Archive for april 12th, 2017

april 12, 2017

ZINE: FREE the röszke 11 Imprisonment of Migrants and Repression against MOvements in Hungary and Beyond

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april 12, 2017

Documenta Under Fire over Artist and Refugee Evictions

Following the opening of Documenta 14 in Athens, an artist group published an open letter criticizing the exhibition’s silence after a series of evictions of artists and raids of buildings housing refugees in the city.

Artists Against Evictions claim that viewers are not “Learning from Athens”—the title of this year’s exhibition—but are instead only seeing a version of the city that is state-approved. It accuses the mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, of standing by while the government evicted artists from the shared space Villa Zografou, arrested 120 refugees who were squatting in Alkiviadou, and bulldozed refugee homes in Thessaloniki. Kaminis had said that refugees occupying buildings owned by the municipality are “degrading the city.” In response, the signatories declared that this is “not a time of culturally archiving crisis. Now is a time of action not blind consumption.”

Addressed to all Documenta 14 visitors, participants, and cultural workers, the letter states: “The silence of Documenta is not acceptable and only goes further to accommodate Mayor Kaminis, the State, the Church, and the NGOs who stand against us and force thousands into segregated concentration camps, prepped and ready for the very bodies your director says he’s trying to protect. This violent act is dividing the legitimate bodies from the illegitimate ones by state force and Documenta has so far been silent.”

Unofficial refugee housing, known as squats, have cropped up throughout Athens in order to provide shelters that often have far better living conditions than official refugee camps. While the mayor allegedly calls these spaces “ghettos,” Artists Against Evictions considers them to be homes to thousands of displaced people. The group calls for all those participating in and visiting the exhibition to help refugees by supporting housing for migrants in Greece. The group believes that Documenta has a responsibility to address the constant raids on refugee shelters. It also claims that the “Parliament of Bodies,” a series of programming—talks, events, workshops—that preceded the opening of Documenta, had pledged to represent minority voices. “Well, we are those voices, we are inclusive to all genders, we are migrants, we are modern pariahs, we are the dissidents of the regime and we are here.” The letter continues, “We walk with you, we tread the parallel streets, but you don’t see us.”

The full letter is as follows:

To all Documenta 14 Viewers, Participants and Cultural Workers,

We call for your attention, in this immediate moment of “Learning from Athens.”
We are the people who inhabit this city and we are talking to you as our guests.

Your jostling bodies crowd the streets of Athens, your mouths are speaking of our hardship, your feet are pounding the pavements. But this is not enough. Now is a time for carving out a space for all, not a time of culturally archiving crisis. Now is a time of action not blind consumption. We ask you to redirect your limbs into the shadows and the black outs, away from the feast the Mayor of Athens has staged for you.

You say you want to learn from Athens, well first open your eyes to the city and listen to the streets.

One of you laments the discourse of illegitimate bodies. At the same time, by staying silent, he is assisting the eradication of spaces for the thousands of bodies who inhabit this city in autonomous units. These squatted houses are under constant threat; daily we are told we will be evicted through violent means. Not only jeopardizing our basic human needs, but our support networks, spaces of autonomy and unified cultural practices. In these buildings, artists and activists coexist together with thousands of refugees, who have come here from war-torn countries to seek new lives with dignity and freedom.

The silence of Documenta is not acceptable and only goes further to accommodate Mayor Kaminis, the State, the Church and the NGOs who stand against us and force thousands into segregated concentration camps, prepped and ready for the very bodies your director says he’s trying to protect. This violent act is dividing the legitimate bodies from the illegitimate ones by state force and Documenta has so far been silent.

The precursor events of Documenta 14, entitled “The parliament of bodies” spoke of the voices of resistance, transgender voices, the voices of the minority. Well, we are those voices, we are inclusive to all genders, we are migrants, we are modern pariahs, we are the dissidents of the regime and we are here. We walk with you, we tread the parallel streets, but you don’t see us – you have your eyes trained on the blue dotted lines of your Google map. You have been programmed and directed not to see us, to just miss us, reverse and avoid us – our culture has been censored from you. We ask you to recalibrate your devices, we ask you to get lost, to hack your automation, and rewire your cultural viewpoint.

In the run up to all those budget airlines hitting the tarmac, we have confronted some serious battles.

Only three weeks ago, at dawn on the 13th March 2017 the state evicted the social space Villa Zografou. They simultaneously raided Alkiviadou refugee squat and arrested 120 refugees only to release them out into the cold, homeless and without their belongings in the streets at midnight. This is not an isolated incident of oppression. Last summer in Thessaloniki, people faced the violent eviction and bulldozing of refugee homes. Immediately after these barbaric evictions and abuses, mayor Kaminis stated that the occupation of municipality owned buildings by migrants is “degrading the city.” The same mayor stood before you on April 6th, presiding with pomp over the Documenta press conference.

The Greek government today threatens to destroy anyone who seeks grassroots solidarity, self-organization and to build spaces for new beginnings. Over 2000 refugees share these spaces with artists and others, and form communities.

This aggressive cleansing will not stop, and we are under threat of losing all autonomous houses by the summer of 2017. These houses are our culture, our homes, and our structures. The mayor of Athens calls them ghettos but what is one man’s ghetto is thousands of people’s home, and site of social expression and interaction.

WE ARE ASKING YOU TO FIRST SEEK ATHENS AND THEN LEARN FROM US.

BY PARTICIPATING BLINDLY YOU ARE SUPPORTING THE GOLDEN GHETTOISATION OF OUR NEIGHBOURHOODS, THE EVICTION OF OUR COMMUNITIES, AND THE SYSTEMS OF PATRIARCHY THAT STAND ON OUR FINGERS AS WE TRY TO BUILD OUR OWN, SELF-SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURES.

CONSIDER YOUR PARTICIPATION AND ROLE IN EVENTS THAT IMPLICITLY LEND COVER AND LEGITIMACY TO THE MAYOR AND STATE’S ACTIONS.

YOU ARE CONDONING THE WAR ON GRASSROOTS INITIATIVES FOR ALL IF YOU IGNORE OUR CALL.

WE CALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY TO:

CLOSE THE CAMPS, NOT THE SQUATS
SOLIDARITY TO ALL SQUATS
AGAINST THE AGREEMENT OF EU-TURKEY SHAME
OPEN THE BORDERS

8th April 2017, Artists Against Evictions

april 12, 2017

#NoBorder: International Mobilisation at the French/Italian Border

Apart from the transnational demonstration at the Serbian/Hungarian border on April 15th, there will be also an International Mobilisation at the French/Italian Border against the borders and all their world at April 15th and 16th.

border16apr

Originally published by Mobilisation Internationale

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing them for people across the US and Europe so they are able to read what is going on.

Place

Saturday, April, the 15th we will be in Flayosc to the factory of « La
Redonne » near Draguignan, 20 minutes from Les Arcs-Draguignan station,
the motorway and the National 7.
Sunday, the 16th, we drive to the border with Italy.

Program

Friday afternoon camp organization and reception of the first arrivals.

Saturday: workshops, debates, music at the factory site, La Redonne in
Flayosc

In the morning:
-> reception of participants from 9 am.
-> pactical workshop for the creation of banners and signs for events
-> Roundtable: How to actively participate in the struggle in support of
migrants?

The afternoon :
14h-16h: Parallel workshops and debates
-> the situation in Italy: projection of the documentary « For a
proportionate use of the force » and presentation of the situation in
Italy (practics to take fingerprints, torture, deportation …).
-> Debate on legal self defense for everyone, regardless of their
administrative status. (What to do in case of arrests, deportations,
crimes of solidarity …)
-> Round Table: How to fight against immigration policies?
(Externalization of the borders, Dublin IV, international agreements
…)
-> Proposition of a workshop animated by immigrant people, if they wish
16h30-18h30: Plenary session to share common ideas, experiences,
strategies and tools  for the struggle and perspectives.

The evening:
19h30-20h30: during dinner, screenings of short films in loop
music from 20:30 onwards (bands, choirs, revolutionary groups, according
to proposals)

Sunday:  caravan to the French-Italian border for demonstration and
supporting actions

Monday Camp dismantling and if possible a bit of time devoted to
strengthening knowledge and ties, etc.

For Information: we will organize meals and breakfast for the day of
Saturday and Sunday morning.
The evenings of Friday, Sunday and Monday, there will not be collective
meals although it is still possible to prepare a meal together –
drinking water is on site)
Camping in the fields. And ecological toilets on site.

noborders2

april 12, 2017

Call for Transnational Demo At Serbian/Hungarian Border

On April 15th, 2017 there will be a transnational demonstration at the Hugarian/Serbian border. In the call for the demonstration, Migszol writes: “We demonstrate against the dehumanizing state-propaganda! We demonstrate against any kind of detention of people seeking asylum and migrants! We demonstrate against the illegal practice of violence by the Hungarian authorities on the border!

border_1_orig

Originally published by MigSzol Facebook event page

Note: Presence Counts is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing them for people across the US and Europe so they are able to read what is going on.

Transnational demonstration, Saturday April15th from 03:00pm until 06:00pm at the Hungarian side of the Horgoš / Röszke Border Crossing.

Since March 15th changes in the Hungarian law were passed which mean that ALL people seeking asylum will be detained in prison-containers at the Hungarian-Serbian border. It also means that the only place to apply for asylum is in the two transit zones at the border, where only 10 people per (week) day can enter. Everybody who enters the country ‘illegally’ can be pushed back from the whole territory of Hungary to the Serbian side of the fence again.

These push-backs are already happening since the fence was built in September 2015. People report about serious violence committed by Hungarian police, including hours of beating, humiliation, attacks with dogs and theft. A special unit of the police, the border hunter unit, who gets trained in 2 months, equipped with weapons and sent to the borders, has started to work. The legal changes systematically legalize the violence and over the last years have decreased the rights of people seeking protection to the current level of dehumanization as indefinite prisoners.

We demonstrate against the dehumanizing state-propaganda!

We demonstrate against any kind of detention of people seeking asylum and migrants!

We demonstrate against the illegal practice of violence by the Hungarian authorities on the border!

Join us on the 15th of April on the Hungarian side of the border!

Further information later at the Facebook event page.