An anarchist view on no border Camp / Lesbos
Most people visited the No Border Camp were German – speaking. Greek Anarchists visited the camp mostly as individuals. Local anarchists you could sometimes met at their info-desk. I found out the following reasons for absenteism.A)
Imminent danger and conducted attacs of anarchist projects in cities in Greece e.g. Athen. More information about this you find on http://athens.indymedia.org/?lang=en
Because there is an urgent need to defend own local structures a lot of anarchists could not visit the no border camp.
Another reason was the cooperation between the organisation team and „lefties“ More information about the backgrounds you find on http://de.indymedia.org/2009/09/259902.shtml
In Greece the seperation between „the left“ and anarchism is strictly. Even contacts to the undogmatic left are disliked. There are big distrusts against them. The Organizer of no-border Camp planned from the beginning togehter with the „lefties“,they did not search the contact to the local anarchists..
The cooperation between no-border camp and the main-stream media. The local anarchists are in radical opposition to the mass-media. Even though journalists did not had acces to the camp, the organizer searched direct contact to common medias, to submit the topics of this year no border camps to the public. In Mytlini, the anarchists instead inform about an independant radio station and their own publications. An important Medium for anarchists in Greece e.g. is Indymedia. More mentioned instruments to spray own contents are: Posters, banners, brochures, photos, pictures, flyer, internet, web and fm radios, the possibility to create own reports and videos to the point of squatting mainstream radios for short transmissions.
Absolute Non Violence, no greek anarchist can really understand. The intention of local anarchists was not the great riot, to come along with the biggest property damages. They refused to perform the sterotype of anarchists you could read days before in the local newspapers of Mytlini. The questions of militance was mainly based on defending ourselves against agressors like fascist riot cops from athen (arrived with 3 buses on the island). Another danger could be fascists and people who are in opposition to the no border camp and could act agressive. Furthermore a revolt of the Mitlini Prisoners would find active support by anarchist groups.
However the local anarchist group has been a part of the no-border camp. The squat Bineo offered place for the media centre. This space was an important part of the infrastructure, because there are technical options you did not found in the outlying camp. Officially police is not allowed to enter the squat because it is a building within the university. Furthermore this free space offered sleeping places the last night before return trip.
we should not forget the direct solidarity support by local
anarchists on the streets. When a deligation of the camp visited
Pagani, there was a brutal police – attack. Promptly local
anarchists joined (like always more than 50 per cent women) and to
togehter we had to defend the attacs of the riot cops. After that
there was a collecitive demonstration, without police.
On Sonday, after the weekly military parade there was a mob of approx. 60 national citicens, local and other fascists besieged the infopoint in the city of Mytliny. At this point there was the danger of an attack and you do not forget that next to the infopoint you could find a tent with a lot of refugee families, too. Now the riot cops of Athen showed their standing. They took away all info point banners and posters you find on the other side of the street.
The local anarchists mobilized very quick to defend the info-point and there was a great support by ca. 50 anarchists.
Fortunately there was only verbal provocation of this horrible mob. After 20 minutes the scum leave the info-point. Locals informed us that this was the first cooperation between fascists and police in such obviously way since 20 years.
After a plenum we decided to build up a night watch. A lot of local anarchists joined it until the next morning. Because of this decision a 2 fascists provocation was stopped very quickly.
The organizers and visitors of No Border Camp did not always show their solidarity. The look of sometimes hooded and with woods armed anarchists lead to a normal Non – Violence reflex, without knowing the backgrounds why the anarchists acting in this manner.What is the reason for this behaviour?
A lot of anarchists criticized that there was no real open structures on this year no border camp. The small group of organization team planned the actions before the open plenum starts and after that their ideas was submit to the plenum. As reaction the audience used hand signals that means indeed that you e.g. shake less or more wild with your hands. So it was visable if there was people with acceptance or not or you could find out wich people showed more enthusiam in expressing themselves with gesticals. But to develop a real consencus was often blocked-the main important reason told us that there was no time for such long processes. By the way, it was possible to dicuss less important questions extensively.
The organizing team expand No-Violence into all actions of Noborder Camp. They ignore the fact that their never was such a consencus, it was only worked out for special parts and areas of our actions. The result was that mainly german speaking acitvists did not accepted e.g. hooded acitivists at all. In their opinion people wearing masks and holding sticks in their hands only have chaos and violence in their minds and want to destroy.
the dominant groups even influenced the prisoners of pagani to stay
calm in every minute. They never inform the camp public that there
was completely different views within in Pagani about action forms. An
interesting text "Pagani will not be closed in the near future" you find on https://at.indymedia.org/node/15518
describes a situation at Pagani when a revolt in Pagani was possible.
It tells how no border camp delegation succesfull managed it to calm
down the refugees. "Go back to your cells!) They told them that it was not the right tim for
such a direct action.).
Unfortunately the plenum atomsphere could be described as quiet stressy. There seems to be permanent impatience and you find an intolerance against minority-opinons. It seems to be much easier for people who are able to express themselves in perfect english. Certainly you have heard wasted , superfluous words or harmless troubles. But it would be better to react more calm than presented by the audience of the assemblies.
Furthermore anarchist criticized that to many people celebrated the results of the camp too much.
Is there any succes? One step would be the closing of Pagani. Who ever stood before this so called „Welcome Centre“ know that there is no other solution than shutting it down. Because of this humanity step all anarchists had supported a revolt in pagani . We schould not forget the camp offered a place to stay, clothes and food for refugees, wich have been released from Pagani. This concrete, direct help should not be underrated.
At least know, after the camp official political sides of Lesbos discussed the closing of Pagani. But it is well known that this statements mean nothing more than a lip service.
Though, a lot of actions you could describe as events with relative high fun-factor.
It seems, a lot of people did not think about further perspectives for the refugees e.g. what happens with them if they arrive in Athen. On the Camp just the information that refugess could take the next ferry to Athen was the reason for well feelings. Did the refugees really know what happens with them in Athen? If hundreds released from Pagani, is it not the sad true that know there is more place for knew refugees?
Is the parole enough „Stop Deportation“ or is capitalism impossible without borders and exclusion? And is more effident to fight against capitalims at all. Whats about millions of people who do not find their way to Europe, because they do not not have enough money to pay for this journey. What happens after closing the camp?
The next to last day there was a, by local anarchist motivated, plenum. If more people had informations about it more people would have joined it.
The actual, meaningful debate refering no border camp make clear, the insufficient crosslinking between anarchists respictevely autonomous groups. . . We did not manage self organization and we did not build up grass – roots structures. We even did not manage the sufficient exchange of informations.