During last years we can see a great variety of groups and networks struggling for freedom of movement and equal rights for all. The following list presents the transnational networks in Europe and Africa, which participated in the Transborder Summer Camp in Nantes in July 2019.
Afrique-Europe-Interact is a transnationally organised network founded at the end of 2009. It involves grassroots activists in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo, Guinea, Tunisia, Morocco, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands – among them numerous self-organised refugees, migrants and deportees. Afrique-Europe-Interact is active against the repressive EU migration policy – not only on the streets, but also through practical support on the routes, such as the Alarmphone Sahara or a shelter for women and their children in Rabat. At the same time, we are taking part in social struggles in various African countries. For example, we support the democracy movement in Togo politically and logistically. Or Mali: There we support small farmers in their fght against landgrabbing, and a small farmers’ grassroots trade union has also been founded within our network. Afrique-Europe-Interact is active in Africa and Europe in equal measure.
Alarme Phone Sahara (APS) is a cooperation project between associations and individuals in the Sahel-Saharan region and Europe. The members of the Alarme Phone Sahara network are based in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Morocco, Germany and Austria. The office of APS is located in Agadez, Niger. There is also a network of whistleblowers in the region that works in collaboration with the Agadez offce. Specifcally, the APS pursues 4 objectives:
a) Sensitize migrants and migration candidates non only to the conditions and dangers in the desert but to their rights as well. This sensitisation takes place in the places of origin, at bus stations and on the routes.
b) Document what is actually happening on migration routes in the Sahel-Saharan zone, including crimes, human rights violations and road harassment.
c) Rescue migrants in distress in the desert.
d) Denounce regional, sub-regional, national and international anti migration policies.
ATMF – Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins de France ATMF was born out of the great struggles that have marked the history of immigration:
— Support to movements fghting for democracy in the Maghreb countries
— Trade union struggles for the dignity of migrant workers
— Mobilisation against discrimination, racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia
Since then, ATMF has been fghting for equal rights as a secular, democratic and independent association. It has set itself objectives such as:
— Organisation of the Maghrebins of France for an active citizenship
— Combat racism in all its forms
— Work in partnership with civil society and institutions to improve living conditions and ensure equal treatment of people.
— Carry out projects that promote closer ties between the two shores of the Mediterranean.
It is in this area of mobilization that ATMF and its various member associations are committed to equal rights and the right to equality.
borderline-europe was founded as a direct result of the case of the Cap Anamur. In 2004, the same-named sea rescue ship was denied entry for almost three weeks after having rescued 27 people in distress at sea. After arrival, the captain, the frst offcer, and the chairman of Cap Anamur were arrested and accused of aiding illegal immigration, entailing a fve year trial before eventually being acquitted.
Consequently, borderline-europe was founded in 2007 with the objective to draw public attention to the violation of human rights by the increasingly restrictive European border and migration policies. We monitor, document and provide information on the EU’s increasingly complex migration policies and their impacts in order to develop an active, political, and critical awareness within society. By means of civil disobedience, we counter racist structures and the deadly consequences of the EU’s policy of isolation.
We are based in Berlin, Palermo and Mytilini, are mostly volunteer-based and are advocating for the right to freedom of movement for everyone.
We stand for the right to come, to stay and to go!
Calais Migrant Solidarity (CMS) started in 2009. It was a project that came out of the “No Border Camp” of that summer, in which hundreds of people from across Europe and further afeld came to take action against the France-UK border, and began to make connections with migrants and Calaisien locals. We have maintained a constant presence in Calais since then. We are not a humanitarian association or a membership organisation, but an informal network, and our numbers fuctuate. We consider ourselves as part of the struggle against the border regime.
As the situation in Calais has changed many times in the last ten years, so have our approaches. Some activities have included: providing practical and legal information to people crossing the border; making squats and social centres; supporting people in detention; documenting and reporting state violence; participating in direct action; trying to counter anti-migration propaganda and politics in Calais; and much more.
Since 2008, Des Ponts Pas Des Murs (DPPDM) has brought together about 20 human rights associations, international solidarity associations, migrant and exile support associations, as well as trade union organizations in one network, to analyse migration issues from the point of view of international solidarity. As a collective of citizen refection, DPPDM is also a space for the exchange of information and the initiation of collective mobilizations.
The European Civic Forum (ECF) The European Civic Forum (ECF) is a transnational solidarity network. By focusing on self- organization and networking emancipatory initiatives, we hope to take small steps towards the utopia of a more just world. Some of our priorities in 2019:
– El Ejido / Spain: Strengthening of reception offces for migrants working in the production of above-ground vegetables in Andalusia – in cooperation with the agricultural workers’ union SOC- SAT.
– Rabat / Morocco: We support the creation and operation of shelters for migrant women of sub- Saharan origin in Rabat, Morocco, by the ARCOM association.
– Riace / Southern Italy: Support and defence of the village in Calabria, which has been revived by the reception of refugees. The far-right interior minister, Salvini, wants to destroy this model.
– Velika Kladuša / Bosnia: An international commission of inquiry was sent to make public the unsustainable conditions in the refugee camps on the Croatian border.
– Migration: In all countries where the European Civic Forum has offces, we are committed to welcoming and defending migrants.
– We are also involved in other struggles for biodiversity, peasant and climate struggles, transnational solidarity (Eastern Europe, Colombia, Mexico,…)
– Archipelago: Every month, we publish a newspaper in two languages, German and French
interpRISE collective (incl. [bla]) is a non-proft autonomous collective formed and maintained by volunteers involved in grassroot activist groups and networks across Europe that provides equipment and support for simultaneous interpretation in multilingual gatherings. We work with the principles of horizontal self-organisation, consensus decision making, as well as DoItYourself and open-source tools. interpRISE is a group of people with interpreting experience from Leipzig. It is our goal to support groups and initiatives that oppose political, social or cultural power structures. As a collective, we provide interpreters for various languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish) and help coordinate the interpreting structure.
Both collectives work together at the ZAD event to ensure that people can express themselves in a language they are comfortable in. It is important to us to help reduce domination and power systems linked to language!
Mare Liberum is a Berlin based non-proft-association founded in 2018 by a transnational collective of activists. With our ship MARE LIBERUM, the former Sea Watch 1, we monitor human rights in the Aegean Sea, mainly off the coast of Lesvos and other Greek islands. Our network consists of the crew on board and activists in the back-offce, who engage in further research and processing of the fndings from the monitoring activities at sea.
In 2015 and 2016, the Aegean Sea became one of the hotspots of the various routes towards Europe. Human rights violations against refugees at sea – such as push-backs, pull-backs and violent misbehavior by offcial vessels – happened alarmingly often back then and are still happening today. Frontex continues to be present in the Aegean, supported by the Greek and Turkish coast guards and the military mission of the NATO. In the middle of this militarized climate, Mare Liberum operates as a civil eye and counter corrective to current European border politics.
Migreurop is a European and African network of activists and researchers whose objective is to raise awareness of and fght against the widespread confnement of foreigners and the multiplication of camps, a mechanism at the heart of the European Union’s outsourcing policy.
Missing at Borders Every year, we find ourselves taking the terrible toll of lives lost in the Mediterranean. We talk about victims as numbers. Their individuality is completely erased and ignored. Thus, for the people dear to these migrants, the desperate conditions under which these families pay are not considered in public discourse. Missing at the borders is a web page prepared to give a voice to the families of migrants who have died, disappeared or been victims of enforced disappearances while trying to reach Europe.
pushbackmap.org is a tool to Collectively Fight the Repressive EU Border & Control Regime
The mapping project emerged from several groups and individuals documenting and counteracting push-backs and violence at the internal and external(ised) borders of the European Union. Although initiated by groups and individuals mainly active along the former Balkan corridor, this map is not limited geographically, because push-backs and border violence are a global phenomenon. The map is an inclusive and open tool for people targeted by, witnessing and counteracting push-backs in order to collect and centralise evidence. As the history of push-backs is also a history of resistance with successful legal challenges, activist struggles and relentless movements across borders, this map intends to document the continued struggle of people on the move and hopes to empower people to report experienced or witnessed push-backs. We thereby not only counteract and denounce push-backs and border violence, but also support the right to move freely and safely across borders in order to enjoy a life in dignity.
This map documents and denounces the systematic violence and push-backs at the internal, external and externalised borders of the European Union. It provides a space to visualise the systematic and institutionalised nature of push-backs conducted and condoned by the authorities. This violence takes place within the wider context of the European border regime, increasingly xenophobic policies, militarisation, securitisation, and the use of deterrent measures. The implementation of this structural violence is mostly outsourced to the margins of the European Union. Push-backs are a systematic technique used to suppress movement across borders, as the increase of push-backs during and after the gradual closure of the Balkan corridor shows.
Through this map we aim to increase the visibility of the systemic practices of expulsion, and expose the resulting violations of human rights and dignity, denials of (international) protection, as well as physical and psychological violence, harassment, and death. The mapping of these practices begins with the closure of the Balkan corridor in March 2016.
Sea-Watch e.V. is a non-proft organisation that conducts civil search and rescue operations off the coasts of Libya. It was born in 2014 from an initiative of volunteers who could no longer remain impassive and watch people die in the Mediterranean.
We call for an international, institutionalised sea rescue with a clear mandate. Our organisation is mainly composed of committed volunteers from all over Europe who work on the implementation of Sea-Watch.
We would like to highlight an important point that we have been facing for many months: the criminalisation of our actions and the obstruction of rescue by European governments: We are subjected to an increase in attacks and obstacles on the administrative, political and legal levels, particularly from our fagstate, even though we respect the law, and are fnding it increasingly diffcult to carry out our missions, despite the humanitarian emergency which is not diminishing.
Transnational Social StrikeThe Transnational Social Strike (TSS) Platform aims at involving different kinds of workers – women and men, those employed in factories, those who experience the normality of precarity, locals and migrants – in a political process against subordination and exploitation. It is open to workers, groups and unions across Europe and beyond that share a common goal.
While normally labor struggles and migrants’ struggles are discussed as separated issues, the TSS process was born also to build a bridge between them. Since its beginning, the Transnational Social Strike Platform has assumed the movements and the struggles of migrants as the cornerstone of its transnational political initiative, starting from its centrality in the continuous reconfiguration of the European space. A multinational workforce characterized by a steady mobility, by precariousness and confronted by a mobility regime with common trends is present today in Europe. The fact that today’s Europe is literally built on the exploitation of migrant labor affects all workers.
The TSS Platform is a political infrastructure, a reservoir of experiences and tactics to politicize labor struggles, to connect social and labour struggles, and make their claims heard well beyond each group’s and union’s capacity. It is a space of organization, communication and encounter where different figures of labour can think together about how to develop a common discourse, how to support common claims capable of being instruments of emancipation and how to build the conditions of possibility of the transnational social strike.
WatchTheMed Alarm Phone Since October 2014 we are running a 24/7 hotline for people in distress at sea. Until the end of 2019 we have worked on more than 3000 emergency cases in the whole Mediterranean. We are a network of about 200 activists who are situated in many cities throughout Europe, Turkey and North Africa. We connect our interventions in real-time with critical forms of documentation and public engagements in order to struggle against migration control. We engage in collaborations with local grassroots projects and migrant communities on both sides of the Mediterranean. We therefore understand our project as a concrete enactment of solidarity with refugees and migrants in transit, as part of what has come to be called the migratory ‘underground railroad’ of flight and migration. We see ourselves as a transnational and multilingual node with varied connections to a growing network amongst those struggling for the freedom of movement and for a common and open Mediterranean space.
www.alarmphone.org and www.watchthemed.net
We’ll Come United In the last two years, the We’ll Come United network has gathered hundreds of antiracist groups and initiatives in two giant protest marches, featuring powerful speeches, elaborate parade foats and some fabulous music. Our marches have successfully brought together those who are fghting, and are often forced to fght, regimes of exclusion and deportation. Standing in solidarity with our fellow activists‘ and friends‘ hopes and struggles is what makes the foundation of We’ll Come United.
In 2019 We’ll Come United will form part of an even larger coalition of progressive forces taking to the streets of Dresden, Saxony, where the far right is predicted to fnish a very close second in the upcoming regional elections. Up until August 24, the day of the demonstration, we will be visiting refugee camps, migrant organizations and local support projects throughout Saxony, aiming to share our stories, but also to learn from those whose voices remain unheard, build connections and offer support.
Welcome to Europe (W2EU)Welcome to Europe (W2EU) was founded after the Nobordercamp in Lesvos in 2009 when 400 activists from all over Europe came to Lesvos to protest against the EU-border-regime. Welcome to Europe was born in a circus tent in the harbour of Mytilene that was used as an infopoint by many newcomers in this time and which was for some of us also the place of our frst encounter. Welcome to Europe is trying to provide contacts to refugees in all European Countries via the webguide w2eu.info. It is closely linked with various projects in Greece like the Infomobile Greece and the Welcome Islands, two solidarity fats. Since many years w2eu is doing memorials for those lost at borders. In Greece, Italy and Spain w2eu provides Welcome-guides with information for newcomers.
w2eu.info and lesvos.w2eu.net