25.5.2016 Updates from the eviction in Idomeni

On this site we are constantly collecting observations and information which residents of the camp send to us about the second day of the police operation in Idomeni.

Follow us as well on Twitter and #Idomeni.

15:00: Some buses from Idomeni are being brought to the camp Oreokastro. There are people already living there since a couple of days. One friend who has been staying there since some days describes the situation there:
“The camp has many problems, it is very small and does not have space for 1000 people. There is water here, in small tanks, but not enough. Often the water stops. Also we have problems with the bathrooms. There are not enough and they are not clean.  Now they are bringing more buses, but there is not enough space.”
Yesterday and the day before there were protests in the camp and people blocked the street. If more people come to the camp it will be over crowded and the conditions will deteriorate even further.
Nonetheless, there are signs of self-sustainability from the people. Some small businesses are already established, selling the most important things for people to cook for themselves. It shows how fast people are able to adapt to their new situation and take matters into their own hand, when the authorities fail to do so.

13:30: Our friends M., R. and A. are outraged as they learned where the authorities are bringing people. They are determined to leave on their own terms and to the place they want to go. This place lies in the North rather than in the South of Idomeni.

“Macedonia is better than where the police are bringing us now. One friend of mine, he went with the buses yesterday with his family to a camp close to Thessaloniki, it is so bad there, there is nothing there. Now, they want to go back to Turkey. Better Turkey than where they bring us now. It is really true, it is so bad there. And there are people that want to come back. They take taxis from Thessaloniki back to here, back to Idomeni.
It is very bad in Idomeni now too, very precarious. Because of the police, they scare people, scream. The camp is like a ghost town now. People don’t leave their tents. Nobody is on the streets. Yesterday, the police broke open the tents if people did not want to go. And they broke our tents. The new tents that we bought with our own money. We don’t want to go to the other camps. Our friends tell us they are so bad. We want to leave on our own terms, not be forced on buses and brought to a worse place. We will not go on the buses. We will find a way to leave on our own and find a good place for our selves.”

13:00: There are reports about people protesting in the buses, refusing to disembark. Apparently, people do not want to go to the Nea Kavala Camp, which is around 20km away from Idomeni, but demand to be brought to Thessaloniki.

11:00: Our friends from inside the camp are upset and desperate as the situation is deteriorating. H. complains „I am even not allowed to go to the toilet. I have diabetes and a heart condition but they don’t let me“. They panick as their friends are already trying to get back to Idomeni because of squalid conditions in the official camps: „They say it is like pig stalls, not for humans!“. Reportedly the evacuation slows down as people refuse to enter the official makeshift camp in Vagiochori.

09:00: The second day of the operation has started. Residents report on the return of the police to the camp. Apparently they are now evicting the tents on the railway tracks. According to Greek media new makeshift camps have been openend in Thermi, Efkarpia, Grevena and already existing ones have been extended in Larissa, Thessaloniki, Kalochori.


Arrested for distributing a newspaper

Earlier today in Idomeni, police  arrested people  (greek and migrants) who were distributing in Eidomeni an antiautoritarian newspaper published in arabic (Apatris).



Statement of MovingEurope regarding the eviction of Idomeni

Since heavy clash’s between the Greek police and inhabitants of the make shift camp of Idomeni have erupted and most of the people had to experience police violence by tear gas (1). Idomeni hasn’t become calm. Meanwhile on the weekend intense rain transformed the camp in a mud place again (2), supporting structures got more and more limited access to the camp. Cars have been stopped, frisked and volunteers have been taken to police stations for several hours.

In the night to Monday, several sources were reporting about massive police force movements towards Idomeni in order to be ready for an upcoming eviction. According to media sources, it is highly likable that police is going to start the eviction on early Tuesday morning (3). Due to high pressure from the opposition and the latest heavy clashes in Idomeni, the government changed their mind on waiting for a volunteering closure of the camp. The police is hoping for a non-violent eviction, which is in the eyes of Moving-Europe nearly impossible since tension is high and frustration about the desperation which the Greek and European authority’s forced the inhabitants of Idomeni camp in is high. Members of supporting structures in and around Idomeni expressed to us their concerns about the physical and psychological conditions for the people if they going to be confronted with massive police and military forces. “It is insane to conduct an eviction at the moment. There are hundreds of family’s, thousands of children and many people in bad physical conditions, this will create enormous damage and raise frustration even more”. Referring to the current developments with the agreement between Turkey and the EU which seems to be at a crossroads (4), she adds: “Everything is unsure at the moment, we can’t understand why the authority is creating facts when there is everything instable and nothing working as they want”.

On Monday morning it was reported from Idomeni, that at several points, authority’s closed the waterlines (5). Next to the limitation of food supply, this gives an idea about how police is planning to empty the camp: Creating a lack of basic needs and force the people, particually the vulnerable people on leaving by them self, which accordingly to posts on social media is working for many people (6). This was also confirmed by an inhabitant of the camp on Monday morning on the phone: “There are several busses this morning waiting for people, I think several will take this, since it is maybe the last chance”. He adds that NGO’s are present, but one NGO worker told him that they probably can’t come from tomorrow on anymore.

CNN Greece reports, that the upcoming eviction might take up to 7 days and is following a strategy, which were brought to us as an rumor already two month ago: The forces will separate the camp in several sectors which will be isolated from each other, these sectors will be over several days emptied, outside the view of media and volunteers in order to avoid witnesses (7).
The future of the about 9.000 inhabitants of Idomeni camp is unsure. Some sources report people are going to be brought to Thessaloniki to guarantee health service and housing8, but supporters are doubtful that there are places for everybody, needless to say that situation in other camps is even worth to Idomeni and disillusioning.


[1] Statement by MSF:
[2] Rain:


Eidomeni to be evicted

Greek police leaked yesterday to the Press that Eidomeni will be evicted. Riot police was transferred from Athens to the area close to the camp. Today, “last preparations” should be done. The eviction is supposed to start tomorrow morning. According to the leaked info, the eviction will take three days or a whole week. This evening, roads to Eidomeni will be closed. The will try to kick out all media/NGOs/activists before they start the eviction.


Talking with Refugees in Samos

The term ‘the system’ is one we have come across many times when talking with refugees and with poor people in many places and in various countries. It refers to the ways in which people understand the world and their place in it. It is also a description of the world in which they live under the gaze of teachers, police, social workers, border guards, prison officers, NGOs, bosses and supervisors and so on. It is the system that watches and humiliates and as one young Syrian refugee told us, it celebrates and feeds on wars. “Always war“ he said. “If it is not shooting you in your body, it is trying to destroy your brain and always shoots at our pockets.”

“We are used and abused by the system. The same system that has corrupted north Africa and so many other countries as well, and made it impossible to stay there with any life and freedom is here in Europe. I feel like there are lots of people and organisations living off my back as a refugee. I am being used all the time to make money by big organisations. I know that they get money to look after us. But where does it go. Why don’t we see it?”

His friend, another Moroccan student added; “the system tries to fuck us all the time. It wants to make decisions for all of us but shares nothing. It cares for money and control and not about us. Never. It fights humanity. It wants to destroy humanity. And they call this real life and democracy! Fuck them. “

“Why does this system trouble us so much?”

To which a local from Samos replied that he too was being screwed in his own country and that he too was suffering; “in this situation we must never blame each other. They want us to fight each other.” He continued, “I want to help the refugees here but there is so little I can do even to help myself.”

It was during this conversation that Imad from Algeria took out a paper and drew a pyramid. The top of the pyramid was not connected to the bottom three quarters of the pyramid. PyramidThe gap in between was bridged by a single ladder. And in the top piece Imad drew a giant eye. Hundreds of tiny pyramids filled the bottom three quarters “This is how I see the system. We the people live in the bottom part controlled by a few at the top. They have a giant eye which looks down on us and is always looking for ways to make money. To get out of the bottom part and into the top they have put a single ladder which only allows one person to pass at a time. There are 6 billion of us trying to get to that ladder. It’s chaos at the bottom of the ladder. At the same time they want us to be controlled by the tiny pyramids all around us – schools, police, army…- We are now governed by people we never know or even see.”


Ask about the chief characteristic of the system and the conversation moves to discussions about humanity and inhumanity. These are the most common terms used. Basically the system is seen as lacking humanity and for many it is seen as being actively against humanity. It is cruel on every issue. What, as one Pakistani male refugee asked us can be more inhumane than making and stockpiling nuclear weapons? Or weapons of any kind, said another. Those who hold power simply don’t care about the lives of the majority. They never say simple things like lets help each other. They never stand with people who face difficulties. If they become rich they turn their backs and get to the front. But what saddened many in these discussions was the way in which the system tried and succeeded in dividing people; making people afraid of one another which “makes us forget to trust in each other”. “So many of us end up living in fear”.

The system is global. It touches everyone and everywhere. It has no nationality although some places like the USA, Europe, Russia and China, they tell us have been and continue to be powerful in its shaping. But from Morocco to Iraq, Algeria to Somalia, Yemen to Pakistan we hear the same kinds of stories of a system that only cares for the few and seems to hate the many. Theft of income from national resources takes place on a monumental scale. The people see these grand corruptions regularly go unpunished. It is a system where bribery is part of its blood system. In Algeria it is commonly understood that the bigger the theft the bigger the reward. But thieve a loaf of bread and prison waits. Respect for the law is a joke, for all the laws are made to protect the powerful. They are not our laws, we are told time and again.

Many of the refugees we have met come from countries with rich natural resources the most important being at this time oil and gas but also including a wide number of valuable minerals (gold for example in the case of Libya). This is not however a common treasury for the people but the ‘honey pots’ for which the system will happily bomb and destroy a country in order to keep them for themselves. “To have oil or gas brings big problems to our country. I wish we had beans instead” one Iraqi told us.

Shameless looting for private gain is how local elites sustain their lavish life-styles amidst widespread poverty. “They call themselves Algerian but they don’t live here like us. They have houses in France and the US. They can go anywhere. Not like us” (Imad). Some weeks ago Mamoud had told us that his home city in Punjab had an international airport for the exclusive use of the local rich and businesses. “Its full of private jets. I think most of the time they are used to take people shopping in the Gulf states or to sex resorts like Agadir in Morocco. We can’t use the airport”.

robbersThey are right of course to see how big money talks. When we tell them that the UK government fast tracks permanent residency permits for anyone prepared to invest 1.5million pounds in the UK they smile knowingly. Now Greece is also promising the same, although given the crisis here, the price is much lower at 250,000 Euros. No detention camps for the rich! Nor rubber boats and border controls either!

Whilst many we have talked with see wealth as theft – to become rich means making someone else poor – these discussions with refugees are often much more nuanced and influenced by the Islamic practice of zakat. “Zakat literally means “that which purifies”.Zakat is considered a way to purify one’s income and wealth from sometimes worldly, impure ways of acquisition. According to Murata and Chittick, ” just as ablutions purify the body and salat purifies the soul so zakat purifies possessions and makes them pleasing to God” (Wikipedia).  Zakat is essentially an annual religious tax of 2.5% of your assets above a set minimum which is then distributed to the poor. It is a serious obligation according to Islam and failure to pay zakat will weigh heavily against you at the time of judgement. Practices and amounts vary from place to place but it is estimated that zakat raises around (US)$200 billion a year which is 1.5 times the annual global humanitarian aid contributions. As a result many refugees from Moslem majority countries, whilst utterly rejecting wealth acquired through corruption and looting are more likely to judge the wealthy by what they do with their money rather than with uncompromising hostility. We have been given many examples of how zakat contributions can be critical to well being and provide valuable help to the poor including many in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.’ Needless to say zakat in reality is more uneven in its practice. But it does mean that a crucial humanitarian notion of obligation to the poor and the vulnerable is part of every day discussions about wealth and its meaning for society, which is now totally absent in much of the West.


In the summer of 2015 we happened to come across 44 refugees who had just landed from the usual unsafe and overloaded rubber inflatable. These are very emotional moments as the refugees are washed with relief at having made it without injury or loss of life as well as coming to terms with the terror they had just experienced. There is sobbing and laughter and all places in between. In this instance a brilliant MSF nurse once he had checked all was well got out his accordion and began to play folk dance music. The joy was explosive as we danced and hugged one another. It was amazing to see the transformation in all of us. No common spoken language but an elemental human connection crossing all barriers and bringing us together.

The system might have set its face against humanity but this is not true for vast numbers of people as we have seen so often especially in the past 18 months. But we should not be confused by the mainstream media’s celebration of the heroic efforts of so called ‘ordinary’ people embracing the refugees which has encouraged a view that this response was exceptional, unusual and unexpected. The truth is that human solidarity has always been central to the survival and well being of the poor. It happens all the time and continues to be a source of enormous joy and strength. It forms the protective shield which ensures that the system never crushes us all; that informs the bloody mindedness of the Berber insistence that “we never give up” and “never surrender”. As one Berber refugee from north Africa told us, the system “might get me but there are millions more behind me”. Similar processes and systems are evident daily amongst the local people of Samos who have seen their island destroyed by austerity and poverty. The daily patterns of life here are shaped by countless forms of solidarity (often family based) which directly confronts austerity with a ‘fuck you’ mentality. At the same time there has been the constant drum beat of the system here on Samos which blames the refugees for the collapse of tourism this year. It drips like acid trying to corrode our humanity.

Even so these solidarities provide or at least point to a vision of a society which gives hope. When we hear some of the refugees attacking the system we also hear them saying “it does not need to be like this” and most importantly we could do it much better. We have heard many refugees  tell us how their neighbourhoods which have been abandoned by the state manage themselves without the drama and theatrics of the system. It is not difficult therefore to understand why so many refugees say that they just want the system to let them be: get out of our lives; you only bring us difficulties and humiliations. Let us be so we can sort ourselves out. The millions of euros you spend on managing and controlling us bring only benefits to the system. Give us this money to make a fresh start in Europe and you will see what we can achieve for ourselves and in our new homes. “Stop making decisions for us. You never ask us what we want”. It is the same with many of the NGOs and human rights groups. “They claim to represent our interests. I never gave them this right”. “All their vests, jeeps, offices, workers, flags and logos are paid for from our backs. How does this help us?”

Open Eye Kitchen Samos

Open Eyes Balkan Route Kitchen, Samos

These discussions on Samos at least, were sharpened by the refugees’ experience of the two (No Borders and Open Eyes) kitchens which fed them for over 5 months. The contrast with the NGOs could not have been greater. The kitchens operated and functioned in total solidarity with the refugees. They became the only safe refugee places on the island where people could gather to drink tea, talk, play chess and share information. The food was prepared and cooked with the refugees. Preparing, cooking and then eating the meals was done with respect and dignity and had none of the frenzied, chaotic and inhumane characteristics common within the Camp. Moreover, the volunteers who established and managed the kitchens were in undivided solidarity with the refugees. Unlike most of the other NGO workers who have tight gagging clauses in their contracts which compels them to be silent, the Kitchen volunteers would not tolerate such limitations. The kitchens demonstrated the effectiveness of solidarity and humanity. They stood outside of the system and shared with refugees their disdain for what it does and what it stands for. ‘The system is just not capable of doing good. It needs to destroyed it cannot be reformed’.

Refugees preparing food at No Borders Kitchen, Samos

Refugees preparing food at No Borders Kitchen, Samos

This is but one example from Samos but there are countless others across the globe. Even in the most miserable places such as Idomeni and Calais we have seen refugees create in self managed camps schools, health centres, clubs, libraries, shops, bathing facilities and systems of mutual support which have made life bearable. Little wonder they resist being moved into the camps/ prisons run by the system. We do not lack for inspiration if we know where to look. Health programmes, schools, farming, and more, for the people and by the people based on solidarity and humanity shows us again and again how we can do things better and bring joy rather than misery to many people.

Listen to Us. Talk with Us!

But as some of the refugees we have met told us, so much about their lives and experiences are unknown to the majority of people. ‘They don’t know the difficulties we face neither the ways in which we survive as human beings and resist the attempts of the system to destroy us’. Because people are now so divided and separated in the places where they live, “things happen” which never get reported in the press or the TV. “In my neighbourhood in Algiers it is only poor people. Until we organised, the police were disturbing us every day. Many of them were violent. They came in the night. Broke our doors and messed our homes. This was happening all the time. But who knew? We did but we don’t count. There were no controls for the police. They knew they could batter us and they wouldn’t be stopped. That’s why we had to do something.”

Imad’s understanding can be applied to a huge array of the system’s operations. Take for example the on-going state of emergency in France. It is we are told a ‘popular’ policy gaining something like 91% approval ratings in opinion polls. But what of those who live in segregated minority communities who face the entire brunt of the police’s hugely extended powers to raid their homes and neighbourhoods without limit. (The French state announced to the Council of Europe on November 27th its decision to contravene the European Convention on Human Rights). Who apart from the British Moslem communities knows of the impact of the so called anti-radicalisation PREVENT policy which has now enlisted virtually every state worker (teachers, doctors, nurses, university staff…..) in the surveillance of young Moslems, looking out for signs of so-called terrorist contamination? And so it will continue as long as most of the population never get to see, let alone experience the negative consequences. As one young Moroccan refugee told us, “it is us today. But tomorrow?”

no-jungle-1401There are many good reasons why we should listen when refugees tells us that the world should start to look and learn from poor and the oppressed. Humanity, solidarity, care and compassion alongside a boiling fury at a system with stands against all these principles ran through our discussions. And it should be added, there is usually a lot of laughter too. The system is crazy they say. Just look at its response to the refugees – militarised borders, razor wire, prisons and closed camps, drones and navy patrols and no end to the bombing and destruction of our lands. It can only succeed by total destruction. “Do you believe that this system loves you? I tell you that this system is lying to you and using you against us, the refugees So we keep drowning. “We must not co-operate at all. We must never give up on our humanity !”

Revealing Truths: Talking with Refugees in Samos




find the post here:

There are 11 people on trial, accused by the Hungarian government for participation in “mass-riot”. They were brutally beaten up and arrested in a riot police attack last year on 16th of September, at the serbian-hungarian border Röszke/Horgoš 2 (after the fence was completed and the border was closed down), when about 5000 people were protesting and demanding their right to free movement.

These 11 people are kept in prison since that day without any support. One of the accused Ahmed H. has been constructed as the “leader”  of the protest (just because he was talking to a megaphone) and accused for a “terrorist attack”. He is on  a separate trial. At least 3 of the accused are obviously specially vulnerable, between them a 64 years old woman and a disabled man in wheelchairs, both of them injured in the war in Syria. Through their examples the international media covered the trial, and it was shown how ridiculous it is to pose these people as a “danger“ for the hungarian state.

see the report here:

Even though the investigation is finished and the trial has started, which  from the legal perspective means that people should have the right to wait for the trial out of the prison, they are still held in custody. At least 3 of them in Kiskunhalas detention, and about the others it’s even not known where they are exactly. All of them are detained without access to medical or psychological assistance. As far as it’s known only the 3 vulnerable persons are presented in front of the court by a Helsinki lawyer. If the court will find them guilty the sentence could be 1-5 years prison time, and  for the syrian man who is accused for “terrorist attack” it can be 10-20 years.

We want it to be clear, we do not intend to criticize  for this absurd and violent act only the Hungarian government, as the most right wing or “evil“ country in EU, like many of the so called “democratic”state institutions, NGOs, and mass media do: the “Horgoš/Röszke” trial is revealing the reality of a system in which state and police violence is never put in question, and in which money and goods can move freely but not people. They are needed only as illegalized cheap workers or consumers.


This is an appeal for action! The accused people need support ASAP! If you are in Hungary or elsewhere and willing to do something, there are few things what u can do: visit the accused, write solidarity letters, put attention in their case during other actions, monitor the trials, share and publish about this case in your networks and wider, help with getting reliable legal assistance for all of the accused, improve the solidarity campaign!

Dates of coming trials:

27 JuneSAM_6506  (Ahmed H.)
29 June, 8 am
30 June, 8:0 am
1 July, 8:00 am

Location : 6722 Szeged, Tábor u. 4. [press must register]

No one should be forgotten! United against all prisons and fences! Free the Röszke eleven!


in hungarian:                                                                                                                    >

News Uncategorized



Stop Deportation – Squatted Die Linke Party Office in Jena


We have just now occupied the headquarters of the left-wing Die Linke
party in order to protest against the ongoing mass deportations of
migrants from Thuringia!

Regularly, German police kidnap people from their homes or the detention
centers where they are held, put them into busses, and bring them to
Leipzig airport from where they are deported by plane. In every German
city, there are such detention centers, in Jena, too. These crimes are
committed in our close proximity, before our very eyes.

Today, we have occupied the headquarters of Die Linke party for two
reasons. Firstly, the lefties under Ramelow have been managing the
Thuringian state ever since 2014. Mass deportations of migrants,
repression in prisons, police violence against antifascist protests take
place under their government. Nazis demand that all migrants be expelled
and Die Linke enforce it. They are politically accountable for this.
Secondly, to this day, many Die Linke members claim that they’re part of
an antiracist party and that they ‘advocate the rights of refugees’.
They’ve got the nerve to take to the streets on April 20 with refugees
welcome posters and, literally the next day, let migrants be deported.
We have to take sides and that’s why we say: Only those who actively
oppose the deportation of all migrants can be part of an antiracist

In times when Germany constructs new camps in order to incarcerate there
Romanies and other migrants, in times when left-wing parties carry out
mass deportations, we declare our unreserved solidarity to all migrants!
We take their side, against this state and its left-wing government.

We demand nothing less than the closing down of all detention centers
and an immediate end to all deportations! Until that does not happen,
reckon with our resistance!

Come all at 4:30 p.m. to the occupied Die Linke headquarters and join
our talk!

We want to have a discussion and inform people about the deportation
machinery and migrant struggles against German deportation culture.

Stop Deportation Jena


Wir haben soeben das Parteibüro der Linkspartei besetzt, um gegen die
anhaltenden Massenabschiebungen von Migrant_innen aus Thüringen zu

In regelmäßigen Abständen verschleppen deutsche Polizisten Menschen
aus ihren Wohnungen oder aus den Lagern und Heimen, in denen sie
festgehalten werden, stecken sie in Busse und bringen sie zum Leipziger
Flughafen, von wo aus sie per Flugzeug deportiert werden. In jeder
deutschen Stadt gibt es diese Lager und Heime, auch in Jena. Diese
Verbrechen finden in unserer nächsten Nähe, unter unseren Augen statt!
Die letzte Abschiebung aus Thüringen wurde am 21. April 2016
durchgeführt. 35 Menschen wurden in den Kosovo abgeschoben.

Wir haben heute aus zwei Gründen das Büro der Linkspartei besetzt.
Erstens verwalten die Linken unter Ramelow seit 2014 den Thüringer
Staat. Die Massenabschiebungen von Migrant_innen, die Repression in den
Knästen, die Polizeigewalt gegen antifaschistische Proteste finden
unter ihrer Regierung statt. Die Nazis brüllen „Ausländer raus” und
die Linkspartei setzt das um. Dafür haben sie die politische
Verantwortung zu tragen. Zweitens behaupten viele Linkspartei-Mitglieder
immer noch, sie seien Teil einer antirassistischen Partei und „setzten
sich für die Flüchtlinge ein”. Sie haben die Dreistigkeit, am 20.
April mit Refugees-Welcome-Postern auf die Straße zu gehen und
wortwörtlich am nächsten Tag abschieben zu lassen. Hier müssen wir
einen klaren Trennstrich ziehen und sagen: Nur wer sich aktiv gegen die
Abschiebung aller Migrant_innen einsetzt, kann Teil einer
antirassistischen Bewegung sein.

In einer Zeit, in der Deutschland wieder Lager baut, um Roma, Romnja und
andere Migrant_innen dort einzusperren, in einer Zeit, in der linke
Parteien Massenabschiebungen durchführen lassen, erklären wir unsere
ungebrochene Solidarität mit allen Migrant_innen! Wir stellen uns auf
ihre Seite, gegen diesen Staat und gegen seine linke Regierung.

Und wir fordern nichts weniger als die Schließung aller Lager und ein
sofortiges Ende aller Abschiebungen! Bis das nicht passiert, rechnet mit
unserem Widerstand!

Kommt alle um 16:30 Uhr ins besetzte Linkspartei-Büro zu unserer
Infoveranstaltung! Wir wollen über die Abschiebemaschinerie und die
Kämpfe der Migrant_innen gegen die deutsche Deportationskultur
informieren und diskutieren.

Stop Deportation Jena



The political management of migrations on the _Balkan Route_ has entered into yet another phase. Ever since the _EU-Turkey Deal_ came into force at the end of March, one of its main parts was the repression targeting both the people traveling through the Balkans and the people involved with support and solidarity structures. Enormous amounts of violence was and still is being deployed at many points along the route: from the Greek islands up to Macedonia and Bulgaria. On the other hand Serbia was up until last Sunday’s parliamentary elections the only country along the Balkan Route in which people could move more or less freely and were faced with relatively little state repression. But the worrying developments of today mean that also the situation in Serbia is changing fast and to the worse.

For more than two weeks there has been a No Border Squat in Belgrade, sheltering up to 80 people against the harsh weather and giving some privacy and resting space to people who otherwise had to sleep in the parks in town. Today at 10am a group of uniformed and civil clothed police officers entered the premises and ordered everyone in the house to move to the asylum camp Krnjaca outside of Belgrade. As the reason for this intrusion they cited the provisions of a new law that obliged people who had not been registered with the authorities yet, to move to the camp immediately. Thanks to the local and international legal support on the spot this argument of the police officers was soon discredited as it turned out that the law in question had indeed been passed but will not come into force before 28th of May 2016. But the deceiving behaviour of the police officers did not end there, rather it was just a first of many highly problematic and possibly even illegal acts that followed in the course of the day.

As seven people that stayed in NoBorderHostel were taken to the police station in order to register them there (see picture), the fear arose that the authorities will tear down the squat quickly. International supporters were intimidated as police conducted harsh ID checks that involved screaming and other threatening behaviour. The police officers talked to some construction workers who were also present at the scene. It was at that point that the news reached us that ‘Miksaliste’, a container park that is situated right next to the NoBorderHostel is being emptied. Since early December ‘Miksaliste’ has hosted many different NGOs and other basic support structures for migrants providing toilets, clothing, food, tea, showers, medical treatment and child care. Thus it became clear that it is not only the NoBorderHostel that is being targeted but that the whole support structure for migrants in Belgrade is about to be erased. It turned out that yesterday evening Miksaliste got an eviction notice from the police in which they were told to vacate the container camp within 48 hours. In case of their non-compliance the NGOs were threatened to loose their permission to continue with solidarity and support activities.

Putting these incidents into the big picture of the recent Serbian elections and the general climate towards people on the move in Europe, the repression in Belgrade clearly fits in the well established framework of pushing people into illegalization and further out of sight into the shadows of remote areas on the one hand and criminalizing support structures on the other. Eight weeks after the official closure of the Balkan Route between Macedonia and Greece, the repression and neglect of basic human rights moves further north as Serbia too steps in the EU’s line. The intention of defending Europe’s wealth becomes extraordinarily obvious in this case as both Miksaliste and NoBorderHostel are located in the area of the Belgrade Waterfront Project. Investors from Serbia and the United Emirates clearly have no interest in tolerating non-profitable venues in their interest zone.


Outrage and anger about this illegal evictions was taken into the public scene in form of a spontaneous protest at 6pm. A dozen of freshly painted banners was unrolled in the two parks around the train station that are the main stage of the migrants movement since last summer. The police showed up as soon as they heard slogans echoing from the walls. When the protest was over and the banners were collected they asked for IDs and charged four activists with a hilarious made up fine multiplied by the number of banners – for ‘littering’. Again another sign of solidarity that became target of arbitrary police repression.

What is politically symptomatic is that the sudden 180° turn of the Serbian government came immediately after the ruling party of the master of political spectacle Aleksandar Vucic consolidated its grip on power at the Sunday’s elections. His party aimed at and ultimately gained an absolute majority and while everyone was busy dissecting the electoral results, the old and new government decided to use the opportunity and redefine its policy towards the migrants. The move of the Serbian authorities should be understood in the context of decidedly repressive regime that the EU has managed to implement along the whole Balkan Route over the last weeks. Deportations of migrants as well as destruction of solidarity structures on the Greek islands, heavily militarized and extremely violent operations on the border between Greece and Macedonia and the excessive use of violence against people on the move in Bulgaria and Macedonia are the context in which the latest move of the Serbian government can seen as an implementation of the same Balkan-wide regime of total closure of the route. ANOTHER POLITICAL FENCE ALONG THE WALLS OF FORTRESS EUROPE IS BEING BUILT ON THE BELGRADE WATERFRONT. Clearly, media-savy government of Serbia did not want to expose itself during the election campaign but now this caution is no longer necessary and the implementation of EU plan in Serbia can happen.

For the people involved in support and solidarity work in Belgrade and across the Balkans this is just the latest in a series of attacks on the freedom of all of us. But even as gestures of solidarity get criminalized and people are pushed into the hands of criminal associations, our resolve and determination to fight Fortress Europe does not vain. We will continue to open NoBorder squats, to cook in NoBorder kitchens and to support the people with whom we want to build a new and better Europe together in other practical ways. We are inspired by the infinite acts of resistance and courage from our co-travelers from other parts of the world. It is because of them that the border regime broke down in the first place and it is because of them that our solidarity efforts make sense. You cannot evict a movement.
NoBorders Hostel collective


26th April 201