For the No Border Camp we organized several workshops which are described below, to hopefully provide fruitful discussion and even more fruitful action. However, there is also lots of space to self-organise, something that is strongly encouraged. Feel free to get together and brew some trouble! Note that times will get public later due to the challenge of scheduling everyone on a moment that works for them.
Resistance from the inside: hunger strikes and protests in Dutch asylum seeker centers
Recently, several accounts passed the media of migrants resisting the humiliation and degradation they experience on a daily basis in Dutch asylum seeker centers, either by protesting against specific rules or by going on hunger strike. They were met with repression, direct violence and court cases. Mainstream media often portrays these situations incomplete, missing context and framing it as an unusual incident, depoliticizing it and never asking the perspective of those who organized the resistance. Listen to their outcry, take a stance against these injustices and do not look away. This mistreatment is not normal, this segregated society is not acceptable, and while the state welcomes migrants in the worst way possible, we are ashamed to be complicit in it and we will act upon our rage. During this discussion we invite people living in these centers to share their stories and together we figure out how we can increase the pressure to create space for self-determination free from abuse in the Dutch asylum system.
Border Profiteers – Arms industry and migration
Transnational Institute (tni.org) and Stop Wapenhandel (stopwapenhandel.org)
Presentation and Q&A
The profits derived by Europe’s military and security industry from people on the move are two-fold. It fuels reasons forcing people to flee by supplying arms for wars, repression and human rights violations. And then profits again from supplying the equipment for border security and control, at the EU external borders and beyond. This is not a coincidence: industrial lobby has succeeded in co-shaping the core of EU border and migration policies.
We will look at this double role of industry, the way its lobby works (and is embraced by authorities) and contacts with the European Commission and Frontex. We will identify the big players, the European arms giants and specialized security companies and discuss how current developments, such as new migration deals with non-EU-countries, the increases in military spending and efforts to increase arms exports, fuel the industry’s cynical cycle of profiteering.
The effects of border and asylum policies on the health and wellbeing of pregnant and birthing people
Doctor and researcher, interactive talk
Pregnant people on the move endure many stresses and this does not stop once they are in a refugee shelter in the Netherlands. Pregnant and birthing people are neglected and put under pressure by the present Dutch political context. This researchers and doctor will share her journey and current findings with you all and has also studied the inequality in medical care between Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian refugees. Why is it so that asylum seekers have no access to proper medical care once they are here, but the state does subject them to a medical test when they enter the country? Join this conversation to learn more about the effects of border and asylum policies on the health and well-being of pregnant and birthing people. Once we have the knowledge, we can aim to translate academic research findings to practical direct action and solidarity with people on the move.
Fight the deportation machine: target Corendon
Workshop, Stop the War on Migrants (stopthewaronmigrants.noblogs.org)
Deportations are an essential part of EU migration policies. The EU does not only try to keep people on the move out with militarised border security and control measures, it also relentlessly tries to remove those that have managed to enter Fortress Europe. Using intimidation, violence and dangerous restrictive measures, people are forced back to situations of war, repression, hunger and/or poverty. Frontex has a central role in EU plans to increase deportations and non-EU-countries are under heavy pressure to cooperate. Commercial airlines play an important part in this machine, being hired for deportation flights. Dutch airline Corendon is regularly used for charter deportations from Germany and from the UK.
In this workshop Stop the War on Migrants will give info on EU deportation policies and practices and the actors – the agencies and the airlines and other companies – involved and present a new campaign to fight this. After the presentation there is room to brainstorm about possible actions against Corendon to end its involvement in the deportation machine.
No Border struggle in the netherlands
Together with you we want to move through a short history of recent struggle in the No Border movement in the Netherlands. Learning from past collectives, approaches and ideas, thereby also moving forwards: how do we continue to attack borders in/around/from the Netherlands? Sometimes knowledge and practices get lost or forgotten, although they provide fruitful soil to reuse and recycle in future settings. How can we maintain continuity and become stronger in destroying these murderous borders? In the face of nation states, federations and institutions with bottomless access to money, knowledge, power, weapons and support, how do we become better to use, re-use, invent and combine all the resources we got and not let them slip away into a distant past? Fuck around and find out! Please don’t bring your phone to this workshop.
Dealing mindfully with stressful situations
Deeez mindfulness, workshop
How can you deal with tension when you’re in a stressful situation, such as an occupation, an illegal demonstration, during (immigration) detention, when you live on the street or in the Netherlands without a stable place to stay. There’s a big chance your stress responses increase both in your body and mind, causing your nervous system to be overworked and a relaxed state is hard to access. This can lead to burn-out, chronic tiredness, or feeling estranged from yourself.
The workshop is both for activists and people without papers, or a combination thereof. Using practical exercises you can apply in daily life, you’ll learn some tools how to deal with pressure and insecurity in a mindful way. This is done preferably through situations which people feel like sharing during the workshop. The person who facilitates the workshop is both mindfulness trainer as well as activist.
Mindfulness is used by capitalist companies to make their sick employees go back to work again as soon as possible. Apart from that, there are many anti-vax mindfulness trainers, shedding a negative reputation on mindfulness. The trainer sees mindfulness as a way to be conscious of yourself, the people and other animals around you, society and the earth, making activism more profound.
Borders in the Balkan – How border surveillance apparatus is made legitimate through capitalist interests between the EU and the Balkan
Researcher Manja Petrovska, Presentation and discussion
Many countries in the Balkan are not a member of the EU, however, the EU gladly makes use of the bufferzone the Balkan countries provide to prevent people on the move to enter Fort Europa. Manja will inform you about this geopolitical game, how consent is tried to be produced for technologically modernized and militarized surveillance control systems, how grassroots opposition against such murderous border policies is threatened to be controlled and co-opted and how Frontex and other European migration institutions aim to establish an ‘objective reality’ to govern ‘irregular’ migration.
Given the current realities, it is crucial to develop counterstrategies and adopt a new language to effectively address the complexities of borders and migration. This discourse must move beyond the legalistic framework of human rights and international law, which not only lacks relevance, but is now also being manipulated by profiteers to justify the expansion of the border security industry. To confront this, a new approach is needed-one that can successfully challenge the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), resist co-optation by the (neo)liberal agenda, and can clearly address issues of unequal rights, mobility and exploitation based on citizenship. This strategy should not limit itself to questioning the concept of borders and advocating for human rights to be respected; it must also extend its critique to the power dynamics entrenched within nation-states and the overarching capitalist world system, which remains the core driver of these policies. Lastly, it is important to recognize that the current system which gives rise to the need for people to seek asylum cannot (and should not) be relied upon to provide the necessary protections to those seeking it.
No borders, no walls – Coalitions between anti-border and pro-Palestinian activism
Groningen for Palestine, workshop
In this workshop, we want to explore the similar motivations, themes, and challenges organizers against borders and for Palestine are facing. We think of anti-border work as extending beyond national territorial markers, exploring the kind of limits and (sometimes invisible) lines Palestinians and/as people on the move encounter in Europe. As part of that, we are also interested in pointing out how we as group of pro-Palestine activists from all walks of life are confronted with different ‘borders’ delimitating what we can do and say in our work.
Migreat: revolutionary reforms
Migreat is a grassroots organisation fighting for freedom of movement based in the Netherlands.
The no border movement strives for a very big change in the status quo. One way to achieve this is through revolution. Another way is to work on reforms. But many reform campaigns in the past years have been used to strengthen borders instead of breaking them apart.
In this workshop, we will discuss various reforms, whether it is possible to achieve border abolition through reforms, and what activists can do to minimise the risk that their campaigns are abused by political parties to uphold the status quo instead of challenging it. We hope to learn from the experiences of different people, campaigns and countries.
The book ‘against borders’ by Gracie Mae Bradley and Luke de Noronha is an important inspiration for this workshop.
From mass solidarity to racist militia’s: Ter Apel one year later
Ter Apel, a small village in Groningen where refugees have to register, was overloaded last year so hundreds of people had to sleep outside in horrific circumstances. Public outcry and shame in the media, grassroots support through food, medical care, tents and shelter gave hope in the face of the repressive policy decision made by both the State and the mayor of Groningen, responsible for the region. However, one year later, the media’s narrative has changed and local militia’s take to the streets to hunt down so-called ‘veiligelanders’, people from supposedly safe countries in north Africa, who are accused of stealing or harassing people in the village. This programme part will be an interactive discussion on the answer of the radical left to these developments.
Asso A4 movie screening + interview
Tuesday 22-08 from 20:00 – 22:00
Documentary is 41 minutes mostly French with English subtitles
A4 is an association in agriculture and crafts located in France, who filmed a documentary called Equal to Equal. They show their initiative to connect residents of cities who have migratory routes, who do not have papers, with farmers and craftsmen. As such, they build solidarity networks of hospitality, training, access to work and practical support. After the screening of the documentary, there will be a live interview with members of the association. Come to this event and learn how to set up such structures in your own locality!
Fixing bikes for migrants
Fietsenwerkplaats Mutual Aid
During the action camp there will be a bike repair space run by the anarchist DIY bike workshop Mutual Aid from Groningen. Usually, this bike repair space is “for people who cannot or do not want to pay for a bicycle or repair”. All week you can repair bikes to use them afterwards for transportation, whether you want to go to the supermarket, have a relaxing bikeride or want to do an action! After the NBC has finished, all repaired bikes will be given to migrants in Groningen who need a bike. We’re happy with this wholesome, multi-purpose initiative based on mutual aid!
Rebetiko Against the Machine
Rebetiko Against the Machine will delight us on saturday evening with their acoustic Greek folk music, playing old songs in the pre-war Greek rebetiko tradition and playing some creations of their own. With their radical music they will to put fire in our hearts so feel free to dance to this revolution!
Next to this will be zine stands, screenprinting, blockprinting, ‘Radical cross stitch’, and of course food on donation.
There is more that will be confirmed:
Workshop Seawatch, situation in Turkey, asylum situation in NL, session on future No Border Camp, animism as activism, conversation on mutual aid and white saviourism, poetry of resistance, multiple documentaries, and not to forget music!