A Belgrade’s Eye View of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

June 26, 2015 by cosmoakacitizensmith

Our next show is at Inex Film, a squatted former industrial space in Belgrade, Serbia. Out hsipt Rasha has cooked up a fine spread and the audience is diverse: circus performers, punks, Germans as well as Serbians.

Migrants in Park near Belgrade Bus StationThe park next to the bus station in Belgrade is also a gathering point for refugees from the Middle East, particularly Syria. They’ve made the perilous journey through Southern Europe and they are in transit to Northern European countries. Locals appear generally sympathetic, but we see a waitress at a cafe getting frustrated with a group of them due to not speaking he same language.

They migrants we saw had pretty decent mobiles. You need a lot of money to make the journey.

Some of the activists we are staying with make banners in Serbian, English, Arabic and other languages welcoming them. They also spray supportive graffiti on the ground.

The police are usually hanging around the park and keep an eye out. Some No Borders activists we knew said that the other day the cops disappeared and a small group of Serb nationalists turned up. They looked like they might start hassling the refugees so the activists kept vigilant. When confronted, the nationalists said they were “pro law” and didn’t want undocumented migrants hanging around. The activists explained the refugees are escaping war and persecution. “Well why aren’t they defends their country?” asked one of the nationalists. At which point a scuffle broke out between the two groups. No Borders activists are worried that this kind of thing may turn into direct intimidation of the refugees when the football season starts.

They were particularly concerned that the cops had disappeared when the nationalists had turned up.

Hungary, to he north of Serbia, has announced it is going to build a wall to slow down or stop the traffic of refugees heading north. The EU, of which Hungary is a member, is outraged, but is doing absolutely nothing. Many people feel that the era of walls dividing Europe should be coming to an end. The Hungarian government, already under fire for increasing its stranglehold over of the judiciary and media, as well as other increasingly far-right positions, doesn’t care.

For anarchists, this is just the way that the state works, only in troubled times in just gets worse. This includes turning a blind eye to the activities of the far-right. The point is to counter it with solidarity.

On the road, Belgrade

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