Kompass-newsletter No. 111 - 02/2023


6 February transnational: Decentralised CommemorActions +++ 10-12 February in Frankfurt: transnational Social Strike meeting +++ 19 February: Three years after the racist terrorist attack in Hanau +++ 24-26 February in Osnabrück: We`ll Come United +++ 27/28 February in Niamey (and online): Alarm Phone Sahara Conference +++ Central Med: Echoes No. 4 +++ Central Med: Alarm Phone Analysis +++ UNFAIR Days of Action in Geneva +++ "The human despite all": article by Charles Heller +++ Border Forensics on Frontex drones in the Mediterranean +++ Rome: Remarkable verdict in the 10 October 2013 trial +++ Publication: Borders of Violence +++ Overview figures on 2022 +++ Review: Oury Jalloh Demonstration 


Dear friends

The beginning of the year tempts us to take stock of 2022. Last year's statistics for Germany seem remarkable: around 1.2 million people seeking protection arrived here. Of these, around 1 million people from Ukraine who were able to enter freely and obtain a secure residence permit relatively easily. Almost 200,000 people from other countries - especially Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq - have managed to reach Germany and have filed new asylum applications. This - excluding Ukraine - is the highest number since 2015! Their protection quota, i.e. the number of recognitions, is higher than ever at 56%. "Adjusted" for e.g. rejections due to Dublin procedures, it is even 72%. And then there are the cases won in court. 

These are impressive figures that reflect how, against all restrictions and obstacles - despite stricter visa regulations and despite increasing state violence at the European external borders - the "People on the Move" are asserting themselves in thousands of "small struggles" and that flight and migration movements still cannot be stopped. 

While Frontex has been politically put on the defensive, its new boss has had to vow to do better and officially distance itself from the push-back policy, the anti-racist support networks have at least not become weaker. At the Transborder Summer Camp in July 2022, more groups and activists came together than in the summer of 2019. The civilian rescue fleet (ships, search planes, hotline) in the central Mediterranean - another measure of continuity for the defence of human rights - also grew by a few more actors in 2022. So much for some positive highlights.

A question that has recently raised and rightly throws any optimistic balance into a tailspin: can it be that while networking is steadily increasing, at the same time the border regime is becoming ever more brutalised? The racist massacre in Melilla in June 2022 as one piece of evidence, the persistently high death toll in the Mediterranean as another. Add to this continued push-backs at almost all external borders and a particularly unleashed violence at the Greek-Turkish border. New right-wing and nationalist parties as government supporters - as in Sweden - or even post-fascists in power - as in Italy. In any case, the political map of the EU has not changed for the better or even the fairer in the last year. And we haven't even mentioned war and crisis, militarisation and climate emergency, increasing impoverishment and precarisation yet...  

Well, it is precisely these "big" issues for which the platform for a Transnational Social Strike from 10 to 12 February 2023 in Frankfurt is creating discussion spaces. In order to talk and exchange in a transnational composition about how we assess the increasingly complex world social upheavals and contradictions, how we can and want to move and intervene in them. "Great leaps" are certainly not to be expected from this - or at least not in the short term. But perhaps a better placement and also encouragement for the many "small struggles" for freedom of movement and equal rights, which we will continue in 2023 in any case. 

With solidarity greetings,

the Kompass crew