Support the solidarity “relay” #OVERTHEFORTRESS along the Balkan route

The arrival of winter is making the grueling journey of thousands of women, men, children and elderly people towards Europe even tougher. Confronted with this dramatic situation we need to get moving and take some material solidarity to these people. In the face of the cynicism, the hypocrisy, the shame of European governments that have not tried to find responses, we want to build the opportunity to DO something together. We have to do this from the bottom up. This is why we will continue to safeguard these borders, take humanitarian aid, tell the world what we see, say once again, Open the borders, humanitarian corridors now.

How you can support #overthefortress:

– Raise funds and take them to the collection points or make donations to the following bank account: TELE RADIO CITY scs Onlus c/o Banca Popolare Etica IBAN:IT59T0501812101000000134453 – Payment reason: Subscription staffetta #overthefortress – Take emergency supplies to the collection points (please stick to the materials indicated in the list at the bottom of the page) – Spread the word about this relay and share the multimedia contents we produce about it For information: overthefortress@meltingpot.org – 348.2483727
Staffetta #overthefortress, ottobre 2015. Foto: Carmen Sabello
Staffetta #overthefortress, ottobre 2015. Foto: Carmen Sabello
Since the end of the summer, the #Overthefortress “relay” has been following the development of migrations in Eastern Europe where the flow of thousands of people following the Balkan Route shows no signs of ebbing. In the last few months the so-called “refugee crisis” has brought to light on the one hand, the worst nationalist instincts, and on the other, Europe’s irresponsible policy of repressing flows and, after a brief peak of hypocritical commotion, the passive witnessing of the tragedies at sea. The aim of the relay is to document and tell what is happening in that area, to witness the situation firsthand, make contacts and offer minimal but essential support to these travelling people. At every passage we’ve crossed and improvised reception centre we’ve visited we have seen again and again despotic and inadequate management, the cynical absence of an organized operational plan with qualified personnel that could reduce difficult situations to a minimum. People are being forced to wait endlessly under the sun and rain with no information whatsoever, the suspension of rights and the possibility to move freely. We described the construction of another fortified barrier with barbed wire, tear gas and rubber bullets fired at women and children who were crossing the border, we truly understood what it means to see populist and xenophobic political thought, like that of the Hungarian prime minister, translated into action. We documented the desperation of divided families, the sufferings of pregnant women, the fear of being blocked and the effort of having to suddenly leave. We listened to lots of voices unite and ask to “open the borders” to be able to pass, we saw the deep and courageous glances which were a prelude to forcing through a blockade, and we shook hands full of energy, ready to defend themselves. We suffered and became indignant, overcome by emotion at the determination and the courage we saw as we experienced firsthand the intensity of what is happening. We are doing this because we have chosen to be on the side of those who migrate, those who put their bodies at risk to be able to hope to live or to survive, and who despite all the difficulties, the slowdowns and the obstacles, cannot be stopped. We are told that migration is a complex issue, that the deaths at sea could be avoided by fighting the smugglers. At the ordinary and extraordinary summits which took place in September and October we watched the heads of EU governments discuss a new European plan based on the militarization of external and internal borders, on the procurement of blocking the flows to Turkey, and on the mass expulsion of economic migrants. In reality, on our various journeys we have seen how solidarity is still present and a founding element of another way of considering the European area, in contrast to that of the Nation States, and how it is the minimum required for the construction of European networks and relations. This self-organized, active fine dust of solidarity on the Balkan Route has been the only political element which has broken a general passivity, seeking to offer practical and humanitarian responses to the migrants’ requests. This is why we believe it is more urgent than ever to continue the #Overthefortress Relay and the important work of reportage and providing information, given the perennially insecure situation and the imminent arrival of winter. In this way, in collaboration with Slovenian social movements we can organize solidarity from the bottom up and bring concrete help to these people to support their journey. From today a collection of materials and emergency supplies will be set up, and information will be provided on how to take an active part in the relay. #Overthefortress is both a hashtag and a slogan which can become power and export a new concept of solidarity if it catches on and becomes viral. Considering the problem of how to build ongoing support is no easy matter, but now more than ever we need to do this to break down the excluding walls of Europe’s returned nationalisms and the less marked ones of European governments that sign agreements with the Turkish sultan and prepare “mass expulsions”, contrasting solidarity, rights and freedom of movement. The solidarity relay #OVERTHEFORTRESS is promoted by Social Centres of the North East of Italy (www.globalproject.info) in collaboration with Progetto Melting Pot Europa (www.meltingpot.org) and Associazione Ya Basta! Êdî Bese (www.yabastaedibese.it)
Staffetta #overthefortress, ottobre 2015. Foto: Carmen Sabello
Staffetta #overthefortress, ottobre 2015. Foto: Carmen Sabello

List of materials and emergency supplies:

Covers (best if isothermic) Rain sheets Rucksacks Food (energy bars, crackers, biscuits, brioches, dried fruit, chocolate…) Power banks (phone chargers) Winter shoes and boots (for women, men and children) Winter clothing for children and toys Winter jackets and rain jackets Sleeping bags Powdered milk Sanitary towels Children’s nappies First aid and medicines: plasters for blisters (like Compeed), sterile gauzes, gauze bandages, spools of canvas plaster, assorted plasters, hydrogen peroxide , betadine skin solution, paracetamol, mucolytic tablets, anti-diarrheal, gentamicin + betamethasone cream ( antibiotic + cortisone for skin infections )

Collection points:

Marghera (VE) – Centro Sociale Rivolta, Via Fratelli Bandiera, 45 (from Tuesday to Friday from 16.00 to 18.00, Saturday from 17.00 to 21.00) Mestre (VE) – L.O.Co. Via Piave/Piazzale Olivotti (every afternoon from Monday to Friday) Venezia – Laboratorio Occupato Morion, salizada S. Francesco della Vigna (Castello) (Every Friday from 17.00 to 21.00) Padova (335.1237815) – Sherwood, vicolo Pontecorvo 1 (dal lunedì al giovedì 12-18), Centro sociale Pedro, via Ticino 5 (Saturday from 9.00 to 13.00) Vicenza (340.8453642) – Centro sociale Bocciodromo, Via Alessandro Rossi, 198 (from Monday to Friday from 18.00) Schio (VI) (3491676402) – Centro Sociale Arcadia, via Lago di Tovel 18 (Tuesday and Thursday from 17.00 to 20) Trento (328.9173733) – Centro sociale Bruno, via Lungadige S. Nicolo’ 4 (from Monday to Friday from 12.00 to 19.00) Treviso – CS Django, via Monterumici, 11. (from Monday to Friday from 14.00 to 20.00 and Saturday from 17.00) – Associazione Ya Basta! Êdî Bese, via Zermanese, 4 (Tuesday, Wed. Thurs from 9.30 to 13.00 and 15.30 to 18.30) Trieste – Casa delle Culture, via Orlandini, 38 (Thursday and Friday from 15.00 to 19.00)

Attached documents