Yesterday, a public presentation about the nobordercamp in bulgaria 2011 took place in hamburg at the “antira-kneipe“, a monthly antiracist pub in hafenstrasse, st.pauli. Activists from hamburg and greece presented the initiative “welcome to europe” (w2eu), the construction of the nobordercamp in bulgaria and talked about the general situation of border-regime in bulgaria. One important topic pointed out are the ongoing deportations and forced return of roma people especially from hamburg to balkans, especially serbia, macedonia and bulgaria. Additionally some information was given about the recent pogroms against roma people in bulgaria.
The presentation started with a talk about a travel through serbia and macedonia with the infomobil of w2eu, and the visit of deported roma, who lived in germany or who have still relatives in hamburg. The pictures in the presentation showed family members watching videoclips made in hamburg to send them greetings from their relatives. A second group, who met the infomobile on their tour present their tour on the blog “bizegranice“. One personal story was of a woman who had to leave germany with cancer in april 2011 and who died recently in vranja banja, serbia. One aim of the üproject is to rise awareness, in what kind of situation this people are deported and to connect the both realities of germany and balkans. There is an ongoing campaign in support of the roma people in hamburg and antiracist groups and initiatives are doing their best to get attention to the stories of people.
The second part of the presentation was about the general situation of bulgaria, shengen-system and border regime. As bulgaria joined the european union, new deportation prisons were recently constructed and more weapons and equipement is bought for the border police and the special anti-migration force FRONTEX. On the one hand, the system of handling migration in bulgaria is quite intransparent and random depending on the border guards, refugees and migrants get in contact with first. On the other hand, the media in bulgaria is pushing the topic of “criminal refugees” and is in no way supportive towards antiracist ideas. They show pictures to the public like “look, refugees have TV and a nice life”, while reality in the prisons is overcrowded and without any social security for people living there. If people have no money, often they do not even get any lawyer and border guards take them directly to some of the prisons without explaining the people their legal rights. Fascists and nationalist have in bulgaria sadly a visible voice, which makes the situation for antiracist initiatives even harder.
The third part was about the construction of the camp and pictures where shown how the showers and toilets were constructed. “it is as important to have an infrastructure-crew as a cooking-crew” the person, who was involved in the construction and presented this part mentioned to us. One good thing about having such a crew is to unburden the locals, who have to negociate, talk to everybody all the time and so on.
We watched as well a bulgarian TV clip, which showed especially the masked people dancing at the border, which was kind of funny but seems to be quite special for them.
Then we heard some more information about the new constructed detention centre in lubimetz and that it was sponsored by the EU with 4.5 million euro. One more action was shown in pictures as a monument close to siva reka was changed into “mister noborder and his rabbit”:
The action at evros river was mentioned and pictures shown (i wrote about this before) and finally we talked about the situation now after the nobordercamp as there are racist and antiziganist pogroms taking place in bulgaria. We had not really time to discuss the topics, there had been too many topics and too many details but it was a very nice and informative evening.
One more thing to mention is the “No border last forever” – conference in Frankfurt am Main in november 2011.