[fyeg_gen-l] Ukraine - No Border Camp 2007

Hanna Noesselt hanna.noesselt at gmx.de
Tue May 29 20:48:17 CEST 2007


With this call-out we invite you to No Border camp, Ukraine.
If you have any ideas, questions or want to join us in preparations
already now, help with building the camp in the week before the camp
officially starts and that is most important ? to form the program
suggesting workshops, seminars, practical training or whatever ? don't
hesitate to write us right now!

If you want to be regularly informed about ongoing preparations and
more actively participate the preparation of the camp, to help to form
the program suggesting workshops, seminars, practical training or
whatever join international mailing list:

noborder_ee_int(at)lists.riseup.net (working language is English)

Please help us to spread this call-out as wide as it possible!
Translate it in any language and distribute in your own country or
wherever you can!


The camp will take place from the 11th to the 20th of August 2007 in
the main region of transit and labor migration in Ukraine:

The eastward expansion of the European Union has resulted in moving
the walls of "Fortress Europe" to the Western border of Ukraine. The
Ukrainian region of Transcarpatia, of which the biggest cities are
Uzhgorod and Mukachevo, has become a new borderline, with increasing
militarization and major concentration of detention camps for refugees
from the countries of Global South and former USSR, who try to escape
war, totalitarianism or misery to the European Union countries. It is
hard to find any "open" information about the conditions in the
majority of these camps.

The condition of the refugees in Ukraine is very unstable: freedom of
movement is restricted; it is hard to get a job or medical care, and
no social security is provided. When one gets refugee status, the only
support they get from the state is a single payment of a petty 3
euros. In recent years Ukraine has even extradited asylum seekers to
places like Uzbekistan, where they were imprisoned for years in the
notorious authoritarian regime's gulags.

The increase of border controls makes a big impact on lives of local
people in the depressed region of Transcarpathia. The region is
situated on the intersection of borders of five countries: Ukraine,
Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Four of them are now in the
European Union, but Ukraine will not be its member in the near future.
So "Fortress Europe" strengthens its Eastern frontiers on the
borderline of Western Ukraine. Still, up to half of the working
population of Transcarpathia works abroad. Ukraine cancelled the visa
regime for EU nationals, but the EU has not made the access of
Ukrainians to the European labor market (or even European countries'
territory) any easier, although it would be hard to imagine for
example agriculture in the EU today without Ukrainian guest workers.

At the same time, Transcarpathia has been for a long time a very
special region with its unique blend of local cultures and traditions,
and now it turned out to be one of the main routes for international
migration. Therefore, local border guards, security services and
media, using xenophobic language, help to spread prejudices towards
migrants among local population, which resulted in rising tensions in
the region.

We demand the right of free movement for everyone, asylum for all the
persecuted people and the right of people to migrate from depressed
areas to work in other countries, if it can make their lives better.
We demand abolishing all visa regimes. We want to tear down "Fortress
Europe" contemporary border regime, which has lead to the
state-sanctioned murder of thousands of people in its borders during
recent years. The "Global Apartheid" policy should be stopped!

We continue the tradition of No Border camps on Eastern borders of the
Fortress Europe, which were organized 1998-2000 on the border of
Germany and Poland, in 2000-2003 on the Eastern border of Poland, in
2001 in Slovenia, in 2003 in Romania, in 2003 and 2005 on the border
between Greece and Bulgaria and in Finland in 2004. The camps have
also been organized on the Southern borders of Europe (on Sicily 2000
and on Tarifa of  Spain 2001), inside Europe at airports and main
sites of European surveillance and decision-making system (such as in
Strasbourg 2002), on the border between Mexico and USA and in
Australia. This year our international movement makes a major step
forward, as the camp in Ukraine will be first ever organized on the
territory of the former Soviet Union.

Some of the aims of this camp are:
1) To create a ground for communication between activists from Eastern
and Western Europe and from everywhere else: meeting, establishing
contacts, sharing skills, knowledge and experience, etc. (workshops,
discussions, practical trainings, concerts and much more).
2) To attract the attention of the people in Ukraine (but also in
Russia and in the world) to the racist policy on migration; to address
the questions of contemporary forms of racism and xenophobia.
3) To create contact with local people in the region of
Transcarpathia: anti-racist education, open public events, film
screenings, exhibitions, concerts and discussions, with an aim to
improve local people's attitude towards migrants, refugees and asylum
4) To exchange information between us: how the authorities in
different countries criminalize migration, what are the situations
with deportation prisons, and to share the experiences of resistance
in different countries. One of the practical results of the camp is
going to be the publication of a brochure with the information from
different countries on all these issues to reinforce our struggle
(call-out with approximate questions is coming!).
5) To get more people from different anti-authoritarian collectives
and movements in Ukraine, Russia and other 'post-soviet' countries
involved with the migration-related issues; mobilize people for
struggle against racism, criminalization of migration and deportation
camps system.

We will discuss the possible ways and perhaps we will do some actions
(but not in the very region of camp; it has been advised by everybody
who's in touch with the region that any confrontational actions done
by activists from "outside" on such a sensitive issue could make the
situation worse, not better). So first of all it will not be an action
camp but a camp for communication, networking, planning and popular

Another event that is going to take place in the camp is an
International Food Not Bombs gathering. There is an explosion of Food
Not Bombs activities in Eastern Europe. In Russia alone there are
about 50 groups that are regularly doing actions. We already started
to form a program of workshops, discussions, practical trainings etc.
But we prefer the program of the camp to be formed by the people who
will come there. So if you've got something to share or contribute ?
please let us know now! It can be any topic you are interested in, not
only the main topic of the camp.

Please take into account that Ukraine has cancelled the visa regime
for the citizens of the European Union, the USA and some other
countries, so if you have a passport of some Western country you
probably do not need any visa to join us.

Feel free to spread this call-out through your contacts.
More information and contact: noborder2007(at)riseup.net
International mailing list: noborder_ee_int(at)lists.riseup.net

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