Marching for Freedom: documenting a struggle

Nieuws, gepost door: marching for freedom op 07/05/2014 05:01:07

Wanneer: 07/05/2014 - 12:05

In eleven days we, activists with and without papers, will stand at the border between Germany and France, near Strassbourg. We will have walked there from the German border city Kehl; destination of our journey will be Brussels.

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The majority of the people involved in the March do not have valid documents; people who do have been asked to leave them at home in solidarity. I will also leave my passport at home.

In eleven days we have started the March to Freedom, an international protest of migrants and supporters. We will walk some 450 kilometers in one month time, during which we will openly and illegally cross a national border four times, because we believe in and fight for the freedom of movement for everybody. We will show that we will not let ourselves be intimidated by the national borders, which have grown into powerful mechanisms of division and exclusion.

At this moment Europe is (still) a society of apartheid. If you have the right documents, you are allowed to exist. You can work, study, get health care or welfare, etc. If you do not have those papers, you will be kicked out on the streets, or imprisoned up to eighteen months, possibly several times. You will be deported, either to the country you have fled, or to the first country that’s willing to be bribed to ‘take you’. In this society of apartheid there are companies who make Big Money from one of the fastests growing markets, the security and deportation industry. From G4S guarding prisons and deporting individuals, to weapon traders like Thales who produce the drones and other high-tech machinery for the military border control under the guise of Frontex: in the “fighting” of the “migration problem” billions of euros are key player.

Resistance crossing the borders

To put an end to a policy that makes them the wretched of a continent, migrants in several European countries have started to organise themselves, together with supporters. We, activists with and without papers, have squated houses, put up tent camps, held hundreds to thousands of demonstrations, stopped deportations, documented stories, gone on hunger strike: time and time again we have claimed attention to the racist policies that put countless people in terrible situations. One cannot be surprised by the fact that in the Netherlands alone hundreds of suicide attempts are being made each year in asylum seeker centers, detention centers and on the streets.

On the 18th of May 2014, for the first time the protest itself will cross the borders. The March to Freedom is a collaboration of the different migrant groups that have formed over the past few years together with local no border networks. This is what we demand:

Freedom of movement and of residence for all asylum seekers

Stop the Dublin trap and the obligatory residence in Lagers throughout Europe

Permanent documents without criteria (not depending on working contracts or individual state prosecution)

Stop the imprisonment and deportation of migrants

Same working conditions for all

Same political, social and cultural rights for all: right to study and to work

Stop the European imperialist policies: no more free trade treaties and NATOwars

Abolish Frontex, Eurosur and other anti-migration policies and measures

Documenting a struggle

I will participate in and report about the March to Freedom, in an attempt to help strengthen the cross-national migrant activist movement against the border policies that are oppressing so many of us. On this blog I will try to highlight every demand stated above and further explore the different issues concerning the no border / migration struggle. From the day-to-day situations rejected migrants are forced into, to the racist-capitalist economy that both demands further border militarisation and highly profits from it; from the cynical reality of democracies that claim to provide freedom and equality (which they obviously don’t) to the so-called “free press” feeding xenophobia and capitalist logic to their public, preventing them from getting to know so many realities. At the end of the journey (which will be far from the end of our struggle) I hope to have compiled a blog that could serve as a useful source for those who want to find out more about the ongoing fight against the borders, their creators, their profitors and their protectors.

Until we are all free!

May 7, 2014

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