maj 28, 2018

Fortress Europe: “It took 37 attempts but I am in Europe now!”

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Last night I arrived in Bosnia with members of the Cars of Hope collective. The Balkan route took a new turn and more and more people are arriving in Bosnia. There is no fence or wall that will stop people from fleeing from war and persecution. Or as one of the refugees I spoke with today said: “It took 37 attempts but I am in Europe now!”

Originally published by Enough is Enough. Written by Riot Turtle.

I woke up in the morning with the news of the clashes on Lesvos. The islands are about to explode because most refugees are kept on Lesvos and other Greek islands. Lesvos is totally overcrowded, about 8000 people live in the Moria camp, which officially has a capacity of 2000 people. I received some videos of yesterdays violence on Lesvos, some people got severely injured and are in critical condition. That was the first thing I heard and saw this morning.

And for what? As I wrote in the introduction of this article: There is no wall or fence that will stop people from fleeing from war and persecution. I am in Velika Kladuša now, a small province town at the Bosnian side of the Bosnian-Croatian border. Velika Kladuša has a long history. It was a frontline town during the war in the times of the Osman empire and it was a frontline town again during the Balkan wars in the 1990’s. In this town many locals know what it is to flee from war and persecution. When the first refugees arrived locals immediately started to help the new arrivals.

There are some international volunteers here, but most of the work is done by local people. Refugees eat in a local restaurant. It was good to see that people got their meal served on plates and on a table. Not in plastic cups like in many state camps on the Balkan route. The owner told me he opened the doors of his restaurant because he personally knows how it feels to be forced to leave home, friends and family. He had to leave his own home during the Balkan wars.

We are working with local people and a few international volunteers here. Bosnia is not exactly a rich country but people do what they can. Refugees told us that locals come to the makeshift refugee camp every day. They bring food, shoes and clothes. The international volunteers support the locals in the restaurant and started a warehouse to collect donations. They also work together with Doctors without Borders (MSF). Organize medical support and installed showers, wash clothes etc. etc. The list what have to be done is long and new people are arriving every day.

During the night many people try to cross the border to get to Croatia and later northern Europe. In Velika Kladuša you see many people with plaster. The Croatian border police is patrolling the border with many cops, helicopters and dogs. When they find refugees they beat them up, steal their money, destroy their mobile phones… Welcome to Europe. Today I spoke with one guy who had a broken foot, broken by Croatian cops. He said: “I don’t know why they did it because they can’t stop me. Okay I have to wait for the next attempt to cross the border because my foot is broken. But it’s 5 weeks ago that they did that and in a few days my foot will be ok and than I will try to cross the border again. When I was in Turkey I needed 37 attempts to reach Greece. Every time I didn’t succeed I start to make plans for the next attempt the next days. I will get to northern Europe. There is no border that will stop me.”

Today the truck that is needed to pump water for the showers was broken. So no showers today. We went there to inform the refugees and to say to them that we’re working on it and there will be showers tomorrow again. We also started to make preparations for a free clothing shop, which will also open tomorrow. At one point a man came with his family and said: “Well maybe we come back tomorrow but maybe we succeed tonight and will leave Bosnia again. Last night we were trying it but there were too many cops. So we will try it again tonight. People are trying to cross every night and others arrive in the border town.”

The Bosnian state can’t handle the situation, the economy is weak and there is no strong infrastructure that could handle the high number of daily arrivals. Although locals and international volunteers do what they can to support refugees here, there is a lack of about anything. Therefore it would be great if people would help to support refugees here with donations. There are enough people supporting refugees here but they need financial support to continue their work with refugees.

 

You will find donation details below.

You can also donate by bank transfer

Bank: Volksbank im Bergischen Land

Name of account holder: Hopetal e.V.

IBAN: DE51 3406 0094 0002 9450 87

BIC: VBRSDE33XXX

or with bitcoins:

18WH8NyyDH6xsXztxFkQW1m3xBK2NLQp3d

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maj 26, 2018

#NoBorders #Bosnia — The unique solidarity of Velika Kladuša

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Tonight we will travel with people of the Cars of Hope collective to Bosnia. We will hook-up with our friends of the former Soul Food Kitchen. We worked with Soul Food Kitchen before (in Thessaloniki and Belgrade). Here is an article about the situation at the Bosnian-Croatian border. Locals together with international volunteers are warmly welcoming people at the Bosnian-Croatian border and are trying their best to support them and show solidarity.

Originally published by Are You Serious.

Velika Kladuša is a small town known in Bosnia as the rebel city, but also an area where, throughout history, many people have left for other countries, looking for jobs or a better life. Some have moved to nearby Croatia, some to Slovenia or Austria, or to other western European cities.

This year, Kladuša has become a place to which people are coming. Today, hundreds of people on the move are there, many sleeping rough in the streets and park, or abandoned buildings.

There is not much industry in Kladuša, but compared to other regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina—one of the poorest countries in Europe—the city seems to be quite wealthy and offers several supermarkets, restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels.

Velika Kladuša is located right by the border and the region is surrounded by Croatian territory to the east, north, and west. This is why it has become an important point for people on the move. The distance from Kladuša to Slovenia is less than 70 kilometers. However, people have to cross Croatia to get there, and with all the illegal push-back from that side, not many manage to find their way and Kladuša is becoming a bottleneck, a place where people are stuck.

Bosnian government has been reacting very slowly, if at all, and the same is true for the big organizations; people have been left without basic help, including accommodation, food, medical care… So locals, who went through similar experience during the war in this country from 1992 to 1995, decided to be there for all the people who need help.

Click at the image to start the video:

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Unique solidarity

For Europe, the situation is nothing new after having what has been going on in Idomeni, Belgrade, Röszke, Kelebija, Ventimiglia, Paris…just to name a few locations. What makes this situation special and extraordinary in Velika Kladuša, is the response of the locals.

At this point, together with a small number of international volunteers, they are handling the situation quite well. Hotel owners and private individuals have been accommodating people on the move since this winter; hairdressers are giving free hair cuts; restaurant owners are offering free drinks or meals if people cannot pay, and even if they don’t order something, they are welcome to spend a few hours in a cosy place and use the free Wi-Fi.

At the “Kod Latana” restaurant, close to the city center, a group of local people and volunteers of the former Soul Food Kitchen provide a free meal daily. At first, locals were financing everything themselves. Donations started coming in recently, mostly through the small Bosnian charity pomozi.ba, supported by local population and companies, but also personal donations. During Ramadan, when two meals are served each day, and with the increasing number of people, this help is more then needed.

International volunteers recently began coming to Kladuša, too. A warehouse for distributing donated clothes and the NoName Kitchen’s (WARNING: Facebook link) mobile showers were set-up.

Nevertheless, the people in Kladuša and their hospitality toward strangers are impressive.

In the restaurant “Kod Latana” they come not only for a free meal, but to find a place to rest, feel safe, and enjoy quiet for a time. The locals set the rules, and food is served as in restaurant; everybody has a place to sit, people serve them, and unlike in many other places, they use proper cutlery and dishes here for food. The food is domestic, Bosnian.

“If they are here, the situation for them must have been bad,” one local explained their solidarity.

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Image: Impressions from the restaurant.

The region of Velika Kladuša was ravaged by the Bosnian war in the 90s. The memory of war, loss and the poverty that came after has created a very different situation than the situation in most of the other countries where people who have been on the move so far.

Almost everybody in Kladuša felt the war. Now, when they meet with these people who are going through the same things, they are determined to do their best to support them. And the people they are helping feel it. “People here are very good,” is the sentence ofter heard by people on the move in Kladuša. “Also, the police here are very good,” they always add referring to the very humane way they are being treated by the local police. Many are not aware that many of the people among local police officers grew up in war, have themselves been refugees, have migrants in their families, or most probably, are dreaming of leaving Bosnia soon as they are not able to cope with the difficult life in this country.

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On the other, Croatian, side of the border, the police treatment is much different. This is glaringly visible almost every time when people come back after another “game” and another push-back. The chance that they will make it over the border into the EU is so slim that they call every attempt “a game”.

“The Croatian police are a big problem,” everyone in the park in Kladuša will say. Some are coming back with wounds, even broken bones, smashed phones. The displays and sim-card slots are broken, the memory cards and batteries removed, the photos and info deleted. This makes it harder to verify their stay on Croatian soil or record evidence about the push-back.

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Image: Testimonies of phones allegedly destroyed by the Croatian police.

Recently, the park where most of the people have been staying for months, has been cleared and now the municipality is trying to prevent people from staying there during the night or putting up tents. They are trying to create a camp close to the city, in a field surrounded by two rivers.

The field is about 15 minutes walk from the city center. On the day of eviction, the people were able to carry all their belongings, while the tents were transported by a truck. Additionally, the transfer was not conducted by the police but by a communal service, so it was done in a humane way.

By the new rule, the people are welcome in the city during the day, but at night they should sleep at the camp, if not in hostels, hotels or private accommodation.

However, the eviction was not well planned in advance — as happens during most evictions. The camp was not ready for the people. There is running water, but no electricity, toilets, showers or Wi-Fi. The municipality promised all these things. Toilets arrived on the day of the eviction, but many problems persist. One is that it is an open field with almost no shade, and the weather is becoming very hot in Kladuša.

However, the municipality is trying to coordinate with local and international volunteers to meet the needs of the guests as best as possible. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the residents, even after more than four months, the situation is still calm.

Before the eviction, an estimated 50 to 100 people were sleeping rough.

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Image: People unloading their belongings at the field.

With the growing number of people coming to Velika Kladuša, it is feared, that the opening and welcoming attitude may shift. Long-term volunteers might remember the pictures and stories of the locals in Serbia and Croatia from 2015. When the borders were (more or less) open, locals were providing clothes, food, showers in their houses, sometimes in tears as they were reminded of their own plight as refugees. Many are afraid now that, if the situation in Velika Kladuša becomes a permanent one with even more people arriving, the mood may shift.

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Image: The park after the eviction.

Hence, international volunteers should be prepared to respond to calls and needs quickly. For now, the locals are managing quite well, but are in need of financial donations to be able to continue feeding the people. When coming from abroad and trying to install structures or to support, volunteers should coordinate with the local groups and join forces to avoid parallel structures and tensions with the locals.
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In the long-term, Velika Kladuša might end up like Röszke, Kelebija or Šid, or, even worse, like Idomeni, as a part of an ever-changing route to Western and Northern Europe and the last stop before reaching an EU country. But for now, its guests will remember the big hearts of the residents and the support they get there.

(Written and all photos by: Niklas Golitschek, AYS volunteer)


The Cars of Hope collective will travel to Bosnia tonight and will arrive in Bosnia tomorrow afternoon. They will work with friends of the former Soul Food Kitchen in Velika Kladuša. Cars of Hope activists worked with Soul Food Kitchen before (in Thessaloniki and Belgrade) and had very good experiences. Enough is Enough will join them to document the situation at the Bosnian-Croatian border. Cars of Hope will need your support to finance their work with refugees on the Balkan route. You can donate here:


You can also donate by bank transfer

Bank: Volksbank im Bergischen Land

Name of account holder: Hopetal e.V.

IBAN: DE51 3406 0094 0002 9450 87

BIC: VBRSDE33XXX

You can also donate bitcoins:

18WH8NyyDH6xsXztxFkQW1m3xBK2NLQp3d

maj 21, 2018

The Balkan route took a new turn: Next stop #Bosnia

The Balkan route took a new turn , more than 3000 people came to Bosinia since January. On Saturday Riot Turtle will travel to Bosnia with people of the Cars of Hope collective.

Published by Enough is Enough. Written by Riot Turtle.

After almost all European states closed their borders, the Balkan route once again took a new turn. European state leaders seem to think that walls and fences will keep people away, but they underestimate the creativity of human beings. They only thing the policies of European governments produce is more suffering and more deaths.

More than 3000 peoplecame to Bosnia since January. From Greece more and more people pass through Albania, where autorities normally don’t register people after they arrived. From Albania they move to Montenegro. Are You Syrious (AYS) reported earlier this month that a Small local feminist activist orgaization Bona Fide in Pljevlja, Montenegro, provides support to those who are travelling. This small local group started helping people who were crossing through their city in February this year.

“We noticed a group of young men one evening, and after we approached them we learned that they are coming from Syria, over Turkey, Greece, and Albania,” Sabina Talović from Bona Fide told AYS.

Most people leave Montenegro again and travel to Bosnia. The other route for people to enter Bosnia is from Serbia. Some of them come from camps in Serbia, but most people come from Bulgaria and only crossed Serbia on their way to Bosnia.

For most people it’s getting increasingly hard to get to northern Europe. The massive police violence of the Croatian police at the border with Serbia and Bosnia continues.

In Saturday May 26th I will travel to Bosnia with members of the Cras of Hope collective. We will organize and support already existing mutual aid for people in Velika Kladuša at the Bosnian/Croatian border. But I will also report about the situation there. We will distribute food, clothes and other things people need for their daily life.

Especially during the Ramadan a lot of support is needed. Local people from Velika Kladuša and two activists that worked before on other spots at the Balkan route, cook and serve hundreds of meal every day after sunset. The fasten-break or Ifthar is more than just eating for many people. The number of people continues to grow and the inititiatives are running out of money.

We will need your support to finance our work with refugees on the Balkan route. You can donate here:

Mutual Aid: Support Refugees in Bosnia

marec 14, 2018

Urgent: Refugees in #Sarajevo need Support

In Sarajevo, mostly locals are helping to all those who are arriving daily. Every kind of help is needed medical, food, clothes, shoes…Volunteers are needed too, including doctors or nurses. If you can come to Bosnia, please get in touch with Are You Syrious.

Originally published by Are You Syrious.

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Full update on situation in Sarajevo

On Friday evening, over 40 people entered Bosnia from Serbia, mostly families with children. For now, all of them have been placed in a local hostel paid for by the local volunteers in Sarajevo, but soon they will be moved to Delijas, the only existing asylum center. They will be forced to stay at this center in the mountains, where they are not given adequate food or any kind of help, far from the city. It is a twelve-kilometer walk to the closest gas station where they have a phone and an internet signal. No volunteers are allowed into this center.

Nevertheless, groups of local and international volunteers are trying to help all the people who are arriving daily in Sarajevo. Several hundreds are now on the streets since no shelter has been provided by the government, UNHCR or any organization that exists in the country. The only available help is coming from the small, local groups of international volunteers.

Two groups that are working in Sarajevo need your help.

One is Pomozi.ba, a local charity that supports volunteers in the field. The volunteers are working to provide accommodation for all, giving priority to the mostly vulnerable people. So far they are taking care of about 300 people, but many are still on the streets.

Locals are also providing food, medical help, clothing and everything else. But they desperately need help to continue working, while the number of people who are arriving is increasing every day.

You can help by donating to Pomozi.ba

Name of the bank: Intesa Sanpaolo Banka BiH
SWIFT CODE:UPBKBA22
IBAN: BA39 1541802008533048
Receiving: Udruženje “Pomozi.ba”, dr. Fetaha Bećirbegovića br. 8, 71000 Sarajevo
Purpose: help for refugees

If you want to send financial support from Austria:
ERSTE BANK
IBAN: AT64 2011182266475400
BIC: GIBAATWWXXX
Wien, Oestereich
Name: hilfhelfen-pomozi.ba

If you want to volunteer in Bosnia, please get in touch through the AYS inbox on Facebook. Experienced volunteers only.

The other group  (Warning Facebook Link) are international volunteers who are working at a private property with a local family who has offered shelter for about 80 single men. But every day new people are arriving and they are struggling with financing food, blankets, and other essential items.

januar 25, 2018

#Croatia: #Zagreb Anarchist Bookfair 2018

The fourteenth Zagreb Anarchist Bookfair will take place in Zagreb from April 6th to April 8th, 2018. The bookfair will take place in AKC Medika, Pierottijeva 11.

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Submitted to Enough is Enough.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Croatia: Zagreb Anarchist Bookfair 2018

The fourteenth Zagreb Anarchist Bookfair will take place in Zagreb from April 6th to April 8th, 2018. The bookfair will take place in AKC Medika, Pierottijeva 11.

The Anarchist Bookfair in Zagreb (ASK – Anarhisticki sajam knjiga) is annual anarchist event and first eleven bookfairs went well, and we hope to bring in more and more people every year as participants, publishers, groups, projects – whoever is interested in what the bookfair has to offer.

For discussion part everything is open, as every year, so all suggestions, ideas, etc are welcome, as well as texts that you find interesting for further debate.

ASK takes place in Zagreb every spring, as a local resource for anarchist and libertarian books and other publications. We also aim to open discussion on subjects that are important for the anarchist movement, or for our local community.

The idea for such a bookfair is not new, but is based on the positive experience of other Anarchist Bookfairs. In many different situations, these bookfairs have proven to be important events and meeting places on both local and international levels.
This is why we need your help – come and support this event with solidarity and participation!

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If you can’t come to our bookfair, you can consider sending some free publications, posters and other material. Also, you can consider sending books and other publications for sale, we will organise stall for all of you that can’t come, but would like to present your work at the bookfair. Contact us at anarhisticki.sajam.knjiga@gmail.com about details, address to send stuff to, etc.

Participation

To help us organize the Bookfair and finish the program on time, we need you to confirm your participation soon as possible. Our e-mail address is: anarhisticki.sajam.knjiga@gmail.com

Get in touch and let us know in which way you would like to participate. Here are a few questions, and we welcome any additional information.

Also, let us know if you need accommodation. There are a few alternatives, but we need all the details soon as possible.

Some of the details that we need from you:

1. Questions for all guests coming from outside Zagreb:

– how you want to participate?
– would you like to do presentation, workshop or discussion at bookfair?
– do you need help with accommodation (Free sleeping places are limited)

2. If you would like a stall:

– how big of a stall do you need?
– do you need help at your stall?
– can you help with the costs of the Bookfair? (This is not a condition to have a stall, stalls are free.)
– we need some basic information about you (contact, what books/publishers you distribute [not list, just short info]…)

See program of the bookfair (coming soon at www.ask-zagreb.org!)

For more information:
Web: www.ask-zagreb.org
e-mail: anarhisticki.sajam.knjiga@gmail.com

december 16, 2017

Working on the Balkan Route: “I Can Still Here Croatian Cops Screaming ‘One line!’ in #Opatovac”

States and borders are dividing people. Dividing in them and us. When do we finally get rid of these tools of suffering and oppression? On December 17 I will travel to Lesvos, Greece, again and will stay there for almost a month. It seems a long time ago that I started working with refugees on the Balkan route, but actually its not. A little more than two years have past after I drove to Slovenia. A good friend wrote me in September 2015 about the situation on the Croatian/Slovenian border and asked me to come and support. A lot has happened since then…

Video by the author of this aricle, Riot Turtle, about the next campaign on Lesvos.

Published by Enough is Enough. Written by Riot Turtle.

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Riot Turtle About Border Closures: “The EU Member States Don’t Want to be Confronted With Their Deadly Policies”

States and borders are dividing people. Dividing in “them and us”. When do we finally get rid of these tools  of oppression? On December 17 I will travel to Lesvos, Greece, again and will stay there for almost a month. It seems a long time ago that I started working with refugees on the Balkan route, but actually its not. A little more than two years have past after I drove to Slovenia. A good friend wrote me in September 2015 about the situation on the Croatian/Slovenian border and asked me to come and support. A lot has happened since then…

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Image: Slovenian/Croatian border in Bregana, Slovenia on September 19, 2015. Image by @RiotTurtle65

I didn’t think long when Luka (name changed), a Slovenian comrade and good friend, wrote me in September 2015. I was planning to drive to the Netherlands for a few days but I immediately changed my plans and drove to Slovenia the next morning. I first met Luka and we discussed the situation. Luka proposed to document it all and spread it through our independent media channels.

I drove to Bregana at the Slovenian/Croation border and the first thing I saw was a lot of riot cops and military. Helicopters in the air, armoured vehicles, shields, helmets and batons. The full program. A group of people was sitting on the ground on the so-called no man’s land, a small territory between the Slovenian and Croatian border posts. I started to talk with people and asked if I could take some pictures. They agreed and so I started to document the disgusting scenery. A totally militarized border to stop people from seeking refuge.

During the night that followed people again and again asked to let a sick child pass the border. On the Slovenian side of the border was the nearest hospital. But the cops refused to let her pass and in the early morning hours the child died. I wiped a few tears, and got sad and angry at the same time. Borders kill!

The Slovenian ruling class didn’t mind to let these people suffer and refused the necessary treatment of the sick child, but they seemed to be stressed about possible bad publicity after the child died. The image of their state could suffer. A few hours later suddenly coaches parked at the border and Syrian families with children were allowed to pass the border to get into the coaches. All refugees protested, including the ones who were allowed to get to the coaches. The solidarity between all people on this tiny piece of land was inspiring.

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Image: One of the coaches on the Slovenian/Croatian border in September 2015. Image by @RiotTurtle65

Nobody knew where the coaches were bringing these people and together with some other people I decided to follow the coaches. We discussed who would stay at the border  with the people who were still there, to make sure that enough people would stay.

In the beginning it looked like the coaches were only accompanied by one police car, but soon the first of our cars was stopped by state security in a civil cars. Soon the second car was stopped and I decided to take a bit more distance. I managed to follow them a long time but a few kilometers before Maribor I lost them. I circled around but didn’t find the coaches again. A little bit later I heard that the coaches had left Slovenia and crossed a small border post. The coaches were in Austria now and I decided to drive to Austria.

I drove to Heiligenkreuz at the Austrian/Hungarian border and met a few comrades. Thousands of people arrived here and it was a pretty chaotic scene because the Austrian army and cops had surrounded them on a small piece of land. But little by little people were transported to different Austrian cities and to Germany.

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Image: The scenery in Heiligenkreuz, Austria in Septemeber 2015. Image by @RiotTurtle65

During my stay in Heiligenkreuz we (me and some comrades) heard that Hungarian cops started to chase and arrest refugees on the Hungarian side of the border. We mobilized more people and drove to the Hungarian side of the border. We saw that the information that we received was correct and started to act. The Hungarian cops tried to arrest as many refugees as they could. It was the implemenation of a new law of the fascist Orban regime, which allowed the Hungarian state to detain people up to 3 years for illegally entering Hungary. For obvious reasons I can’t write about what kind of actions took place during that night but somehow many people arrived in Austria and were save for the Hungarian cops.

I was able to sleep a bit in the car and a few hours later I drove to Salzburg, Austria. Around the main train station I saw soldiers patrolling with machine guns in their hands. Many people were sitting on the ground at the main train station. Waiting for things to come. All trains to Germany were cancelled. A few kilometers from the main train station German riot cops closed the Austrian/German border, only letting in a certain amount of people per day.

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Image: Monitor at the main train station in Salzburg, Austria in September 2015. All trains to Germany were cancelled. Image by @RiotTurtle65

I drove back home after that, with a head full of images. But soon I was back on the Balkan route. We organized a convoy to Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia about 1 month after I returned to Germany. The Cars of Hope collective was born. The misery on the Balkan route was getting bigger and bigger. More and more European states were sealing-off their borders with military, cops and fences.

The scenery in state-run camps like Opatovac (Croatia), Šentilj and Dobova (Both Slovenia, video below) was similar. People were treated more than just inhuman. They were subject to police violence and terrorized. I can still here Croatian cops screaming “One line!” in Opatovac. Even mother and children were only allowed to walk behind each other in a line. “One Line!” I decided that I was not going to support the scum that created these camps by working there. I documented (which was forbidden) the situation in Opatovac and left again. I drove to Serbia and started to work there on a rest area along the highway from Sid to Belgrade. There we were able to work self-organized. People were allowed to move and we build-up a mobile charging station for smartphones. Smartphones were crucial for many people as they often lost friends or family on their long journey… For me it was important not to get exploited for the goals of state rulers, but to work in a self-organized structure and on eye-level with people. Also when it comes to decsion making.

After that I went many times on the Balkan route with the cars of Hope collective. We worked with Soul Food kitchen for people who were sleeping in the streets and parks of Thessaloniki (Greece), with Soul Welders in Belgrade (Serbia), with No Border Kitchen Lesvos (Greece) and many others.  We also worked a lot in Idomeni (Greece) and organized appartments for many people after the “wild” Idomeni camp was evicted. But we also did a lot of presentations in many German cities to create awareness about the situation of refugees on the Balkan route. Many activists of Cars of Hope also fight deportations in Germany and are involved in demonstrations and other actions for the freedom of movement.

The EU/Turkey deal from March 2016 is a disgusting deal which caused more deaths and  legalized trade with humans. The European Union and its member states are paying the Turkish state billions to keep refugees out of Europe and if people do manage to reach the European Union, the EU member states can deport them back to Turkey. But Erdogan’s authoritarian Turkish state wasn’t enough for many EU member states. An even more down-and-dirty deal was made with Libya. A country where people are put in camps that are even worse than in Europe. The European Union is doing business with a country where refugees are being sold as slaves.

The year 2017 is coming to an end I will travel on the Balkan route again. This time to Lesvos and Athens, this time for almost a month. We still have states and borders, we still have people dying at sea and at inner European borders. I will continue to fight for peoples rights like the freedom of movement and also support people who are seeking refuge as much and as good as I can. It makes no sense that people like me are priviliged and can travel wherever they want to just because I was born in northern Europe. I absolutely didn’t do anything that justifies this kind of privilage in comparison to people that were born somewhere elso on this planet. All people have the right to the freedom of movement.

The continent that colonized large parts of the world, that is making money by selling arms to war zones, that is crushing out peoples basic existence with trade deals that destroy local economies around the globe, has closed its borders. We have to overcome this kind of policies, we have to overcome states and borders. We have to get rid of an economical and political system that is dividing us and that destroys our planet.

On Lesvos we (the Cars of Hope collective) will support the Open The Islands campaign, just like we did in the Vohwinkel district and the university of Wuppertal, Germany. For me personally thats not enough, but its a first step towards a real freedom of movement.

Many people support the work of the Cars of Hope collective on the Balkan route. If you also want to support the work with refugees we do you can join our crowdfunding campaign at (scroll down for English) https://www.leetchi.com/c/soziales-von-cars-of-hope or donate directly by PayPal: carsofhopewtal@gmail.com

december 15, 2017

Transnational mobilization for the rights of migrants and against fascism – Humanity Welcome

restiamo umani

HUMANITY WELCOME

Gorizia – Saturday December 16th, 3pm, Casa Rossa/Rusa hiša
Transnational mobilization for the rights of migrants and against fascism.

trasagorica

Originally published by Rete Solidale Pordenone.

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

 

HUMANITY WELCOME

Gorizia – Saturday December 16th, 3pm, Casa Rossa/Rusa hiša
Transnational mobilization for the rights of migrants and against fascism.

Gorizia is by its nature a crossing point in the centre of a common territory, which was always, and is nowadays more than ever, transnational, multilingual and multicultural. It is not a coincidence that diverse nations in this city stood together to stop the rise of Nazi after the fall of the Fascism in September 1943. For the same reasons, Gorizia is also under constant pressure of nationalisms, of racism and fascism. A hundred years ago in its surrounding area there used to be the most bloody battles of the First World War, which left hatred and false divisions behind.

In the past weeks this contrast was evident as never before: we could witness the civil war of institutions against the migrants who found shelter in the Bombi gallery – the gallery that years ago used to be a shelter for people during Second World War bombardments. This gallery is a symbol and a proof of the past and actual Fascism. A proof that can be summed up in one word: INHUMANITY.

IT IS INHUMAN:
neglecting the hygienic minimum and even water to whom has no place to go to,
forcing hundreds of people to sleep in makeshift shelters;
in the depths of winter preventing an access to a few shelters, which protect from rain and snow;
transforming the person who comes from somewhere else into an object of miserable political campaigns, stirring up xenophobia and intolerance.

This inhumanity has already many faces and too many responsibilities. On the one hand, we can notice an obvious inhumanity, claimed by the mayors of Gorizia and Pordenone and their councils – among the members of the councils there are persons who have no problem sharing the table with whom openly praises Fascism. On the other hand it is also true that the tragic situation of the migrants in Italy, Europe and African countries facing the Mediterranean, is a result of precise choices.

IT IS INHUMAN:
externalizing the control of migration flows and national borders as the European Union does;
the Italian Government’s deals with Libyan criminal militia, that practices slavery;
the exploitation of migrants and the idea that someone can migrate only if he/she sacrifices his/her personal freedom and life itself;
the criminalization of those who offer first aid to migrants, on the sea and land;
the Dublin agreement and the pervert bureaucratic mechanisms asylum seekers are bound to;
the false welcome actions, based on the principles of security, and the permission to application of them to private institutions that follow profits, or to volunteers, that are taking the risk of becoming instrument of control and blackmail;
the use of administrative detention and imprisonment for those who don’t have personal identification documents;
the exploitation and the denial of migrant labor rights as a feature of European labor policies;
the economic exploitation by the European Union countries of the territories from which the migrants come;
the military interventions and sale of weapons by the European Union countries, which perpetuate a state of permanent war in the countries from which migrants are forced to escape.

From Gorizia we can and we want to start renewing the idea of humanity, reconstruct the concepts of hospitality, mutualism, mutual recognition and universal equality.

FOR US IS HUMAN:
rejecting and fighting any kind of war between the poor, and the inhuman idea that the poorest and weakest are the ones to pay the cost of a crazy development system;
guaranteeing a suitable welcome, that is not only guaranteeing secure and easily accessible places, but also places integrated with the territory, which allow real mutual awareness and the approach of autonomy, identity and individual integrity of everyone;
opposing ourselves to the opening of detention centres and fighting for the closure of the existing ones;
unveiling that there is no “immigration emergency”, and that migrations are a structural phenomenon of human history, very extended in an irreversibly globalised world;
understanding that this phenomenon can only be tackled by involving and including migrants in the decisions and routes that are related to them;
learning to change through mutual recognition, all of us, HUMAN BEINGS, BORN EQUAL ON THE ONE AND UNIQUE PLANET.

To reaffirm these principles of universal humanity, in Gorizia we are starting a common transnational fight with common mobilization, which starts on the border crossing Casa Rossa/Rožna dolina, on Saturday, 16 December at 15 h.

december 12, 2017

Statement of AKC Metelkova city, Ljubljana: Let’s Stand up Against the Attack on Metelkova/Zoperstavimo se napadu na Metelkovo

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(slo below)

Municipality of Ljubljana has decided to sell a plot of land on which currently hostel Celica stands. This decision represents a radical shift in its relation towards the entire Metelkova area. This move introduces an authoritarian element into the relationship between the municipality and Autonomous Cultural Centre Metelkova mesto, an internationally renowned example of successful cultural, urbanistic and social practice, while truth be told the said relationship has never been a simple one. The latest intentions of the municipality however oblige us, the users of ACC Metelkova mesto, to publicly and unequivocally make our position clear: Capital and Municipality – take your hands off Metelkova!

We recognize in this attempt to fragment and sell the area of Metelkova a symptom of a wider problem of an intentional transformation of the city centre according to the tastes of tourist and real-estate capital. Ljubljana is currently in a period of transition to a second phase of gentrification that coincides nicely with a new investment cycle in the country that has began to pick up speed, which was itself ultimately enabled by taxpayers’ funded bail out of the banks. The profits derived from this process will in turn end up in private pockets. Inner city centre of Ljubljana is now reduced to polished scenery for tourist consumption, local bars without local people and endless array of (small) hotels and AirBnB businesses. By now construction sites, themselves a material expression of the blind desire to “beautify”, have moved to Tabor neighbourhood and touched the very doorstep of Metelkova.

As a part of this process more than a year ago the municipality attacked the Autonomous factory Rog, first by private security contractors and heavy construction machinery and later through still ongoing court procedures against the people involved in the activities of the factory. ACC Metelkova mesta has been however dealt with differently throughout its 24 years of existence. On the one hand, the state never really gave up on visits of various inspection officials and police harrasment as its go-to forms of pressure. On the other hand a policy of recuperation has emerged through which the municipality promotes Metelkova as a tourist product par excellence, leaning heavily on its “alternative image” and quality forms of sociality that are being developed in its midst. Recuperation happens under the false pretense of support and tolerance while the visions of the very people that are creating Metelkova on a daily basis are brushed aside. The fact that the municipality had integrated Metelkova into the Ljubljana brand was misinterpreted by many as a discrete statement of intent that we should no longer fear any hostile moves on its part. Today, with the declaration of the beginning of parcellation and subsequent sale of Metelkova it finally became clearly evident that such interpretations do not stand up to scrutiny.

It has been many years since corrosive effects of commercial activity on the edges of the autonomous area gave birth to the to the same appetites that are now fueling the current sale to the highest bidder. If we are to realistically assess the situation, which we are obliged to, we have to conclude that it was in fact Celica ho(s)tel through its specific trajectory and its relation to autonomy in Metelkova the decisive contributor to the very process that has now reached a point where the same people that presided over Celica are now at risk to be pushed out in the name of even higher profit. Let’s be absolutely sincere: Celica grew out of the fertile soil of Metelkova’s creativity. It was built by enthusiasm, ideas and labour of Metelkova artists and architects. Yet, before the ho(s)tel was even fully established the paths separated. In unclear circumstances the management of the building was given to the partnership of corruptive capital of Student organization of University of Ljubljana and the municipality. Ever since Celica functioned as a profit making venture and a gentrifying force of the entire city, not only of Metelkova. It was due to the apparent and always uneasy acommodation with the community and space of the autonomous centre and to the fact that it was just next door from the latter that Celica managed to break into many tourist guidebooks from around the world as Ljubljana’s main attraction. In the past tourists might feel intimidated just by venturing through the gates of the autonomous space, but today growing masses roll through it every day, photographing the individual natives at their work and thus creating a certain discomfort. Despite the fact that Celica was to a large extent created by people that justifiably claim an intimate connection with Metelkova, its current goals, mode of production and values are very different from those of the ACC Metelkova mesto.

ACC Metelkova mesto regards the announced sale of the plot of Metelkova’s land as the beginning of the hostile takeover of the entire area including of the spaces and activities of the autonomous cultural centre. We have nothing in common with the battle between the current and possible future manager of Celica. As far as we are concerned the municipality is opening wide open the gates of destruction of the autonomous centre, since there can be no doubt that the investors’ apettite will not be satisfied with one building and one plot of land only. To the municipal authorities the sale of Celica will serve as a model for eviction for all the other buildings in Metelkova which are also owned by the municipality. The ongoing sale of Celica can serve as a lesson from which we can learn that processes by which the autonomy of Metelkova is being undermined find support also among those that otherwise situate themselves within a wide field of Metelkova, despite their entirely truthful claims about their clean intentions and motivation. Yet, few moves down the line one of the most significant social and cultural centres in the region, which is a source of pride and pleasure for countless musicians, cultural workers, supporters, critical voices, artists, alternative crowd and even travelers, will be destroyed. This can happen much faster than many are able to even imagine.

Despite the many levels and factors involved the underlining truth is very simple: by parcellation and sale of Metelkova the municipality of Ljubljana is giving up on the principles of public, communal and socially-owned space, replacing it with the rule of terror of the private property owners and their security contractors. We cannot, we must not and we will not let this happen. Not in Metelkova, not in Rog, not in Tabor neighbourhood and not in the city in general. We demand therefore that the premises of Celica are given back to the community, back into the hands of thos that many years ago have successfully defended it against destructive lust of those who then were in power, back into the hands of those that have continuously proved through many years of work that they are guided by longterm interests of the community and not by shortsighted profit-making agenda.

Autonomous Cultural Centre Metelkova
6th December 2017

 

—SLO—

Mestna občina Ljubljana (MOL) se je odločila za prodajo zemljišča, na katerem trenutno stoji Hostel Celica. S tem so se odločili tudi za radikalno spremembo svojega razmerja do celotnega območja Metelkove. Ta poteza v sicer nikoli enostavno razmerje med MOL in AKC Metelkova mesto – slednji je svetovno priznan kulturni, urbanistični in socialni primer dobre prakse – vnaša oblastniški diktat. Zadnje namere MOL uporabnike in uporabnice AKC Metelkova mesto obvezujejo, da javno in jasno sporočimo: kapital in MOL, roke stran od Metelkove!

Poskus razbijanja in odprodaje območja Metelkove je zgolj simptom širšega problema načrtnega preurejanja mestnega središča po okusu turističnega in nepremičninskega kapitala. Ljubljana je trenutno sredi prehoda v drugo fazo gentrifikacije mesta. Ta sovpada z razmahom novega investicijskega cikla v državi, ki ga je omogočilo reševanje bank z denarjem davkoplačevalcev, profiti tega procesa pa bodo romali v zasebne žepe. Gradbišča so se iz ožjega središča mesta, kjer so ostale le še zloščene kulise za turiste, lokali brez lokalcev ter nepregledna goščava hotel(čk)ov in AirBnB obratov, premaknila v sosesko Tabor in se s slepo željo po »olepšavi« dotaknila tudi Metelkove.

MOL se je lani v sklopu tega procesa spravil nad Avtonomno tovarno Rog, najprej z varnostniki in gradbeno mehanizacijo, nato pa tudi s sodnimi procesi proti tamkajšnjim uporabnikom in uporabnicam, ki še vedno trajajo. Avtonomne kulturne cone Metelkova mesto se lokalne oblasti skozi vseh 24 let njenega obstoja lotevajo drugače. Na eni strani se država pritisku v obliki inšpekcij in policijskih napadov nikoli ni zares odpovedala. Na drugi strani pa že dolgo poteka lokalna politika rekuperacije, ki je pod pretvezo podpore in tolerance Metelkovo zaradi njene “alter podobe” in kvalitetnih oblik družbenosti, ki jih razvija, promovirala kot turistični produkt par excellence, pri čemer vizije uporabnikov in uporabnic niso imele prav nobene veljave. Mnogi so dejstvo, da je MOL Metelkovo vgradil v blagovno znamko Ljubljana, napačno razumeli kot diskretno napoved, da se od MOL ne rabimo več bati sovražnih potez. Danes je z napovedanim drobljenjem in začetkom odprodaje Metelkove dokončno postalo jasno, da zadeva ni takšna.

Zajedanje komercialne dejavnosti na obronke avtonomnega prostora je že pred leti ustvarilo apetite, ki poganjajo današnjo prodajo najboljšemu ponudniku. Z vso treznostjo moramo ugotoviti, da je ravno Celica s svojo specifično trajektorijo in odnosom do avtonomije na Metelkovi tisti dejavnik, ki je odločilno prispeval k procesu, spričo katerega njenim ustvarjalcem sedaj grozi, da bodo v imenu še višjega profita izrinjeni. Iskreno zato priznajmo: Hostel Celica je dejansko zrasel iz bogatih metelkovskih kreativnih tal, s svojim entuziazmom, idejami in delom so jo zgradili Metelkovke in Metelkovci. Toda že pred vzpostavitvijo hostla so se poti razšle, stavba je bila v nejasnih okoliščinah predana v upravljanje koruptivnega kapitala Študentske organizacije Univerze v Ljubljani – v navezi z MOL – in vse odtlej je Celica delovala kot profitni obrat in agent gentrifikacije mesta, ne samo Metelkove. Na račun navidezne in vedno nelagodne akomodacije s skupnostjo in prostorom AKC Metelkova mesto ter na račun sosedstva se je hostel vpisal v svetovne turistične vodnike kot ključna ljubljanska atrakcija. Vse večje trume turistov, ki si še pred nekaj leti niso upale niti pokukati čez prag avtonomne cone, se zdaj dnevno valijo čeznjo in množično fotografirajo primerke domačinov med njihovim vsakodnevnim ustvarjanjem ter vnašajo nemir v skupnost. Četudi so jo v mnogočem naredili ljudje, ki so (bili) Metelkovci, je današnja Celica po cilju, načinu delovanja in vrednotah daleč od AKC Metelkova mesto.

AKC Metelkova mesto razume napovedano prodajo kosa zemljišča na Metelkovi kot začetek sovražnega prevzema celotnega območja, vključno s prostori in dejavnostmi avtonomnega kulturnega centra. Nič skupnega nimamo z bitko med obstoječim upravljavcem in morebitnim bodočim. Kar se nas tiče, MOL z velikim zamahom odpira vrata uničenju avtonomnega centra, saj se investitorski apetiti zagotovo ne bodo končali pri eni zgradbi in eni parceli. Prodaja Celice bo kot model evikcije mestnim oblastem prišel nadvse prav tudi pri vseh drugih zgradbah na Metelkovi, ki jih ima prav tako v lasti MOL. V tej luči se iz poskusa prodaje zemljišča Celice lahko naučimo tudi to, da imajo lahko preko svoje prakse ne glede na izpričane namene in motivacije podporno vlogo v procesih spodkopavanja metelkovske avtonomije tudi tisti, ki se sicer umeščajo znotraj njenega širokega polja. V nekaj potezah, ki se lahko zgodijo precej hitreje, kakor si to marsikdo misli, bo uničen eden najpomembnejših socialnih in kulturnih centrov v regiji, ki je v ponos in užitek nepredstavljivi množici glasbenikov, kulturnikov, somišljenikov, drugače mislečih, umetnikov, alternativcev in nenazadnje tudi popotnikov.

Ne glede na vse ravni in akterje, je osnovna resnica situacije jasna: Mestna občina Ljubljana se z drobljenjem in odprodajo območja Metelkove odpoveduje principom javnega, skupnostnega in družbenega prostora ter jih nadomešča s strahovlado zasebne lastnine in njenih varnostnih služb. Tega ne moremo, ne smemo in ne nameravamo dopustiti tako na Metelkovi kot v Rogu, širše v četrti Tabor in v mestu nasploh. Zato terjamo prostore Celice nazaj v skupnostno upravljanje, nazaj v roke tistih, ki so jo pred davnimi leti obranili pred uničevalno slo tedanjih oblastnikov, nazaj v roke tistih, ki so s svojim dolgoletnim angažmajem dokazali, da jih pri delovanju vodi dolgoročen interes skupnosti, ne pa kratkoročne profitne agende.

AKC Metelkova mesto, 6. december 2017

 

november 8, 2017

#AKSC #Skopje: “We Want to Offer a Space for Creation of the New and Destruction of the Old”

An interview with Ana about the Autonomous Socio-cultural Center (AKSC) in Skopje.

skopjecover

 

Originally published by Enough is Enough.

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

AKSC Skopje: “We Want to Offer a Space for Creation of the New and Destruction of the Old”

An interview with Ana about the Autonomous Socio-cultural Center (AKSC) in Skopje.

skopje4

Enough is Enough (EIE): How and when did the Autonomous Socio-cultural Center (AKSC) in Skopje started? (To explain: the history of the first version of AKSC).

Ana: The idea of an autonomous center was not a new one, especially among those of us who have visited this type of places around Europe. Skopje has seen some alternative centers before, but not of this kind. So, this center came out of the need for critical thinking and free expression that was felt in the atmosphere of our society and its creation began spontaneously in March 2013. It was spreading word to mouth and suddenly we were there, a group of 30 people sitting together in the city park discussing our needs about the space we were about to create.

As we were discussing our ideas, they started to materialize and were transformed into action. We decided to rent a space in an old building that once belonged to the railway workers and we succeeded to equip the space practicing DIY culture with minimal budget and all sorts of donations: from paint, chairs & shelves to cups and teapots for which we are very grateful to the local community.

EIE: What kind of activities took place at the AKSC in the past?

Ana: Only in one year we managed to organize around 200 events including movie projections, discussions, presentations, book promotions, diy & creative workshops, free language courses, music evenings, tea parties, collective kitchen & cooking events, workshops for children, exhibitions, performances, poetry readings, really really free market, psychology & personal development workshops. That’s where our first organic food coop started. Different kinds of organizations could come for their meetings there. It offered a shelter for many travelers on their way throughout Europe. We had our own zine and a library which we still keep today!

skopje2

EIE: Can you tell us something about the interaction between activism and independent culture in Macedonia?

Ana: At the moment, the independent culture is fighting for its life in Macedonia. Most of the alternative spaces are shut down and public spaces are flooded with easy-to-sell type of culture. There are some people that are working for their causes, but I would say, like isolated atoms in our society. So, we are trying to find a formula that would end with a reaction that would bring them together.

EIE: About two years ago the AKSC was closed. Now people are working on a AKSC 2.0. What were the reasons AKSC closed and will there be a differnce between AKSC 1.0 and AKSC 2.0?

Ana: We had to close it down because on one hand, there were some attacks on the space showing us that we are not very welcome anymore. I see this as a sign that our activities had an impact after all. On the other hand, we struggled with financial difficulties because the concept of donation is pretty new to us and many people can’t see that a donation was crucial to keeping it alive. But, a lesson lived is a lesson learned, so in the new space we would like to implement more ways of reaching financial stability, for example, making our own products or a small publishing project.

EIE: AKSC 2.0 will be created and maintained by the KoprivaKolektiv/The Nettle Collective. Can you tell us something about the collective?

Ana: This is a very new collective, but we carry an idea recycled from the experiences we’ve had the past 5-6 years with different collectives and organizations. I can say that we have experienced good and hard times, so this collective is trying to avoid the ways that didn’t work in the past and to take our horizon to a whole new level. Every member has his own artistic project and brings his personal touch in the group. For the first time, we are formally registered as an association for independent culture and we would like to act in every possible way – formal and informal, to experiment with ways of expression and to break the old patterns of functioning, even within activism itself. This Nettle will sting!

EIE: Can you already tell us what kind of activities will take place at AKSC in the future?

Ana: Similar like the first one, in this place people can come and do something that is not possible elsewhere, without the boring bureaucratic processes. Also, it will be more open for hanging out, socialization and a good place to meet a stranger with a cup of tea or find a good book to read. We welcome all kinds of wanderers, poets, artists and everyone who would like to share their talent and is ready to question the fabric of our reality! J Also, we would like to continue with more workshops and practical things and be less theoretical. Personal development is also a very important topic for us.

EIE: What are the main objectives of AKSC?

Ana: First of all, to offer a home for freedom-friendly ideas. We want to inspire people to take charge and responsibility for their lives, they choose the medium through which that process happens. We want to see people who no longer live automatically in pre-arranged schemes, but to be able to recognize, criticize and visualize what kind of life is close to their heart. We want to offer a space for creation of the new and destruction of the old. And in this process, we are not trying to be likeable or commercial. Quality before quantity!

EIE: Do you need support and when yes, how can people support the project?

Ana: We would really appreciate a helping hand! At the moment we are running a crowdfunding campaign on the platform Firefund, which is run by a very dedicated and a fantastic collective! Everyone who supports our ideas can help us by donating on the following link or simply by spreading the word J

https://www.firefund.net/aksc-skopje

AKSC 2.0 also has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AKSC2/

Video about the AKSC (For English subtitles click at the first button on the right side at the bottom of the video player)

oktober 25, 2017

#Catalonia: Waiting for the Big Bang

 

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Originally published by Solidaridad Obrera, written by Joni D. Translated by Enough is Enough.

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Read all reports about Catalonia; here.

Catalonia: Waiting for the Big Bang

Little by little, and especially from September 20, when the current Catalan Republican independence movement crossed the line of no-return, individuals and libertarian organizations have been positioning themselves on the issue.  Yes, I am aware that some have already done so previously and do not pretend to distort reality, the objective of this “little by little and especially from” is exclusively to imply that this is such a delicate conflict for the “members” of the libertarian movement that it turned out to be complicated to take a position on it.
 I have followed some of these positions, although reading them vertically, without paying too much attention (not because of lack of interest but because of  lack of time) with the exception of texts signed by Tomás Ibáñez, a fellow whose texts I like to read. 
From his text of October 3, which I will not evaluate here, I would like to comment on a concept that struck me: “the anarchist arguments”, the fact that it is dificult “to understand (…) that participation in this struggle is justified by anarchist arguments”.  Are there such anarchist arguments?  Can they be used as a backbone of movement? 
Anarchism is a movement for change, as Tomás himself has explained to us.  A movement that moves constantly.  And in the Spanish state, it is made up of dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals who have not agreed on a time to draw collective lines of action for years.  What should be the anarchist arguments which we use to analyze the current situation of the Catalan conflict?  I am afraid that these arguments are as heterogeneous and heterodox as the libertarian movement itself and, therefore, trying to unify them is impossible and, if they do, they would lead to a new witch hunt that we have become so accustomed to since 1978 (coincidentally thisdate is linked with the Holy Constitution!). 
Many months ago I was publicly in favor of the republic (this is not true, but my provocative character can articulate, as Tomás has explained perfectly, many positions against the monarchy, a fact that in this context implies being for the republic, a unique outcome realistic and comprehensible) and the option to blow up the Spanish State.  I came to the conclusion that I could make my position public, or rather, I came to that position, after asking myself two questions.  (Actually, there were more, many more, but they can be reflected into two open questions and the desire to answer them openly and without fear). 
 One, the first, question was of a collective nature, and the second one (which had to be used to confirm, or not, the answer to the previous one) of a purely personal nature.  And both questions I formulated in the key of considering myself being part of something collective such as the libertarian movement. Could these then be the arguments of which Tomás spoke?  I doubt it, but instead its very clear to me that these yes therefor are one of the many arguments of “anarchists”, or rather, arguments of the libertarian movement.  And maybe there’s the difference … 
The first question, the collective one, was whether the libertarian movement, as a collective and by extension the majority of its members (I have difficulty in referring to the whole when we speak of such a diverse movement, with so many nuances), had something to lose.  It was an open question that also contained the opposite question: Can the libertarian movement be strengthened or do it have something to gain?
 
I must admit that of the double formulation, the negative and the positive, for me the first weighted much more , the fact of having nothing to lose, because after so many years of distance from the social mass, people, little real impact in society, I am willing to accept any possibility of change just so that anarchism can keep moving and get out of the ghetto.
The individual question was obviously the same. What do I have to lose as an anarchist?
 All the answers took me to the same destination.  As always with many contradictions (because as libertarians, in this capitalist and territorially compartmentalized world, it is impossible to achieve purity) but without fissures.
In the collective: The Catalan libertarian movement (if it can be so adjectivized without unleashing the ire of holy anarchy) has nothing to lose.  It will not be worse if the Catalan Republic is declared.  It is a reality that we now have the bigger weight of the Spanish State, and therefore, a Catalan Republic  will offen more possibilities to realize certain alternatives.  Should we continue to wait a possible global revolution, all over the planet at the same moment, to continue to maintain the anti-nationalist anarchist purity? Or is the problem is that we only have the right to an Iberian revolution because our ancestors decided this a hundred years ago? 
Let me say it (and crucify me for it, if you think it is appropriate – or call me Catalan supremacist, as some have already done), but the Catalan people have shown over the last few years to be able to force their politicians to accept social progress that are among the most advanced in Europe, and, unfortunately, Spanish politicians are not willing to grant any kind of progress in that direction.  No, I will not be the one to decide if the Spanish people are qualified to force their politicians to accept their wills, but instead I dare to venture that it is the Spanish democracy that is not qualified for such advances.
This is just a small excerpt from the many questions that have crossed my head, in short, to conclude that the libertarian movement has nothing to lose if change finally occurs and we stop living in the Spanish state and happen to live in a Catalan State.
And in the personal sphere, those who know me already know that hope can … 
  1. End the monarchy (that is, to stop being a vassal of a type to which I owe homage to his ancestors).
  2. End our Catalan schizophrenia (we were never nationalists and we did not mind having doubts, “Where are you from?”, “From Barcelona”, “Ah, Spanish”, “Yes, well, no …”) so long as the members of the independence movement stop being “independentista” to join the ranks of the movement that they want most – natives, communists, social democrats … Whatever it is but no longer “independentista” as a definition of “politics”).
  3. And of course, the most important of all, the mother of all reasons, the Big Bang, the explosion in pieces of the navel of the world, the reason the Universe turns, the Spanish empire…
Anyway, I do not know if all these are anarchist arguments, I would not dare to confirm that they are arguments of an anarchist (as some say, we do not yet have membership identity cards), but while the libertarian movement argues and takes a position, while some look at it from a distance and others participate, I can assure that many, here and there, will not stop looking at the street… Waiting for the Big Bang. 
Joni D in Solidaridad Obrera, October 22, 2017.