Tag Archives: Refugees

The Helpers of the Afghan Park

Text and photos by Szilárd Kalmár, translated by Arnold Velansits. First published in Mérce. In the spring of 2015, a wave of refugees reached Europe of a size that had not been seen before. The general public – including us – was not informed, or barely were, about this situation and only realized what we are facing when the quickest moving refugees, the relatively wealthier people had reached our borders. In these early stages, Hungary registered those coming via Serbia, then gave them free transit towards the two largest refugee camps, in Debrecen, or Vámosszabadi, near the town of Győr. At th ..

Letter to citizens of the EU from the “periphery”: Politics of the closed borders are bringing us closer to fascist rules

Note from LeftEast editors: This article has been reprinted from the Medium account of Are You Syrious. We, the human rights defenders and citizens from the countries relegated to the “periphery” of the European Union (EU) and the Schengen space, want to express our deepest concern for the current situation in which we can see the rise of fascism and a deterioration in basic human rights, such as freedom of movement and the right to seek asylum. The leniency towards and acceptance of the rise of the far-right in European countries is worsening living conditions for people on the move and increasingly endanger ..

A 50/50 Ball: The East versus the EU in the Refugee Relocation Game

Editorial note: The following piece originally appeared at Verfassungsblog | On Matters Constitutional. We carry it here with kind permission from the author. The soccer terminology of a 50/50 ball refers to a free ball contested by two opponents, usually after a badly behaved goal kick. Analogy that much resembles the ongoing political game between some of the former Eastern Bloc nations and the European Union (EU) in regards to the proposed relocation mechanism for people in need of international protection. Several coastal areas of Italy and Greece had long seen significant numbers of boat arrivals from the Mi ..

Radicalizing the Sanctuary Movement

In December of 2016, students organized several “sanctuary campuses” across the City University of New York (CUNY) system, one of the largest university systems in the U.S. Reeling from the victory of Donald Trump, activists organized sanctuary “safe spaces,” working with university administrators to ensure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigators would have limited access to background information, and to set up a system that reported harassment and intimidation of “undocumented” students. Disgust with the explicit racism of the current political regime is the basis for the sanctu ..

Of Fences, national securities and solidarity: An open letter to Momentum

Note from the LeftEast editors: As we move towards the 2018 parliamentary elections in Hungary, the Momentum Movement, recently chartered as a party, is being touted in the international liberal media as a pro Europe party with potential to threaten the right-dominated political space where the main challenge to Fidesz comes from the extreme right party Jobbik. After becoming known this spring through it’s a successful campaign against Hungary’s the government’s plan to bid to host the 2024 Olympics, Momentum is now poised to run in the elections. Momentum drives a campaign designed by communication profess ..

“Flipping a Coin: Heads—No One Is Illegal; Tails—Everyone Must Be,” Pt. 3

Images, notes, and quotes on and around the No Border encampment in Thessaloniki, July 2016 (rendered in the light of anarchist illegalism). by Ernest Larsen Continued from Part II 10) Lesson in the Powers of Negativity There were many signs like the one above around the Aristotle University campus during the encampment. I have a black tee shirt with white lettering: NO PHOTOS PLEASE. Whenever I saw one of those signs I wished I had brought it with me. As it has been at all the demos we’ve participated in in Thessaloniki (and elsewhere in Greece), the use of cameras was an issue at all the No Border events and ..

“Flipping a Coin: Heads—No One Is Illegal; Tails—Everyone Must Be,” Pt. 2

Images, notes, and quotes on and around the No Border encampment in Thessaloniki, July 2016 (rendered in the light of anarchist illegalism). by Ernest Larsen Continued from part 1. 4) The anti-nationalist No Border network attacks the problematic of the illegal concretely and actively, its primary slogan affirming the implied double negative: no person is illegal. The European Union’s famously and falsely open borders continue to provide for the No Border network the con-testing ground of neoliberal ideology, the crux of which is that Capital is absolutely free to move but Labor can never be allowed that right/ ..

“Flipping a Coin: Heads—No One Is Illegal; Tails—Everyone Must Be,” Pt. 1

Images, Notes, and Quotes on and around the NO BORDER encampment in Thessaloniki, July 2016. This three-part series was first published in E-flux conversations. We publish it with E-flux’s permission.          graffiti on window of abandoned store in Thessaloniki, July 2016 Flipping a Coin is less an essay than a narrative construction, an indeterminate, deliberately ramshackle form, built up of quotes, long and short, a variety of digital  images and photomontages, appropriated texts, anecdotes, personal history, reports, shards of literary, historical and political analysis, interviews, memories ..

Bulgaria’s Refugee-Hunters

Note from LeftEast editors: This article is published in collaboration with the regional portalBilten. On the 8th of June, 2016 the ZDF broadcast a news report about a paramilitary group, the self-proclaimed Bulgarian Military Union “Vasil Levski”. The piece was shot during a regular “migrant-hunting” operation of the unit in a forest near the border with Turkey. According to the report, by the middle of June there are about 800 individuals taking part in similar groups in Bulgaria. Vigilante groups have three things in common: they push back migrants across the Turkish border, engage in enforcing unlawfu ..

Post-Capitulation Greece: Interview with Stathis Kouvelakis

While at the Marx Is Muss 2016 conference earlier this month, Anja Ilic and Pavle Ilic (Marx21) interviewed Stathis Kouvelakis, a member of a party called Popular Unity, which split from Syriza last summer after the referendum. Kouvelakis served at Syriza’s central committee from 2012 to August 2015 and is also a professor of political theory at King’s College in London. This conversation focuses on the political and social situation in Greece today. I would like to start by asking you to summarise the political and social development of the Greek society after the events of August 2015, after the capitulat ..