Letter to the world from Moria hotspot (No. 1)

Author: A migratory girl

Put yourself in our shoes! We are not safe in Moria. We didn’t escape from our homelands to stay hidden and trapped. We didn’t pass the borders and played with our lifes to live in fear and danger.

Put yourself in our shoes! Can you live in a place , that you can not walk alone even when you just want to go the toilette. Can you live in a place, where there are hundreds of unaccompanied minors that no one can stop attempting suicides. That no one stops them from drinking.

No one can go out after 9:00 pm because the thieves will steal anything you have and if you don’t give them what they want, they will hurt you. We should go to the police? We went alot and they just tell that we should find the thief by ourselves. They say: ‘We can not do anything for you.’ In a camp of 14.000 refugees you won’t see anyone to protect us anywhere even at midnight. Two days ago there was a big fight, but util it finished no one came for help. Many tents burned. When the people went to complain, no one cared and and even the police told us: ‘This is your own problem.’

In this situation the first thing that comes to my mind to tell you is, we didn’t come here to Europe for money, and not for becoming a European citizen. It was just to breathe a day in peace.

Instead, hundreds of minors here became addicted, but no one cares.

Five human beings burned, but no one cares.

Thousands of children didn’t undergo vaccination, but no one cares.

I am writing to you to share and I am hoping for change…”

Parwaneh

Letter to the world from Moria hotspot (No. 1)

Author: A migratory girl

Put yourself in our shoes! We are not safe in Moria. We didn’t escape from our homelands to stay hidden and trapped. We didn’t pass the borders and played with our lifes to live in fear and danger.

Put yourself in our shoes! Can you live in a place , that you can not walk alone even when you just want to go the toilette. Can you live in a place, where there are hundreds of unaccompanied minors that no one can stop attempting suicides. That no one stops them from drinking.

No one can go out after 9:00 pm because the thieves will steal anything you have and if you don’t give them what they want, they will hurt you. We should go to the police? We went alot and they just tell that we should find the thief by ourselves. They say: ‘We can not do anything for you.’ In a camp of 14.000 refugees you won’t see anyone to protect us anywhere even at midnight. Two days ago there was a big fight, but util it finished no one came for help. Many tents burned. When the people went to complain, no one cared and and even the police told us: ‘This is your own problem.’

In this situation the first thing that comes to my mind to tell you is, we didn’t come here to Europe for money, and not for becoming a European citizen. It was just to breathe a day in peace.

Instead, hundreds of minors here became addicted, but no one cares.

Five human beings burned, but no one cares.

Thousands of children didn’t undergo vaccination, but no one cares.

I am writing to you to share and I am hoping for change…”

Parwaneh

Sea-Watch finanziert Rettungsmission der Organisation Sea-Eye – Alan Kurdi startet in weiteren Rettungseinsatz im Mittelmeer

Während auf dem Treffen der EU-Innenminister*innen in Luxemburg diese Woche erneut keine Fortschritte zur Beendigung des tödlichen Ausnahmezustandes im Mittelmeer erzielt wurden, sind es wieder einmal zivile Akteure, die der Europäischen Union Solidarität vorleben: Mit einer Spende von 60.000 Euro ermöglicht Sea-Watch dem Rettungsschiff Alan Kurdi der Organisation Sea-Eye das Auslaufen in das tödlichste Seegebiet…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch finanziert Rettungsmission der Organisation Sea-Eye – Alan Kurdi startet in weiteren Rettungseinsatz im Mittelmeer erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Schiffsunglück vor Lampedusa, Rettungsorganisationen stellen Forderungen an EU-Minister*innentreffen in Luxemburg

Nur einen Tag vor dem Treffen der EU-Innenminister*innen in Luxemburg ereignet sich vor Lampedusa ein schweres Bootsunglück. Nachdem zwei Bootsunglücke mit über 500 Toten im Oktober 2013 europaweit Bestürzung hervorgerufen und die italienische Marinemission “Mare Nostrum” ausgelöst hatten, musste die Crew unseres Suchflugzeugs Moonbird sechs Jahre später erneut nach Überlebenden und Leichen suchen, ernsthafte Schritte…

Der Beitrag Schiffsunglück vor Lampedusa, Rettungsorganisationen stellen Forderungen an EU-Minister*innentreffen in Luxemburg erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Sudan Revolution Interview

T: We already know you from the Oranienplatz resistance but can you introduce yourself a bit?

A: Adam Bahar. I am coming from Sudan. I’m born in Sudan but I’m in Germany since 2012. Politically active in Sudan since 2002. I was in university fighting for the right of the people of Sudan and against the dictatorship. Also especially because I am coming and I was born in Darfur, where there is war since 2003.

That’s why my main motivation was to start something against the government. Also when I was in this time in university and I was part of a group of Sudanese students organizing themselves. We were organizing ourselves for democracy and people of Darfur.

Result out of that is that we got in trouble with the government and I had to leave Sudan. I came to Europe in 2008 and I was in different countries of Europe. I lived in Greece, Italy, France for 2 years and in 2012 I came to Germany.

T: Our first question is what is the actual situation in Sudan? There was an agreement between Forces of Freedom and Change and the military. And some organizations like Sudan Communist Party told we are getting out from this agreement. Were there other groups inside Forces of Freedom and Change that got out from the agreement?

A: Actual situation in Sudan right now: last week (17th of July, 2019), they signed on the Sudanese constitution transition process. They signed the first letter and it will be completed on 17th of August 2019.

In the first form of the new cabinet there will be 6 people from the opposition parties and 5 people from the military. They will form the cabinet together and power will be hold first 18 months by military and other 18 months by civilian government. New government is supposed to initiate after the 3 years of transition.

But it is just the first part of the whole constitution in Sudan. Second part, there will be a president, there will be a parliament and 67 percent of the parliament will be from the opposition parties which the people are inside and leading the revolution. 33 percent of the parliament will be from the people who were not really taking participation in the revolution but they were also against government and they never worked with the old government of Omar al-Bashir. And the third part of the constitution all the people like youth and women will be the part of parliament.

Sudan in the future will have a parliamentarian government and ministries will have the real power. It will not be like before with only the president having the power. Like how we are having in Germany for example. There is president but president doesn’t have so much power. In Germany there is chancellor – in Sudan we will have prime minister. Also there will be opposition parties.

The problem between the Sudanese Communist Party and the other parties is they don’t want to be a part of the government of the transition period. 5 people from army and 6 people from civilians. Because these 5 people from the army that will take part in, are accused to committing crimes against the people who were protesting in the streets. So Communist Party will not participate in this. But the communist party will be part of the future parliament, because there won’t be any army in the parliament. At the same time they will continue to take part in local politics. They will not just participate in the first level of government where the army that are being accused.

Sudan has been all the time, since 1965, the time when it gained independence from Great Britain, governed by the army. It means army is governing Sudan more than 60 years now. And to take them out completely needs some time.

T: The revolutionaries around the world are curious about how this revolution was being organized? In the neighborhoods – what were the people talking and discussing?

A: The revolution started in December 2018 and it started not because changing of the political situation but started because of the price of bread, which increased 3 times. It started in a marginalized area of Sudan called Atbara where just students of a school went out to the street and demanded to get a bread. Somehow police and security service started reacting violently against the people and killed many students. After that, other people joined this protests of the kids. And because of that, they were really angry and burned the building of the party of Omar al-Bashir, the National Congress Party. The next day people from different cities also went into solidarity with Atbara. Thats how the revolution started.

Before that, we have to also link it to the history. This is not the first revolution in Sudan. But there were two revolutions, 1946 and 1958. And all the time who were pushing for the revolution are the worker unions. When Omar al-Bashir came to power, first thing he did is to crack down all the worker unions. The idea behind it was that the worker unions cannot take any position to fight the government. The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) started in 2012 to create an autonomous worker union and they first started with lawyers and doctors. Since 2012, they were just fighting for the worker rights like minimum wage etc. By this way they organized many members inside.

SPA had one demonstration register right of the workers and rise of the minimum wage. 2 days before what happened in Atbara. When they see what’s happening in Atbara they took the lead. And they changed the demand of the demonstration. Not only for the minimum wage, they called all the citizens to join them and putting down the regime of Omer al-Bashir.

This is how SPA took the lead. It was also an autonomous structure where no one knows who they are. But somehow they have been existing since 2012. They called in Facebook all citizens of Sudan to participate and organize themselves. At the same time there were local organizations working in districts called “Sudanese Resistance Committees”. It was created by people seeing themselves not a part of SPA but rather like “I need to participate in revolution”. And they made small groups consisting of 4-5 people. Those people know each other very well. By this way, 15-20 groups are created in every district. And no one knows who is inside of other groups. And they were going to demonstrations together.

At the same time, more people were joining also autonomously structured SPA and starting politically to have this demand. Then after 1 months of beginning, on 1st of January 2019, SPA made a call for a paper called Freedom and Change. In this paper there were suggestions how Sudan should be governed in the future. They said we need a democratic Sudan, this government has to go without any discussion. We don’t want Omer al-Bashir, we don’t want his government anymore. We need Sudan to be democratic country where people feel participating in politics, autonomously deciding for themselves.

They called all opposition parties if they agree on this paper to sign. For example the Sudanese Communist Party, the Sudanese Umma Party, the Sudanese Union Party signed it. And were part of the coalition. Also different political groups and civil society groups signed this paper.

There were 3 different groups who were working in revolution. One group SPA, another group local committees doing practical work mobilizing people to streets, tell them about the demonstrations. SPA was calling for the demo and organizing it.

What made this revolution successful is the local structure. You know, structure is built in this way but no one knows who is inside the structure. It was local in every place and it still exists until now. In this period of transition time of 3 years nothing will stop their mobilization and work. Every day they are doing different kinds of activism. They go to the streets, visiting the local people in the neighborhoods, visiting and supporting the people whose relatives or friends are killed. This is the structure that remained until now. This kind of structure is really helping because people will not rely on political parties still they will have their own structure in a local way. To guard the revolution and don’t let dictatorship to come again.

For example, in the last two days, one political party opened new office in Sudan and local people directly went there and asked where they took the money from to open this office. Because it was a nice place, in the middle of the country. Maybe it was funded by corruption and we don’t want corruption anymore in Sudan.

T: A woman in the revolution said: “Not the bullets but the silence is killing us.” How the people came to that point to sacrifice their life, how they came to this point? We know also that women took an important part in the revolution.

A: This has to do how much women were under repression from this regime. Because this regime of Omar al-Bashir is since 30 years like Muslim Brotherhood regime. Holding power in Sudan in the name of Islam, Sharia law. Unfortunately, when there is Sharia law, first things they do is to control woman. Women are not allowed to sit in public spaces, women are not allowed to wear trousers or other clothes, or in an area they cannot do this job because men are there. There were some universities just for women or just for men. These were happening for a long time since beginning of this government.

But in 2002 there was a law called Public Order Law with laws inside that were clearly against women. Since 2002-2003, women started to fight against this law and organized themselves. This also made women more experienced and have their autonomous structure. When this revolution started, women were already ready. That’s why when we see women on the streets it’s something normal.

Now in the new constitution paper that they signed, government has to support the rights of women. For example, in the parliament women will have a 40% quota.

We still see it’s not enough, because we need to also change the old structure of the opposition parties. Because in many parties women are not really presented. In the negotiation group there is just one or two women, the rest is men. Because of opposition parties who were not participating political work since 30 years in Sudan. They had to only work underground and that made it for women not so easy to participate. By writing this in constitution and pushing the political parties to change their structures, it will be possible for women to participate equally in Sudan.

T: People participating in the revolution didn’t really use violent methods. The reason was because they couldn’t obtain guns or was it a decision from the beginning?

A: I think you have to look to the history of Sudan. In Sudan, there has been war between North and South for 20 years. And the result of it is that South Sudan was born into new country in 2010. There is war in Darfur since 2003, there is war in Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile since 2011. And result of that more than 2 million people got killed, millions of people had to flee. Since 20 years people are getting killed and fleeing because of that reason.

People had this idea in their mind that we can not change this dictator with weapon anymore. Because also Darfur and in Nuba Mountain different groups are fighting against the government with weapons since 2003 and 2011. But they haven’t achieved anything. Because government has always more weapons. And people decided that the only method we can use is a peaceful revolution. For this, we are not going to use any violence against anyone. Because, if we use violence we are not stronger enough than the government. The government has more power to use violence and it gets supported by other countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, even Egypt. All these countries also don’t want Sudan to become a democracy.

Because civil disobedience has more success than using violence. That is what people learned from the history of Sudan. Also learned from the outside, for example what is happening in Syria. Using weapon against weapon collapses the country, but not bringing the people to power. That’s why we say all the time in Sudan, revolution is also about learning, about learning internationally from each other.

The same things happening in Rabaa al-Adawiya revolution in Egypt. All dictatorships learn from one book, but the interesting thing is that people doing the revolution they learn better than dictatorships. In Sudan, the army evicted them with violence and the army had the idea of people will be afraid, they won’t go to the street anymore and that we can hold the power. People saw it already in Egypt and they didn’t accept this. After the big massacre, people went to the streets more and more. The last demo was 30th of the July and in every city there were not less than 2-3 million people.

In Sudan, violence is not something new for us, we have had it since 30 years. This government is killing people since 20 years but people don’t talk about it. All other powers, especially Europe, because of controlling refugees don’t talk about it because of their own interests.

If you see how many people died in the revolution since 8 months maybe we can say 500-600 people. But now, revolution succeeded to reach something. But if people had used violence, maybe millions of people would have died and there wouldn’t have been any success.

T: If there weren’tany street actions, would the soldiers do a coup against the Omar al-Bashir regime? Is there is a big difference between today’s military and the Bashir’s regime?

A: First, if people did not go to the streets, they would not do anything. They are under pressure, because people are on the streets everyday. And that’s why people made the sit-in in front of the army building. This has to do for a long time with the history of Sudan, old revolutions have happened here before. People are going to streets and the army stayed on the side of the people and supported people and take the dictators out. This was happening two times in Sudan already.

For sure they would not do it, because for 30 years they didn’t do it. Because of the pressure by people they are doing. Now the difference is: people take their right on their hand. People are going to streets everyday, everywhere in Sudan opposition parties are making events, discussions and they don’t need to register. Even, it is better than what is going on in Europe. In Europe you have to call the police and ask for demonstration. In Sudan people are going to demo without telling to police. People took their right in their hand.

And in the constitution it will be written that people have the right to demonstrate. Police will not have the right stop people without any reason. Before, the Security service in Sudan had the right to do everything. They could arrest you, they could kill you. They were taking so much power from the president. But from now on it will be just an institution to collect information and give to police under the law.

T: With the Arab Spring there were revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. But the revolutions were stolen by the different powers inside the states or by the international powers. Do the people who are doing the revolution in Sudan have a prevention to stop this? Or can also Sudan revolution be stolen?

A: I don’t think so. Because, if you look at the constitution now, it will be built in a way that the old regime will not exist anymore. I think the problem with the all other revolutions in different Arabic countries is that they change the president but they don’t change the constitution. That means, people who are working for dictators still have the power and can bring us new dictators. People in Sudan learned from it. They say they need to change the whole constitution. That’s why there will be a new parliament where only people who were doing the revolution will be sitting.

The only way for the army or a dictator to come back again is to make a coup again. But also people will not accept this, people will go to streets again. Structures are not in the hands of the army anymore.

When in Egypt people did the revolution they just took out the only Husnu Mubarak, but the regime stayed. Exactly this is what’s happening also now in Algeria. The President of Algeria is away, but the whole constitution is there and the whole government is there.

T: Inside Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) there were different groups like the Sudanese Communist Party, but also there were  anti-capitalist Muslims with the tradition of Mahmoud Mohammed Taha. What kind of groups is there in FFC and what is their ratios as power?

A: There are really left, anti-capitalist groups like Communist Party or Republican Party (anti-capitalist Muslims, Mahmoud Mohammed Taha). There are also different communist groups like Movement of Right (Harakat Haqq). They are also part of this coalition. Then, the other side, you see also traditional parties like the Union Party and the Umma Party.

In the constitution any kind of discrimination like race, religion, gender won’t be accepted.

And all agree on this and reached this point. Now, in Sudan, the left ideology is more accepted in society, because Omar al-Bashir government did everything in the name of Islam and Sharia for 30 years. That’s why, in the future, when people go to the streets, the first things they will demand that religion shouldn’t be a part of politics anymore. Religion has to stay in mosques and churches. There has to be a clear division.

But we shouldn’t forget that Sudan is an African country where the structure is not really strong. There is big movements that don’t want capitalism anymore, at the same time there is a big group of people thinking we need to develop the country, we need to have nice buildings, like thinking in a capitalist way. The next step is to not allow capitalism get power in Sudan. This is our next fight.

For example, I’m part of different groups doing politics since 2002, now also in Germany since 2012. But we are kind of a capitalist group, thinking Sudan has to be like Europe, like Germany. An important part of us saying no to it. We say now, until revolution maybe we are friends, but after the revolution we will be enemies. We will fight against capitalism, because we see what capitalism have done to the people. We don’t want capitalism to be strong in Sudan.

T: People who are on the streets leading and joining the revolution, what are the people’s professions? Were they workers, villagers or unemployed? What are their ages, what are their classes?

A: In the beginning it was generally young people who were in the street. First 3-4 months so many young people were on the streets, especially students and workers. I can put inside the workers from the doctors till the unemployed. Also, unemployed people organized themselves and making their own block. Also women did their own block.

But the interesting thing is that the whole society participated in it. Who was not going to streets tried to organize safe places for the people when they got attacked by the police and army. When there was a demo going on and a attack happened by police, old people stayed in front of their doors, opened their door and hid young people.

People, who are out of Sudan, for example in Europe, were preparing themselves from the beginning, spread the information, did info events, organized money, did demonstrations, talked about the involvement of imperialist countries and how they don’t want revolution to be successful.

T: How was the interest to the Sudan revolution from the left wing or opposition movements in Europe?

A: Unfortunately, there was not such a big interest in it. For example, in Berlin, we were fighting hard to just bring the voice of revolution to different groups, even to the streets. We were not really supported by any group. After 3-4 months, when the revolution was getting violent by the army, different left parties tried to lighten the issue but it was not really what were hoping for.

We shouldn’t also forget that Europe has a big interest in not changing Sudan, because the Bashir regime was working for Europe since 2014, for example in Khartum Process, a deal between Europe and African countries to stop African refugees to come to Europe. For that deal, the Sudanese old government got so much money, got training from European countries to control the borders.

I was writing everyday press releases about the situation in Sudan and was sending them to all parties from SPD to the Left Party (Die Linke) and I didn’t get any answer from them. After 2 months we could get an answer from Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung to make an info event about Sudan.

2 months before, when revolution was almost successful, we had a talk with one Left Party member from Germany Bundestag. We worked together and she held a Bundestag sitting where she asked about Sudan revolution and the money Germany gave to the Sudanese old government. But not more.

We made a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany and we went inside the ministry and handed over our demands. We had also a demo in front of EU and we made a call of Sudanese people living in Europe. There, we also gave our demands to stop this deal with Sudan. Our work succeeded to put pressure in government of EU. EU stopped to give money for training the police of Sudan.

The new government will come and they will try to talk again about the deal. This is also our next step to work in Germany as Sudanese community here. Because we are sure to face deportations in Germany or in Europe. Because they will say now, Sudan is democracy then you have to go. They will try to activate the Khartum process.

Unfortunately, there is no international solidarity from left groups or even from left parties. From my side, I wouldn’t focus on leftist parties – I would focus on leftist groups. But leftist groups, they are not interested. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Sudan is far away. They never called for demo revolution in Sudan until now. And I was really thinking like: Is this about racism? This has because African people are not worth it? Are they not equal in the mind of leftists? They are really far away and cannot have any contact with African revolution?

For me, what’s happening in Sudan now, is really politically close to the leftist scene. A revolution hold by people, starting with autonomous structure, where people succeeded to kick out the dictator, where women take the lead. There was not really an interest in these issues. I’m questioning myself from time to time to understand the reason. And I couldn’t see a reason until now. But maybe we have to wait for the activists of the leftist scene to tell us why they don’t have any interest in the revolution of Sudan.

Einheit ist eine Waffe

Ali Ahmed lebt seit 2013 in Hamburg und ist Aktivist der Gruppe „Lampedusa in Hamburg“. Aktuell ist er einer von fünf Sprecher*innen, die die Interessen der sudanesischen Aufstandsbewegung im Ausland vertreten.

Am 30. Juni 1989 riss Omar al-Bashir die Macht im Sudan durch einen Militärputsch gegen eine zivile Regierung an sich. Dabei wurde er von der Islamischen Partei ideologisch massiv unterstützt. Schon zu Beginn seiner diktatorischen Herrschaft wurden Tausende entlassen und verhaftet. Nach der Ermordung von 28 Generälen, die sein Regime kritisiert hatten, im Ramadan 1993 begann eine massive Auswanderung aus politischen und ökonomischen Gründen, die die Wirtschaft des Landes erheblich beeinträchtigte.

Gleichzeitig begann im Süd-Sudan der Widerstand gegen die neuen Regeln für das öffentliche Leben, die die Islamische Partei durchgesetzt hatte, und führte bald zur Forderung nach Unabhängigkeit und eigener Verfügung über das Öl. Da das sudanesische Öl vor allem aus dem Süden stammt, bedeutete das ökonomische Probleme für das Land. Auch in anderen Teilen des Landes kam es zu kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen, die mit der Bildung einer großen Zahl von schwer bewaffneten Stammes-Milizen einherging. Die Wirtschaft litt unter den verschwenderischen Militärausgaben und wachsender Korruption, die Unterstützung von weltweit operierenden Terrorgruppen durch al-Bashir und seine Verstrickung in Anschläge führten zu Sanktionen, die die ökonomische und soziale Situation weiter verschlechterten.

Linke und andere sozialen Kräfte begannen sich zu organisieren und entwickelten politische Kampagnen mit Forderungen, die alle Menschen im Land vor Hunger und Armut bewahren würden. Diese haben in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten die Grundlage für die Revolution gelegt, die wir heute im Sudan bildeten erleben.

Die Bürger*innenproteste gegen die Regierung begannen im Dezember 2018 zunächst wegen der stark gestiegenen Brot-Preise, der allgemeinen Verschlechterung der Lebensbedingungen und des zunehmenden Zerfalsl staatlicher Infrastruktur. Schnell entwickelte sich daraus die Forderung nach dem Rücktritt al- Bashirs. Es begann in Städten mit starker Arbeiterschaft wie al Damazin, Port Sudan, Qadrif und Atbara vor allem in Norden und Osten des Landes ebenso wie in der Hauptstadt bis alle gemeinsam nach Khartum zogen, um einen zivilen Staat und das Ende der Militärdiktatur zu fordern. Beim Rücktritt von al-Bashir und wenig später, als der General und Übergangspräsident ibn Ouf zurücktrat, waren 4 Millionen Menschen mit der Forderung nach einer zivilen Regierung auf den Straßen.

Die Sudanese Professionals Alliance (SPA), eine Allianz aus 17 Branchengewerkschaften, übernahm in diesen Auseinandersetzungen die Führungsrolle, forderte die Demonstranten auf, keine Waffen auf das Militär zu richten und verlangte von der Regierung den friedlichen Protest zu respektieren. Am 1. Januar veröffentlichte sie gemeinsam mit 21 weiteren fortschrittlichen Organisationen die „Erklärung für Freiheit und Wandel“, die Grundlage eines breiteren Bündnisses ist. Unsere Stärke liegt in unserer Einheit und der Orientierung auf den Frieden. Das führte dazu, dass sich auch Teile des Militärs mit den demonstrierenden Massen solidarisierten und sich weigerten, auf sie zu schießen. Dennoch wurden die friedlichen Demonstrationen immer wieder angegriffen um sie aufzulösen. Tränengas, Gummigeschosse, aber auch immer wieder Schusswaffen wurden eingesetzt. Die Toten und Verwundeten trugen zur Empörung der Bevölkerung bei und ließen die Proteste nicht abreißen: im Mai erreichte die Beteiligung mit 6 Millionen – das bedeutet jede*r sechste Einwohner*in – ihren Höhepunkt. Bemerkenswert ist, dass eine deutliche Mehrheit dieser Menschen Frauen sind, ebenso wie die Sprecher_innen des Bündnisses für Freiheit und Wandel.

Am 11. April verkündeten die Militärs die Absetzung von Omar al-Bashir und den Beginn einer zweijährigen Übergangsperiode, die mit Wahlen enden soll, nach denen die Macht von der Militärjunta übergeben werden soll. Diese Ankündigung wurde von der sudanesischen Bevölkerung mit Empörung aufgenommen, weil sie einen zivilen Staat fordert. Schon seit dem 6. April hatten Millionen von Demonstrant_innen aus der gesamten Region um Khartum begonnen, den Platz vor dem Hauptquartier zu besetzten und dieses sit-in wurde bis zu seiner gewaltsamen Auflösung am Ende des Ramadan am 3. Juni aufrechterhalten. Hunderte wurden getötet; weil viele Leichen in den Nil geworfen wurden, ist es schwer, eine exakte Zahl zu nennen. Mehr als 500 Menschen wurden schwer verletzt. Die Abschaltung des Internet hat die Kommunikation zwischen den Sudanesen in- und außerhalb des Landes extrem erschwert, so dass es schwierig ist, an zuverlässige Informationen zu kommen.

Nach dem Massaker hat die Afrikanische Union die Mitgliedschaft des Sudan ausgesetzt. Saudi-Arabien, die Emirate und Ägypten unterstützen weiter den Militärrat und die westlichen Länder hüllen sich ebenso wie die meisten Medien in Schweigen.

Am 30. Juni werden Sudanesen überall im Land und weltweit auf die Straßen gehen, um deutlich zu machen, dass sie ihren Traum von einem zivilen Staat, gesellschaftlichem Frieden, sozialer Gerechtigkeit und Gleichheit für alle nicht aufgeben, sondern weiter dafür kämpfen, dass er Wirklichkeit wird.

Die “Erklärung für Freiheit und Wandel” ist auf der Seite der SPA dokumentiert:

Einheit ist eine Waffe

Ali Ahmed lebt seit 2013 in Hamburg und ist Aktivist der Gruppe „Lampedusa in Hamburg“. Aktuell ist er einer von fünf Sprecher*innen, die die Interessen der sudanesischen Aufstandsbewegung im Ausland vertreten.

Am 30. Juni 1989 riss Omar al-Bashir die Macht im Sudan durch einen Militärputsch gegen eine zivile Regierung an sich. Dabei wurde er von der Islamischen Partei ideologisch massiv unterstützt. Schon zu Beginn seiner diktatorischen Herrschaft wurden Tausende entlassen und verhaftet. Nach der Ermordung von 28 Generälen, die sein Regime kritisiert hatten, im Ramadan 1993 begann eine massive Auswanderung aus politischen und ökonomischen Gründen, die die Wirtschaft des Landes erheblich beeinträchtigte.

Gleichzeitig begann im Süd-Sudan der Widerstand gegen die neuen Regeln für das öffentliche Leben, die die Islamische Partei durchgesetzt hatte, und führte bald zur Forderung nach Unabhängigkeit und eigener Verfügung über das Öl. Da das sudanesische Öl vor allem aus dem Süden stammt, bedeutete das ökonomische Probleme für das Land. Auch in anderen Teilen des Landes kam es zu kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen, die mit der Bildung einer großen Zahl von schwer bewaffneten Stammes-Milizen einherging. Die Wirtschaft litt unter den verschwenderischen Militärausgaben und wachsender Korruption, die Unterstützung von weltweit operierenden Terrorgruppen durch al-Bashir und seine Verstrickung in Anschläge führten zu Sanktionen, die die ökonomische und soziale Situation weiter verschlechterten.

Linke und andere sozialen Kräfte begannen sich zu organisieren und entwickelten politische Kampagnen mit Forderungen, die alle Menschen im Land vor Hunger und Armut bewahren würden. Diese haben in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten die Grundlage für die Revolution gelegt, die wir heute im Sudan bildeten erleben.

Die Bürger*innenproteste gegen die Regierung begannen im Dezember 2018 zunächst wegen der stark gestiegenen Brot-Preise, der allgemeinen Verschlechterung der Lebensbedingungen und des zunehmenden Zerfalsl staatlicher Infrastruktur. Schnell entwickelte sich daraus die Forderung nach dem Rücktritt al- Bashirs. Es begann in Städten mit starker Arbeiterschaft wie al Damazin, Port Sudan, Qadrif und Atbara vor allem in Norden und Osten des Landes ebenso wie in der Hauptstadt bis alle gemeinsam nach Khartum zogen, um einen zivilen Staat und das Ende der Militärdiktatur zu fordern. Beim Rücktritt von al-Bashir und wenig später, als der General und Übergangspräsident ibn Ouf zurücktrat, waren 4 Millionen Menschen mit der Forderung nach einer zivilen Regierung auf den Straßen.

Die Sudanese Professionals Alliance (SPA), eine Allianz aus 17 Branchengewerkschaften, übernahm in diesen Auseinandersetzungen die Führungsrolle, forderte die Demonstranten auf, keine Waffen auf das Militär zu richten und verlangte von der Regierung den friedlichen Protest zu respektieren. Am 1. Januar veröffentlichte sie gemeinsam mit 21 weiteren fortschrittlichen Organisationen die „Erklärung für Freiheit und Wandel“, die Grundlage eines breiteren Bündnisses ist. Unsere Stärke liegt in unserer Einheit und der Orientierung auf den Frieden. Das führte dazu, dass sich auch Teile des Militärs mit den demonstrierenden Massen solidarisierten und sich weigerten, auf sie zu schießen. Dennoch wurden die friedlichen Demonstrationen immer wieder angegriffen um sie aufzulösen. Tränengas, Gummigeschosse, aber auch immer wieder Schusswaffen wurden eingesetzt. Die Toten und Verwundeten trugen zur Empörung der Bevölkerung bei und ließen die Proteste nicht abreißen: im Mai erreichte die Beteiligung mit 6 Millionen – das bedeutet jede*r sechste Einwohner*in – ihren Höhepunkt. Bemerkenswert ist, dass eine deutliche Mehrheit dieser Menschen Frauen sind, ebenso wie die Sprecher_innen des Bündnisses für Freiheit und Wandel.

Am 11. April verkündeten die Militärs die Absetzung von Omar al-Bashir und den Beginn einer zweijährigen Übergangsperiode, die mit Wahlen enden soll, nach denen die Macht von der Militärjunta übergeben werden soll. Diese Ankündigung wurde von der sudanesischen Bevölkerung mit Empörung aufgenommen, weil sie einen zivilen Staat fordert. Schon seit dem 6. April hatten Millionen von Demonstrant_innen aus der gesamten Region um Khartum begonnen, den Platz vor dem Hauptquartier zu besetzten und dieses sit-in wurde bis zu seiner gewaltsamen Auflösung am Ende des Ramadan am 3. Juni aufrechterhalten. Hunderte wurden getötet; weil viele Leichen in den Nil geworfen wurden, ist es schwer, eine exakte Zahl zu nennen. Mehr als 500 Menschen wurden schwer verletzt. Die Abschaltung des Internet hat die Kommunikation zwischen den Sudanesen in- und außerhalb des Landes extrem erschwert, so dass es schwierig ist, an zuverlässige Informationen zu kommen.

Nach dem Massaker hat die Afrikanische Union die Mitgliedschaft des Sudan ausgesetzt. Saudi-Arabien, die Emirate und Ägypten unterstützen weiter den Militärrat und die westlichen Länder hüllen sich ebenso wie die meisten Medien in Schweigen.

Am 30. Juni werden Sudanesen überall im Land und weltweit auf die Straßen gehen, um deutlich zu machen, dass sie ihren Traum von einem zivilen Staat, gesellschaftlichem Frieden, sozialer Gerechtigkeit und Gleichheit für alle nicht aufgeben, sondern weiter dafür kämpfen, dass er Wirklichkeit wird.

Die “Erklärung für Freiheit und Wandel” ist auf der Seite der SPA dokumentiert:

39 months City Plaza: the end of an era, the beginning of a new one

On 10th July 2019 the keys of squatted City Plaza were handed back to the former employees of the hotel, to whom the mobile equipment in the building belongs. All refugees living at City Plaza have been moved to safe housing within the city.

On 22 April 2016, the Economic and Political Refugee Solidarity Initiative squatted the empty City Plaza building with a two-fold goal: to create, on the one hand, a space of safety and dignity in which to house refugees in the centre of the city and, on the other, to create a centre of struggle against racism, borders, and social exclusion. For the freedom of movement and for the right to stay.

The decision to squat was taken at a critical political juncture. On 18th March 2016, one month before the squat opened, the EU-Turkey deal to restrict the movement of refugees to Europe was signed. It was the deal that marked the end of the “summer of migration” – the period which began in July 2015 when, under pressure from approximately one million people, the European borders “opened”. This was the deal that turned the islands of the Aegean into a sort of prison for migrants, and which turned mainland Greece into a trap for over 60,000 people. The SYRIZA-ANEL government, following its capitulation to the neoliberal management of the economic crisis, took on the the implementation of a policy of control, deterrence and discouragement of migration. With Frontex and NATO patrolling the Aegean, with detention centres such as Moria on the islands, with awful camps as the only policy for housing refugees on the mainland, by punishing solidarity and the struggle of refugees. During that time, the housing issue was very pressing. The refugees who had arrived in Athens were either homeless or were being housed in the awful camps of Elliniko, Malakasa, or the port of Piraeus, while hundreds of people slept in tents or cardboard boxes in city streets and squares.

It was while these were happening that a discussion began within the Economic and Political Refugee Solidarity Initiative, which led to the decision to squat City Plaza, a hotel on Acharnon street which remained shut for seven years. The decision had certain features of voluntarism, and was not justified by the forces in our disposal, nor by the state of the anti-authoritarian movement at the time. Yet it was a move which addressed the political situation and the great struggle of the refugees who had, over the previous months, opened the borders of Fortress Europe and thus won their right to freedom of movement. It also matched the massive and spontaneous social solidarity movement which developed along the length of the migration route.

City Plaza as an example of dignified housing, space for social solidarity and cooperation between locals and migrants.

From its inception, City Plaza was organized around two key goals:

  • to create a space for safe and dignified housing for migrants in the centre of the city, a space of solidarity and cooperation between locals and migrants.
  • to function as a centre of struggle in which political and social demands by migrants and locals will interweave and complement each other.

CP proved in practice that the state policy of “hospitality” towards refugees is a mixture of harshness, incompetence, and political expediency. Where the solidarity movement, without any funding from formal institutions, without any “experts” or employees, managed to create one of the best housing spaces in the centre of the city, the state continued to abide by the trapping of refugees in makeshift camps and tents in the mainland, and by imposing a regime of refuting the rights of refugees and detaining them in hot spots on the islands, at the threat of deportation.
This contrast was the key element which led to mass support for CP at the beginning of its operation, by individual activists, organizations/collectives of the left, as well as by people who joined the movement for the first time there. Of course, because of the ownership status of the hotel, there were several attacks “from the left” which, fully aligned with the narrative of the owner and the petty bourgeois rhetoric on the “supreme human right to property”, attempt to belittle the effort, by spreading conspiracy theories (ranging from claims that we’re being funded by Soros, SYRIZA, the German State, to claims that we traffic drugs, firearms, children, and sex workers), slandering the collective and the activists who are part of it.

City Plaza proved in practice that refugees and locals can live together when, instead of isolation, punishment, and hatred, there is solidarity, struggle, and community. At the opposite pole from the camps, located outside the cities and in awful conditions, CP managed, in a difficult neighbourhood, until recently patrolled by neonazis, to brighten the formerly dark corner between Acharnon and Katrivanou, by giving it the character of security truly valued by those from below: the security of dignified housing, community, solidarity, and vitality of the people selflessly fighting for better lives.

At the same time, dozens of people showed their solidarity around the world. Through their daily presence, their participation in shifts, positive attitude and a large-scale international campaign for the financial support of the project. Dozens of crates of food and other essentials were sent to Plaza, thousands of people and groups made donations to support the project, which relied solely on donations for its survival.

City Plaza also served as a centre for struggle. Aiming to internationally denounce the anti-refugee policies of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and the EU, we brought to the fore topics such as criminal responsibility for shipwrecks and loss of human life, the delay or obstruction of sea rescue, the practice of illegal pushbacks in Evros and the Aegean, the conditions of imprisonment in hotspots. City Plaza hosted dozens of open discussions on the border regime, racism, the struggle for rights, often featuring contributions by well-known intellectuals from around the world, such as Judith Butler, Angela Davis, David Harvey, Alain Badiou, Sandro Mezzandra, among others. Yet the goal was not just to highlight issues relating to migrant struggles, but also to link them to the struggles of locals. In the rallies for International Worker’s Day, the Polytechnic Uprising, antifascist and feminist protests, the City Plaza block was present throughout the three years.

The City Plaza community: Practices, Rights, Cooperation.

The answer to the question of what City Plaza is is known to the thousands of people who passed through its doors: CP is a project for the realisation of a conception of everyday life which aims to empower those “from below”, in the constitution of a space of freedom, which practically realises an aspect of the society we envision.

Its mode of operation expressed a politics of everyday life which is in opposition to the dominant model of managing migration, especially to its “NGOisation”. At the core of this voluntary contribution of time, effort, and emotion was not the “provision of services” to “the vulnerable” but the attempt to combat insecurity and fear, to empower and encourage confidence and trust in the collective. Help to refugees was re-politicised – and became solidarity and common struggle. Self-organisation, shared responsibility and decision making were central, as was a constant reflection on the inequalities permeating relations within the project: localisation, class, gender, language, education, etc.

Despite the inherent contradictions and difficulties, the collective experience of organising everyday life was the foundation for building a strong community of solidarity. At the same time, in this context, and in contrast to dominant victimising narratives, refugees and migrants became dynamic subjects with an active role on social and political life.

Daily life at CP was based on the principle of participatory organisation and collective decision making and operations, processes particularly complex in a community of 350 people speaking different languages, and with different ethnic, class, and social backgrounds, and different plans for the future. Regular coordination meetings became the space in which equal discussion took place on issues of operation and organisation, while House meetings were – especially in the beginning – a real lesson in how we can and should discuss, operate, and co-implement, as refugees and as locals. The organisation of residents and solidarians into working groups was a component of organising the project but also an essential basis for developing personal and political relationships amongst ourselves. The working groups were: Reception, Education, Children’s Activities, Health Centre, Kitchen, Security, Economics, Cleaning, Communications, as well as a self-organized Women’s Space.

In its 36 months of operation, City Plaza hosted over 2,500 refugees from 13 different countries. About 100 of the 126 rooms of the hotel hosted 350 refugees at any one time, while the remaining 26 either served as communal spaces (classrooms, women’s space, storage space) or to host solidarians from around the world. It was, after all, City Plaza’s political choice to not serve as a housing space “for” refugees but as a space of cohabitation and shared everyday life.

Yet we will not provide statistics referring to countries of origin, ages or ‘vulnerable” cases. In contrast, we will provide “statistics” on the enormous amount of resources that the movement was able to mobilise in order to keep City Plaza going:

* 812,250 hot meals were prepared by the kitchen team

* 74,500 work hours on security shifts

* 28,630 hours of shifts at reception

* 5,100 hours of language teaching and creative educational activities

* 69,050 rolls of toilet paper

However, the most important things cannot be counted. They have to do with human relationships, mutual respect and solidarity, emotions and experiences, optimism born out of common struggle.

The end of an era, the beginning of a new one

Such a project demands enormous resources. It is not a political squat which can stay closed for a couple of days in August without any problems. It is a space which demands a daily commitment, responsibility, and presence. Besides, the way we see it, self-organization is not automatic. To the contrary, it requires many hours of work, often endless processes of shared decision making, and interminable difficulties. In other words, self-organization and solidarity are not theory. They are action in the here and now. Action full of contradictions and life’s problems. In a society in which authoritarianism, war, capitalism, and competition between the subjugated is considered normal, while multiple divisions and hierarchies permeate us all, because of our origins, genders, and class backgrounds, self-organisation is not a slogan. It is a struggle.

Unfortunately, as often happens in many self-organized projects, enthusiasm, commitment, and participation dwindle over time – especially when circumstances are so demanding. The fact that the overwhelming majority of City Plaza residents are in transit made it impossible to hand the operation of the squat completely over to the refugees as most of them, sooner or later, left for Europe. At the same time, the material resources required for a project of such size – for food, hygiene products, medications, building maintenance – became harder to come by, despite the fact that comrades throughout Europe have demonstrated extraordinary commitment.

On the basis of all of the above, shortly before City Plaza celebrated its two-year anniversary, and following calls to collectives and spaces which supported the project from its inception, there opened a difficult and contradictory discussion on how long City Plaza can carry on, or whether and how it should adapt, given that we did not wish to see the project decline. There was a dilemma on whether we would move towards the direction of “normalising/ legalising” the squat or towards completing the project, while also looking for new ways to keep the community it created alive in a different context.
The first option was found to be politically undesirable, as it clashes with City Plaza’s character as a political alternative to NGOisation, and leads to a disconnect between the issues of safe housing and collective struggle and rights demands more generally.

We decided that, despite it being a difficult choice, City Plaza should rightly close the way it began and operated: as a political project, by protecting the central element which turned it into a example, that is organisation from below, safe and dignified living, community of struggle, and addressed to society as a whole.

During the House meeting of 26th May 2018, we jointly decided on this direction – not without contradictions and disagreements – and there was an extensive discussion about how to implement such a decision. Beginning in June 2018, City Plaza did not accept new residents, while there was a collective commitment that the project would not wind down until every resident had found acceptable accommodation. This commitment was not at all simple to implement. The wider circumstances of dealing with the refugee question – both from the point of view of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and from the point of view of NGOs, did not provide an opportunity to provide institutionally guaranteed housing to residents, while other spaces and squats could not house such a large number of refugees, despite positive attempts to support this.

One year on, and while the project was winding down, the expected change in the political landscape, with the imminent re-election of New Democracy, made it imperative to once more address the pace at which the project is progressing towards its close, taking into account the fact that, over the past several months, several refugees had gradually moved to safe housing. Plaza has two pending court orders for its evacuation, while high-ranking New Democracy members made daily references to the “destruction of private property” and the “lawlessness” at City Plaza. In this respect, evacuation could be used as a deterrent, while many refugees, especially those with no fixed legal status, could face disproportionate consequences (deportation, detention, etc.). Even though, for some, an evacuation by New Democracy could be seen as a “heroic exit”, for which few political explanations would need to be given, nevertheless most City Plaza residents would be put in danger, especially in view of their already vulnerable and unstable status.

This reconfirmed the decision to bring City Plaza to a close, on a collective basis and in our own terms. All refugees found safe housing. In the almost eighteen months between the decision to shut down and its implementation, most refugees moved on towards Northern Europe. Out of those who remained at City Plaza, some had the opportunity to rent their own place, as they had since found employment, while others still resorted to collective solutions. Through shared spaces and other housing projects which we have already put in place, along with the impossibly persistent network of all the people who actively participated in the project (refugees and solidarians), the community will continue to exist long after the building has been abandoned.

City Plaza’s closure is linked to the wider movement’s inability to develop effective forms of organization, mobilisation, and discourse on the refugee questions, which match the demands of the time. It is true that many parts of the wider social movement decided on different degrees of involvement, being unable to support the project and/or develop similar ones, which would galvanise our efforts through a new dynamic. This position is not apportioning blame, but highlights the project as part of a wider social and political process, reflecting the ideological-political and organisational crisis within the movement, with which we will have to deal in the next phase.

City Plaza was an invaluable political experience for all who took part, but also a political event far greater than the sum of its parts. Without exaggeration, CP was the pan-European symbol which concentrated resistance to the racist and repressive migration regime of the EU, following the closure of the borders after the EU-Turkey deal was signed. Equally, it served as a strong counter-example at a time of pessimism and demobilisation for the left, and a time of resurgence for the far right.

City Plaza was a great struggle which, like all great struggles, cannot be counted as a clear victory or a clear defeat. It is a chapter in antiracist and migration struggles and, at the same time, an experiment in social movements, an unexpected mix of different needs, sociopolitical, gendered, and class experiences. This meeting, like every mixture, needs some time for the multiple experiences to settle and leave their trace on our individual and collective consciousness.In this milieu, new forms of resistance, struggle, and relationships of cooperation and solidarity will form – in Athens as well as in the dozens of cities at which City Plaza residents will arrive, as well as in the daily struggles against the barbarism or racism and repressive policies.

The City Plaza collective was, from the beginning, aware of its contradictory makeup. The alternative it proposed could not but me incomplete, dependent on the circumstances in which it was born and the subjective capacities of the movement and its people, with their brains, hearts, and bodies. Yet it was also restricted, like every struggle for rights and equal participation, which impinges on the power of capitalist exploitation, the imposition and reproduction of nationalist, racist, and gendered hierarchies and divisions.

City Plaza is a link in a chain of struggles for social emancipation. A peculiar struggle, as it began from the small and the everyday, from how to cook the food and how to clean the building, and extended to resistance to the border regime and to multiple levels of discrimination. For those of us who took part in it, CP was an opportunity to redefine and to reflect on political thought and practice, relations of power, everyday life, cohabitation and its terms, self-organisation and its contradictions. We say goodbye to S(p)iti Plaza with one promise: to transfer this rich experience, to continue to enrich and broaden the ways and the places of common struggle.

Solidarity will win!

Source: https://www.facebook.com/sol2refugeesen/

The Greek Version can be found in Daily Resistance #6

Memorial in Thermi, 29th of September 2019

They demand us to struggle and to invent a Europe of solidarity, overcoming the deathly migration regime.”

When we came together on Sunday in the harbour of Thermi to remember the dead of the European border regime, we could not know what would happen only shortly afterwards again: that people would lose their lives, when a fire broke out and many containers burnt down inside Moria camp.

http://lesvos.w2eu.net/2019/09/30/this-was-not-an-accident/

Faride Tajik, an afghan mother lost her life. Whether she died together with her child is still unclear.

It was no surprise and no accident, it is not the first time and not the last time. This cruel system of deterrence and blocking of the European migration regime killed them. We face again the cruelty and the deadliness of this border regime in these days. On Tuesday 24 September, during the memorial in Korakas , we learned that a 5-year-old boy had lost his life when he was run-over by a truck in front of the hot-spot Moria. On Friday 27 September a boat was sinking close to Chios and 7 people, among them two children lost their lives.

On Sunday, when several containers already burned in a huge fire with a lot of smoke, those imprisoned and locked in the closed sector of the camp, started in panic to try to break the doors – and the response of the police was throwing tear-gas to add it to the smoke to a toxic mix.

The spontaneous speech Kashef held in the end of the memorial can be seen in a way as a comment on this before we all knew it.

 

We came together here in the harbour of Thermi for remembering the dead of the European border regime.

Together with family members and friends of missing people we started to build memorials, first in Korakas on Lesvos, then in Evros, later again on Lesvos. We wanted to build a space where we can mourn for a certain time with the relatives and show our concern and anger about these lives lost. Lost because European politicians are not willing to find solutions in human ways to welcome fleeing people. Now we look back at 10 years during which we remembered all these human lives, lost for nothing.

We wish that such memorials don’t have to exist anymore, that people don’t lose their lives senselessly crossing borders.

The memorial in Thermi was destroyed in August 2018 by fascists who proudly announced it in an anonymous phone call to a local newspaper. But destroying a memorial cannot erase the memories of the people and we will continue building memorials and keeping the names

Since we started to remember here in Thermi in 2013 every year we had to come back. Every year the death by the border regime continued. Every year we came and we renewed the promise not to give up until the killing stops.

Sylvie who survived when a boat was sinking in the North of Lesvos on 23rd of April 2017 was with us in the memorial again – it was the third time she commemorated together with us. Sylvie and another woman from Congo who was 8-months pregnant had drifted for many hours in the sea until they where finally rescued. Sylvie held a speech in the memorial and she spoke also during the festival the day before about her experience. The main message of her speech:

When I was in the water for so long, I just believed that I would survive. It was this strong belief that helped me to hold on for so long until rescue finally came. I want to share with all of you that there is hope to survive, even in the hardest moment and I want to encourage all those who suffer not to stop to believe that there will be a way.”

Baris a Kurdish Violin player who was in Belgium before and had returned to Istanbul was on the same boat sinking on which only Sylvie and Joelle survived. When he had asked for a visa to continue his studies in Belgium and continue playing with his music group in Gent, he was refused the visa. Because of this, he was obliged to try the dangerous way through the sea to get back to Belgium.

His body was found embracing his violin case. His family has buried him in Istanbul. His music friends in Belgium played a Kurdish song in his memory that we want to share. In Baris memory and for all humans who lost their lives trying to reach a safer life in Europe. We will never give up remembering all these lives lost on the European borders.

video by Ehab Onan

Since the EU-Turkey-deal in March 2016 the European border-regime caused death also in the “hot-spots” on the Aegean islands. In 2019 again we are aware about people who died in the sea and caused by the inhumanity of the living conditions.

We remember today Jean-Paul Abouateng, 24 years old from Cameroun. A radio-journalist and father of a baby. He died in January this year in the hot-spot Moria during the cold season.

In April 2019 the family of a nine-year-old afghan girl, missing near the shore of Lesvos, searched with many people for weeks the beaches until she was found dead.

In June 2019 a boat with people from Cameroun and Congo sank near Lesvos, nine people died, among them two little girls.

We remember today:

Nadege

Patcheko Konkoudi

Cele Nsanga Tesi

Astrid Onya

Orsitte Siladio

Linda Siladio

Fatima Ngali

In August 2019 a 15-year-old Afghan minor was killed during a violent fight among minors inside the so-called “safe space” in the hot-spot Moria. He was travelling with his two younger brothers to join their family in Europe.

On Tuesday, while we were down in Korakas to renew the memorial there, we learned about a 5-year-old afghan boy, who just died being run-over by a truck in front of Moria, when he played inside a cardboard. Only a few days after authorities have shut down the kindergarden of “teamhumanity” were hundreds of children had played safely before.

This Europe is not safe, human rights and refugee rights have lost all relevance! The victims ask the ones alive to take action against this Europe of Frontex – borders and walls. They demand us to struggle and to invent a Europe of solidarity, overcoming the deathly migration regime.

We invite you to have a moment of silence together with us – and then to move on: to tear down the borders and to build another, a welcoming Europe.

“Listen to our voices!”: Tear-gas and protests in overcrowded Katsikas Camp

Refugee residents from Katsikas refugee camp, managed by Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB), call for solidarity as officials try to place newcomers from the Aegean Islands in the already overcrowded camp. About 100-200 refugees are protesting right now. Riot police has been called to assist the camp management. Residents report of scared kids and tear-gas. They say conditions have been already squalid before while no one is listening to their problems.

“We are already around 1,500 people living here. The officials say we are only 1,000, but thats not true. There is no assistance to us. Now they want to put 2-3 families in one container; about 10-12 people. They say to us: `Here is Greece. You don’t have a right to speak. You are migrants. You have to listen to us.` There is no security, no rules here, no doctor… We have many problems. Yesterday they brought new people here from Kos. Today they want to bring more from Lesvos. They come with the police to knock the doors and put more people inside. The kids get scared, the families get scared. They want to force us to accept whatever they decide. Now the riot police entered the camp and they shot tear-gas on our kids. People are asking why Greece is doing that to them? Why nobody listens to our voices? We are human beings! We want to be respected! It is no solution to transfer the problems of inhuman living conditions from the islands to the mainland. We demand a life in dignity inside the cities and not in isolated and overcrowded camps! We demand freedom for all!”

 

 

Δεν ήταν ατύχημα!

Αιτία θανάτου: Η πολιτική αποτροπής και κράτησης της Ευρώπης!

Photo: private

Χθες, Κυριακή 29 Σεπτεμβρίου 2019, ξέσπασε πυρκαγιά στο λεγόμενο hotspot της Μόριας στη Λέσβο. Μια γυναίκα και πιθανώς και ένα παιδί έχασαν τη ζωή τους στη φωτιά, ενώ παραμένει ασαφές πόσοι άλλοι τραυματίστηκαν. Πολλοί άνθρωποι έχασαν στη φωτιά όλα τους τα υπάρχοντα, ακόμα και τα χαρτιά τους. Οι άνθρωποι που βρίσκονται εγκλωβισμένοι στη Λέσβο έφύγαν λόγω των πολέμων και των συγκρούσεων και τώρα βιώνουν τη βία στην Ευρώπη. Πολλές και πολλοί τραυματίστηκαν ξανά από αυτά τα τραγικά γεγονότα, ενώ αρκετές και αρκετοί αναγκάστηκαν να διανυκτερεύσουν στο δάσος φοβούμενοι για τις ζωές τους.

Τις τελευταίες εβδομάδες, είδαμε δύο ακόμη θανάτους στο hotspot της Μόριας: Τον Αύγουστο ένας 15χρονος Αφγανός ανήλικος σκοτώθηκε κατά τη διάρκεια μιας βίαιης διαμάχης μεταξύ ανηλίκων μέσα στον αποκαλούμενο «safe zone» του στρατοπέδου. Στις 24 Σεπτεμβρίου, ένα 5χρονο αγόρι έχασε τη ζωή του όταν το πάτησε ένα φορτηγό μπροστά από την πύλη του στρατοπέδου.

Η φωτιά χθες δεν μας προκάλεσε έκπληξη, δεν ήταν ένα τυχαίο περιστατικό. Δεν είναι η πρώτη και δεν θα είναι η τελευταία. Πυρκαγιές στο hotspot της Μόριας έχουν ξεσπάσει ήδη αρκετές φορές στο παρελθόν, με πιο τραγικό το περιστατικό του Νοέμβριο του 2016, όταν μεγάλα τμήματα του στρατοπέδου είχαν καεί ολοσχερώς. Το σκληρό καθεστώς αποτροπής και κράτησης της Ευρώπης αφαίρεσε και πάλι ζωές.

Εν τω μεταξύ, στα μέσα μαζικής ενημέρωσης, αμέσως εφευρέθηκε μια ιστορία, λέγοντας ότι οι ίδιοι οι πρόσφυγες έβαλαν τη φωτιά. Αναφέρθηκε ακόμα ότι εμπόδισαν την είσοδο στην πυροσβεστική. Έχουμε μιλήσει με πολλούς ανθρώπους που ήταν μπροστά στα γεγονότα. Μας λένε μια πολύ διαφορετική ιστορία: Η πυροσβεστική έφτασε πολύ αργά, πράγμα που δεν εκπλήσει κανέναν, δεδομένου του υπερπληθυσμού αυτού του τερατώδους hotspot. Παρά την επίσημη χωρητικότητά του για 3.000 άτομα, τώρα διαμένουν τουλάχιστον 12.500 ανθρώποι υποφέρωντας κάτω από φρικτές συνθήκες διαβίωσης. Στα βίντεο από κινητά τηλεφώνα που τραβήχτηκαν από τους εγκλωβισμένους στο στρατοπέδο, μπορεί κανείς να δει πως σε αυτό το χάος, οι κάτοικοι και η πυροσβεστική έκαναν μαζί  ό,τι μπορούσαν για να αποτρέψουν τουλάχιστον μια ακόμη μεγαλύτερη καταστροφή.

Είναι προφανές πως δεν μπορεί να υπάρξει ένα σχέδιο έκτακτης ανάγκης σε ένα στρατόπεδο που έχει υπερβεί την χωρητικότητά κατά τέσσερις φορές. Όταν αρκετά container άρχισαν να καίγονται από μια τεράστια φωτιά που δημιούργησε σύννεφα καπνού, οι εγκλωβισμένοι που βρίσκονταν κλειδωμένοι στον κλειστό τομέα του στρατοπέδου άρχισαν να πανικοβάλλονται προσπαθώντας να σπάσουν τις πόρτες για να γλιτώσουν. Η μόνη ενέργεια από τις αρχές ήταν να φέρουν αμέσως την αστυνομία η οποία έκανε ρίψη δακρυγόνων, κάνοντας την ατμόσφαιρα ακόμα πιο τοξική.

Θυμός και  θλίψη για όλους αυτούς τους παράλογους θανάτους και τραυματισμούς προστέθηκαν στην ήδη εκρηκτική ατμόσφαιρα της Μόριας, όπου χιλιάδες υποφέρουν περιμένοντας για μακρύ χρονικό διάστημα να αλλάξει κάτι στη ζωή τους. Εκείνοι που ποινικοποιούν και καταδικάζουν την κατακραυγή με τη μορφή ταραχών κόσμου που μένει στη Μόρια δεν μπορούν ούτε να διανοηθούν την εντελώς απάνθρωπη ζωή που βιώνουν καθημερινά. Η πραγματική βία είναι η ίδια η Μόρια, οι συνθήκες της οποίας δεν είναι παρά αποτέλεσμα του καθεστώτος συνοριακής πολιτικής αποτροπής της ΕΕ.

Υψώνουμε τις φωνές μας αλληλέγγυες και αλληλέγγυοι με τον κόσμο της Μόριας και απαιτούμε ξανά: Η μόνη πιθανότητα να τερματιστεί αυτός ο πόνος και ο θάνατος είναι να ανοίξουν τα νησιά και να υπάρξει ελευθερία μετακίνησης για όλους και όλες. Όσες και όσοι φτάνουν στα νησιά πρέπει να συνεχίσουν το ταξίδι τους μήπως και καταφέρουν να βρουν  κάπου ένα μέρος ασφάλειας και αξιοπρέπειας. Απαιτούμε τα πλοία της γραμμής να μεταφέρουν άμεσα τους εξαντλημένους και εκ νέου τραυματισμένους ανθρώπους στην ηπειρωτική Ελλάδα. Χρειαζόμαστε ακτοπλοϊκά δρομολόγια, όχι την Frontex. Χρειαζόμαστε ανοιχτά σύνορα, έτσι ώστε όλες και όλοι να συνεχίσουν να κινούνται, ακόμα και πέρα από την Ελλάδα. Εκείνοι που ξεφεύγουν από τα νησιά δεν πρέπει να φυλακίζονται για άλλη μια φορά σε στρατόπεδα στην ηπειρωτική Ελλάδα, με συνθήκες ίδιες με εκείνες που υπάρχουν στα νησιά.

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