First brief Impressions from Thessaloniki

In dozens of announced workshops and informal meetings activists from all over Europe and beyond started last weekend with fruitful exchange and a lot of discussions on practical projects and initiatives to struggle for freedom of movement. Groups from Skopje, Sofia, Belgrade, Budapest, Zagreb and Ljubljana but also from Izmir, Tunis, Zurich and Malmö, from various italian, austrian, german and of course greek cities came together in a two days Balkanroute Networking meeting. In a great transnational composition it was possible to evaluate the last months developments and to think and plan for future initiatives. Three examples: Selforganised refugee activists from Thessaloniki presented their new call center project from refugees to refugees, friends from Serbia and Hungary promoted together the campaign against the criminalization of the Röscke 11, the idea for a common alarm- and info-phone across the whole Balkan was drafted.
Since Friday night of course the attempt of a new military coup in Turkey was a big topic, the friends from Istanbul and Izmir were and still are confronted with an uncalculable Situation in which they have to return after the camp. Nevertheless they tried to share their estimations about an even stronger and more repressive Erdogan regime and it was possible to reflect the EU-Turkey Deal and to discuss steps of further resistance.
Transnational activities against Frontex and Dublin, the question of sustainable activism or the idea of an multilingual online platform for the collective memory of migrant struggles: a wide spectrum of experiences and proposals could be rediscussed also on Monday and Tuesday, while every day convois started to visit the isolated “relocation camps” with thousands of stucked refugees and migrants. All the time the printed version of the great trilingual noborder newspaper could be distributed and used to invite refugees to join. Many took the chance and came to the Noborder Camp at the university area to share their experiences, to raise their demands, to enjoy the cultural program and the common time to build more contacts all over Europe. Of course it is not easy to bridge the various realities and interests all the time and some conflicts came up to handle the responsibilities for all visiting refugees and mainly due to their limited opportunities in the prepared program to speak about their daily problems. But finally more workshops and assemblies of refugees could be established as well, improvisation and spontaneous self organisation anyway is the challenge in such a huge Noborder camp…
Also first direct actions took place in these first days, for example in front of a main TV station to get more public attention to the demands of the stucked refugees. More demonstrations and protests are planned for the next days, while about 1200 activists are on the campus in the meanwhile, after 5 buses with 270 people coming from the Spanish state arrived as well on Monday night in Thessaloniki.
And just now, Wednesday morning, we are starting with 20 big buses and additional vans and cars in a convoi to protest in front of two detention camps in northern Greece and to express our solidarity with the refugees and migrants against their planned deportation.

no one is illegal Hanau

Picture below: new great wall painting at the campus in Thessaloniki


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