Kompass-newsletter No. 118 - 10/2023


Hot Spot System collapsed - Maldusa on the situation on Lampedusa +++ 3 and 11 October: 10 years after the 2013 shipwrecks +++ 6-8 October: Actions against GEAS +++ Pro Asyl on the new „crisis regulation“ +++ 10-11 October in Brussels: Moving Cities/Solidarity Cities reshaping migration +++ 27-29 October in Bologna: next meeting of the Transnational Social Strike Platform +++ 28.10.-1.11.: Nationwide action days against the „Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz“ +++ Echoes No.8 - Struggles for Freedom of Movement +++ Refugees in Libya - new structures, new campaign +++ Relaunch of the Welcome to Europe Webguide +++

Dear friends.

Put Ursula von der Leyen in a small life raft on the Mediterranean Sea for just a few hours. Locking up Nancy Faeser and Annalena Baerbock (the German ministers responsible for CEAS) in a detention camp in Sicily for just one day. Knock out at least one of the teeth of Friedrich Merz (who try to make responsible refugees for waiting times at dentists)… Who doesn't have such fantasies in view of the new wave of racist agitation and inhuman laws? Unbearable statements and proposals by politicians of almost all political parties dominate all media. The ruling poly-crisis - war and climate, lack of housing and lack of social services - is looking for its scapegoats and - what a surprise - finds them in the flight and migration movements.

We remain at the side of those who make it across the borders despite and against all escalated violence in the Mediterranean or the Balkans, despite and against all attempts of externalisation and criminalisation. It is communities and migration chains that have grown up, with and in which those seeking protection and prospects assert themselves. More than 200,000 asylum seekers have made their way to Germany this year by the end of August, even though the Frontex budget will soon reach the billion mark. Over 130,000 people have arrived in Italy via the central Mediterranean, even though post-fascists rule there. This must not only be recognised as a daily struggle for appropriation, but also supported (further): by any means necessary!            

In the September issue of Kompass, we had already focused on the arrivals in Lampedusa. In view of the incredible dynamics of the last few weeks, we want and need to do it again. „With 112 landings and more than 5000 people on the move reaching Lampedusa in one single day, the 12th of September 2023 marked a new level of breaking through the Central Mediterranean borders. … It remembers - not in its dimension but in its moments and spirit - the summer of migration in the Aegean Sea and on the Balkan route in 2015: a volatile situation of, on the one hand, humanitarian crises, border violence, and deaths at sea, and on the other hand, the powerful struggle for freedom of movement with thousands of people overcoming the violent and racist border regime.“

We would like to continue these introductory lines of the new issue of "Echoes" with a longer quote from a current text at medico international: "...The camp for refugees on Lampedusa, called a "hotspot" and surrounded by a fence, officially has space for 389 people. But on 12 September alone, 112 makeshift boats from Tunisia with a total of more than 5,000 people reached the Italian island in the Mediterranean. In a single day, the population of the island doubled, the capacity of the camp, which was already far too small, was blown up, the high fences were overcome. Now the people who had previously been made invisible stand in the midst of residents and tourists - and they experience solidarity. Brought out of the invisibility of the camp, the helpfulness of the people on Lampedusa awakens with the people. Our partner organisation Maldusa, which supports the arrivals on Lampedusa, describes how the refugees are provided with blankets, water, pizzas and arancini are served, volunteers clarify needs and how they are met...  While we are once again stunned by an escalating discourse of fear of migration, Lampedusa - just like the welcoming of the Syrians in 2015 or the Ukrainians in 2022 - shows how friendly and helpful dealing with people on the move can be. A reason to hope for a Europe of openness and support, of arrival and of enabling access to rights that every human being in this world is entitled to by birth."

In this spirit, with greetings of solidarity,

The Kompass Team