Antifascist solidarity with Afrin and Rojava, 19. march Belgrade, Serbia. Video and statement.
States and borders are dividing people. Dividing in them and us. When do we finally get rid of these tools of suffering and oppression? On December 17 I will travel to Lesvos, Greece, again and will stay there for almost a month. It seems a long time ago that I started working with refugees on the Balkan route, but actually its not. A little more than two years have past after I drove to Slovenia. A good friend wrote me in September 2015 about the situation on the Croatian/Slovenian border and asked me to come and support. A lot has happened since then…
Video by the author of this aricle, Riot Turtle, about the next campaign on Lesvos.
In the middle of the preparations for our stay on Lesvos, Greece, we want to remind you that the Greek islands are not the only places in Europe where refugees are suffering the inhuman treatment by EU member states. People are suffering illegal pushbacks and police violence in many European states. Last night cops destroyed tents of migrants and refugees in Paris, France. The violent treatment of refugees and migrants is increasing across Europe.
Image: Refugees and migrants sleeping on the streets of Paris. Image by Facebook page Paris Refugee Ground Support
It’s summer! For all people especially western activists, who are planning to leave their countries to go somewhere else (Balkan or elsewhere) to do political or humanitarian work and volunteer during the holidays, we were collecting some advices which we think would be important to consider.
As it has been already stated, violence, repression and persecution has been growing since the squatted barracks got evicted and demolished on May 11th. Before the elections the serbian police was more reserved but now using violence openly. In the last two weeks there has been three physically violent police operations, forcing people to be taken to the infamous Preševo closed “camp” near Macedonia. Although is it presented as a reception center, the unspoken reality is that of a detention camp. The approx. 1000 people imprisoned there are not allowed to go in or out, except for a very restricted special permission, and the only way to leave the camp is to be pushed-back illegaly to Macedonia, which happens regularly.
Doctors Without Borders reported on Twitter that a group of refugees was violently pushed back to Serbia last night. In Germany the governing parties CDU/CSU and SPD are taking over more and more policies if the fascist AFD party. German parliament voted in favor of sharper asylum laws. Again.
Image: A refugee that was beaten up by Croatian cops last night. Image by MSF
Many independent volunteers work with refugees on the Balkan route, but people are also working with refugees in Germany, Italy, France and other European countries. Many independent volunteers understand their work with refugees as a political act, but others don’t. A plea why independent volunteers should understand their work as a political act.
Image: Graffiti on one of the squatted barracks in Belgrade. The barracks were evicted yesterday.
Serbian authorities evicted the barracks behind the main train station of Belgrade today. During the eviction offcials of the commisariate sprayed insecticides in the barracks at a time as many refugees were still inside.
Image by BelgrAid Facebook page
We are still in Belgrade. One of us joined the Cars Of Hope Wuppertal team, who are working with refugees and support the Soul Welders projects in the Serbian capital. Another short impression from Belgrade.
Last month we spoke with René from Cars of Hope Wuppertal about his work with refugees on the Balkanroute. René told us that he worked together with Soul Food Kitchen in Thessaloniki (Greece) and Soul Welders in Belgrade (Serbia). Today we publish an interview with the “Irish Pirate” from Dunkirk, Dylan about the work of Soul Welders with refugees in Belgrade.
Dylan of the Soul Welders crew in Belgrade (Image by Are You Syrious)