The summer of 2015 has come and gone. Through the movement of millions of people claiming their right to safety, and of the work of thousands of locals supporting them, EU borders have been shaken. But as winter sets in, fleeing conditions on all routes have degraded. Borders have regained power – through barbwires, criminalisation and militarisation. The events and decisions of this summer, and those of the winter upon us, will bear consequences for decades to come.
It has never been more important, more urgent, for our networks, grassroots organisations, activists, and NGOs to come and work closely together. In November, a meeting hosted in Thessaloniki, Greece, gathered over 60 people, representing grassroots groups, NGOs, legal aid centers and european networks – from the Balkans to Calais and Melilla via Italy and Brussels.
Call for action on December 18th
“Faced simultaneously with the closing of borders in the Balkans to most nationalities, and the war-hungry reactions to the attacks in Paris, our assembly choose the 18th December (global day of migrants) as a first step towards what we hope can become a visible and influential transnational network to oppose the current border and migration policies agenda, as well as to call out the role played by EU and global North Countries in the propagation of war and misery and sent out this call:
Activists from Greece, the Western Balkans and the rest of Europe who work with people on the move met in Thessaloniki. They propose to everyone – individuals, movements, social organisations, trade unions–who doesn’t want to live in a dark, unjust and undemocratic Europe–to mobilize and take action on December 18th.
No to walls, open the doors!
Peace, democracy, social justice, dignity for all.”
In response to the shock strategy and the rule of a ‘state of emergency’, some of us produced a longer argumentation on the european political climate and a call for a #stateofsolidarity. The text is available in french and english on http://stateofsolidarity.net/, and is open to signatures of individuals and organisations – please consider emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to sign it.
With these calls, we want to motivate different groups and individuals to find ways for political actions. December 18th can only be a beginning and the goal must be to gather strength. Demonstrations are certainly not the only option. Discussion rounds, especially involving refugees themselves, and/or to develop new stategies and broader networks, could be a perfect first step. As well as symbolic actions which, mainly in the week before Christmas, could bring people of our communities to think about the the injustices suffered by an enormous number of human beings.