No Border Lasts Forever Conference III
Retrospectives and perspectives of the antiracist movements
21st-23rd of February 2014
Studierendenhaus/ KOZ, Universität Frankfurt-Bockenheim, Mertonstr. 26-28
Please take part in our survey to design the agenda for the conference – see below.
Two years ago, the last No Border Lasts Forever conference took place in Frankfurt. Two years of ongoing struggles and changes in the antiracist and the self-organized migrants movements. Amongst these – most notably – an uprising of refugees in form of many strong initiatives, transnationally – even outside Europe – as well as in Germany.
Refugees marched from Würzburg to Berlin. Berlin has seen an occupied Oranienplatz for more than one year, putting the living conditions of refugees in Germany back on the political agenda. Lampedusa in Hamburg not only bridged the distance between the Mediterranean island and the Northern port city, but also built a strong urban alliance with a strong claim to a right to stay. In Baden-Württemberg a group of Afghan refugees from Hungary reclaimed their mobility and questioned the Dublin regime in the process. The Refugee Tribunal in Berlin denounced the inhumane migration policies of the German state systematically. In Bavaria, an ongoing campaign of hunger strikes, marches and occupations mobilised many refugees and challenged both Residenzpflicht and Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz along a strong claim for the right to stay. In Lagers across Germany, self organised protests and tours aimed at breaking the isolation. The resistance against deportations is ongoing and intensifying. The new visibility of refugees‘ struggles is not confined to Germany, protest camps springing to life in the very centre of large European cities such as Amsterdam and Vienna. While a series of revolts and hunger strikes taking place in many prisons along the European border, we see „no fingerprint“ demonstrations in Lampedusa, sit-in-protests in Tunis and ongoing collective storms against the fences of Ceuta and Melilla. At the moment we experience a transnational perpetuation and condensing of the struggles for freedom of movement.
At the same time, we are faced with the continued cruelty of the European border regime, resulting in death and suffering. In spite of the public attention to the tragedy in Lampedusa in October 2013, initiatives such as a strengthening of Frontex and the establishment of the European Surveillance System EuroSUR are being pushed forward. Across Europe we witness a surge in racist and populist mobilisations, threatening to revert important victories and achievements of the last decades.
We, representing a variety of antiracist, self-organized refugee and migrant groups and transnational networks have met in November because we feel that given these developments, there is the need to re-construct a political space of communication, debate and solidarity in order to advance the antiracist struggles and gain the potential to give collective responses. We acknowledge the diversity of struggles and the blind spots that exist. We started productive discussions about unity in respect to our multiplicity. We felt a common intention to infect and to inspire each other and to deepen a critical exchange. And we met in the interest to improve the transnational cooperation in next future. It is from this perspective and in this spirit that we call for a conference of the antiracist and selforganized refugee and migrant movements as one step in re-constructing said space where we can discuss visions, victories, strategies, challenges and failures in a manner of solidarity.
We start with this call, and ask everybody who wants to be part of that process to sign it. In order to make the conference a true conference of the movements and by the movements, we want to initiate a dialogue about content, direction and form of the conference.
Therefore, we haven’t fixed the contents of the conference yet, since we want to work on the topics that are most important for you, the activists and potential participants.
Please help us to do so by answering the following two questions:
1. What do you expect from the conference? What outcomes for the antiracist and selforganized refugee and migrant movement would you wish to have?
2. What are the biggest challenges that you have experienced during the last two years in your own political practice? Where have you seen major problems in the antiracist and selforganized refugee and migrant movement during the last two years?
The more answers we get, the more input we have for creating an agenda that will fit the movements‘ interests. Feel free to answer as a group or as an individual person. Try to keep your answers short and limit it to maximum 300 characters per question.
Please spread the questions in your networks and answer them on the website survey.antira.info or send the answers to survey (at) antira.info.
If you want to take part in the preparation, you are invited to join the next preparation meeting. It will take place 11th of January 2014, 12-6 PM, in Hanau, Marktstraße 3 (Internationaler Bund, 3rd floor).
Activists from Asylumstrike Berlin, Lampedusa in Hamburg, The Voice Refugee Forum, Caravan Munich, Welcome to Europe, Afrique Europe Interact, no one is illegal Hanau, Teachers on the street Mainz, Noborder Frankfurt, Action alliance against deportations Rhine-Main, NoLager Bremen, Flüchtlingsbewegung Sachsen-Anhalt, Aktion Bleiberecht Freiburg, Kein mensch ist Illegal Darmstadt, Flüchtlingsrat (Refugee Council) Hamburg
Sign the call
To sign the call and support the conference, send a mail to conference (at) w2eu.net.
For further information
Contact: conference (at) w2eu.net
No border lasts forever II in Frankfurt –
First impressions of the second conference of the antiracist movement
About 300 activists and interested individuals participated in the 2nd antiracist conference in Frankfurt / Main from 18 to 20 November 2011. So even a few more attended than in the previous year, but more important seems the composition. A bigger group of newcomers had come, on the other hand this time active refugees and migrants accounted for a good third of the participants. A whole series of workshops was prepared and moderated by self-organisations, in particular worth mentioning is the coming together of youths who struggle together against (Dublin) returns to Hungary.
After it had initially remained an open question following the first conference in 2010, whether and when there was going to be a follow-up conference, at the end of No border lasts forever II there was no doubt left. Mutual inspiration and encouragement made possible by such a meeting of the diverse antiracist networks and campaigns once again became evident in Frankfurt. Thus this form of regular and comprehensive networking has likely gained a strong foothold for the foreseeable future. In any case, there was an immediate agreement on a third conference at the beginning of 2013, in addition to a no border camp planned near Düsseldorf in August 2012 which is intended to become the focus for the mobilisation of the antiracist movement in the following year.
Undoubtedly, the second conference has again left some thematic gaps, in particular regarding the debates on societal racism, right-wing populism and its latest escalation in racist hit squads. And, at first, it didn’t seem „more visionary“ than last year’s conference. But, against the background of rapid developments in the last 11 months, from the uprisings in North Africa to Occupy, a number of inputs and workshops were touched by the transnational wind of change. „I am optimistic, I’m an activist!“ is not coincidentally a self-confident quote from a migrant participant in the panel during the ‘Between Transnational Solidarity and Joint Struggles’ talk.
In addition, below a short list of concrete agreements, of each of which more will certainly be heard and seen in the next weeks:
– Build-up and expansion of the Antiracist Compass as an all-encompassing web platform for networking and a common presentation of active groups, initiatives, and campaigns, see http://kompass.antira.info
– Anti-deportation platform: It is intended to take more coordinated action against deportations in future. Concrete information for those concerned and for activists are to be collected on a common website;
– As wide participation as possible in the demonstration for a right to stay by Youth Without Borders taking place on the occasion of the next Conference of the Interior Ministers in Wiesbaden on 7 December 2011, see http://jogspace.net/
– Airport action against Dublin II deportations:
Probably in February or March, there are to be coordinated actions against Dublin deportations at at least four airports. Those interested may get in touch at conference(at)w2eu.net
– boats4people as an Euro-African collaborative project, between Sicily, Lampedusa and Tunisian ports in April 2012, contact via email@example.com
– No border camp 2012, around the Düsseldorf charter deportation airport, probably between 20 and 26 August 2012, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to all involved in the preparation and running of the conference! And: we will see each other! At the no border camp or already earlier at one of the airports. Or by drawing on the contacts made in our daily lives – Let’s go for the next steps!
Best wishes from some of the conference team
No Border Lasts Forever* II
Second Review and Prospects Conference of the Antiracist Movement
18 to 20 November 2011, Frankfurt / Main
Who would have imagined, at the time of the first conference in December 2010, that shortly afterwards the Arab spring would start and that a few months later the EU-funded „watchdog regime“ in North Africa would be shaken with the despots‘ fall? The insurgency in the Maghreb has since inspired the economic crisis protests in Southern Europe. The struggles against the austerity programmes come into view as a transnational turning point. However the unavoidable return of those who were caught in the crossfire of the war in Libya marks the situation south of the Sahara. And at the same time, the deaths of over 2,000 boat people in the Mediterranean make the year 2011 one of the cruellest in the EU border regime’s history. Pogroms against migrants are close in time and space to the mass protests against the government and Troika* in Athens. Faced with the persistent resistance of refugees and migrants and following the domino effect of Europe-wide court decisions, the German Ministry of the Interior had to suspend the Dublin deportations to Greece in January 2011, too. But otherwise the deportation machine keeps running, stepped up by Frontex-assisted deportation charter flights, against Roma towards Kosovo, and Africans to Nigeria. Moreover there have been the electoral successes of right-wing populist parties across Europe – with the Breivik massacre in Norway as their tragic culmination.
These short spotlights – here focussed on migration – may be enough to show how contradictory an assessment of last months‘ events turns out. Unexpected new beginnings and calculated disasters simultaneously shape the global situation which to reflect will be an essential part during the second antiracist conference in Frankfurt.
Visions, networking, expansion was the threefold motto of the successful first conference at the end of last year, where up to 300 interested people and activists from various networks participated. A variety of initiatives presented their work, an exchange about common problems took place, plans for new campaigns were developed. For years, the antiracist movement has been characterized by considerable continuity, and this with regard to locally based and as well to transnational network projects at the same time. The potential lying in this diversity, in the composition, the contacts and interconnections became perceptible in Frankfurt.
We aim to build on this positive experience with the follow-up conference, again a mixture of plenary sessions, workshops and world cafés* is in preparation. And last but not least it is intended to try and enter, against a background of radical changes and developments, into a more in-depth debate on key issues and bring into the discussion more explicitly the question of how our demands will find a resonance in society. The (in comparison to the first conference) expanded preparatory group will arrange the programme around 7 focus areas.
If you plan to attend, please send an e-mail to the following address: email@example.com
Further information can be found at: http://conference.w2eu.net/
Friday, 18 November
4.00pm to 6.00pm
An Antiracist Compass for Orientation
Overview for newcomers with the aid of a new web platform
7.30pm to 8.00pm
Public Event / Opening Session:
Antiracist review of the year’s events – Fragments on the Arab spring and sub-Saharan* crisis, the refugee struggles in Germany and transnational precarious connections…
8.15pm to 9.00pm
Seven Times No!
Pecha Kucha* – image presentations on the key areas of the conference
No Border – No Lager – No Neocolonialism – No Sexism – No Deportation – No Racism – No Exploitation
Saturday, 19 November
9.00am to 10.00am Breakfast
10:00am to 10:30am
World café* session on the question of connections between the thematic axes
10.30am to 01.30am
Workshop Session I
– w2eu.info: web guide* for refugees and migrants on their way through Europe
– Resettlement* – Visa Campaign – Freedom, not Frontex: Demands and Campaigns in the Horizon of Freedom of Movement
– „Fingers in Hungary“* – concrete Dublin II* experiences of youths
– Daily Life in a Refugee Lager: Experiences of Refugees
– „Football Field of the West“: The relationship of Western countries to Africa
– Interfaces of Sexism and Racism – description attempts as an impulse for discussion
– Last Minute 1: Refugees prevent their deportation
– Last Minute 2: How supporters can contribute to stopping deportations at the airport
– Sarazzin in Germany, Right-Wing Populism in Europe
– Antiracist Networks and Self-Organisation – Solidarity or „Cold War“
1.30pm to 3.00pm Lunch Time / Break
3.00pm to 6.00pm
Workshop Session II
– Abolish Dublin II*!
– Where is our „place“? – Arabellion* and migration, the Mediterranean region on the verge of change?
– Migration Control, Population Policy and Heteronormativity* – as evident in the example of (cross-border) marriage migration (crossover* to No Sexism)
– Self-Organisation of Deported in West Africa: Between Reorientation and Re-Departure…
– Prospects of anti-Lager struggles
– How to Involve Refugee Women in Antiracist Work (crossover* to No Sexism)
– Women’s Mobilisation for Gender Justice in West Africa (crossover* to No Sexism)
– Joint start: Resistance against Collective Deportations,
then break-up into working group 1 taking Nigeria as an example: Against Embassy Hearings and Frontex Charter Flights*, and working group 2 taking the situation of the Roma as an example: Stop Deportations – Everyone Stays!
– Struggles against racist police violence (amongst others with reference to Oury Jalloh) and racist special laws
– Reflections on support work in antiracist contexts
– Undocumented and on strike: Hands-on suggestions not only for 1 March 2012
6.00pm to 8.00pm Evening Meal / Break
8.00pm to 10.00pm
Between Transnational Solidarity and Joint Struggles
Talk show with an activist belonging to a self-organisation of deported in Mali, an activist of the Afrique-Europe-Interact network from Rostock, an Afghan No Borders activist from Lesvos / Berlin and an activist of the w2eu network from Hanau …
Sunday, 20 November
9.00am to 10.00am Breakfast
10.00am to 11.00am
Plenary session with a short summary and questions on prospects, organized as a world café session
11.00am to 12.30pm
Workshop Session III: How to continue?
– Common project / joint mobilisation / No Border Camp 2012 ??
– The antiracist compass as a new medium for diversification and networking
– Workshop on the mobilisation against the IMK* in December in Wiesbaden
– Land Grabbing*: Intensification of Hunger and Climate Change by Neocolonial Land Deprivation in Africa (campaign proposal by Afrique-Europe-Interact)
1.00pm to 2.00pm Final Plenary Session
No border lasts forever: a title with a double meaning – no border will exist forever & no-border struggles will go on forever
Troika: originally carriage drawn by three horses – group of three, consisting of International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank
Sub-Saharan: countries south of the Sahara, such as Mali
Pecha Kucha: enjoyable presentation format with each presentation consisting of 20 images
World café: facilitation/moderation method for small group discussions in meetings
Web guide: guide on the internet
Resettlement: reception of refugees
Fingers in Hungary: Registered fingerprints leading to being returned to Hungary under the Dublin II Regulation
Dublin II: European Union Regulation concerning the distribution of asylum seekers according to their first registration (by fingerprinting or due to an asylum application)
Heteronormativity: institutional and societal norms connected with the binary gender system
Arabellion: play on the words „Arabia“ and „rebellion“ given the chain of uprisings in North Africa
Crossover: bridge between two thematic axes
Frontex charter flight: Collective deportation coordinated by the EU border agency
IMK: Conference of the Interior Ministers, taking place twice a year in changing federal states, 2011 in Hesse
Land grabbing: large-scale acquisitions of land for export interests
»no border lasts forever II«
REVIEW AND PROSPECTS CONFERENCE OF THE ANTIRACIST MOVEMENT
18 to 20 November 2011
frankfurt am main | universität
ffm-bockenheim, studierendenhaus/koz, mertonstr. 26 – 28
RSVP by 1 November 2011 to
kein mensch ist illegal | metzgerstr. 8 | 63450 hanau
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | web: conference.w2eu.net
supported by the
fachschaften 03 & 04 (students’ representation) at the goethe university frankfurt
We will try to have translations into English and French organised!
No Border Lasts Forever II
18 – 20 November 2011 in Frankfurt / Main
Second invitation to contribute to a (follow-up) conference of the antiracist movement – preparatory meeting in Hanau on Saturday, 10th of September
Visions, networking, expansion was the threefold motto of the antiracist conference the Welcome to Europe network had invited to to Frankfurt in December 2010. Up to 300 interested people and activists from various networks participated in plenary sessions, workshops and world cafés. A variety of initiatives presented their work, an exchange about common problems took place, plans for new campaigns were developed.
The antiracist movement has been characterised by considerable continuity for years, and this with regard to locally based and transnationally interconnected projects simultaneously. The potential lying in this diversity, in the composition, the contacts and cross-linkages became perceptible at the Frankfurt conference.
We aim to build on this experience with the follow-up conference, the time and place of which have now been established at an early stage: from 18 to 20 November and again at the same location in Frankfurt / Main. At two meetings, first in Hildesheim in March and then in Münster, during the Grenzfrei festival at the end of May, first preparatory discussions started, people and groups from different cities and with diverse thematic priorities are now involved. Over the next weeks this process will continue, mostly via email, thus a distribution list is being used for communication. And on 10th of September, from 11am to 6pm, a meeting will take place in Hanau where suggestions regarding the content as will have been developed by that time will be combined to a first programme.
Those who would like to contribute to this preparatory process can get in touch using the conference address below. Another update and a more detailed invitation to the preparatory meeting will follow by the beginning of September at the latest.
Review on first conference 2010:
„No Border lasts forever!“
First impressions and brief informations to the conference in Frankfurt
Friday evening the conference-space at the university of frankfurt was crowded with up to 300 participants. Big interest and positive feedback were given to the introductional input (historical vision) about abolitionism and freedom of movement as well as to the kaleidoscope with 10 short presentations (with pictures/pecha kuchas) about various antiracist networks and campaigns.
About 250 people took part at the plenaries and workshops on saturday and sunday. The composition of the participants in the conference did reflect the variety of the activist spectrum of the antiracist movement and a lot of new groups and initiatives have been present too.
In the meanwhile the reader (only in german) can be found on the homepage, which was distributed in the beginning of the conference and which should be extended to „yellow pages“/webguide of the antiracist movement. Perhaps it should be combined with a new virtual platform of antiracist events, where the most important mobilisations can be collected.
In most workshops appointments were made to meet again or even to propose common activities. For example for Tuesday, the 22nd of March 2011, a gemanwide day of actions against camps is planned as an outcome from a workshop.
A proposition for a big common mobilisation in 2011 could not be decided for (as exspected) on the final plenary. But the conference first of all aimed on a process of leading together the manifould common potential and to strengthen the networking instead of the split-ups. Both happened very succesful in the 3 days in Frankfurt, a satisfied or even excited atmosphere was dominant in the final plenary.
Subsequently it was agreed from many participants to plan a follow-up conference for next year (perhaps in November 2011) and to prepare within a wider spectrum. On sunday, 13th of march, the opportunity is given to evaluate the conference in the frame of a meeting of the network Welcome to Europe and to predecide about the date and place for the follow-up.
Finally: a lot of donations as well as the financal contributions from some students-organisations and from medico international could cover more or less all costs of the conference. Thanks to everybody for this.
Best regards from the conference-team
From Abolitionism to Freedom of Movement?
History and visions of antiracist struggles
Whole speech from first Noborder Lasts Forever conference 2010: abolitionism.pdf