No Border Lasts Forever Conference III:
Retrospectives and perspectives of the antiracist movements
21st-23rd of February 2014 in Frankfurt/Main
Studierendenhaus/ KOZ, Universität Frankfurt-Bockenheim, Mertonstr. 26-28
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.
These developments require a re-construction of a political space of communication, debate and solidarity in order to advance the antiracist struggles and gain the potential to give collective responses acknowledging the multiplicity and diversity of struggles. The conference should offer a space for productive discussions, a space where we can discuss visions, victories, strategies, challenges and failures in a manner of solidarity.
The conference is prepared by antiracist, self-organized refugee and migrant groups and transnational networks.
Initial signatures and preparation groups:
Activists from Asylumstrike Berlin, Lampedusa in Hamburg, The Voice Refugee Forum, Caravan Munich, Welcome to Europe, Afrique Europe Interact, no one is illegal Hanau and Darmstadt, Teachers on the Road Mainz, Noborder Frankfurt, Action alliance against deportations Rhine-Main, NoLager Bremen, Youth without Borders (JOG),Women in Exile and friends, Halk Evi Darmstadt, Refugee movement Sachsen-Anhalt, Aktion Bleiberecht Freiburg, Refugee Council Hamburg, No Lager Halle, Infomobile Greece, ATIF – Federation of Workers from Turkey in Germany, International Federation of Iranian Refugees