Čovek na putu

dimenzije: 79 x 100 cm
tekst: Ana Vilenica, Nebojša Milikić i Tadej Kurepa
dizajn: Vahida Ramujkić
godina: 2016.
cena: 1000 RSD

Svojevrsni vodič za promišljanje i razumevanje nekih manje ili više aktuelnih pitanja postavljanih u lokalnoj, regionalnoj i evropskoj javnosti nakon suočavanja sa pojačanim migracijama stanovništva sa Bliskog i Srednjeg istoka, kao i zemalja Afrike ka destinacijama u Evropi.

Tekst plakata – SRPSKI ↓ / ENGLISH (click to jump)

ČOVEK NA PUTU 3

Poteški odgovori na (o)laka pitanja

Pred vama je svojevrsni vodič za promišljanje i razumevanje nekih manje ili više aktuelnih pitanja postavljanih u lokalnoj, regionalnoj i evropskoj javnosti nakon suočavanja sa pojačanim migracijama stanovništva sa Bliskog i Srednjeg istoka kao i zemalja Afrike ka destinacijama u Evropi. Većina postavljenih pitanja su neprestano prisutna i moglo bi se reći akutna, u medijima, političkoj i ideološkoj sferi, a odgovori su rezultat globalnih aktivističkih delovanja i iskustava, brojnih teorijskih razmatranja kao i rada na seminarima Čovek na putu 1 i Čovek na putu 2 (održanim tokom 2014. i 2015. godine u Kulturnom centru Rex u Beogradu). Verujemo da tekst može biti od pomoći boljoj orijentaciji u geo-političkim okolnostima ovih kompleksnih i, ne zaboravimo, trajnih i nezaustavljivih procesa kroz kakve su inače u neposrednoj ili daljoj istoriji na različite načine prošli i svi narodi tzv. razvijenog sveta.

Zašto oni kampuju u našem gradu?

Oni nisu pešačili više hiljada kilometara zato što su želeli da spavaju u našim parkovima. Oni su prinuđeni da spavaju pod vedrim nebom, jer policija nije htela da im izda dokument o „izraženoj želji za azilom”, sa kojim bi mogli da potraže smeštaj u hostelima i hotelima. Takođe, oni spavaju na otvorenom jer ne postoji mogućnost da se ovaj dokument nakon deportacije ponovo dobije ili zato što jednostavno nemaju novca da plate smeštaj. Dakle, nije u pitanju kampovanje ili rekreativni boravak u prirodi, u šta je pokušala da nas ubedi beogradska gradska vlast postavljanjem znaka Zabranjeno kampovanje u parku kod autobuske stanice, već egzistencijalna prinuda na putu koji je dug hiljade kilometara.

Sve su to zdravi mladi muškarci, zašto ne ostanu da brane svoju zemlju, nego dolaze kod nas?

U većini zemalja iz kojih oni dolaze rat veoma dugo traje i postoji više zaraćenih strana (često i više od tri zaraćene strane) i vrlo je teško razumeti koja od njih se, u stvari, bori za „svoju zemlju”, a koja samo za svoje uže ili šire interese. Mnogi od onih koji dolaze više ni nemaju svoju zemlju, barem ne onakvu u kakvoj su se rodili i odrasli. Veliki je broj onih koji su bili primorani da odu dok su još bili deca. Nakon nekoliko godina u izbegličkim kampovima nisu više vezani ni za zemlju svog rođenja, niti za onu iz koje dolaze. Da bismo ih bolje razumeli, dovoljno je samo setiti se koliko je mladih ljudi, žena, dece i drugih početkom devedesetih godina prošlog veka širom tadašnje Jugoslavije bilo primorano da izbegne od rata, siromaštva i beznađa i koliko je onih koji i sada gotovo svakodnevno pokušavaju da odu u potrazi za boljim uslovima za život.

Ovde nema posla ni za nas. Zašto bismo im poželeli dobrodošlicu?

Nisu oni krivi što u našoj zemlji nema posla, niti su došli ovde da bi nama naudili. Za početak treba razumeti da posla u našoj zemlji nema, uglavnom, zbog istih globalnih razloga zbog kojih je u njihovim zemljama zavladao rat i nastala opšta destrukcija. Zato su solidarnost i razumevanje imperativ za svakoga ko želi dobro i sebi i njima.

Zašto se koristi pojam izbeglice kada većina njih nije iz ratom zahvaćenih područja?

Postoje mnogi načini na koje se danas vodi rat, a samo neki od njih uključuju vatreno oružje. Postoji ekonomski rat u kome zemlje kapitalističkih centara eksploatišu čitavu kapitalističku periferiju, psihološko-propagandni rat sadržan u svakodnevnim emisijama, saopštenjima, reklamama, kao i sveprisutni klasni rat u svakoj zemlji i svakom preduzeću, rat globalnog severa protiv globalnog juga, rat kroz klimatske promene i uticanje na ekosistem itd. Već godinama se masama svetskog stanovništva sistematski oduzimaju nada i pravo na bilo kakvu bolju budućnost kako bi zanemarljiva manjina svetske populacije bez ikakve svoje stvarne zasluge – osim što su se igrom slučaja rodili u bogatijim zemljama ili vladajućim elitama – živela u sramotnom luksuzu i blagostanju. Tim ratom svi smo manje ili više zahvaćeni i možemo pretpostaviti da su oni koji su odlučili da se spakuju i pođu na put dug više hiljada kilometara i bili u najgoroj situaciji.

Ko je kriv za ratove?

Za najveći broj ratova odgovorni su oni globalno dominantni društveno-politički slojevi i akteri koji su monopolizovali i okupirali glavne poluge i resurse svetskog ekonomskog sistema. Krize i ratovi na Bliskom i Srednjem istoku, na Magrebu i u Centralnoj i Istočnoj Africi su složene i raznovrsne. Postoji više uslova njihovog izbijanja i razvoja, ali, po svim pokazateljima, upravo su mere štednje iz 2008. godine, koje su preduzete radi očuvanja kapitalističkog sistema tokom i nakon svetske ekonomske krize, drastično pogoršale životne uslove u većini ovih zemalja. Ako hoćemo da pojednostavimo i ogolimo stvar, možemo citirati izjavu jednog migranta, datu britanskim TV stanicama u Kaleu: „Mi smo ovde zbog vašeg imperijalizma”.

Zašto se podižu novi zidovi u Evropi, a mi ništa ne preduzimamo?

A šta bi trebalo da preduzmemo? Da i mi podignemo neki zid? Ili da rušimo zidove koji se podižu u Evropi? Da li smatrate da je to što se u Evropi podižu novi zidovi zapravo dobro ili loše?
Što se Srbije tiče, zidovi nisu podignuti zato što za time do sada nije bilo političke nužde ili potrebe u smislu održanja aktuelne političke elite na vlasti. Postoji veliki broj razloga zbog kojih ta elita uspeva da se ne uklopi potpuno u opšte trendove evropskih rasističkih i fortifikacijskih politika, što ne znači da jednom neće uspeti u tome. Naprotiv – jedan od latentnih uslova EU integracija jeste idejno usvajanje i objektivna primena takvih trendova. Zapravo, treba razumeti mesto i ulogu Srbije kao prolazne zemlje na ruti ove velike migracije. Najveća briga vlasti jeste kako da one koji uđu iz Makedonije ili Bugarske u najkraćem mogućem roku „isprati” iz Srbije – ranije ka Mađarskoj, a sada ka Hrvatskoj, odakle će nastaviti svoj put ka Zapadnoj Evropi, samo da ih što manje ostane ovde.

Zašto su naša vlast i policija dobri prema njima kad ih svi ostali maltretiraju?

Mnogi migranti se bolje osećaju u Srbiji nego u većini zemalja kroz koje su prošli. Ovde često stižu opljačkani i izmaltretirani iz Bugarske, Makedonije, Grčke. Prema svedočenju većeg broja migranata, do pre oko godinu dana i srpska policija ih je u upravama za strance i u graničnom pojasu često pljačkala i reketirala, ucenjivala, zlostavljala, zatvarala i deportovala. Međutim, kada je broj migranata porastao na više hiljada dnevno, situacija se promenila. Predstavnici vlasti ističu „tradicionalnu srpsku gostoljubivost”, a policija se prema njima načelno ponaša pristojno i humano, kao da je reč o nekim čudnim turistima.

Ako imamo u vidu koliko novca migranti troše u Srbiji za smeštaj, hranu, odeću, nove mobilne telefone (pošto su im stare oteli na bugarskoj ili nekoj drugoj granici), kao i za sam transfer novca, i ako razumemo da od ovakve potrošnje najviše koristi imaju banke i razne kompanije, biće nam jasnija blagonaklonost vladajućih političkih elita prema izbeglicama. No iako vlastima i eliti godi da se predstavljaju kao humanitarci dok zarađuju od „izbegličkog turizma”, policija migrante i dalje utrpava u vozove i isporučuje Hrvatskoj. Uz to, ministar unutrašnjih poslova Nebojša Stefanović oberučke je prihvatio da potpiše memorandum o saradnji sa makedonskom, mađarskom i austrijskom policijom. Evropska unija vrši pritisak na vladajuće elite u regionu kako bi se na obodnim državama i periferiji zaustavljaju migracije ka njenom centru, tako da joj zadržavanje izbeglica u Srbiji sasvim odgovara, a njena strateška politika vodi ka ograničavanju slobode kretanja i pojačavanju policijske represije.

Da li postoji policijsko nasilje nad migrantima u našoj zemlji?

Tokom proteklih nekoliko godina aktivisti su dosta puta ukazivali na policijsko nasilje nad migrantima, a i mediji su više puta pisali o tome. Kada je sredinom 2015. godine migrantska kriza došla u fokus svih medija i cele javnosti, vlast je plasirala tekstove o hapšenjima policajaca koji su pljačkali migrante i taksista koji su im uzimali stotine evra da bi ih prevezli do granice. Međutim, poslednjih nedelja Srbija takođe saučestvuje u nasilnoj segregaciji migranata, time što zajedno sa drugim državama na ruti podržava „profilisanje migranata prema novim pravilima“ ili filtriranje onih koji ne pripadaju poželjnim nacijama. Njima se sa jedne strane zabranjuje prelazak granice, a sa druge strane omogućava njihova deportacija iz susednih zemalja.

Šta su problemi humanitarnog aktivizma?

Striktno humanitarni pristup redukuje političke subjekte na žrtve čijim ugroženim životima želi da upravlja, a u svojoj biti predstavlja zamenu neuspešne politike moralom. Problem aktivizma ograničenog na humanitarno delovanje jeste u tome što obično ne dovodi u pitanje suštinske uzroke neke loše ili kritične „humanitarne situacije”, već je fokusiran isključivo na borbu sa posledicama.

Dokle će ovo trajati?

Dok budu trajali nejednakost i neravnopravnost u savremenom svetu.

Ko će, kako i kada ovo zaustaviti?

Ovo može zaustaviti onaj faktor koji je zainteresovan za borbu sa suštinskim uzrocima ratnih poduhvata na Bliskom ili Srednjem Istoku, kao i u Africi.

Ko plaća za svu ovu pomoć i zašto je nema za one kojima je ovde potrebna?

Za pomoć uglavnom plaćaju međunarodne organizacije kojima je to zadatak poveren od Ujedinjenih nacija, Evropske unije, vlada pojedinih zemalja, raznih humanitarnih fondacija itd. Ta pomoć dostupna je ugroženom stanovništvu u celom svetu, ali njena dostava nije uvek dovoljna i nije uvek vidljiva, tj. medijski naglašena, kao kad je u pitanju pomoć migrantima. Ipak, ovaj vid organizovane pomoći podložan je interesnim manipulacijama, pa se tako događalo da pomoći nema tamo gde je najpotrebnija. U takvim slučajevima pomoć su, uglavnom, obezbeđivali samoorganizovani volonteri i solidarne grupe.

I da smo najgostoljubiviji na svetu, oni su drugačiji od nas i ne mogu se uklopiti.

I da nije opšte poznata činjenica da je zanemarljiv broj migranata izrazio želju da ostane u Srbiji ili drugim zemljama u okruženju, potrebno je razumeti da su naglašavanje stereotipa o kulturnim ili civilizacijskim razlikama propagandno oruđe upravo onih koji ratove izazivaju i od njih profitiraju. Svi mi, dakle stanovnici današnjeg sveta, delimo zlo i dobro u okviru jednog manje ili više homogenog svetskog sistema. Eksploatacija, neizvesna egzistencija, strah, radost, želja skoro su isti svuda na svetu osim u par zabačenih ili izolovanih karantina ili oaza, zavisi sa koje strane se podela sveta posmatra i tumači. Na pitanje ima li u njegovom obdaništu migranata, jedan mali dečak iz Nemačke odgovorio je: „Ne, samo deca.”

Da li se među njima kriju islamski ekstremisti?

Ovo je teza koju su jako eksploatisali desničarski i drugi provladini krugovi u Evropi i svetu, a posle terorističkih napada u Parizu ova vrsta propagande i zastrašivanja dobila je novi zamah. Pre svega, većina migranata pokušava da umakne upravo ekstremističkim organizacijama koje operišu u njihovim zemljama, pa bi bilo bizarno da sa njima putuju i njihovi progonitelji. Naravno, izuzeci su uvek mogući – među stotinama hiljada ljudi koji prolaze svojevrsnu Golgotu uvek ima i nekoliko onih koji mogu postati skloni radikalizaciji svog nezadovoljstva. Ali pre nego što se upustimo u bilo kakve kalkulacije, treba da promislimo da li su dosadašnji atentatori ili istaknuti borci ekstremističkih formacija isključivo stanovnici bliskoistočnih ili srednjeistočnih zemalja. Zar nije veliki deo njih odrastao upravo na Zapadu, u zaboravljenim predgrađima Pariza, Londona, Strazbura, Štutgarta, Brisela ili brojnih drugih gradova kolonijalnih metropola?

Pa oni ne izgledaju kao siromašni ljudi kojima je potrebna pomoć…

A kako bi po vama trebalo da izgledaju ljudi koji su se odvažili i prešli hiljade kilometara u potrazi za boljim životom? Da, to su sposobni i po mnogo čemu samostalni ljudi koji su došli u situaciju da nemaju čistu majicu i parče hleba. Kada razmišljamo kome je potrebna pomoć, a kome ne, zapitajmo se i o svetu u kome su se tako sposobni i odvažni ljudi našli u ovakvoj situaciji. Čitav ovaj veliki migracioni talas možemo posmatrati i kao izuzetno surov i efikasan projekat „odliva mozgova” iz zemalja Trećeg sveta prilikom kojeg se – osim opšte selekcije po kompetitivnosti i spremnosti za rizik (osobinama vrlo traženim u kapitalističkom sistemu) – kandidati izlažu i procesu „prirodne selekcije“, jer do krajnjeg odredišta stižu samo oni koji prežive ovaj varvarski način putovanja i surovi tretman na njemu. Oni su ljudi koji će na cilj stići osiromašeni za veru u ljude i svet oko sebe. U tom stanju dobiće „pomoć” sistema koji će za to očekivati njihovu večitu zavisnost i pokornost. Zato je svaka samoorganizovana solidarna pomoć izbeglicama istovremno i pomoć u borbi protiv tog i takvog sistema koji nam navodno pomaže, a u suštini nas izlaže zakonima socijalnog darvinizma i pri tom parazitira na svima nama.

Ali oni svi podržavaju taj svet koji vodi ratove u njihovim zemljama, a žale se na lokalne režime…

To što migranti idu ka bogatim zemljama koje oblikuju svetsku politiku ne znači da stvarno podržavaju ono što se dešava u svetu i što se desilo sa njihovim zemljama. Većina njih pre nekoliko godina nije želela da napusti gradove u kojima su živeli, niti svoje poslove. Od tih gradova danas, uglavnom, više nije ostalo ništa. Sa druge strane, uslov da bi dobili azil jeste da se žale na svoje i da hvale zapadne režime. Migrant koji je britanskim TV stanicama u Kaleu izjavio: „Mi smo ovde zbog vašeg imperijalizma.”, izazvao je šok u britanskoj javnosti. Toliko su jaki opresija, cenzura i ucenjivanje kojima su izloženi da se niko od migranata pre njega nije osmelio da prozbori tako nešto, što nije nikakvo čudo – time drastično smanjuju sebi šanse za dobijanje azila. Uz sve to, oni i te kako imaju razloga da se žale i na lokalne režime, ali imajte u vidu i da su svi oni, ili bolje rečeno da smo svi mi, ukoliko smo iznenada okruženi kamerama ili nepoznatim ljudima, skloni da kažemo ono što se od nas očekuje.

Da li ih je neko pregledao? Možda nose zarazne bolesti?

Prošlo je skoro milion migranata i nigde nije registrovana nikakva zaraza, tako da je sasvim očigledno da ne nose zarazne bolesti. Najbolji primer neosnovane panike koju su u jednom periodu širili vlast i mediji jeste izjava jednog slovenačkog funkcionera kojom se implicira da su telesne izlučevine izbeglica opasne za poljoprivredu, stočarstvo i stanovnike Slovenije.

Da li žena koja nosi burku treba da u Evropu uđe bez burke?

Čim damo sebi odgovor na pitanje da li je kolonijalna Evropa trebala da uđe u njihove zemlje sa oružjem ili bez njega, sa planovima za pokoravanje i eksploataciju, koji su vekovima sprovođeni pod maskom „civilizovanja” i „modernizacije”, ili bez njih, moći ćemo da počnemo razmišljanje i o odgovoru na ovo pitanje, koje svakako nije nimalo jednostavno.

Šverceri su veliki problem koji se ne pominje!

Šverceri su samo jedan od simptoma azilantske politike EU, koja ljude na putu proizvodi u „ilegalce”. Ovi „vodiči”, koji po pravilu blisko sarađuju sa policijom, samo su jedna od karika u lancu organizovanog i vrlo profitabilnog „šverca” migranata. Procenjeno je da su samo u ovom segmentu migranti potrošili oko 250 miliona evra, plaćajući za svoj život na tržištu ilegalizovanih migracija. U pitanju je vrzino kolo u kome je šverc opravdanje za uvođenje novih represivnih mera koje migrante čine još ranjivijim, jer moraju da pristanu na još lošije uslove puta i sve veće cene koje im nameću krijumčari. Dodatnu konfuziju stvara to što prema aktuelnim zakonima svako ko pomaže migrantima na putu može biti optužen za trgovinu ljudima. Šverceri su sastavni deo migracije upravo usled kršenja prava na slobodu kretanja od strane „Tvrđave Evrope” i pokušaji da se predstave kao izdvojen problem najviše štete samim migrantima, a ne švercerima.

Da li žica zaustavlja ilegalne migrante?

Žilet-žica ne zaustavljaja migracije, ali put migranata čini mnogo opasnijim i rizičnijim. Sa svih strana niču ograde od bodljikave žice, a njihov cilj nije da zaustave tokove ljudi, već da ih preusmere na druge tranzitne tačke. Uglavnom, države susedi koriste svoje južnije komšije kako bi obezbedili kontrolu svojih granica. Ne bi bilo zgoreg ubuduće proučavati i pratiti veze proizvođača žilet-žica i političkih elita koje ih naručuju od javnog novca. Ceo sistem evropskih fortifikacija postao je veoma unosan i perspektivan biznis.

Ipak su izbeglice izbeglice, a migranatima nije tolika frka. Zar ne?

Razdvajanje izbeglica od migranata zasnovano je na odbijanju priznavanja mogućnosti postojanja ekonomskih izbeglica nasuprot ratnim izbeglicama. Nepriznavanje statusa ekonomskih izbeglica posledica je pogrešnog stava da stanje siromaštva predstavlja lični izbor, a ne sistemski problem.

Zašto su neke migrantske nacije poželjne, a druge nisu?

U novembru 2015. su na balkanskoj ruti na snagu stupila nova pravila prema kojima se na graničnim prelazima vrši odvajanje i diskriminacija migranata prema nacionalnoj pripadnosti. Poželjnim nacijama pripadaju oni sa sirijskim, iračkim i avganistanskim dokumentima, dok se svi ostali koji su određeni kao nepoželjni zadržavaju na mestu provere dokumenata. U procesu procene nacionalne pripadnosti učestvuju i prevodioci UNHCR-a. Oni prema dijalektu osoba odlučuju koji identitet će dodeliti putnicima. Razdvajanje ljudi prema nacionalnosti u bliskoj je vezi sa pokušajem kontrole protoka ljudi preferiranjem onih koji pripadaju kategoriji ratnih izbeglica. Filtriranje ljudi na putu dešava se na nekoliko nivoa, što znači da je ovaj vid segregacije samo jedan od načina.

Važno je imati u vidu i činjenicu da na dug put, npr. balkanskom rutom, ne kreću oni koji nemaju novca, jer su poznate švercerske, ali i državne tarife. Taj novac je obično višegodišnja ušteđevina njih i njihove šire porodice ili novac za koji su često pod prinudom i budzašto prodali sve što su imali, na primer kuću ili radnju koji vrede nekoliko desetina hiljada za nekoliko hiljada evra.

Videli ste šta se desilo u Kelnu za Novu godinu. „Oni dolaze da napadaju naše žene!”

Događanja u Kelnu, u meri u kojoj su istinita, jesu, naravno, za osudu, kao i sva druga događanja te vrste. Međutim, činjenica je da hiljade slučajeva seksualizovanog nasilja nad ženama – bez ikakve veze sa migrantima – prolazi neopaženo pored medija i institucija. Ova događanja upotrebljena su za podsticanje atmosfere straha i mržnje, čija je fukcija opravdavanje basnoslovnih suma koje se ulažu u utvrđivanje granica, kao i promovisanje novog „unutrašnjeg neprijatelja” koji će narednih godina biti korišćen za skretanje pažnje za stvarnih uzroka društvenih problema. Mediji su i pre novogodišnje noći perpetuirali konstrukt migranta kao opasnosti za „naše” žene. Sugeriše se da pored teritorije i imovine evropski muškarci sada moraju da odbrane i žene, koje im, po njihovom mišljenju, neosporno pripadaju. Konstrukt da muslimanski muškarci predstavljaju pretnju ženskim pravima nije nov – razvijaju ga evropski kolonizatori već stotinama godina. Delegiranjem problema nasilja i opresije nad ženama isključivo na etničke i religijske grupe, manipulisanjem rasom, seksualnim opredeljenjem i „kulturnom neprilagođenošću” učestvuje se u konsolidaciji neokolonijalnog i klasnog sistema, koji je temeljni uzrok društvene nejednakosti.

Ako zemlje EU zatvore svoje granice, Srbija će postati sabirni centar za migrante!

Ministar spoljnih poslova Srbije Ivica Dačić izjavio je u februaru 2016. da je Srbija spremna i da zatvori svoje granice za migrante ukoliko, kako je najavljeno, to učini Austrija, jer Srbija, prema njegovim rečima, neće biti sabirni centar ili „parking za migrante”. Mnogo veća „opasnost” preti Grčkoj, jer zemlje EU smatraju Makedoniju „poslednjom linijom odbrane”, na kojoj nameravaju da zaustave ulazak migranata. Zemlje Evropskog centra po svemu sudeći planiraju da istovare svoje probleme na Grčku koja se nalazi u recesiji, u kojoj je svaki četvrti građanin nezaposlen i koju pritiskaju iste te evropske institucije i evropski kreditori da sprovodi mere štednje, zbog kojih sve više ljudi živi u krajnjoj bedi. U ovoj situaciji Srbija će nastaviti kao i do sada, bilo to popularno ili ne, da prati nemačke stavove u vezi sa ovim pitanjima i da se ponaša kao njena verna (polu)periferna kolonija.

Pa kako onda i kuda dalje?

Neminovni zaključak ove diskusije jeste da smo i kao pojedinci i kao društvo izloženi istom ovom sistemu policijsko-političkih provera, darvinističke selekcije, diskriminacije i degradacije kao i svaki od ovih migranata. To što smo se slučajno rodili u zemlji prema kojoj se primenjuje blaži režim fortifikacije ne treba da nas zavara – taj režim se vrlo brzo menja i prilagođava interesima globalnog kapitala. I u kolonijalnim metropolama mase obespravljenih i deklasiranih ljudi sa zebnjom očekuju sutrašnji dan. Za početak, dovoljno je da ne dozvolimo da nas segregacijska, profiterska i huškačka politika evropskih elita i njihovih medijskih slugu dovedu do konfrontacije sa onima sa kojima bismo morali da budemo solidarni.

IMPRESSUM:
Tekst: Ana Vilenica, Nebojša Milikić i Tadej Kurepa
Dizajn: Vahida Ramujkić
Godina: 2016
Zidne novine “Čovek na putu 3: Poteški odgovori na (o)laka pitanja” producirane su od strane KC REX / Fond B92 u okviru regionalne platforme “Urban hum” koju podržava Zaklada Kultura nova

 

Man on the road 3

Hard(ish) Answers to Eas(il)y Asked Questions

Before you stands a guide of sorts, to help you with thinking through and understanding some, more or less current, questions that are being put forth in the local, regional and European public after it came face to face with the fact of increasing migration of people from Middle East and Africa towards European destinations. Most questions being asked are consistently present – and they could be said to be acute – in media, in politics or ideology, and the answers to them come as the result of global activist work and experience, numerous theoretical considerations as well as activities at the “Man on the road 1” and “Man on the road 2” seminars (held in 2014 and 2015 in Rex Cultural Center in Belgrade). We believe that this text can facilitate better navigation through geo-political circumstances caused by these complex, and let us not forget, permanent and irreversible processes, the likes of which all peoples of the so-called developed world have gone through in recent or ancient history.

It is also important to note the sheer impossibility of being absolutely current while bringing the production process to its conclusion. The situation has been changing, in part or even drastically, from week to week. In our attempts to cover all important events and developments, we have constantly been delaying the publication date. Thus, production has been finished before the deportation deal and the trade-off of migrants between Turkey and EU, in the aftermath of which many people remained stranded in Serbia, some of them settling at the No Border Hostel in Savamala, but all the occupants were just recently forcefully evicted as a part of the government’s efforts to clear the space for the Belgrade Waterfront project, which is incidentally backed by UAE investors.

As news from both the past and the future of Fortress Europe, the questions and answers from this publication inexorably remain in the public space, whether or not we choose to see them as recently published papers, wallpapers or just crumpled up old papers.

Why are they camping in our city?

They did not walk several thousand kilometers because they wanted to sleep in our parks. They are forced to sleep out in the open, because the police does not want to issue them papers they require to be considered “asylum applicants”, which they need in order to get accommodations at a hotel or a hostel. Additionally, they sleep out in the open because there is no possibility of getting this document again after a person has been deported or simply because they have no money to pay for accommodations. So, we are not talking about camping or leisure time in nature, like Belgrade local authorities tried to convince us by setting up “No camping” signs in the park across the bus station – this is an example of existential coercion on a route that spans thousands of kilometers.

They are all healthy, young men, why don’t they stay at home and defend their country instead of coming here?

In most of the countries they are coming from, war has been going on for a really long time, there are multiple sides involved in the conflict (often more than three) and it is very difficult to understand which ones are actually fighting for “their country” and which ones only for some other types of interests. Many of those coming here do not have a country anymore, at least not the one in which they were born and raised. A lot of them were forced to flee while they were still children. After years spent in refugee camps, they have no remaining ties to their home country, and certainly no ties to the country they are entering from. In order to understand them better, it is enough to remember the number of young folks, women, children and others that were forced to flee the war, poverty and hopelessness in then-Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, and think of all those who are even now trying to leave Serbia in search of a better life.

There are no jobs here even for us in Serbia. Why would we welcome them?

It is not their fault that there is no employment in our country, nor have they come here to do us harm. To begin with, we need to understand that there are no jobs in our country mainly because of the same global reasons that have caused wars and general destruction in their countries. That is why solidarity and understanding are imperative for everyone who wishes good both for themselves and for the refugees.

Why is the term “refugees“ used, when most of them do not come from war-afflicted areas?

There are many ways to wage war today and only a few of these rely on use of firearms. There is economic war, where states from the capitalist centers exploit the entire periphery of the world capitalist system, there is psychological and propaganda war delivered daily through TV shows, press releases, advertisements as well as omnipresent class war in every country and every company, war of the global North against the global South, war through climate change and all those things affecting the ecosystem etc. For years, the masses have been undergoing a systematic stripping of hope and the right to any sort of future, so that a negligible minority of global population which by chance was born in rich countries or as members of the ruling elite could live in disgraceful luxury and opulence. This war has affected all of us in one way or another and we can presume that those who have decided to pack their things and head out on a journey several thousand miles long were caught in the worst of it.

Who is to blame for the wars?

The majority of wars are the doing of the global dominant political-societal groups and individuals that have monopolized and occupied the main levers and resources of the global economy. Crises and wars in the Middle East, the Maghreb, Central and Eastern Africa, are all complex and diverse. There are many factors that cause them and facilitate them, but all indicators show that austerity measures beginning in 2008, undertaken in order to uphold the capitalist system throughout and after the global financial crisis, have made living conditions drastically worse in most of these countries. If we would want to simplify and uncover this matter, we could quote one of the migrants interviewed by a British TV crew in Calais: “We are here because of your imperialism.”

Why are new walls being erected in Europe while we do nothing about it?

Well, what should we be doing? Should we erect a wall, too? Or tear down those around Europe? Do you think that new walls being erected in Europe is in fact a good or a bad thing?
Regarding Serbia, we have no walls because there was no political necessity or need for that, in the sense of the current political elite maintaining its grip on power. There is a large number of reasons why the Serbian elite has succeeded in not completely conforming to the general trend of European racist and fortificational policies, which does not mean that they will not succumb to them eventually. On the contrary – one of the latent stipulations for EU integrations is that such trends be adopted as ideas and objectively applied. In fact, the role of Serbia as a transitional country, just a part of the route of this huge migrations, needs to be understood. The biggest concern for local authorities is how to see off all those who enter via Macedonia or Bulgaria, in the shortest possible time – for a while towards Hungary, now towards Croatia, where they will continue with their journey towards Western Europe. They just see to it that as few of them as possible remain in Serbia.

Why are Serbian authorities and police treating them kindly when everybody else seems to be mistreating them?

Many migrants feel better in Serbia then in most other countries they travelled through. They frequently arrive here robbed or harassed, from Bulgaria, Macedonia or Greece. According to the testimonies of multiple migrants, until about a year ago, Serbian police have often been taking their money, mistreating them, closing them up and deporting them. However, when the number of migrants began growing to more than several thousand a day, the situation changed. The authorities point to our “traditional Serbian hospitality” and police in principle treat them decently and humanely, like they were some sort of a strange breed of tourist.
If we take into account the amount of money spent by migrants in Serbia on accommodation, food, clothing, new mobile phones (because their old ones were taken from them at the Bulgarian or some other border), as well as the transfer of money itself, and if we understand that those who benefit from this kind of spending the most are banks and various companies, it will be easier to see why the ruling political elites have taken so kindly to the refugees. But even though the authorities and elites enjoy passing themselves off as humanitarians while reaping profits from “refugee tourism”, the police continues to stuff migrants onto trains and deliver them to Croatia. Besides, the Minister of Interior Affairs, Nebojša Stefanović, has fully embraced the signing of the memorandum on cooperation with Macedonian, Austrian and Hungarian police. The European Union has been pressuring the ruling elites to stop the migration at frontier states and on its periphery, so keeping refugees in Serbia is an arrangement that suits them and its strategic policy leads towards limiting the freedom of movement and an increase of police repression.

Have there been instances of police violence towards migrants in Serbia?

During the last few years, activists have repeatedly pointed to cases of police violence towards migrants, and media have covered it on several occasions. When the migrant crisis came into focus in the summer of 2015, the authorities pushed stories about policemen being arrested for taking money from migrants, and there were stories about taxi drivers taking hundreds of EUR for driving them to the border. However, during the last few weeks, Serbia has been implementing a forced segregation policy, by supporting the “new rules of migrant profiling” which entail filtering those who do not originate from desirable nations. On one hand, they are prohibited from entering the country and on the other, their deportation from neighboring countries is enabled.

What are the problems of humanitarian activism?

A strictly humanitarian approach reduces political subjects to nothing more than victims whose lives it aims to control, but in its essence it represents a substitution of failed politics with morals. The problem of activism limited to humanitarian acts is that it does not question the primary causes of a bad or critical “humanitarian situation”, but focuses exclusively on dealing with the consequences. http://blog.b92.net/text/26037/Proganja-nas-strah-da-svi-postajemo-izbeglice/

How long will this last?

While there is inequality and disempowerment in the modern world.

Who will stop this, how and when?

This can be stopped by only by some factor interested in facing the main causes of war throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Who is paying for all this aid and why is there none for those who need it here?

Humanitarian aid is usually paid for by international organizations, who have been tasked with that mission by the United Nations, the European Union, the national governments, various humanitarian foundations etc. This help is usually available to endangered people all over the world, but it is not always delivered in adequate numbers nor is it visible, i.e. prominent in the media, as is the case with aid going to migrants. Still, this type of organized aid is easily subjected to manipulations by various interests – there have been situations in which aid does not arrive where it is needed the most. In such cases, aid has usually been secured by self-organized volunteers and humanitarian groups. https://www.facebook.com/groups/nikonijeilegalan/

Even if we were the most hospitable people on the planet, they are still different from as and cannot fit in.

Even if it had not been widely known that a negligible number of migrants has expressed the desire of staying in Serbia or other neighboring countries, we need to understand that accentuating the stereotypes regarding cultural and civilizational differences is a propaganda tool of those very structures that cause wars and profit from them. All of us, that is, the global population of today, share the good and the bad, seeing that we all are a part of a single, more or less homogeneous global system. Exploitation, precarious existence, fear, joy, desire, all these are the same all over the world, except in a few quarantines or oases, depending on which side of the fence you are looking at the divide and interpreting it. When asked are there migrants in his kindergarten, a small boy in Germany answered: “No, only kids.” http://gerusija.com/tag/gabor-balaz/

Are there radical Islamist hiding among them?

This is a thesis that has been exploited by right-wing and other pro-governmental circles in Europe and around the world. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, this sort of fear mongering propaganda was reinforced and redoubled. Firstly, most migrants are trying to escape those very extremist organizations operating in their countries, so it would be bizarre if their persecutors would be tagging along. Of course, exceptions are always possible – among the hundreds of thousands of people undergoing this ordeal, there will always be a few susceptible to radicalization of their dissatisfaction. But before we engage in any sort of calculation, we need to think through the origins of previous perpetrators of terror attacks or notable extremist fighters and whether they were exclusively citizens of Middle-eastern countries. Is it not true that the majority of them grow up in the very West, in forgotten suburbs of Paris, London, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Brussels or any of the numerous colonial metropolises?

They do not look like poor people in need of aid…

Well, what do you think that people who have dared to cross thousands of kilometers in search of a better life should look like? Yes, they are able-bodied and in many ways self-reliant people who have found themselves in the situation that they do not have a clean t-shirt or a piece of bread. When thinking about who needs help and who does not, we should ask ourselves questions about the world in which such able and daring people have found themselves in such a situation. This whole great wave of migrations can be seen as an extremely cruel and efficient “brain drain” project taking place in Third world countries, where candidates undergo not only general selection based upon competitiveness and affinity towards risk, but also “natural selection”, since only those who survive this barbaric way of travelling and the harsh conditions during the trip will get to their final destination. They will arrive at their destination devoid of faith in people and the world around them. Then they will receive “aid” from the system which will in return expect their eternal dependence and submission. That is why every self-organized refugee aid is also aid in battling this sort of system which supposedly helps, but actually exposes us to principles of social Darwinism while living parasitically off all of us.

But they all support those who are responsible for war in their own countries, yet complain about local regimes…

The fact that migrants are moving towards rich countries that shape world politics does not mean that they actually support what is going on in the world or in their countries. Most of them did not wish to leave their cities or their jobs until just a few years ago. Almost nothing remains of these cities today. On the other hand, the prerequisite for being granted asylum is that they complain about regimes in their homelands and praise Western regimes. The migrant which was interviewed by the British TV crews in Calais and said “we are here because of your imperialism” has shocked the British public. Oppression, censorship and blackmail the migrants are exposed to are so forceful that no migrant before him had dared to utter something similar, which is no wonder, really – by doing something like that, they would radically diminish their chances of being granted asylum. On top of that, they have many reasons to complain about local regimes, but please have in mind that all of them, or to be more precise, all of us, when suddenly surrounded by cameras and strangers, have a tendency to say things that are expected from us.

Did they undergo medical examinations? They may be carriers of infectious diseases.

Almost a million migrants have passed through many countries and so far no diseases have been registered, so it is quite obvious that they are not carrying any diseases. The best example of unfounded panic spread for a while by authorities and the media alike is a statement by a Slovenian functionary in which he implies that bodily fluids of migrants present a hazard for agriculture, livestock and residents of Slovenia.

Human traffickers are a huge problem which is not really discussed!

Human traffickers are just one of the symptoms of asylum policy in the EU, which transforms travelling people into “illegals”. These “guides”, as a rule, work closely with the local police and are only a single link in the chain of organized and extremely profitable “smuggling” of migrants. It has been estimated that migrants have spent up to 250 million euros only for this “service”, paying for their life on the market of ilegalized migration. This is a vicious circle in which trafficking is an excuse for introducing new repressive measures that make migrants even more vulnerable, because they must acquiesce to even worse conditions of travel and the ever-increasing prices imposed by the traffickers. Additional confusion is created by current laws, whose provisions make it possible to charge anyone who helps migrants in their travels with being an accomplice in human trafficking! The traffickers are an integral part of migration due to a breach of the right to free movement created by “Fortress Europe” and any attempt to present them as a separate problem mostly harm migrants and not the traffickers.

Can wire fences stop illegal migrants?

Razor wire does not stop migration, but makes the migrants journey much more dangerous and risky. Barbed wire fences have been sprouting on all sides, and their goal is not to stop the flow of people, but to reroute them to other transit points. In most cases, countries use their southern neighbors to secure control of their own borders. It would be prudent to examine and follow the connections between wire manufacturers and political elites which purchase those wires with public money. The entire system of European fortifications has become a very lucrative and promising business.

Refugees are refugees, but “migrants” are those who do not have it so hard, right?

The separation of refugees from migrants is based upon the refusal to acknowledge the possibility of economic refugees as opposed to war refugees. Not recognizing the status of an economic refugee is a consequence of the wrong attitude that poverty represents a personal choice and not a systemic problem.

Why are some migrant nationalities desirable and some are not?

November 2015 saw new rules introduced on the Balkan route, where migrants are separated and discriminated based upon their nationality. Those with Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan documents are the desirable ones, while all others have been classified as undesirable and are being held at the document checkpoint. The process of determining the nationality includes UNHCR translators. Based on the person’s dialect, they decide upon the identity that will be attached to the traveler. Separating people based on their nationality is closely related to efforts intended to control the flow of people by giving preferential treatment to those who are categorized as war refugees. Filtering people takes place on several levels, which means that this type of segregation is only one of the possible ways.

It is important to have in mind the fact that this long journey, e.g. the Balkan route, is not undertaken by those lacking money, since trafficker prices as well as state tariffs are well-known. This money usually comes from family savings scraped together over the course of many years or is obtained by selling everything – a house or a store worth tens of thousands of euros is often sold for several thousand. http://isj.org.uk/fortress-europe-the-war-against-migrants/

You have seen what happened in Cologne on New Year’s eve. “They are coming to assault our women!”

The events in Cologne, to the extent in which they are true, are certainly objectionable, just like any such event. However, it is a fact that thousands of cases of sexualized violence towards women, not in any way connected to migrants, pass under the radar of media and institutions. These events were instrumentalized to encourage an atmosphere of fear and hate, which serves to justify the huge amounts of money invested into fortifying the borders, as well as to promote the “internal enemy” that will be used in the coming years to draw attention away from true causes of societal problems. The media have been perpetuating the construct of the migrant as a danger to “our” women even before New Year’s Eve. It is being suggested that, besides “our” territory and property, the European male must now defend the female, which, in their opinion, indisputably belongs to him. The construct of Muslim man which threatens women’s rights is nothing new – it has been in development by European colonizers for hundreds of years. Delegating violence and oppression towards women exclusively to ethnic and religious groups, manipulating race, sexual preference and “cultural maladjustment” create and consolidate the neocolonial class system, which lies at the root of all societal inequality.

If EU countries close their borders, Serbia will become a collection center for migrants!

Ivica Dačić, the Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in February 2016 that Serbia is ready to close down its borders for migrants, if Austria does the same – as it has announced it would do – because Serbia, in his words, will not be a collection center nor a “parking space for migrants.” Greece faces a much larger “threat”, because EU countries consider Macedonia to be the “last line of defense”, where they intend to stop the entrance of migrants. Core European countries in all likelihood plan to unload their problems on Greece, which is in the throes of recession, with 25% unemployment and under pressure by the very same European institutions and European creditors to implement austerity measures which cause an increasing number of people to live in extreme poverty. In this situation, Serbia will continue as before, be that popular or not, following German lead regarding these issues and behaving as its faithful (semi)peripheral colony.

What is to be done and where are we headed now?

An inevitable conclusion to this discussion is that we as individuals and as a society are exposed to this system of police-political checks, social-Darwinist selection, discrimination and degradation just as much as any of these migrants. The fact that we were by chance born in a country towards which a lighter regimen of fortification is currently applied should not fool us – this regimen is prone to quick changes and adaptation according to the interest of global capital. In colonial metropolises, masses of disempowered and declassed people await a new day filled with anxiety. To begin with, it is enough that we do not allow such segregation, profiteering and warmongering policies of European elites and their media lapdogs to lead us into confrontation with people whom we should feel solidarity with.

IMPRESSUM:
Text: Ana Vilenica, Nebojša Milikić i Tadej Kurepa
Design: Vahida Ramujkić
Year: 2016
The wallpaper “Man on the Road 3: Hard(ish) Answers to Eas(il)y Asked Questions” has been produced by KC REX / Fund B92 as a part of the regional platform “Urban humm” supported by Kultura nova foundation.

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