Noborder camp Slovenia 2002 @ Art Center Sredisce 28.8. -1.9.2002
30.Nov.02 - This years' summer ended with the second No Border camp in Slovenia. It lasted from 28.8 till 1.9.2002 in a small village called Sredsice in North East of Slovenia. Camp structure was set on the art center grounds, that is 200 meters from the Hungarian border. it was not far from the 'triple border' and close to two deportation centers in the village Prosenjakovci and Vidonci. Therefore the location was well put, the only problem was the distance from the surrounding towns and villages.
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The camp was successful, most of the program came true, new ideas were developed, new contracts made, people learned to work together, network of resistance has grown stronger. Camp represents new and important experience for the local movement and a successful action against the system of exclusion, for a world of many worlds. Around 100 people from Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Belgium, Mexico and the USA came. We expected more international participation, which would give a more concrete note of global action to the camp.
Infrastructure was well set, because the art center has extremely good conditions for the camp. We organized an info point where people could get all the information concerning the camp. There was a lot of info material available , publications of Mirovni institute and anarchist literature of AFA distribution was available to buy and every day there were organization meetings and discussions. In the same building was a press center with a non-stop internet access and a working press group who was in charge for public relations and journalists. On camp web site were daily reports from the camp. In press center was a daily video workshop which product is a film diary of this year's camp. Under two large tents were meetings, lectures, discussions, workshops, video projections, social evenings, breakfasts and dinners. Kitchen and food providence was in the hands of 'Food not bombs' collective Meals were twice a day (or even more), for donations and plentiful. Next to the art center building was a place for camping.
By its contents the camp was divided in to four theme complexes: 'the curse of borders', 'disobedience', 'no NATO' and 'creativity without borders'. There were a lot of activities on this topics practical and theoretical. The purpose of the camp was to develop, upgrade and strengthen local structures and movements, to cooperate with local communities and to attack the system who builds new age concentration camps such as deportation centers and similar. Most of the actions and program was directed to these aims.
Opening began with a plenary meeting where we introduced each other, agreed on camps functioning and introduced the program and some ideas about it. There were daily workshops: pottery, ceramics, sculpturing joggling, drummers banners making ... Many different groups, stories and projects introduced themselves such as 'I Kapak' - a solidity movement for refugees problems, 'AC Molotov' - a concrete movement of creating the alternatives, Rom community and their problems, video activists and other artists ... Every evening where video projections and social evenings. Before the beginning of the camp the noborder camp newspaper was issued with the introduction of cooperative groups and activists, camp program and all the tings that set us to organize such camp. It was distributed where the actions were taking place and it informed people about the problems that camps of this kind warns of and deals with.
Because of the purpose of the camp was also to make contacts to local population and to inform people of the subjects with which we deal with, was on a local population initiative organized a football match between the participants of the camp and local football club Domanjsevic. Before the match a camp delegation visited nearby detention centers. They wanted to invite 'foreigners' to join the football tournament. Of course police men and supervisors did not allow them to do that but they allowed the delegation to introduce themselves.
They distributed passports of global citizenship issued by the camp and the refugees they were very enthusiastic about the activism and the solidarity and the purpose of the camp. During the visit in Vidonci 6 refugees managed to escape across the fence in the forest. We do not know what happened to them but we hope they deserted state border successfully. Because we did not succeed to bring the refugees to the game the match was played between the camp and the local club Domanjsevci. There was a lot of supporters and we introduced ourselves and distributed materials. The camp lost the match but we invited people to join the camp. Some of them later did, so that the match was a successful contact to local inhabitants.
There were two other actions. The first action was in Gornja Radgonaon a agricultural fair where we distributed our materials had a joggling performance and a performance on illegal refugees. We talked to people about the bad sides of Slovenia joining NATO and similar problems. A similar action took place in Murska Sobota. Mainly the reflections of locals were very positive; everyone wanted to talk to us, share opinions and to know our stands. Once again we found out how many people are against NATO and Slovenia joining it.
There where four lectures on the camp on friday Anton Kormat lectured 'Nutritional totalitarism and modern corporations' where he demonstrated which corporations have the monopoly over the poisoning and genetic engineering of food and pharmaceutical industry. He talked about the dirty game these corporations play in the name of profit. Andrej Horvat and Ana Potoènik lectured on 'Gathering resources form international funds', Sojan Habjancic on 'Ecological building of straw houses' and Dajan Rengeo on 'Use of hemp on a daily basis'. All lectures were interesting with discussions after.
On Saturday were organized two symposiums with international participation in a castle Grad. The first was titled 'Alternatives to the neoliberal globalization' moderated by Andrej Kurnik, Lectured by François Houtard, Professor emeritus on the University of Louvain in Belgium, director of the three continents center and the editor of the magazine 'Alternatives Sud'; Francesco Ruparelli, editor of the magazine 'Posse'; and dr. Darij Zadnikar a activist of 'Dost je!' and lecturer at the faculty of Education in Ljubljana It was a discussion of a new age Empire, global capitalism and fighting alternatives. Second symposium was titled 'No NATO' moderated by Marta Gregoreie, Ac Molotov activist and Fellow researcher at the faculty of arts in Ljubljana. Three authors of a book 'No Nato - give us peace' lectured, we discussed strategies of actions against Slovenia joining NATO. Saturday night ended with a NATO FUCKT concert with three bands playing.
unintresting blah-blah about the mobilisation to the noato summit left out here
The final action for the conclusion of the camp was on Sunday with the solidity action in deportation center in Vidonci. We could not decide on the strategy for the action so in the end the caravan of the cam of approximately 60 people headed to center and performed a carnival of support. Cheering slogans NO BORDER NO NATION NO DEPORTATION and drumming - activists entered through the hole under the fence and went on the center yard. Police tried to prevent us from entering into the centre, but they couldn't We sang danced together, get to know each other. We made interviews with imprisoned people about their stories, introduced ourselves and called for abolishing all borders between people the police did not react and the action ended very successful. Later we gave the refugees the maps with hints where they are and where to go when escaping.
Police was working all time of the camp. Activists and actions were controlled and monitored and police wanted the owner of the Art Center to be their spy. Their main interest was to collect information on mobilization and cooperation with Prague. Probably because the lets years camp in Slovenia was later charged by the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs that there were made plans for aggressive violent and illegal actions in Genova - Funny but true. We did not take them seriously and made fun of them all the time. Camp was very successful and we already began organization for the next one next summer at the same place.
this text was first published in 'Abolishing Borders from below' (fall 2002)
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