Tag Archives: Refugees

Cuius Regio, Eius Religio

Monthly Review, March 3, 2016 Turkish Islamists used to dismiss the European Union as a “Christian club.”  Their claim has acquired greater plausibility now that EU leaders have appointed Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Europe’s refugee gatekeeper, bolstering his Islamist government in order to keep Muslims out of Europe.  Such was the import of the agreement the two sides reached last November, in which EU governments promised to pay Turkey three billion euros over two years to cover the costs of detaining and accommodating asylum seekers. The days preceding the agreement saw the assassination of one ..

Refugees & Volunteering: Beyond the Culture of Giving

Having returned from my volunteering activities in the Balkans, I started reflecting on certain aspects of refugee aid in a number of schools, universities, and in my interviews. After my talk, some of my listeners would come and say: ok, you’ve kind of discouraged us from helping them. However, their reaction stemmed from a misunderstanding, because after all, my goal was to present some of the problematic aspects of volunteer aid work that came from my critical self-reflection. In any case, how did the purpose of volunteer aid work disappear from my consciousness?  Help’s lost ideals Let me use a metaphor ..

An Austere Place of Refuge

Nations in their barbarous condition are impenetrable; they must be broken into… Vico, The New Science, Book I, Axiom CII, proposition 303 (trans. Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch) On February 6, Europe witnessed what might be the boldest attempt to date to mobilize the continent’s masses against immigration and Islam. An international movement is emerging, uniting Europeans across borders—to call for the strengthening of the continent’s outer borders. The movement is overcoming old national hatred—but it is driven by a hatred that is international. It has even begun to articulate a critique o ..

Beyond Moral Interpretations of the EU ‘Migration Crisis’: Hungary and the Global Economic Division of Labor

This article is a reflection in hindsight on the ‘summer of migration’ of 2015 in Europe, and the symbolic debates around the role of Hungary during those months. Historical events that have followed brought significant changes in the structural and political-ideological constellations we describe. However, as political-ideological treatments of the present crisis continue to mobilize moral values tied to particular positions within the global system, we hope a posthumous analysis of how moral stances are ascribed within a long-standing hierarchical global distribution of labor, hiding systemic interconnecti ..

O Balkan Pioneers: Anatomy of an Escape Route

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article appeared originally on Antidote Zine and has been reprinted with the kind permission of the author. The images portray scenes in Serbia and Macedonia, December 2015, captured by unnamed photographers; please inquire before reprinting: antidote [at] riseup . net Q. 
Perhaps twenty years old, probably younger. Kabul, Afghanistan. At the transit point in Adaševci, buses arrive in clusters from points further south in Serbia: the border camps of Preševo (on the Serbian-Macedonian border) and Dimitrovgrad (Serbian-Bulgarian), or from Belgrade. In Adaševci, there is a ..

Forgotten on the wrong side of the border

Note by the LeftEast editors: this text has been published in co-operation with the Serbo-Croat language web portal Bilten.Org. Early in the morning of December 9th, Greek police closed the make-shift camp by the border town of Eidomeni. The eviction from the camp marked a further deterioration in the lives of thousands seeking refuge at the Greek-Macedonian border who in squalid and freezing conditions had been blocked from crossing into Macedonia for over two weeks and had in turn, as act of protest, blocked off the crossing. Their single demand was entry into Macedonia from Greece and transit onto destinations ..

Inside “the Dirty Deal” between Turkey and the EU

Turkey’s border with Syria is not the only border region in the country where people are dying[1]. Along the so-called “green border” of the European Union the last few years have witnessed a rising tide of migrants forced back into Turkey, mostly by European police forces. Today, Europe’s politicians are using Turkey as a gatekeeper. This is an old strategy, and has been ineffective so far. Europe has not been putting up the funds needed to enforce it, even if the EU has been investing in Turkish border technologies and camp facilities for some time. To understand the recent developments and their possib ..

Call for international meeting, manifestation and solidarity action in Slovenia

For more than a week the so-called Balkan Route is passing through Slovenia. The Slovenian government intended to impose the entrance quota of 2500 refugees per day. Croatia answered by sending the refugees and migrants over the so-called “Green” border. This controversy between Slovenia and Croatia created dire humanitarian conditions for the refugees and migrants. The Slovenian government used this humanitarian emergency produced by states and what they call a chaotic situation on the Southern border to rapidly militarize the society and call for an EU summit on the Balkan Route. The results of the Sunday s ..

More than a refuge, a welcome

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article by Manuela Zechner, Bue Rübner Hansen, and Francesco Salvini was published on the website of OpenDemocracy.Net on the 8 October 2015, This text was written in the context of Barcelona en Comú and the incipientRefuge Cities network and edited with David Llistar for publication in Eldiario.es Hundreds, sometimes thousands of people have come to our towns and cities in the last week seeking a safe place to live. They escape dire economic and political situations, and many have lost all they had in violent conflict, loved ones and their homes. We want to welcome them. ..

Call for Support: Hungarian Left-wing organizations demand adequate policies for the refugee crisis

The crisis in Western Asia and North Africa keeps deepening. Neither the key North American and European actors in the one and a half decade-long armed conflict, nor their regional allies are willing to abandon the politics of brutal interventions, even if these are indefensible according to international law. The aim of maintaining political violence is clear: gaining control over the arms market, trade routes and sources of raw materials, most importantly oil. NATO and the great powers are responsible not only for aggravating the crisis, but for the civilian casualties of the armed conflicts and the millions of ..