florian schneider on Fri, 5 Feb 1999 22:38:45 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Kein Mensch Ist Illegal / No One Is Illegal

Against the European and US border regime
For the freedom of movement and free access for all

For a second time, the "No one is illegal" campaign will move to the EU
frontier between Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. For one week
in the beginning of August, activists from many different countries will
gather at a campsite some hundred meters from borderline. Several
connections to simultaneous camps all over europe and in the US are
being planned: internet, mobile phones, snail mail and personal

The event's slogan is "Hacking the borderline" points up the central
role that media task forces and "real-life" militants will play. We
invite all mobile radio- and camcorder-activists, tactical webmasters,
communication guerilleros, soundsystems, dj's, musicians, artists, and
anyone else to the camp and to contribute to it in any way possible.

The camp is being organized by the German "no one is illegal" campaign
[kein mensch ist illegal: <http://www.contrast.org/borders/kein>]. This
campaign has been working since 1997 and is run by over a hundred
independent grassroots autonomous and antiracist groups as well as
religious or trade union oganizations. From its very beginning at
Documenta X, the political aims of the campaign were accompanied and
supported by the various artists and media activists.

Like last year's intervention, this one aims to disturb an atmosphere
where comfortable denunciations of refugees and migrants are the norm;
where high-tech armed border-police with mystified "state of
emergency"-type powers prosper; and where racism is a mainstream trend
in German society, encouraging the rise of neofascists who control the
public spaces in many towns and cities in Eastern Germany. We will make
concrete our opposition of business-as-usual chases of "illegals" along
German as well as any or every EU border--chases that have caused the
death of many people (about 90 sinece 1993 on Germany's eastern border
and more than 1100 on all East-West borders). In particular, this event
and the campaign of which it is a part will emphasize that the growing
institutional apparatus supporting these things is unacceptable: the
"foreigners adminisitration," German legislation against asylum-seekers
and migrants, the Schengen system, and any other such effort to keep out
migrants and refugees or to freeze out those who are already here. But
more than merely oppose these things, this campaign and this event
encourage solidarity and widespread civil disobedience against
anti-migrant laws and culture.

We want to publicize the very real possibility of a radically different
way of treating people who enter Europe for whatever reason--for refuge
from war or civil war; from persecution, social, or sexual harassment;
or even simply to put their life in a new perspective. In this respect,
we fundamentally disagree with liberal pretenders who would distinguish
between "political" asylum-seekers, who they welcome, and "economic"
refugees, who they reject. We believe that ALL people have the right to
live wherever and however they please. Borders impede freedom of
movement and unrestricted access to "Fortress Europe," and therefore
should disappear.

Last year in Eastern Saxony we succeeded in getting commune officials,
the state police, and the federal border police (the Bundesgrenzschutz)
to question their policies, and even to change some of their positions.
Our manifestations, demonstrations, and a 36-hour rave opened up some
checkpoints on the German-Polish border from strict control.

Our efforts included free music and radio performances for those being
deported in Goerlitzm a streetball event with a famous Berlin basketball
player, the establishment of a camp radio, attacks on Nazi gathering
sites, a big "Antiracist regatta" on the river Neisse, and "winning" a
bicycle race in Goerlitz to promote a case involving a secret border
crossing-- all of this in order to help people to cross and to live in
dignity in Germany. Our distribution of a high-circulation camp
newspaper sought to clarify our demands to the populations living along
the border and to claim responsibility for our actions. On a sadder
note, we contributed to a spontaneous demonstration in Freiberg (on the
German-Czech border) in which 7 Kosovo-Albanians died and the remaining
21 were severely injured in a crash after being chased by the federal
border police.

This years Camp, the "1999 Antiracist Summer Camp" will be in the
beginning of August, again at or near the border triangle between
Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.

We invite all interested groups and people to come, to participate, and
to contribute to the camp. In particular, we will focus on discussing
ways to flesh out this campaign. We sincerely hope that groups from
other European countries--especially Eastern Europe--will offer reports,
these about the rise of the border regime, and insights into various
aspects of their regions' minorities, refugees, and migrants.

We're looking forward to a wide range of contributions, performances,
lectures, pannel discussions, concerts, and parties--and, of course,
lots of public or clandestine actions. But none of this a "ticket":
everyone is welcome in the camp, active contributor or silent presence
alike. These gatherings and exchanges of information will promote an
independent network of camps and castles organized around not borders
and territories but, rather, ideals--freedom of movement and an access
everywhere and always. These goals take many forms: grassroots
anti-racist groups, migrant organizations, efforts to support any or
every kinds of refugee, media and art activism, or any other
intervention *for* human autonomy and *against* the rise of regimes,
apparatuses, and cultures that maintain and entrench exclusionary

There will probably be some simultaneous, parallel camps at the at the
militarized US-Mexico border, and perhaps in Belgium and Austria as
well. We hope to exchange as much as possible between these eforts.

>From february 4th till 7th we will organize a "wintercamp" at the
Volksbuehne Theatre in Berlin. The aim is to prepare the next summer
camp, to present the last years activities, and to do some spontaneous
actions  in Berlin inner city. Since we're going to have internet
connection at the wintercamp, we invite you to take part in that event,
even if you cannot come. People who are interested in remote
participation should subscribe to our mailinglist [cross-l] by sending
the command
in the body of a message to: <listserv@relay.crg.net>

Please forward this message, inform your friends and groups, come to the
winter and the summer camps, and/or do anything else that will help this
cause. For further information about the exact dates and locations,
contact the organizators at <mailto:grenze@ibu.de>


phone: ++49/172/8910825

"Kein Mensch ist illegal"
c/o Forschungsgesellschaft Flucht und Migration,
- Sommercamp -
Gneisenaustr. 2a
FRG-10961 Berlin
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