[ 26. Oct 2015 ]

A short note on the 'humanitarian' corridor: hypocrisy of Fortress Europe

People not papers

On 20th and on 21st of October 2015 at Berkasovo-Bapska (SRB-CRO) border crossing once again, people were stronger than the barricades the croatian police put up there. After the night spent in the mud and cold, 2500 people overcame the fence or went around it over the "green border".


People are arriving exhausted from all the difficulties of traveling and they are told that the border is closed. But what does this "the border is closed" mean at all? In the moment when people run over the fields the imaginary line which supposed to be the border simply stopped to exist. The human fence of robocops became ridiculous. After overcoming the barrier (the border line), an even larger problem appears because the organized-fully controlled corridor disables all the possibilities to continue the travel independently. People have to wait again for the organized buses (that sometimes do not exist), or in order to enter the camps, in proper(!) lines, enduring police/military shouting at them, and all the humiliation that comes with illegalization. In the meanwhile, these people should be considered the lucky ones who get the chance to pass through the safer way which the new corridor enables.

Corridor of control

Generally the so called "humanitarian" corridor for a more human migration towards the EU, or the chosen country of exploitation, controls almost all movement of migrants that can not enter in a legalized way. The governments, together with the big humanitarians (UNHCR, Red Cross and other NGOs) can propagate a humanistic image of a 'helper' and at the same time they are responsible for sufferings at the borders (example: EU funds at the same time finance NGOs working on the so called "migrant issue" and the construction and maintenance deportation prisons). Also the intermediate people (volunteers, translators, ...) play an important role, because they are there for concrete help and have certainly good intentions, but therefore are often being put in a position of power which can take away or hinder the power of the migrants in that moment, patronizing them. Just talking about bad conditions but not about the policy which causes them, calling governments on building more proper shelter facilities, but not calling them to remove barricades, withdraw army forces, and to stop every form of violence, is leading to a strange continuity of "migration management", which includes often cooperation with police in order to have "everything under control".

who is (made) a "refugee" and why it's (not) a "crisis"?

The horrible situation at the borders or generally on the way, are shown as a result of a human catastrophe, and therefore as the fault of the people who are traveling, like it would be some kind of natural catastrophe, that people are waiting at closed border, being hungry, freezing, being left without medical help, loosing family members, and so on.

It is necessary to point out that states are creating this crisis, it's part of the same policy that builds fences and prisons/camps and on the other side claim to be the ones that want to give "safe passage" or "shelter" to the "real refugees". This is the two sides of the policy of Fortress Europe. The division into social categories (illegal immigrants, economic migrants and real refugees) is a racist separation, that is used to sort out people that are useful for the EUropean capital, and on the other hand, to eliminate, deport, put to prison the "useless", or completely illegalize them and used as cheap labor force. This division is highly problematic and we propose to use the term migrant(s) for all the people traveling. This intends to be a first step, to see the people as same to us, and functions as a alternative term, for terms that international laws and states created.

This is exactly the hypocrisy of the capitalist Europe, with its tradition of wars and exploitation that was established on the big lie of humanity as "the core of European value". We ask ourselves, what these humanistic values are, when colonialism, land grabbing and the oppression of "others" have always been justified by these same values. Only if we overcome the image of the superior Europe and start to make real bonds of transnational solidarity, we can start to talk about values again.

On every spot where people are stopped, there is resistance. Another powerful message was sent out on 21st of October in Brežice (Hr/Slo border) where migrants burned down tents in order to demand freedom for a few thousand people that were held in a camp with capacity of 400. The will to go on and the power of people is stronger than all repression.

Article by no border serbia, published first on 23. Oct 2015 in ::