Open-Air Caravan Festival 2010
From 4-6 June, 2010 in Jena, Germany
A Bastion of humanity and solidarity
“Unite Against Colonial Injustice
in Memory of the Dead and Victims of Fortress Europe”
The Caravan Festival Statement and Call for Participation
Hurrah!!! The Caravan Festival is set!
On June 4th, the long awaited Caravan Festival 2010 kicks off in Jena, Thuringen from the 4th till the 6th of June 2010. The Caravan-for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants will be organising this Festival of political and cultural resistance against colonial injustice and in memory of the mortal victims of the construct known as “Fortress Europe”. Through art and dance, critical analysis and discussion, we hope to re-energise and re-define the struggle against colonial injustice and bring into focus again, one of its most cruel and deadly modern manifestations: deportation. It will be a Festival in memory of the lives lost to Fortress Europe and a celebration of the lives of all those who continue to defy and survive the politics that is intentionally designed to divide, isolate and destroy us. We uphold the sanctity of our inviolable human dignity and physical presence here and anywhere in the world as our ultimate value! We reject and refuse to accept the reasons and mechanisms used to build the wall of ignorance and humiliation, racism and discrimination against our presence here or anywhere else. We are reclaiming what rightfully belongs to us and what we cannot be denied.
The Caravan Festival is about our physical presence and dignity, our life experiences and those of the dead, our struggle and resistance, solidarity and humanity. It is a show of defiance, a bastion of solidarity. We are defying the oppressive and repressive machinations that have been the hallmark of European and American intervention in our lives for ages. Together in this Festival, we are uniting against their will and demonstrating our strength to resist the aims and methods of this barbarism. We are here because they destroy our countries. We are here and we will fight.
Away with the fear and lets regain our Freedom
For centuries the powerful have used fear as their weapon of choice. Through fear, human beings are forced into submission and isolation from one another. Through the power of fear we learn and teach that silence and bowing our heads, indifference to resistance and defending ourselves are tantamount to survival. Through fear, the visible wounds on the visible human beings become invisible, hidden behind the false and malicious narrative of superiority and inferiority, civilised and savage, poor and rich, weak and strong and of course innocent and guilty. In order to maintain this control over our minds and our bodies, the powerful develop the complex to fit in those narratives into past, present and future, which we are all required to adhere to. In their narrative we are taught to be receptive to injustice and war, and to accept the creation of the Untermenschen that they have made of us. We are meant to adore the supposed superiority of a violent and dominant culture. We are expected to co-operate and collaborate with them in the perpetuation of that false representation of our inferiority and never to question their false and self-deluded notion of the superiority of Western and European identity. Any challenge to this narrative and hegemony is met with vitriolic rhetoric and ultimate brutal and violent actions sometimes resulting in deaths at the hands of state agents. But with this Festival, we are confronting and defying them and we are conquering that fear. We are making a stand that we have no fear to say what we know for a fact and that we mean what we say. We are calling on them to look beyond their nose, to acknowledge their history and take a stand for humanity because it is a fact that since the brutal advent of colonialism, the European identity has been constructed on the wicked presumption of superiority over all other cultures and people. In order to create the fundamental belief of the greatness of European ideals and values, the “Other” had to be constructed into the polar opposite of that greatness. Thus, Africans, Asians and Latin Americans are still violently relegated into that category of inferior and salvages. For centuries, forced and inhuman separation, rape, abuse and enslavement of millions of people were the handiwork and hallmark of European and American adventurers into the so-called third world countries. These were closely coordinated under the uncontrollable greed and wanton exploitation of our land and the destruction of our cultures (http://thecaravan.org/files/caravan/Festival_2010_flyer_en.pdf and http://thevoiceforum.org/node/1570).
Incredibly, in spite of the hundreds of millions of victims of slavery, colonialism, and imperialism, not to mention when the chicken came home to roost in the homebred National Socialism, most Europeans and their descendants throughout the world continue to believe in their superiority of thoughts, ways of being and actions. Even with all these atrocities, they are consolidating the very system that produces intolerance, unbridled greed and hate, and intensifying the consequent ruthlessness of that brutality at home and abroad (http://www.karawane-festival.org/de/hintergrund/ueber-koloniales-unrecht/).
Rise up against Deportation and the deadly Frontex machine of Europe
Once again, the age-old mechanism of fear is being viciously deployed to justify the deadly and wholly inhuman project FRONTEX. Rather than deal with their greed-induced and self-inflicted systemic and structural problems arising from war and imperialism, resulting in harsh migration processes, human and environmental destruction, the narrative of fear is again being woven around migrants. Not only do they want that migrants are afraid to come here they also want to make the populace here afraid of migrants-swarming them.
In order to mask their true intention and perpetuate colonial injustice, they are re-doubling their efforts to continue to portray migrants and potential migrants as the lazy and naive that must be kept at bay by FRONTEX. They portray victims of their brutal system as those who need their very (European) military protection and border militarisation. In this manner, the “good people of Europe” dubiously narrate clear acts of violent exclusion and oppression as a humanitarian act with FRONTEX as a noble project.
There is hardly a more glaring and painful example than the Island of Gorée off the coast of Senegal. During the time of slavery and colonial rule, Gorée served the Europeans as one of the major “gateways to hell”, through which millions of Black Africans kidnapped, were deported from their lands to build the economies of Europe and the Americas. This as we all know became the most barbaric and brutal forced migration in human history. Today in continuation of their colonial injustice and barbarity, they have now extended their FRONTEX border regime beyond the immediate European borders and a FRONTEX post is in Senegal.
There, FRONTEX controls all Ships leaving Africa towards Europe to make sure that no “illegal immigrant” leaves Africa. In effect, we are experiencing an increased militarisation of the borders and Seas including spheres of international waters. All in their attempt to prevent the migration of a needy, defenceless and deprived people they find difficult to control but determined to exploit.
Thousands of refugees and migrants die at the ever extending and increasingly militarised European borders yearly and many more are forced to drown, "thanks" to FRONTEX. These lots cannot even reach the European borders alive. Any attempt to render any help and rescue them results in criminal prosecution. If European dogs or cats are in danger, emergency service and ambulance assistance are immediately made available, but if its human beings drowning and calling for help, the only help for them is to hasten and help them to drown through FRONTEX. In Spain, scenes reminiscent of the Franco years were replicated a few years ago when Spanish soldiers suddenly joined their police compatriots in shooting and killing innocent, unarmed and defenceless refugees and migrants in Ceuta and Melilla, all in the name of protecting Spain from being swarmed with the ‘unwanted’. Europe with its valued freedom and equality, human right and dignity fell silent and accepted it.
Further, border control and persecution against migration are already extended to inland control of African States. African governments are being pressurised and blackmailed into signing dubious agreements to act as conduits for European deportation machine with FRONTEX as its monster agency. Led by Italy and supported by the mentality of Fortress Europe, African countries are being coerced to accept their newly given status of European dumping grounds as exemplified by the scandalous and nauseating agreements with Libya and other North and sub-Saharan African states. Human rights and human dignity, the supposedly “core European values” are tossed away in a flash when it comes to dealing with the “Other”. We are not even venturing into the issue of dumping toxic waste materials in African countries by Europeans-that’s another story entirely. Memory sounds a fresh note of warning on the brutal migration control politics of Fortress Europe and colonial injustice. The “Frontexation” of European border system is a deadly physical and ideological weapon of the Fortress Europe where the militarisation of the seas and land borders is forcefully deployed against migration. It is meant to strengthen the ignoble system of divide and rule and the globalised apartheid of selection and exploitation (The 'Fortress Within': Restriction of Movement and Refugee Self-Organisation, http://thevoiceforum.org/node/1300).
There must be an end to this inhumanity and broad day barbarism, because there is another way. We refuse to accept their lies, their manipulations and their uncontrollable gluttony that has only served to unleash human suffering, environmental disaster and perpetual wars. With this Festival, we call on all well-meaning human beings to unite and oppose FRONTEX and the system behind it and to once again revel in the spirit of humanity and solidarity. We unite to defy and deny their aims; we show solidarity to uplift the human spirit.
But then ?in spite of the abuse and oppression, the intimidation and humiliation, we are partakers in our own fate. Instilled with fear, each try to deal with our own problems on our own, thinking that if we just behave well and stay out of trouble then we will be left alone - allowed to live peacefully. But peace is not that cheap, not least, for us. Many people do not realise, - even those who suffer most directly from the problems, the viciousness of the system. We are often led to think and feel lonely and falsely harbouring the prospect of even fighting and winning alone. We must do it together to defeat the monster.
Statistics vary below 1 and 3% of all refugees that are ever actually granted the status worthy of protection. And of those that have been granted asylum, such as some refugees from Iraq and Syria, many have had their status taken away and are sent back to countries deemed “safe” by European bureaucrats. But when these same bureaucrats advise their citizens planning vacations, they advise them not to go to these countries or if they must, they should wear bullet proofs because it’s not a safe place. Double standards, dubious morality, or pure liars? You judge. Those of us they failed to deport are forcefully consigned into the humiliating and inhumane category of “illegal immigrants” – their favoured position to best exploit to our bone marrows and deny us any human dignity and or rights. That much is on offer for the much-vaunted European values.
Call for Participation
We want to call on all well-meaning people to support our call to overcome the fear to unite in dignity. We want to unite and rise up against social exclusion of refugees and migrants in Europe and consolidate our solidarity to uplift the human spirit. As we are all part of this problem, we also have to become part of the solution. If we can join together and overcome our fear, if we can stick together in dignity and solidarity and if we express our own narratives of resistance, then the so-called “powerful” will loose the very power with which they have managed to manipulate and dominate us for more than 500 years. In Germany, we want to expose the racist hypocrites who preach freedom and equality, human right and human dignity that is “unantastbar” but continue with institutional discrimination and treat us like criminals through “Residenzplicht”, so as to fan the flame of societal racism against us.
Let’s aspire to that “revolutionary vision” that can redefine our dignity not by National laws or passport but by our physical presence and humanity as the ultimate universal value. Let‘s build that space of our own to relate to each other even with all the differences we may have. We hope that you participate in this event and join thousands of others who want to mourn and honour the dead victims of Fortress Europe, celebrate the presence of those who are here and build a better world for all. Join us as single individuals or activists or as group(s). We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of you.
Stop the deportations. Abolish Residenzpflicht now!
Freedom of movement is everyone’s right!
We restate and reaffirm that our freedom of movement is non-negotiable!
No Lager! No Police Brutality!
No Fortress Europe! Stop “Frontex” now!
The VOICE Refugee Forum
Join the Caravan Network!
Please Donate to "KARWANE" Festival in Memory of the dead and victims of European Border Guards in Europe
The video is about self-organization. On the 10th of April, 2010 in Berlin, several activists from different networks met to discuss the struggles for their dignitiy and right to live and to prepare the KARAWANE-Festival 2010 in Jena, Thüringen.
Interview Yufanyi Mbolo about Jena Festival 2010 on AFROTAK TV cyberNomads
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/AFROTAKTVcyberNomads#p/u/1/m2WGxwPo6gI
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/AFROTAKTVcyberNomads#p/u/0/sATGmBN2ZY0
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