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NoFrontex Demo in Bern [Switzerland]

Bern. Switzerland. We say NO to Frontex. YES to freedom of movement for all. NO to racist unequal treatment. YES to solidarity without borders – Let’s carry NoFrontex to the streets together.

Originally published by Barrikade Info.

No to Frontex

Violence, misery and death have become everyday life at Europe’s external borders. Refugees and
migrants are deprived of their rights, beaten and deported. We cannot accept this: When tens of
thousands drown in the Mediterranean, it is not an accident, but politically intended murder! As the
European border and coast guard, Frontex is partly responsible. Frontex is intransparent. Frontex
turns a blind eye. Frontex participates in illegal “pushbacks”. Frontex is complicit in human rights
violations. Despite this, Frontex is being massively expanded across Europe. On May 15, a vote will
be held on whether the Swiss contribution to Frontex should increase from 14 million Swiss francs
to 61 million Swiss francs per year. For monitoring and sealing off Fortress Europe as well as for
deportations and pushbacks, Frontex is to have a standing corps of 10,000 border guards as well as
its own weapons, drones, ships and aircraft by 2027. Frontex is an army in the war against migration.

Yes to freedom of movement for all

Only a global minority, who happen to be born in the global North, have access to passports and visas for unrestricted mobility. The rest of humanity does not enjoy freedom of movement and instead must embark on life-threatening and very expensive travel routes. Some are considered tourists and ex pats, while others are considered dangerous migrants or (fake) “refugees”. This inequality has been reinforced since the 1990s by the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen area creates freedom of movement for European people inside, where freedom of movement for people outside is prevented. Freedom of movement for all would mean using the Frontex budget for people, rather than border violence. It would be an end to the war on migration. People could settle where they wish with dignity and respect. Migration doesn’t have to be illegal – that’s not utopian. What is utopian is thinking that migration can be prevented by force and criminalization in a globalized world.

Yes to borderless solidarity and no to racist unequal treatment

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine clearly shows: neither Frontex nor other armies should receive unleashed billions. We need open and safe migration routes. At the border with Ukraine, Frontex and local border police are engaged in racial profiling. They receive Ukrainian refugees in solidarity while blocking people from other countries. Solidarity with all is needed. We welcome that there seems to be no lack of humanitarian aid at the borders with Ukraine and criticize that Europe withholds similar support in the Mediterranean, in the Aegean or on the Balkan route. We welcome that the Dublin system has been suspended for Ukrainian refugees and that free onward travel to a European destination state of one’s choice is possible. All refugees need this freedom of movement and settlement! We condemn the racist unequal treatment of the Swiss authorities, who strongly discriminate against non-Ukrainian refugees in comparison to Ukrainians with status S regarding asylum procedures, family reunification, freedom of movement and access to housing, work, health, education.

All this accelerates the spiral of violence. Borders, racism and arms races promote mistrust, competition, tensions, conflicts and further wars. We need freedom of movement for all instead of isolation, a society of solidarity instead of militarization, lifeboats instead of Frontex. NO to Frontex – also on April 23 at the demonstration in Bern.

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