News of Berlin Refugee Movement – from inside

Abolish Residenzpflicht! Abolish ‚Lagers‘! Stop Deportations! Right to Work and Study!


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Dobova lager (Croatian-Slovenian border)

This video was taken in Dobova (Slovenia) a few days ago. This is not just a sole example of the mistreatment of the incoming people. The situations in camps change through days – sometimes they are empty and next day filled with new people arriving from Croatia.

The situation at Šentilj/Spielfeld (Slovenian-Austrian border) is different, as people often get trapped in ‘no-mans land’ between Slovenian and Austrian borders, while waiting for the permission to cross the border. ‘Officially’ people have the possibility to stay in camps, but due to the lack of information, it is often though that waiting at the ‘no-mans land’ will result in the quicker crossing of the border. This often develops in the long hour waiting in the cold weather.

We must demand open borders for everyone!


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Reestablishing state of exception in the EU and a call for international meeting, manifestation and solidarity action in Slovenia

rigonce 21.10

Rigonce, Slovenian-Croatian border 21.10.2015

#Rigonce 21.10.2015

In the last week, since the Hungary closed its borders, Slovenia became the ‘new hotspot’ for the so called Balkan route, where people, who traveled from Serbia or Croatia to Hungary, were forced to change their direction of traveling to their desired situations.

In the last post we talked about the hypocrisy of the seeming humanitarian and ‘open’ Western European countries, since in the recent political assemblies at the European Commission it is becoming apparent that the EU is trying to hold people at its external borders or just let inside the desired amount of people, whether those needed for the labor markets or ”those who really need the international protection”. Continue reading


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The construction of the European Union’s immigration system

Unser Europa hat keine Grenzen

Unser Europa hat keine Grenzen

These days it is getting obvious that the European Union, a supranational entity supposedly built on the values of freedom and peace, is putting a stamp on it’s mostly non-existant immigration and asylum system. That the European leaders selectively apply such values only for the economic and political elites is nothing new. New and surprising aren’t even the new changes for the immigration and asylum laws that are being developed under the privileged position by the technocratic elites in Berlin and Brussels. We must never forget how many people continue to die while trying to cross Mediterranean every year, because of the already existing legal framework. Continue reading


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Hungary closes its borders

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On October 15 2015 Hungary finally decided to close its border passage Botovo with Croatia, where the “more formal  coridor” for the flow of people, temporary established by inter-governmental agreements, took place, changing the direction of the so called balkan route. Instead of going through Croatia to Hungary the route is redirected to Slovenia, where people are registered, before taken to Austrian border (slov. Šentilj/ ger. Spielfeld).

Karta Slovenije

Info: use map for traveling through Slovenia.

Activist which are at the Slovenian borders and registration camps are reporting, that the authorities are taking fingerprints from the incoming people at the Gruškovje registration camp, but not at Petišovci. This information is not entirely clear, but it is worth to take into account that your fingerprints can be sent to EURODAC. Because of this, predominantly non-Syrians, can be effected by the Dublin convention – this means: if you claim asylum in other EU country, they can return you to Slovenia.

Who can be affected:

  • your fingerprints were taken in another country (and stored on a common European database called EURODAC)
  • you admit that you have been to, or travelled through, another country, even if you didn’t give your fingerprints
  • it can be shown by some other source of evidence that you have been to, or travelled through another country
  • it can be shown that you were previously issued a visa for an EU country
  • you tell the authorities that you wish to join your spouse, who is an asylum seeker or a refugee in another country

In case this happens to you and if you are non-Syrian citizen, you will need legal aid.

Situation in Slovenia (18.10.2015), reports from activists:

Our group on the field successfully set up an Info point in Petišovci. It is located next to the big registration tent. The situation regarding the access to the registration centres is varying. While there were no bigger problems in Petišovci, nobody external was allowed to enter the registration centre in Središče ob Dravi.

The other type of centres are accommodation centres. One is located in Šentilj (Spielfeld), the other in Gornja Radgona. These ones are being used at the moment, there are roughly about 20 more all over Slovenia which can be used if needed. These are being managed by the Civil Protection (Civilna zaščita), while the registration centres are being managed by the police. In addition to the registration centres in Petišovci and Središče ob Dravi there are more registration centres in Obrežje, Gruškovje and Dolga vas.

It seems the access to both types of centres might become an issue. Volunteers would be able to enter the accommodation centres via the Slovene Philanthropy and NGO Adre. This does not apply for the registration centres, where the access is even more restricted.

Based on the conversations with the refugees they mostly need information and the possibility to communicate. They fear what fingerprinting them means, whether it serves as a ground for deportation, they don’t know where they are and would like to inform their families regarding their situation. There’s no wifi network, chargers, multiple socket outlets, etc. in none of the centres. The medical staff in Petišovci complains that they aren’t allowed to hand out warm milk to the kids. One Austrian group offered to cook tea, with hesitation the head of the Red Cross agreed. This group already leaves today.

In short, the government agencies are declining external independent help. As a result of their limited capacities regarding the reception of refugees the flow has been slowed down, so they get stuck on the Balkan route, subjected to the cold and abuse and being blocked to to leave hazardous zones. Continue reading


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The European Union is enforcing it’s borders (again)

Yesterday, 15.10.2015, late at night an Afgan refugee has been shot by the Bulgarian border control police, after 50 refugees tried to cross the border Sredets to Bulgaria from Turkey. Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs is using an excuse that the refugees didn’t obey the orders to stop and even though they were not armed the Bulgarian police was compelled to use such force (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/16/afghan-refugee-shot-dead-police-turkey-enter-bulgaria).

This is of course nothing new and surprising for how the EU’s member states deal with the influx of people trying to come within its borders. Let us just remember the rubber bullet shootings by the Spanish border police in February 2014, when an unknown number of people trying to reach “Spanish” side of Ceuta drowned. This is the reality of the European Union’s immigration and asylum system which rather spends money to enforce its borders than help the people who are fleeing desperation from their settings, which is a direct product of Western Europe’s colonialism and decades of interventions by the world superpowers in the 20th century.

If we read the Frontex budget report for the years 2014 and 2015, we see an increased budget injections in external border controls. Citing Statewarch and EU’s budget expenditures to Frontex:

The 2015 budget of EU border agency Frontex has been increased by 17.5%, from €97 million to €114 million, with the largest share of the extra funding going towards Joint Operations at Sea Borders.’

(source: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2015/feb/eu-frontex-budget%202015.htm; http://frontex.europa.eu/assets/About_Frontex/Governance_documents/Budget/Budget_2015.pdf).

The EU leaders are currently discussing of giving Turkey 3 billion financial resources and other political-social benefits for its citizens (e.g. better VISA-FREE travel). The idea is to keep (at least) 2 million refugees within Turkey’s borders and ask for its help with enforcing EU’s external borders (source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/15/big-decisions-unlikely-migration-summit-eu-leaders).

Turkey is suppose to be a so called safe county, but we all know that is on the verge of a small civil war (mostly with Kurdish people or people with different political orientation), if we just look at the events that happened few days ago in Ankara, where more than 100 people were killed by most likely state sponsored suicide bombing. Citing The Guardian newspaper:

Turkey is currently the main source of the 700,000 people who have entered the EU this year. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is to travel to Istanbul on Sunday for talks with the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, only two weeks before a crucial general election in Turkey, leaving her open to charges that she is boosting the victory chances of his governing Justice and Development party.’

(source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/15/big-decisions-unlikely-migration-summit-eu-leaders).

But the borders are not just on the edges of the Fortress Europe, but also inside it. They are the borders that separate people, who are illegalized by the fascist European Union’s immigration and asylum system, from European citizens. The good example and a symptom of such system is LaGeSo which dehumanizes people to non-beings, who are supposedly claiming benefits from the German state. But let us not forget that Germany is benefiting from such system and has historical and recent responsibilities towards countries that people flee from.

This is why making the so called “refugee” crisis, named by the EU’s institutions and mainstream media, a political issue that must directly adress the EU’s fascist immigration and asylum system, its neo-colonial practices and capitalist-neoliberal development in the recent years. No, there is no “refugee crisis”, but only European xenophobia towards human beings!

Next post will focus on the recent happening at the Balkan route borders and camps.

Until then: Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!!


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Dramaturgy of safe corridor through the Balkans

The category of Border monitoring will be used to give reports about the flow of people throught the borders of the so called “Balkan route”. The route watch will mostly include borders and registration centers between Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria.

All information will be first-hand and forwarded from the groups of activists and volunteers (from sites such as Anti-Racist Front Without Borders from Slovenia, Open Borders Caravan that are located on the borders. The aim of the Border monitoring is not only to report on happening on mentioned borders and to give coordinates for the humanitarian aid, but also to make the recent flow of people (what the EU, its member states and mainstream media calls ‘refugee crisis’) a politically relevant question which adresses the discriminatory and xenophobic imigration and asylum policies within the EU, as well as its connection with the neoliberal developments. Open borders for all!

First post will outline the thoughts by some activists from the Anti-Racist Front Without Borders (Slovenia), who were in the past month present at the Slovenian, Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian and Hungarian borders. Continue reading