Σάββατο, 18 Νοεμβρίου 2017


Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

November 9 has been launched as a Global Day of Action for a #WorldwithoutWalls by Palestinian and Mexican movements because we recognised each other in the shared injustice we are suffering and in our ongoing struggle to achieve justice, equality and dignity.

This connection was only the start: the idea of #WorldwithoutWalls has inspired and brought together many more movements. Over the last months over 370 organisations from some 30 countries around the world have joined in the call.

In these days all, as over the world actions on the ground and interactions online for a World without Walls are taking place, Palestinian ongoing popular Friday protests against Israel’s apartheid Wall will be only one of many actions calling with urgency for a World without Walls.
Israel has built this illegal wall and the settlement infrastructure to dispossess us from our lands and encage us in our communities on not more than 13% of our land. This recreates the Bantustans of the erstwhile South African apartheid regime. Today popular resistance against Israel’s wall has become a symbolic struggle within the Palestinian national movement to achieve liberation from Israeli military occupation, siege and repression, equality for all as citizens and the return of our refugees.
The last months of mobilising have brought the activists of the Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign closer to many different struggles across the globe and it is more evident than ever before that Israeli apartheid, colonialism and occupation are a central part of a global system that at its heart dehumanises the majority of us in order to oppress, exploit, expel or kill us.
The Israeli regime is unique in many ways. It is a state that not only practices de facto apartheid but has enshrined this in its laws; the longest standing military occupation in the world; a regime built to perpetuate the practices of settler colonialism, against which people in other places around the world have fought for hundreds of years, in a geographically crucial spot, Palestine, the crossroad between East and West, at a time when elsewhere decolonisation was finally unsettling the ruling powers and forced them to change patterns of dominance. Yet, Israel has a concrete impact on the lives of people all across the globe. Israel has become a global laboratory for today’s and future ideology and mechanisms of racial segregation, repression and control, exclusion and dispossession.
Who would have thought in 2002 when Israel started building its apartheid Wall that today we would have nearly 70 walls around the world built to militarise borders or to annex occupied lands? Who would have thought it possible that exactly one year ago Donald Trump won the presidential elections by promising a Wall?
Walls are key elements in today’s racist policies aimed against migrants, including refugees,  to criminalise and keep them out or kill them. Walls are ever more pervasive in cities and societies to segregate, control and repress. Ideologies of hatred and supremacy are growing together with these walls and the profits of an entire industry of walls, fear and exclusion are rising exponentially. By 2022, the border security market is expected to rise to $52.95 billion globally.
Behind those walls, corporations and governments are feeding one off the other, financing each other and maintaining an architecture of corporate and state impunity. It is high time we hold them accountable!
As Palestinians our interconnection with the people struggling in their own countries for justice, freedom and equality calls therefore for a concrete common effort to stop the ideological, military and commercial ties that finance and legitimate Israeli apartheid and help it to export what it has tested on our people to the rest of the world. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is our Palestinian call to stop impunity and undercut the financial sustainability of Israeli apartheid and the world of walls it promotes.
Today we know, that we, the people of the world, have a common struggle and common hopes and dreams that one day we will all live in a #WorldwithoutWalls.
As Stop the Wall is joining the International Caravan for People’s Sovereignty and against the Walls of Infamy, which after a long journey through Mexico is about to reach the US border Wall, we know one thing for sure: We have only just begun the march.

Δευτέρα, 30 Οκτωβρίου 2017


Κώστας Κουκουμάκας
φωτογραφίες: Αλέξανδρος Αβραμίδης

Γυαλιά μυωπίας, κομπολόγια, κινητά και κάρτες sim. Ο ιατροδικαστής Παύλος Παυλίδης έχει ταυτοποιήσει 200 νεκρούς μετανάστες από το 2000 έως σήμερα.

Ο καθηγητής Ιατροδικαστικής στο Νοσοκομείο της Αλεξανδρούπολης, Παύλος Παυλίδης, υπομένει τον τελευταίο καιρό μια γλυκόπικρη αναμονή. Έχει υποβάλει προς δημοσίευση, στην έγκυρη διμηνιαία επιθεώρηση International Migration Journal του Διεθνούς Οργανισμού Μετανάστευσης (ΔΟΜ), την πρώτη ολοκληρωμένη μελέτη με θέμα τους θανάτους μεταναστών στον ποταμό Έβρο, στα ελληνο-τουρκικά σύνορα, από το 2000 έως σήμερα.
Ο καθηγητής Ιατροδικαστικής στο Πανεπιστημιακό Νοσοκομείο Αλεξανδρούπολης, Παύλος Παυλίδης.

Τα τελευταία 17 χρόνια, από την πρώτη γραμμή του μεταναστευτικού, ο ίδιος καταγράφει αδιάκοπα τη μαύρη στατιστική των ανθρώπων, οι οποίοι προσπάθησαν με τραγικό αποτέλεσμα να διασχίσουν την τελευταία συνοριογραμμή πριν πατήσουν το πόδι τους σε ευρωπαϊκό έδαφος. Δεν είναι, όμως, μόνο αυτή η επίπονη διαδικασία. Στο Εργαστήριο Ιατροδικαστικών Επιστημών ο κ. Παυλίδης καλείται να ταυτοποιήσει τις σορούς των μεταναστών «αγνώστων στοιχείων» που ανασύρονται από το ποτάμι, πριν θαφτούν σε ένα χορταριασμένο νεκροταφείο στον Έβρο με μοναδική ένδειξη έναν αριθμό πρωτοκόλλου. Στη διαδικασία ταυτοποίησης, το πρώτο στοιχείο που έχει στα χέρια του είναι τα προσωπικά αντικείμενα των νεκρών.
Η μαύρη στατιστική
Ο καθηγητής Παυλίδης, μια λεπτή φιγούρα με άσπρη ποδιά, μας υποδέχτηκε στο γραφείο του στο Πανεπιστημιακό Νοσοκομείο Αλεξανδρούπολης. Ανέσυρε από τη βιβλιοθήκη ένα αντίγραφο της μελέτης του, η οποία στηρίχτηκε στα δεδομένα που ταξινομεί συστηματικά επί χρόνια: «Από το 2000 έως και το 2016, συνολικά 350 μετανάστες ανασύρθηκαν νεκροί από την ελληνική όχθη του ποταμού Έβρου. Δυστυχώς, δεν έχουμε επίσημα στοιχεία από την τουρκική πλευρά, όμως υπολογίζω ότι άλλοι τόσοι έχουν εντοπιστεί στην αντίπερα όχθη. Ο πυθμένας του ποταμού είναι λασπώδης κι έτσι επιπλέον πολλοί μετανάστες δεν εντοπίζονται ποτέ. Αυτό με κάνει να πιστεύω ότι από το 2000 μέχρι σήμερα, στον ποταμό Έβρο έχουν χάσει τη ζωή τους περισσότεροι από 1.000 άνθρωποι», σημειώνει ο κ. Παυλίδης.
Χειρόγραφες σημειώσεις και αριθμοί κινητών τηλεφώνων σε φθαρμένο χαρτί.

Μια πιο προσεχτική ανάγνωση της μελέτης, αποτυπώνει τα ιδιαίτερα χαρακτηριστικά του περάσματος. Από το 2000 έως και το 2010 η συντριπτική πλειονότητα των νεκρών είναι άνδρες (222 έναντι 18 γυναικών). Την επόμενη χρονιά, με το ξέσπασμα της κρίσης στη Συρία, αυξάνεται αισθητά και ο αριθμός των γυναικών, καθώς πλέον τον Έβρο διασχίζουν οικογένειες. Ένα άλλο ενδιαφέρον στοιχείο είναι τα αίτια των θανάτων. Ο πνιγμός και η υποθερμία είναι σταθερά οι βασικές αιτίες, ενώ μέχρι και το 2008 – χρονιά που ολοκληρώθηκε στη στρατιωτική ζώνη ο καθαρισμός των ναρκών κατά προσωπικού - καταγράφονται επίσης θάνατοι από εκρήξεις ναρκών (49 θύματα). Η χειρότερη περίοδος ήταν η διετία 2010-11, με συνολικά 95 νεκρούς στο ποτάμι. Ο φράχτης του Έβρου χτίστηκε τον Φεβρουάριο του 2012, ωστόσο από τη μελέτη του καθηγητή Παυλίδη προκύπτει ότι οι ροές δεν ανακόπηκαν, απλώς μετατοπίστηκαν πιο νότια και φυσικά στο Αιγαίο. Έτσι, την πενταετία 2012-6, συνολικά 68 άνθρωποι ανασύρθηκαν νεκροί, πάντα στην ελληνική όχθη του Έβρου.

Δευτέρα, 2 Οκτωβρίου 2017


Alexandra Novosseloff

The book "Walls Dividing People" began with Isaac Newton's quote: "People build too many walls and not enough bridges." This new book's intention is to explore this question in order to know whether or not, and how, bridges can strengthen the links between communities and contribute directly to reconciliation and peace.

While bridges are often among the primary targets of conflict, how are their reconstruction perceived by post-conflict populations and in search of lasting peace? To what extent, and under what conditions, do bridges really succeed in bringing together populations that have been divided? I tried to analyze the social, cultural and political scars, as well as the factors of unity, of nine crisis or post-conflict situations around the world.

Bridges in Mostar and in Mitrovica
A Border Bridge Between Greece and Turkey

The Allenby Bridge Between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan
The Bridges over the Dniestr River between Moldova and Transnistria
Along The Enguri River between Georgia and Abkhazia
The Friendship Bridges Between Tajikistan and Afghanistan

The Border Bridges Between China and North Korea

The International Bridges over the Rio Grande between the United States and Mexico

The Bridges of the Mano River Region

Κυριακή, 24 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017



“Quello che è stato fatto in Grecia è la messa a punto e la sperimentazione di un sistema normativo che ha come obiettivo quello di rivoluzionare il diritto d’asilo, permettendo una riduzione dei diritti storicamente riconosciuti ai richiedenti asilo.Alla Grecia si è chiesto di forzare alcune normative o di emanare alcuni istituti e renderli sistemici per sperimentarli”.
È il quadro che emerge dal report realizzato da un gruppo di legali dell’ASGI (Associazione per gli studi giuridici sull’immigrazione) dal titolo “Esperimento Grecia: un’idea di Europa”, che traccia un bilancio del sistema di asilo greco a poco più di un anno di distanza dall’accordo tra Unione europea e Turchia siglato nel marzo 2016.

Gli obiettivi del Report

L’obiettivo di questo secondo momento di osservazione e monitoraggio (qui i risultati dei precedenti viaggi) è stato quello di aggiornare le informazioni raccolte lo scorso giugno, con l’idea di mettere in luce come in effetti la Grecia possa ancora e sempre più essere considerata alla stregua di un laboratorio per la sperimentazione ed il perfezionamento delle più recenti politiche europee in materia di gestione dei flussi migratori il cui fine, ormai sempre più esplicito, sarebbe quello di ridurre drasticamente gli arrivi nello spazio europeo.
In questa dimensione, la politica degli accordi bilaterali, l’utilizzo del metodo hotspot, l’introduzione dei meccanismi procedurali legati ai concetti di “paese di primo asilo”, “paese terzo sicuro” e “paese di origine sicuro” nell’ambito delle procedure di asilo e l’attribuzione di un ruolo sempre più centrale alle agenzie europee, sono strumenti che già a partire dal marzo del 2016 si sono rivelati indispensabili per determinare una radicale diminuzione dei flussi migratori provenienti dalla Turchia e diretti in Grecia.
Questi stessi dispositivi hanno un ruolo centrale anche nelle prospettive di riforma del sistema di asilo europeo e nei processi di esternalizzazione del controllo delle frontiere e delle procedure di asilo.

Bloccare gli arrivi

Lesbo Grecia
Foto di Stefano Rubini
“Alla Grecia si è chiesto di forzare alcune normative o di emanare alcuni istituti e renderli sistemici per sperimentarli”

Quali sono gli strumenti messi in atto in Grecia e che hanno permesso questa rapida diminuzione dei flussi?

Παρασκευή, 11 Αυγούστου 2017


Daniel Trilling

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Daniel TrillingThe refugee crisis in Europe began with the shipwrecks off the coast of Libya in April 2015 and ended seven months later with the terrorist attacks in Paris. The long journeys, deaths, detentions and expulsions faced by the many thousands of uninvited migrants who try to reach Europe by sea or by land did not begin or end there. But the ‘refugee crisis’ is best understood as the brief period in which European leaders were forced to confront the disaster of their border policies; when the strength of public feeling at the damage caused by these policies was enough to force many politicians into making grand statements about Europe’s obligation to save lives, and even to consider opening borders or increase resettlement numbers. The Paris attacks supplied an excuse to start closing borders again, since it appeared that one or more of the perpetrators had slipped into Europe along the refugee trail from Turkey. The Balkan migration route, from Greece to Hungary and beyond, was the first to be sealed off. In the days immediately following the Paris attacks, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia began to stop undocumented migrants from crossing: first, anyone who wasn’t Syrian, Iraqi or Afghan; later, everyone. Since then, while the rhetoric may vary, the actions taken have been broadly consistent: a shoring up of the old border regime, the toughening of conditions inside Europe to deter migrants, and the further outsourcing of European border control to governments in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The immediate effect of closing the Balkan route was to trap refugees, mostly from the Middle East and Afghanistan, in Greece. By the end of 2016, about sixty thousand were living in fifty or more camps scattered around the country (with an undetermined number at large), trying to lodge asylum claims or waiting for an opportunity to take a smuggling route into Western Europe. Conditions in the camps are often dire: overcrowded and with poor sanitary conditions. Despite unprecedented funding, mainly from the EU (an investigation for the website News Deeply found that the $803 million spent so far is, per head, ‘the most expensive humanitarian response in history’), many camps weren’t ready for winter – thousands had to live in tents in freezing conditions. The EU, the Greek government and UNHCR blame one another for the failure, but the truth is that the outcome suits Europe by deterring would-be migrants. ‘It sends the message that Greece is a mess so don’t come this way,’ one human rights advocate told News Deeply.

Παρασκευή, 21 Ιουλίου 2017


The border wall between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, Calif. Tomascastelazo/FlickrCC BY-SA
It seems like every month brings news of another border wall going up.
Europe’s Baltic States, worried about invasive neighbours, are raising a fence along their eastern frontier. Meanwhile, in Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling for the building of an iron wall around the Xinjiang region.
In Latin America, Ecuador appears to have begun erecting concrete panels along the Peruvian state line. In Africa, a barrier between Somalia and Kenya, made of barbed wire, concrete and posts, is nearing completion.
This is a far cry from the illusion generated by the fall of the Berlin Wall — and by the utopian dream of a world without borders that emerged in the 1990s.

The Wall: a new status quo in international relations

At the end of the Cold War there were just 15 walls delimiting national borders; today, with 70 of them in existence around the world, the wall has become the new standard for international relations.

More walls in a world without borders.

With the proliferation of border walls and their normalization in the rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump, democracies have adopted the tactic as though it were a classic policy tool in foreign relations and defence.
And yet these rampant fortifications come at a hefty price, as much for the governments and international relations as for the local economies and populations affected. For those most vulnerable, for the middle class, for those pushed out by the walls (Saskia Sassen’s “expelled” peoples), the cost is exorbitant.
As symptoms of a rift in the world order, as manifestations of the failings of international cooperation, these barriers also come at a cost to those they shut out — the world’s “untouchables”.
The reality is that, despite being entrenched in international law, their freedom of movement is not as valuable as others’, each passport carrying its own set of rights.

Δευτέρα, 26 Ιουνίου 2017


By Leila Bodeux

Today, 20 June, is World Refugee Day. [socialistalt/ Flickr]
EU leaders will this week meet to agree, once more, on ways to keep migrants out of the EU. Out of sight may be out of mind but such a policy is only encouraging the deaths and suffering of tens of thousands of people, warns Leila Bodeux.
Leila Bodeux is Caritas Europa’s policy and advocacy officer for migration and asylum.
Caritas Europa believes that the EU and its member states now have a choice: they can continue the outdated, harmful migration policies or they can help stop this tragedy by investing in a modern and dynamic, welcoming Europe.
As François Crépeau, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said: “The so-called ‘migration crisis’ is policy driven. Placing restrictions on mobility is part of the problem, not of the solution.”
Attempts by the EU member states to stem migration mirror a blatant failure to fulfill their moral and legal duties to help people in need. Worldwide 80% of refugees are hosted in developing countries, yet rather than helping to relieve this burden, EU countries are pushing these countries to do even more.
A clear example of this trend is the ongoing negotiation on the reform of the failed Dublin system, which is increasingly framed around border controls, return and readmission agreements. Politicians try to step up the number of rejected asylum seekers to give credibility to the EU asylum system with the public opinion. Yet such an approach is widely misguided.
Recent research shows that the majority of Europeans (56%) are actually in favour of welcoming more refugees in their country.
The need for such facts to be acknowledged is clearly vital given the tragedy of the Mediterranean route, which has turned the sea most known as a holiday destination into an open-air cemetery.
Since the beginning of the year, 1,650 people have died trying to cross to Europe. In 2016, more than 5,000 people died trying to make the crossing. But the avoidable deaths of pregnant women, toddlers and babies do not seem to move our leaders anymore.