by the Greek and Turkish coast guard at the Aegean Sea. Angela Merkel praised the Croatian police for their work at the EU border during a state visit two years ago. The very same police that attack migrants on a daily basis. When I worked at the Bosnian/Croatian border in 2018 we had to reschedule our plans every single day, because every day we first had to treat the injuries of people that were attacked by the Croatian police the night before. Every day.

Nothing of all this is new. In 2015, I worked in Opatovac (Croatia) and on the Balkanroute in Slovenia and Serbia. In the video below (from 2015) you can see how food was provided in a migrant camp in Dobova, Slovenia. People are treated like animals and attacked with pepper spray by cops. Of course it was forbidden to film in Dobova. The EU states dont want people to see whats going on in the territories of the Nobel prize winner of 2012. In the same year I also saw Hungarian cops arresting and beating migrants at the border.

After the EU/Turkey deal in 2016 things got worse. The mass camps on the Greek islands were part of this deal, that was being negotiated by Merkel and Erdogan. By then I already saw a lot of violence by cops at European borders. When I came to lesvos for the first time, in 2017, I saw a completely militarized island. The tourist harbour of Mytilini, had changed into a Military Port. Coast Guard and navy ships patrolled the Aegean Sea to search for migrants and to scare them off. But they also assist during deportations. A video from 2017:

In 2017 and 2018 I joined the Cars of Hope collective on Lesvos. To be allowed to work in the Moria camp, we had to sign a declaration of the camp authorities. We refused because signing this piece of paper would have made us to henchmen of the European deporation regime, so we always went into the camp illegally. In Moria it was also illegal to take pictures and to film. Soon we knew why. Moria was a desaster on all levels from the beginning. There was a lack of about anything, it was massively overcrowded and I saw cops everywhere. Especially around the camp. Cop cars from Greece, Italy, Netherlands and other EU member states were driving around on the island day by day. In the area around Moria cops again and again checked my ID and my cameras and memory cards. They were frustrated because more and more footage from inside the camp appeared on social media channels and they were sure that I filmed inside the camp. But they never found anything so they always let me go after they checked everything.

When I walked to the Moria Camp for the first time, one of the first things I saw was a big billboard which says it all: “Co-funded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union” (Image below) [1].

Taking a shower in Moria:

The showers in Moria… December 2017

The whole EU Turkey deal was designed to scare people off to come to Europe. People who still believe in human rights in Europe are living in a parallel world that doesn’t exist and probably never experienced the atrocities on the Balkanroute personally. Like I wrote above in this article: After Moria burned down to the ground in the past two days, again tens of thousands took the streets in Germany and other EU states. Again people were peacefully appealing to the politicians that are responsible for this deliberate and designed human desaster. This basicly means that people are appealing to technocrats and politicians that created this situation. People that are responsible for tens of thousands of dead people at the Mediterranean Sea and the dying and suffering on the Balkanroute. Last night, while people were peacefully demonstrating in Berlin and many other cities, Greek police started to shoot with tear gas on now homeless migrants on lesvos.

Let’s face it. When European politicians speak about freedom, they speak about their freedom to repress non-Europeans. Or as Franco “Bifo” Berardi said:

The word freedom today means only the freedom to exploit those who cannot defend themselves, to make others slaves, to kill Africans who want to survive by immigrating to Europe. Freedom today is a murderous word. Only equality is a word that can restore something human among people.

Franco “Bifo” Berardi in “A phobic sensibility for the body and skin of the other person. An epidemic of loneliness and therefore depression” (German)

The European Union and its member states have a violent, xenophobic border policy and the events on Lesvos last night show that the Moria fire and the peaceful mass protests in the past years are not going to change that. The only thing that could work are acts of resistance that are going beyond registered peaceful demos. Things that are more difficult to control for the EU. A rebellion that starts to disturb “normality”.

Here is a 40 mintes long video about Lesvos that I produced in 2017 (Sorry for the sometimes bad sound quality, the wind…):


[1] The Internal Security Fund (ISF) was set up for the period 2014-20, with a total of EUR 3.8 billion for the seven years. The Fund will promote the implementation of the Internal Security Strategy, law enforcement cooperation and the management of the Union’s external borders.

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