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02 2016

Transnational Assembly Against the Fence, for Real Europe Without Borders

Social Centre Rog Ljubljana




The inconceivable struggle of refugees and migrants we have been witnessing has resulted in the opening of the corridor of hope across the fortified borders of the European Union. Consequently, European forces started turning the Balkan Route into a detention route, leaving behind their democratic masks. The ruling classes of “Europe without borders” started erecting razor blade fences all over the Balkan Route. In their struggle, refugees and migrants have enjoyed massive support by collectives and individuals in solidarity. Together they have brought into the heart of Europe one of the principal contradictions of contemporary capitalism. They have showed that the main antagonism is the relation between two understandings of the freedom of movement and the right to migrate: a capitalist interpretation serves to establish a hierarchical global division of labour which is constantly challenged by the struggle of people to take control over the conditions of moving and migrating. For years hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from war and poverty have been seeking for dignified life in so-called buffer zones that have been administered by authoritarian regimes, supported by European powers. There, beyond the external borders of the EU, they have suffered massive violation of human rights. Today the violent and repressive character of the European migration and border regime is manifesting itself on European soil. In this atmosphere the number of openly racist politicians and opinion makers is growing as fast as never before. Encouraged by populist-racist roaring they work towards convincing us that we should accept the use of systematic violence and repression on refugees and migrants, embodied in the practices of averting and subjecting them to selection, segregation and merciless exploitation. Europe is turning into a racist dictatorship. Those in power want to preserve the existing border and migration regime. Therefore they are pushing refugees and migrants on the edges of the continent, turning paths of hope into detention routes. In this situation, a duty of the movements against exploitation and domination is to side with the refugees and migrants in a common struggle for a redefinition of the border regime.

Slovenian authorities are erecting a razor blade fence on the border with Croatia, the non-Schengen member of the EU. The aim of militarization of this border is clear: to repress the movement of the refugees and migrants, and to preserve European border and migration regime, regardless of the price. In case of failing to keep the existing regime in power, the system of producing and reproducing global capitalist hierarchies within and across the borders of the EU would have also failed. Moreover, the construction of a razor fence is a direct attack on the forms of transborder cooperation and modes of life that had – in the face of nationalism and racism that has always had an important role for a functioning of capitalism – existed and persisted for decades, even centuries. In our opinion the time has come to join two generations of struggles. The first one is a struggle against historical nationalism and racism that have caused so much suffering in Europe and have always been primary obstacle and simultaneously the target of the movements against exploitation. The second one is a struggle against currently rising nationalism and racism that cause numerous victims on the Balkan route and the other paths of hope.

For this reason we are calling for transnational and transborder assembly on which we will make plans for our common activities against razor blade fence on the border between Slovenia and Croatia, and against all other fences that are being currently constructed by the European countries.

The assembly will take place on 13th February 2016 in the Social Center Rog in  Ljubljana, starting at 12 am and lasting approximately until 7 pm. We would like it to take a combined form of plenaries and workshops in order to deepen the exchange and the cooperation along the Balkan Route. The assembly will also be an opportunity to discuss decentralized actions on 1st March, the day of transnational and transborder social strike.