The Pope in Lesvos +++ Read our Stories-Watch our Videos-Listen our Voices: new website of refugees and migrants in Tripoli +++ On 18.12. transnational in many cities: Abolish Frontex +++ On 17 and 20.12. in Wiesbaden: More relatives from Hanau in the investigation committee +++ New publication of Afrique-Europe-Interact +++ 7.1.2022 in: Oury Jalloh demonstration - new expertise! +++ https://feministasylum.org/ -Europe-wide petition +++ Death and Push-Backs in the Channel +++ Alarm Phone: Western Med Report and video clip for donations +++ Medico: On the situation at the Polish-Belarusian border +++ Migration Control with monthly newsletter and assessment of the coalition agreement +++ The Guardian on Fortress Europe +++ Reviews: Statement on IMK, return after deportation from Saxony +++ Outlook: Freedom Conference for El Hiblu 3 end of March 2022 in Malta; Transborder Summer Camp in July 2022
„… The Mediterranean, which for millennia has brought different peoples and distant lands together, is now becoming a grim cemetery without tombstones. This great basin of water, the cradle of so many civilizations, now looks like a mirror of death. Let us not let our sea (mare nostrum) be transformed into a desolate sea of death (mare mortuum). Let us not allow this place of encounter to become a theatre of conflict. Let us not permit this “sea of memories” to be transformed into a “sea of forgetfulness”. Please brothers and sisters, let us stop this shipwreck of civilization! …”
Pope Francis, “Reception and Identification Centre" in Mytilene/Lesvos, Sunday, 5 December 2021
That we would introduce our 100th issue with a quote from the Pope is something we could hardly have imagined almost 10 years ago, when we started the Kompass AntiRa newsletter, which has been published (almost) monthly since 2012. And not easy to say whether this is progress or above all an expression of regression.
It is undoubtedly remarkable that such a strong position is repeatedly taken from the Vatican for the people on the move and against the border regime. At the end of October, Pope Francis had already preached from Rome with clear words and explicitly for the migrants and refugees in Tripoli. Now this sharp appeal to those responsible directly in Lesvos.
In sea rescue - especially when boats in the central Mediterranean between Malta and Italy are ignored by the coast guards there and their calls for help from the Alarm Phone are made public via Twitter - actors from the Catholic Church are regularly involved in real time, mostly behind the scenes. Bitter to see that even this engagement often does not help and fades away at the walls of the EU's policy of deterrence.
But it is more than comforting, and in many individual cases decisive in the contested space of the Mediterranean, that broad alliances exert pressure, accuse, scandalise again and again until rescue finally takes place. In November - due to the good weather with relatively many departures - the civilian fleet once again proved with its permanent presence that it is the "civilMRCC" - the cooperation of Alarm Phone, the small aircraft of Sea Watch and the various NGO ships - that makes the difference.
By the end of December 2021, the Alarm Phone will have supported over 350 boats between Libya or Tunisia and Lampedusa or Malta alone, more than double the number in 2020. At the same time, there are again increasing crossings from Turkey to Calabria and persistently from Morocco or Western Sahara to Spain and the Canary Islands. The Atlantic route is even more dangerous than the central Mediterranean route simply because of wind and weather - with a correspondingly high rate of drownings and disappearances.
The "German backing" for the ongoing border crimes in Southern and Eastern Europe - whether in Greece, the Balkans or Poland - is unlikely to change much with the new “Ampel”-government. The fact that the Social Democrats have made a woman Federal Minister of the Interior who in recent years has not only verbally but also practically opposed right-wing, racist violence - and who was involved in Hanau in setting up the committee of enquiry that is now underway - could indeed raise hopes. Hopes, that the time of the repressive, anti-migration policy of Horst Seehofer and his predecessors is finally history.
But as experience has shown time and again: Caution is the order of the day, with the SPD as well as with the Greens, at the latest as soon as they come to power. It is no coincidence that "deportation- offensive" is a term from the new coalition agreement, in which the brutal deportation policy is to be continued. Nevertheless, the anti-racist movement - in all its breadth - should leave no stone unturned to use new leeway and, in any case, confront the verbal claims of the new government with the injustice of everyday deportations and exclusions.
With solidarity greetings,
the Kompass crew