Bordercamping2002: Jena, Germany
Camp 02 - a new challenge! For Free Movement! No one is illegal!
11.May.02 - From July 12th till July 19th 2002 the 5th Antiracist No-Border-Camp will take place in Jena/Thüringen. We will honor Jena with our one week's visit in order to attack - theoretically and practically - the racist conditions for the 5th time now.
On the schedule are confrontative actions, discussions on perspectives of antiracist and radical left politics, dealing with different life-realities, their relation to societal power relations and last but not least the joint organisation of camp everyday life. It will be "Reclaim the highway" after the camp, as a convoy will start out from Jena to Strasbourg to the international No-Border-Camp.
After last year's camp in the "western metropolis", in the immediate surroundings of the Frankfurt airport, this year the camp will return to the "eastern province". "Aiming at inner borders", this slogan, created for Frankfurt, will still be valid: Because one focus of the activities in Thüringen will be the everyday isolation and exclusion of refugees, their precarious life situation in the so called homes and the continuous racist controlls - mostly based on the so called "Residenzpflicht" residential restriction. Especially in the rural Thüringen with its relatively homogenous, "mehrheitsdeutscher" (hegemonial german) population the densitiy of control and the isolation is more repressive compared to the metropolitan areas, which have a longer history of migration, and therefore offer at least a relative degree of protecion. The normality of refugees' and migrants' isolation, criminalisation and marginalisation should be broken and confronted with our opposition for one week. Aims of our intervention will be the exclusion from human rights such as freedom of movement and the right on political activism, everyday's symbolical and physical violence against refugees and migrants as well as the exclusion from societal wealth.
Of course we won't lose sight of the racist conditions in general, since for us racism is not reduced on state restrictions. Importantly, there is a mutual dependancy of stately and societal racism that is fundamental for the creation of the racist hegemony, i.e. the condition in which racist patterns of perception and action meet so much approval and so few opposition; that a fine-meshed racist net on the individual, structural and state level is woven. This is visible in various forms:
Inactivity on the side of passengers and air crew in the case of deportations on scheduled flights, petition campaigns against dual citizenship, denunctiations at the border, racist discrimination at the housing and labour market, dependancy of the residential status on german marriage partners and, often connected, domestic relations of power and violence, especially for women. Another element of this racist net is the connection of racist classifications with the categorisation of people according to their usability in the frame of the so called immigration debate. With the new immigration law the GFR (German Federal Republic) sets an european example for the combination of selection of migrants according to criteria of usability and simultaneous closing of the borders. The regulation of work migration is oriented towards economic, meaning capitalistic, requirements. When needed Some receive a strictly temporary residence permit with various restrictive conditions. For the Others entry or the reception of a secure status of residence is rendered even more impossible than now: so called exit centers (Ausreisezentren) are planned (which equals the expansion of remand pending deportation (Abschiebehaft)), toleration (Duldung) will be abolished, political asylum will be only temporary i.e. permanent menace of deportation in form of continuing reexaminations and so on. The consequence of this politics is an increased illegalisation of migrants, which are rendered even more exploitable by this.
The decision for Thüringen for this year's camp ist to be seen as a step to break the dominance of white, majoritarian German antiracists, to promote antiracist transidentitarian organisation in cooperation with selforganised refugee groups. Which means:
On the one hand we do not want ot neglect the different backgrounds of experience, as refugees, german whites and migrants are exposed to different circumstances due to the racist conditions. On the other hand, we do not want to simply accept the different identities that are co-created by this process. Because, as mentioned, the racist conditions, i.e. racist in- and exclusion mechanisms are responsible for these circumstances. What is important, is to attack the walls of identity, to seek for mutually overlapping interests, to look, where common political work can open up spaces Ò and this far away from instrumentalisation ( be it charity, paternalistic, or by projection...). This means, we try to do our best this year to reach a higher level of equality in the preparation and organisation of the camp.
Topics could be distances (and communities) between refugees and nonrefugees as well as the continuation of the debate about the crossing of racism and sexism that was intensified on the last camp in Frankfurt/Main. At the same time the decision for Thüringen picks up the campaign "for free movement" against residential restriction/Residenzpflicht and for equal rights of refugees and migrants. The abolition of Residenzpflicht is part of the base for a more equal political cooperation between majoritarian Germans and refugees. As such it is to be seen in context of the resistance against inner borders and globally inequally distributed freedom of movement.
As in the past years we will dare to look over the plate's rim/ we will broaden our perspectives in order to grasp the crossing of different relations of power and domination, to develop joint political strategies and to relate the various fights. Starting points could be e.g. the antiracist fights in Europe and worldwide:
Be it the destruction of the fences of the internment camp Woomera in Australia and the support of the subsequent collective escape, be it the caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants, the No-Border-Camps in Bialystok/Krynki East-Poland, or Tarifa, Southern Spain, or the rennaissance of anticapitalist politics in the lee of the so called antiglobalisation movement, antisexist fights for the rights of illegalised female (sex-)workers, antifascism and actions against antisemitism.
This variety is our advantage, since, like to the last camps, people from different political spectrums will come to the camp, who should ask themselves in what ways they can connect with each other. This year there will be a focus on developing a more common communication instead of the often complained about contactless coexistence of different groups or sub-scenes. Therefore we will use a language understandable for as many people as possible, in order to dismantle difficulties of communication and the ensuing hierarchies of knowledge and power. That's why we propose english as camp language or bilinguality. Nevertheless we will try to organise translation for all lanuages needed. Additionally the camp creates and offers manifold places and spaces to communicate both inwards and outwards:
By planning common actions, almost at every time in the plenary tent, during "reclaim the street" in the cities, at pink-silver happenings, during public events and workshops, while chilling in the camp bar, at communication guerrilla notifications, of course all around the info tent, while beheading "Gartenzwerge", while cutting vegetables in the open air kitchen or wherever you want to.
Hoping that, through coming together for these 8 days in summer, we can gain greater capacity to act politically, build up networks and possibly take back new approaches into the cities and regions, we invite all interested to take part and be involved in the No-Border-Camp 2002. Inform yourselves and others, publish the date, join the fight, mobilize, prepare own actions and whatever you can think of!