+++ From Rabat via Barcelona to Hamburg: for "Boza" and freedom of movement +++ 9.12. in Berlin: "Cause of death: flight" - against deadly indifference +++ Sea bridge to 10 December - Not my Europe +++ 12./13.12. in Gap and Berlin: Solidarity with the Briancon 7 +++ 13.12. - 17.12.2018 in Marburg, Hannover, Göttingen, Dresden, Berlin: Film screening & discussion: Moria 35 (Lesvos) +++ 15.12. in Büren: Preparatory meeting for "100 years against deportation detention" +++ Seebrücke: Map for safe harbours +++ Recommendations to read: Migration pact, quarter politics and migration, newspaper by Afrique-Europe-Interact +++ Campaigns for CitizenAsylum - in Berlin and nationwide +++ Civil Fleet: Joint deployment in the central Mediterranean +++ Alarm Phone: Report and call for donations +++ Harmanli 21/Border crossings in Bulgaria +++ Caravan of migrants in Mexico +++ Review: Series of public events on the Alarm Phone Sahara +++ Outlook: Demo for family reunification on 2 February in Berlin; Next meeting We'll Come United on 9/10 February 2019 in Frankfurt+++
Rabat, Barcelona and Hamburg: it was no coincidence that simultaneous meetings and conferences took place in these three cities at the beginning of December. In Hamburg it was about follow-up and further planning at We'll Come United after the great anti-racist parade at the end of September. The Welcome to Europe network met in Barcelona to organise the distribution of the newly produced "Welcome to Spain" brochures (see http://w2eu.info/spain.en.html ) and to prepare a transnational summer camp for summer 2019. Finally, Morocco: an impressive meeting of around 80 WatchTheMed Alarm Phone activists took place in Oujda at the beginning of November. Numerous Sub-Saharan activists took part and a lively exchange succeeded against the background of daily crossing attempts as well as arbitrary raids, arrests and "banishment-transports" to southern Morocco. This makes it all the more remarkable that on 1 December, despite and against these intensified repressions, around 400 participants gathered at a conference of self-organised migrants in Rabat. From the impressive short report: "...partly the whole hall chanted "Boza" (the call for freedom at the fences of Ceuta and Melilla), partly tears flowed, for instance when children and youths from 11 countries (including Morocco) performed a play about the common togetherness in Morocco...".
The western Mediterranean, i.e. from Morocco to Spain, and then further towards France and beyond, has developed into the most important escape route to Europe in terms of numbers for the first time in 2018. Almost 60,000 people (as of 5.12.18) have made it across the sea in small boats or climbing over the fences of Ceuta and Melilla. At the same time, solidarity structures in Spain have multiplied, and migration movements have initially created new spaces here.
In the Aegean, about 30,000 people landed on the Greek islands in 2018, slightly more than last year. The overcrowding and undersupply in the hotspots has become a permanent condition, while on the land border with Turkey the practice of illegal pushbacks continues unabated - and in the last few days has apparently claimed the first fatalities of this winter, when three refugees on the Turkish side of the border river apparently froze to death after a pushback by Greek border police.
Finally, the central Mediterranean, where the EU's equipment of Libyan interception militias, the closure of ports in Italy and the blocking and criminalisation of sea rescue for 2018 has simultaneously led to the lowest numbers of arrivals and the highest death rate. In view of this, the three rescue organisations Sea Watch, Pro Activa Open Arms and Mediterranea published a joint manifesto on 23rd November.
The manifesto states: "That is why we have formed an alliance for a ´Europa in solidarity`, both at sea and on land and in the air. A humanitarian fleet consisting of Mediterranea, Open Arms and Sea-Watch, but open to other organisations, is setting sail together; a fleet closely linked to and supported by a network of humanitarian cities, movements and civil organisations around the world to defend the most basic human rights: Life and dignity. We will prove that active civil society is not only ready to save lives at sea, but is also able to create a new Europe and a just reception system on land. We call on European cities, mayors, citizens, associations, movements, organisations and all those who believe in our mission to act. Join our civil alliance and let us stand up together and courageously demand a future full of respect and equality. We will stand together for the right to come and for the right to stay..."
This can only be underlined and as already quoted in the last Kompass by We`ll Come United: From the Sea to the Cities, from the external borders to the inner cities, it's about an "uprising of solidarity", the establishment and expansion of daily structures for freedom of movement and equal rights for all. The "Relocation from below", the safe onward journey and distribution of arrivals according to their interests and community structures in Europe, marks a pillar of this struggle. In the coming months, the strong mobilisation of the sea bridge and the declarations of readiness of many mayors and municipalities must be continued and the pressure for concrete implementation intensified. Feasible proposals for municipal refugee reception with refinancing by EU funds have long been on the table.
"Whoever doesn't drown will be deported?" This is a slogan on one of the posters of https://aktionbuergerinnenasyl.de/ . And brings the connection with it to the point. We need joint campaigns against exclusion and deportation, which will once again become more powerful in everyday life and which will practically stand up to the racist offensive of the border regime - with the same tenacity as the flight and migration movements themselves.
P.S.: Special greetings of solidarity also go to the other side of the Atlantic, where thousands of Central American migrants demand their right to come and stay in common marches to the north. A central slogan: "We are not criminals, we are international workers".