Disturbing times

(Deutsch)

The drowned at Idomeni are abused for defaming supporters and refugees at the borders.

The week after the EU-Turkey summit is the week before the next EU-summit. The haggling with the fate of thousands goes on. Those have to wait for new deterrences in the mud of Idomeni. Any idea of Europe is dying there beside the refugees. Yesterday a desperate attempt to cross the border took place as 3.000 people marched towards Macedonia. They succeeded to cross the green border, most of them were arrested and sent back to Greece later. Today this leads to a massive media-offensive against the supporters who tried to help the refugees. What was called a «well organized march» yesterday, becomes a «cynical action» according to German «Tagesschau»-news.

The reason for this interpretation is a flyer, which informed the refugees of an open gap in the fence at the border and gave advise how to come there. Part of the route was a small river which had to be crossed. Supporters tried to help the people through the waters, because the crossing was quite dangerous: Three people, two Afghan women and a young man, died in the floods earlier. But obviously they were not part of the march which started in the morning. German newspaper «Der Spiegel» reported their death around 15:00 CET and it said, the three people drowned in the night before. Similar reports come from the website «Are you Syrious?»

What «Tagesschau» and other media do, is a kind of dirty propaganda against volunteers and supporters who don’t want to limit theirself to handing out food or blankets and to replace missing official support. Each act of an active help to cross the borders and to continue the journey is criminalized and defamed. So they want to talk about the «responsibility» of those who handed out the flyers. Therefore they conceal the time of the accident at the river – just to say the march costed the lifes of refugees.

Although we think actions like handing over such flyers and preparing a route are critical and have to be well planned before they start, we cannot accept the bigoted condemning of the supporters: The situation which forces people to desperate actions like this is made by the EU and those who are really responsible for the suffering and dying of refugees at the seas and recently in the middle of Europe. Instead of using the three deads for their own discharge, they should be ashamed by the decision of closing the borders.

But what they also do is attacking the dignity of the people in Idomeni and elsewhere. By accusing the supporters who handed out the flyer, they deny the self-empowerment and self-responsibility of the people who decided to flee, to leave their homes, to make the risky passage to Greece and finally to march to the Macedonian border yesterday by their own. It prooves their misunderstanding of the whole situation, which only will lead to a worsening, to further deaths and more tragedies.

We mourn for the dead, we feel with the people who tried and lost yesterday. And we appeal to all initiatives and supporters not to be parted from each other – this is what they want.


On Saturday, March 19, a group of activists from Wuppertal will go to Greece to support refugees. There are several ways to support them and their journey. Have a look on their webpage: Cars of Hope Wuppertal (Facebook)

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    welcome2wuppertal (w2wtal) is an initiative of people who have been living in the city for a long time and newcomers. Together we want to create self-organized and concrete solidarity structures, which enable all people living here to participate and have the right to have a voice in our community. Participate, come along, join in! If you have any questions, just write us an e-mail (use the encrypted form for sensitive content), and if you want to be informed about w2wtal meetings, use one of our channels on Facebook, Twitter or telegram.