Freedom, not Frontex

Statement of the network afrique-europe-interact, welcome to europe and network critical migration and border regime research. If you would like to sign, please send a short mail containing name/organisation and city to

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Freedom, not Frontex
There cannot be democracy without global freedom of movement

The dynamic of the Arab spring is emanating into the entire world. The movements of revolt in the Maghreb encourage and give hope, not only because despotic regimes that have been believed invincible were chased away. Although the direction of further developments remain open it is obvious that the domino effect of the Tunisian jasmine revolution swiftly brought back the old insight that history is driven from below. The struggles are directed against the day-to-day poverty as well as against general oppression, they are as much about better living conditions as they are about dignity, in short: “bread and roses”.

The incredible days of Midan Al-Tahrir, the Liberation Square in Kairo signify the quest for new forms of self organisation and grassroots democracy. The desire for equal rights, autonomy and a share of the economic wealth is also mirrored in the boats crossing the Mediterranean towards Europe: today casting off from Tunisia while during the last years from North and West Africa . “Exit” – to claim one’s freedom of movement and to migrate in order to find a different, better life, and “Voice” – to raise one’s voice and struggle locally, are not contradictory, they are rather mutually intertwined.

This was even more obvious during the upheavals of 1989. The vote of the feet catalysed the protest movements against the oppressive regime of real socialism. The wall fell because the people enforced their freedom of movement. This makes the rhetoric of freedom by western politicians appear even more dishonest, as it is exactly these politicians who employ the threatening scenario of a flood to characterise the movements of migration from and across Northern Africa and to the end of legitimising the deployment of Frontex, the European border agency.

The governments of the EU have courted and supported the North African rulers, and showed a hesitant and slowing position towards the movements of revolt during the last weeks. This policy is not only driven by strong economic interests, but also due to the grown collaboration in the control of migration. The more effective a despot functioned as a watchdog for the externalised EU border regime, the more he became an important “partner”. Movements of migration from Africa were to be stemmed by any means necessary.

Thousandfold death and suffering, not only at sea, but also in the deserts and in the detention camps were and are the consequences of this nefarious complicity. The sub-Saharan migrants, who today are victims of pogrom-like persecution in Libya, have been systematically disenfranchised by the regime of Gaddafi and were subject to arbitrary abuse and maltreatment. The EU paid millions to the Libyan dictator and delivered surveillance technology. A similar cooperation exists with the Moroccan ruler, and until recently with the Tunisian regime. The Arab revolutions mark a potential collapse of the EU’s brutal project of exclusion in the Mediterranean.

Through a media campaign spreading fears about the collapse of migration control, the increased aggravation and militarisation of the EU border regime — symbolised by Frontex — is being legitimised. The European border agency adds to and extends the national control systems, which have aimed at the deterrence and the criminalisation of movements of migration for many decades. Frontex will be deployed vis-a-vis the North African coast, as it is already the case at the West African coast and at the Greek-Turkish border.

The fact that Italy is given overall control for “Operation Hermes“ is consequent and shockingly honest: as a result of the collaboration between Berlusconi and Gaddafi in recent years, countless acts of unlawful push backs were carried out in the Mediterranean. Italy performed a master piece in breaking all refugees’ conventions. And it is not by chance that those who save the lives of the boat people are being criminalized, as the cases of Cap Anamur and the Tunisian fishermen whose trials are still ongoing, show.

Migrants are seeking protection or a better life in Europe. They move against a gap of wealth and prosperity, rooted in Europe’s neocolonial relations of dominance and exploitation towards Africa. Therefore Europe’s universal claim of freedom and democracy must be measured against its tratment of those who demand equal rights by migrating. Frontex stands for the expansion of a deadly border regime – there is no place for it in a free world. Death at the external borders could be history by tomorrow. However politically there is no will to do so. Instead the EU authorities are waging an outright war at the external borders.

Within the EU disenfranchisement and deportation are part of a racist daily life. “Integration” is used as a means of pressure to enforce assimilation while exploitation in the low wage sector persists. However resistance and insistence thwart the selective manner in handling migration and challenges a system containing inequality and the lack of liberties. It is not by coincidence that in these turbulent times 300 Maghreb migrants went on hunger strike in Greece demanding their legalisation. Struggles for the right to stay as well as migrant strikes are flaring across Europe, since 15 years ago Sans Papiers in Paris – especially those from Africa – went public with the demand “Papers for everybody”.

The departures occuring in Northern Africa demonstrate what is possible. They refer to a new Arab World, a new Africa, a possible new Europe. They refer to new spaces of freedom and equality, to be created in transnational struggles: in Tunis, Kairo or Bengazi as well as in Europe and in the movements of migration, crisscrossing both continents.

8. März 2011
Welcome to Europe
Network Critical Migration and Border Regime Research


  1. transact!
  2. save-me Kampagne Freiburg
  3. kein mensch ist illegal – hanau
  4. Monitoring European Police
  5. Bürengruppe Paderborn
  6. Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg
  7. United 4 Iran – Bayern e.V.
  8. Büro für medizinische Flüchtlingshilfe Berlin
  9. Bundesfachverband Unbegleitete Minderjährige Flüchtlinge e.V.
  10. Karawane München. Für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen!
  11. Assoziation A Verlag, Berlin/Hamburg
  12. Brot&Rosen Diakonische Basisgemeinschaft, Hamburg
  13. Bayrischer Flüchtlingsrat
  14. Association contre le racisme SOS Racisme Suisse
  15. Stiftung :do
  16. Aktionsbündnis gegen Abschiebung Rhein-Main
  17. Archiv der sozialen Bewegungen Bremen
  18. Aktion Freiheit statt Angst e.V.
  19. pax christi Würzburg
  20. out of control berlin
  21. AG Postkolonial, Leipzig
  22. NoLager Bremen
  23. Antiracist Initiative of Thessaloniki, Greece
  24. Trans-It e.V.
  25. Bündnis gegen Abschiebung und Rassismus, Göttingen
  26. gruppe subcutan (Berlin)
  27. Zukunftskonvent
  28. subalterner kormoran, Hildesheim
  29. Landesvorstand DIE LINKE. NRW
  30. Forum für kritische Rechtsextremismusforschung, Leipzig
  31. glokal – globalisierung und politisches handeln lernen e.V.
  32. Eine Welt Netzwerk Hamburg e.V.
  33. Rote Christliche Fraktion
  34. Solidarité sans frontières, Schweiz
  36. Linksjugend [‘solid] Hannover
  37. Anarchist Anti-deportation Group Utrecht (AAGU)
  38. Zeitschrift Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP
  39. KuKuMA – netzwerk für kunst-, kultur- und medien alternativen
  40. Mouvement des sans voix, membre du réseau Afrique- Europe interact
  41. Femmes algeriennes pour le developpement (AFAD)
  42. speak-netzwerk
  43. Gruppe grenzfrei, Münster
  44. no border ffm
  45. Coop Cafe Berlin, Heiner Bücker
  46. Association Beni Znassen pour la Culture, le Dévelopement et la Solidarité (ABCDS)
  47. anti(ra)²dio (Hamburg)
  48. Institut für Theologie und Politik/ Münster
  49. AGEF (Arbeitsgruppe Entwicklungs- und Nachhaltigkeitsforschung, Institut für Geographie, Uni Innsbruck)
  50. Interventionistische Linke (IL)
  51. Slomotion / antifa Detmold
  52. Flüchtlingsrat NRW e.V.
  53. casablanca e.v. leipzig lindenau
  54. Bürengruppe Paderborn
  55. Café Exil, Hamburg
  56. Infomobil Sportallee, Hamburg
  57. JungdemokratInnen/Junge Linke Berlin
  58. Interkulturelles Zentrum Don Quijote aus Münster
  59. GISTI (groupe d’information et de soutien des immigrés), France
  60. Forschungsgruppe [KriMi] Kritische Migrationsforschung, Wien
  61. Landesverband DIE LINKE.Bremen
  62. Bundesverband von Linksjugend [‘solid]
  63. Kölner Netzwerk kein mensch ist illegal
  64. D.O.R.N. [Kassel]
  65. Bundeskoordination Internationalismus (BUKO)
  66. antirassistische initiative (Münster)
  67. schwarzer kanal e.v.
  68. Antirassistischen Initiative Berlin
  69. revolta – antikapitalistische linke, Jena
  70. AG Migration & Antirassismus Attac Berlin
  71. Befreiungstheologisches Netzwerk
  72. Antirassistisches Plenum Hannover
  73. La Marmite aux Idées, Calais
  74. aktion bleiberecht freiburg
  75. collectif Droit de rester pour tou-te-s
  76. Assoziation der Abgeschobenen Malis/Association Malienne des Expulsés (AME)
  77. Engagierte Wissenschaft e.V.
  78. Emanzipatorische Antifa Münster
  79. All Included Amsterdam
  80. Transnationales Aktionsbündnis Bochum/Dortmund
  81. Grünen Jugend Oldenburg
  82. Südwind Tirol
  83. Frankfurt Postkolonial


  1. Jana Seppelt, ver.di Hessen
  2. Tobias Schmitt, Institut für Geographie Universität Innsbruck
  3. Dirk Vogelskamp, Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie
  4. Tine Maikowski
  5. Julian Stenmanns, Uni Frankfurt
  6. Fabian Georgi, Politikwissenschaftler, Institut für Sozialforschung Frankfurt a.M.
  7. Dr. Silja Klepp, Universität Bremen
  8. Mag Wompel, LabourNet Germany
  9. Timo Flick, Student, Uni Sao Paulo
  10. Franziska Brückner,
  11. Marie-Luise Ellersiek, Rechtsanwältin, Berlin (eom)
  12. Wilhelm Achelpöhler, Rechtsanwalt, Münster
  13. Saskia Kühn, Berlin
  14. Dr. Ramona Lenz, Migrationsforscherin, Frankfurt am Main
  15. Stefan Wedermann, Student der Politologie, Universität Frankfurt/Main
  16. Christian Dickehut, Münster
  17. Markus Seiwald, Österreich
  18. Klaus Blödow, Medienforum Münster
  19. Peter Berres
  20. Dr. Stephan Dünnwald
  21. Jessica Hentschel, Studentin der Islamwissenschaft, FU-Berlin
  22. Reto Plattner, Basel
  23. Prof. Dr. Annita Kalpaka, Hochschule RheinMain Fachbereich Sozialwesen
  24. Christoph Dahlmann
  25. Markus Kip, Student, Toronto/Frankfurt
  26. Dr. Nina Schuster, Soziologin, Dortmund
  27. Matthias Lehnert, Münster
  28. Olaf Stöcker
  29. Lisa Kemme
  30. Uli v.Sanden
  31. Gerd Mueller von der Haegen, Langwedel
  32. Ulrike Bock, Münster
  33. Kristine Wolf, Doktorandin am Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, HU Berlin
  34. Matthias Schrimpf
  35. Ullika Borkamp, Berlin
  36. Amanda Steinborn
  37. Alice von Bieberstein, PhD Candidate Social Anthropology, Cambridge
  38. Dr. Thomas Seibert, Philosoph, Vorstandssprecher Institut Solidarische Moderne, Frankfurt
  39. Nolten Kattentidt, Münster
  40. Matthias Magnussen
  41. Edo Schmidt, Soziologe, Münster
  42. Dr. Axel Troost, Leipzig, MdB DIE LINKE, Vorstandsmitglied Institut Solidarische Moderne
  43. Hanna Hermes
  44. Julia Pfinder, München
  45. Markus Euskirchen, [>]
  46. Matthias Königer
  47. Andrea Krüger
  48. Wolfgang Wodarg
  49. Dorea Pfafferott, Köln
  50. Stephan Behrendt, Witzenhausen
  51. G.D. aus Berlin-Kreuzberg
  52. Franza Drechsel
  53. Bernd Hüttner, Politikwissenschaftler, Bremen
  54. Jenni Klinghammer
  55. Jan Schwarz
  56. Otto Dieners-Konerth, Berlin
  57. Lena Hass, Mainz
  58. Luise Marbach
  59. Annina Fritzen, Hofheim /Ts, Antira Mainz
  60. Murat Cakir, Geschäftsführer der RLS-Hessen
  61. Philipp Einhäuser, Schorndorf
  62. Andrej Hunko, MdB – Die Linke
  63. René Jokisch
  64. Pia Österlind
  65. Sebastian Leierseder, Hildesheim
  66. Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Voß, Hannover
  67. Anne-Christin Hirsch, M.A. Ethnologie
  68. Thomas Atzert, Übersetzer, Frankfurt am Main
  69. Lukas Oberndorfer, juridikum (zeitschrift für kritik|recht|gesellschaft), Institut Solidarische Moderne
  70. Indre Illig, Berlin
  71. Laura Lambert, Berlin
  72. J.M. Keulers, Übersetzerin, Niederlande
  73. Wendelin Schmidt, Frankfurt
  74. Dr. Stefanie Kron, Freie Universität Berlin
  75. Nina Horn
  76. Klinzing, Berlin
  77. Katja Grote, Berlin
  78. Alexander Repenning
  79. Kathrin Meyer, Wien
  80. Rafael Maria Raschkowski, Göttingen
  81. Alexis J. Passadakis, Mitglied im Koordinierungskreis von Attac
  82. Peter Berres
  83. Dr. Stephan Dünnwald
  84. Jochen Klass, Hanau
  85. Helen Arfvidsson, PhD Student, The Open University, UK
  86. Mario Vötsch, Forschungsmitarbeiter Prostest als Medium, Luzern
  87. Sarah Graber Majchrzak, Historikerin Berlin
  88. Daniel Weidmann, Rechtsanwalt, Berlin
  89. Johanna Boettcher
  90. Claudia Stiewe
  91. Helge Schwiertz, Hamburg
  92. Simon Helling, Münster
  93. Anna Böcker, Gender Initiativkolleg, Uni Wien
  94. Harald Schröder, Ganderkesee
  95. Stephan Junker, Berlin
  96. Benjamin Krauß, 19 Jahre, Schüler
  97. Mag.a Karin Bischof, Institut für Konfliktforschung, Wien
  98. Dagmar Diesner (Filmmaker), Co-founder of Montagna Viva, Italy
  99. Robert H. Ziegler
  100. Sanata Nacro, AntiDiskriminierungsBüro Köln
  101. Katharina Karcher
  102. Prof. Dr. Sabine Hess, Göttingen
  103. Thomas Völker, Student Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, Magdeburg
  104. Sören Heise
  105. Salih Alexander Wolter, Journalist, Berlin
  106. Sabine Kraushaar, Doktorandin, Leipzig
  107. Peter Dippoldsmann, Köln
  108. Regine Wittram, Köln
  109. Dr. Christian Scholl, University of Amsterdam
  110. Kathleen Heft, Initiative gegen Abschiebehaft Berlin
  111. Tobias Bartels
  112. Ulla Jelpke, MdB, Innenpolitische Sprecherin Fraktion DIE LINKE.
  113. Martin Glasenapp (medico international)
  114. Dr. Cornelia Ernst, Mitglied des Europäischen Parlamentes, DIE LINKE
  115. Juliane Nagel, Mitglied des Landesvorstandes DIE LINKE Sachsen & linXXnet e.V. Leipzig
  116. Michael Below, Rechtsanwalt, Berlin
  117. Anna-Luise Müller, Berlin
  118. Marina Ginal
  119. Corinna Genschel, Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie
  120. Michael Martin Nachtrab, Partenstein
  121. Torben Lüth, Berlin
  122. Paula Grobbecker
  123. Andrea Naica-Loebell, Autorin/Journalistin/Kuratorin, München
  124. Bruno Quélennec, Berlin
  125. Alexa Schweiger, M.A. Volkskunde/Europäische Ethnologie
  126. Sarah Clemens
  127. Magdalena Grützbauch
  128. Alexandra Siebenhofer, Wien
  129. Mareike Heller
  130. Christian Beck, Physiker, München
  131. Dr Encarnacion Gutierrez Rodriguez, University of Manchester
  132. Steffen Stierle, Mitglied im Koordinierungskreis von attac
  133. Martina Pfingstl, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Wien
  134. Karina Goldberg
  135. Tobias Heinzelmann
  136. Margit Rodrian-Pfennig, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Frankfurt
  137. Dr. Thore Prien, Institut für Politische Wissenschaft, Leibnitz Universität Hannover
  138. Linsenhoff, Berlin
  139. MdB Harald Koch (Fraktion DIE LINKE)
  140. Ruth Hoffer, Frankfurt
  141. Dr.Wilfried Hoffer, Frankfurt
  142. Norbert Koschmieder
  143. Dr Vicki Squire
  144. Katja Kipping, MdB und stv. Parteivorsitzende der LINKEN
  145. Frederik Grüneberg (Schüler)
  146. Athanasios Marvakis,  Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Primary Education
  147. Alexander Ulrich, MdB
  148. Marion von Osten, Berlin
  149. Dorothee Vakalis, Thessaloniki
  150. Julie Sanchez, Frankfurt/Main
  151. Erica Burman, Professor of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University
  152. Christiane Mende, initiative gegen abschiebehaft berlin
  153. Selina Moll, Neuendettelsau, Theologiestudentin
  154. Anat Greenstein, Manchester Metropolitan University
  155. Kirsten Huckenbeck, Redaktion express / MigrAr Frankfurt/Rhein-Main
  156. Caroline Seiler, Bonn
  157. Lilo Lottermoser, KPF ‘Clara Zetkin’, LV Hamburg, DIE LINKE
  158. Katharina Kellermann, Frankfurt am Main
  159. Rossella Sorte
  160. Paula Abrams-Hourani
  161. Willi Hejda – Vorstand IG Kultur Wien
  162. Ivana Domazet, Berlin
  163. Martina Mauer, Flüchtlingsrat Berlin
  164. Reinhild Koggenhorst-Kim
  165. Dr. Angela Waldegg, Frauen in Schwarz – Wien
  166. Lisa Müller
  167. András Novoszáth, Postgraduate Researcher, Open University, UK
  168. MMag. Bernhard Weidinger, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Universität Wien
  169. Annamaria Bokor, Wien
  170. Gabi Auth
  171. Friedrich Burschel, Referent zu Neonazismus und Ideologien der Ungleichwertigkeit der Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Berlin
  172. Simon Sontowski, Frankfurt am Main
  173. Garip Bali (Allmende e.V., Sozialberater)
  174. Dr. Regina Schleicher, Universität Leipzig
  175. Christiane Reguer, Ecrainville
  176. Paul Reguer, Ecrainville
  177. Peter Hofmeister, Student der Politischen Wissenschaft, Heidelberg
  178. Caroline Kim, Argentina
  179. Dirk Stegemann, Berlin
  180. Marie-Eve Cosin
  181. Friedrich Karl
  182. Anna Lauenstein
  183. Koray Yilmaz-Günay, Journalist, Berlin
  184. Wenceslas Lizé, Enseignant chercheur, Paris
  185. Daniela Marx, Sozialwissenschaftlerin, Universität Marburg
  186. Philippe Seidel, Genf
  187. Marianne Blidon
  188. Inge Höger, MdB, DIE LINKE
  189. Paul Grasse, Mitglied im Sprecherrat der Berliner AG Frieden der Partei DIE LINKE
  190. Carsten Albrecht, Mitglied DIE LINKE. Berlin-Neukölln
  191. Dr. Nadja Rakowitz, Verein demokratischer Ärztinnen und Ärzte, Redaktion express
  192. Rudolf Lachinger, Wien
  193. Jasmine Bischke
  194. Kristin Slesazeck
  195. Jessica Stockburger
  196. Manuel Blendin
  197. Vera Böhmer, Lahr
  198. Thomas Ziegler, Marktheidenfeld
  199. Anne Staab,grenzfrei- Festival- Gruppe Münster
  200. Claudia Schwarz, Göttingen, Germany
  201. Petra Nendwich
  202. Nadine Sanitter
  203. Philipp Ratfisch, Hamburg
  204. Aline Silvestre, Gauche Unitaire, Collectif de soutien aux Sans-Papiers et demandeurs d’asile du Rhône
  205. Ünal Zeran, Rechtsanwalt
  206. Nele Simon, Hildesheim
  207. Daniel Liebmann, Belgique
  208. Beate Flechtker
  209. Lea Stein
  210. Francesca Falk
  211. Armin Kuhn, Berlin
  212. Julian Smaluhn, Hildesheim
  213. Nadine Henkel, Frankfurt am Main
  214. Ulrich Schönweiß, Stadtrat, Die Linke, Fürth
  215. Enno Janssen (GEW – BUKO – BDWI), Hamburg
  216. Kathrin Vogler, MdB, Fraktion Die Linke
  217. Karin Kelz, Hamburg
  218. Martin Mehlis
  219. Michel Agier, anthropologue (EHESS/IRD), Paris
  220. Marie CROZE
  221. Vincent Ferrandini- Paris 11ème
  222. Meryem Marzouki, Paris
  223. Cédric Gauthé
  224. Karl Fischer
  225. Bernadette Montmasson
  226. Nathalie GAYET
  227. Diane Barraud, pasteure, Paris
  228. Fabrice Riceputi, RESF 25
  229. Janine SARKISSIAN
  230. Janine Orssaud
  231. Timoxana, France
  232. Dominique ADOU, Bonneville, France
  233. PD Dr. Aram Ziai, Center for Development Research, Bonn
  234. Henri Glaser
  235. Prof. Dr. Helga Kuhlmann (ev. Theologie, Universität Paderborn)
  236. Prof. Dr. Michael Th. Greven, Universität Hamburg (Politikwissenschaft)
  237. Harriet Walliser, Apothekerin, Göttingen
  238. Tom Walliser, Gymnasiallehrer, Göttingen
  239. Lena Harris, Schülerin, Göttingen
  240. Philipp Zehmisch (Doktorand Ethnologie, München)
  241. Sebastian Salaske, Student der Theologie aus Münster
  242. Dr. Stefanie Graefe, Jena
  243. Matthias Blöser, Marburg
  244. Michel SCOTET, Verdun
  245. Arne Brix, ver.di, Vorstand UNI EUROPA YOUTH
  246. Franziska Scheier
  247. Fiston Massamba, Militant Congolais
  248. Antoine Laplan
  249. Estelle Daniélou, France
  250. Anne Hackert, St. Ingbert
  251. Anne-Marie Lustin , retraitée , Bordeaux , membre de Resf33, Asti33 , Fal33
  252. Antje W.
  253. Karin Kröll, Hamburg
  254. Jana Janicki, Hamburg
  255. Emmely, Einzelhandelsverkäuferin
  256. Maxime Hauray, Marseille
  257. Kathrin Henneberger, Koordinierungskreis Attac Deutschland
  258. Sabine Lösing, Mitglied des Europäischen Parlament, DIE LINKE
  259. Julia Focks
  260. Elke Michauk, Berlin
  261. Bianca Arnold
  262. Rasmus Andresen
  263. Ulrike Albert
  264. Christoph Mayer, Mitglied im Attac Koordinierungskreis
  265. Hanah Abucar
  266. Jean-Luc Gautero, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis
  267. Sarah Daum, Tübingen
  268. Janine et Michel ROUX, Marly le Roi
  269. Jayne-Ann Igel, Dresden
  270. Christiane Böhm, Trebur, Die LINKE
  271. Hardy Krampertz, Mitglied im bundesweiten Attac Koordinationskreis
  272. Hanni Gramann, Mitglied im Koordinierungskreis von Attac
  273. Lars Philipp, Dortmund
  274. Ulf Teichmann, Dortmund
  275. Helga Lenz, Humanistische Union OV Lübeck
  276. Hans Christian Voigt, Wien
  277. Maire Hickey

About w2eu

This is the blog of the antiracist network Welcome to Europe. It was formerly known as


The name Welcome to Europe expresses the discontent and anger we feel when looking at the fatal realities of the European external border: the long documented deaths and suffering have continued for years, and no end is in sight. We stand for a grassroots movement that embraces migration and wants to create a Europe of hospitality.


We maintain our focus on the European external border in Greece, but will not limit ourselves to that geographical area. The right of freely roaming the globe has to be fought for everywhere. Join us!


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Voices from the Inside of Pagani (2009)

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