Streets of Berlin, by Arte Vilu @Art Against

The Transbalkan Solidarity collective calls for wide street protests on March 8, for a strike and disobedience until the end of the war in Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, and the occupation of Palestine and all other wars and occupations around the world. We strongly condemn every war, bloodshed, and persecution – and thus the current horrors that people in Ukraine and elsewhere are going through at the current moment. We strongly agitate the complete demilitarization and destruction of the military-industrial complex, everywhere and forever. We call on all opponents of the war and peacebuilders to stand up against the use of people as cannon fodder. The shrewd rulers are ruthlessly throwing them into the jaws of the war machine, on which the arms dealers of countries that, ostensibly horrified by war, profit from militarization, destruction, and death.

Horrified by yet another imperialist invasion, the destruction and scale of the humanitarian catastrophe, we join the voices that demand an immediate cessation of war and the establishment of peace! We join all opponents of the war, militarization, and all forms of violence in Ukraine and Russia and give them a hand of solidarity. We had a war and we don’t want it for others!

After our personal experiences of persecution and refuge, and experiences of supporting refugees from other parts of the world for the last twenty years, including massively blocked people on the move at the borders of the Balkans and the European Union since 2015 — we ask that all refugees from Ukraine be provided with emergency evacuation and assistance, aided transfer to a safe country and a dignified reception that ensures legal, political and economic protection. We demand that acceptance policies take place quickly and effectively without racial, gender, and age profiling. We do not want European neoliberal economies to take advantage of the difficult situation of Ukrainian refugees and push them into low-paid work as a ticket to stay in a country without war. We demand an end to all forms of exploitation of all refugees.

We condemn every political act that embodies racism, from the public speech of European politicians opening borders to the passage of exclusively white Ukrainians to the physical blockade and brutality of European border police and armies against African students and workers and other non-whites fleeing war. Racial profiling in such a crisis indicates a frightening normalization of European racism and affects an even stronger course of white disciplined asylum policy. Since 2015 and the summer of the mass arrival of refugees at the borders along the Balkan route, we are familiar with explicit policies of racial profiling at borders, violent expulsions and deportations, derogation of the asylum system. The then-established discourse on good and bad refugees established apartheid by excluding black and brown people, especially those of African and Asian descent, from any possibility of obtaining protection from persecution.

Another precedent was set in those years; despite the arrival of over 800,000 refugees in 2015 and 2016, a completely logical legal mechanism for the temporary protection of refugees has not been activated. These days, the European Union has activated this very mechanism for refugees from Ukraine. We have no doubts about the importance of urgent protection of Ukrainian refugees, but we read racist policies based on the principle of white superiority, which, along with nationalist chauvinism, is one of the main drivers of wars, including the war in Ukraine.

We also oppose the spread of Russophobia and the identification of the people of Russia with those who make decisions on their behalf. We are witnessing an increase in repression against anti-war and anti-authoritarian activists, arrests, and victims of state torture. By punishing and isolating writers, artists, athletes, journalists, intellectuals and people from Russia, the autocratic elite and its war machinery will be the least affected.

As survivors of the wars in our region, we stand firm in resistance to militarization and violence. We stand together in our resilience despite the reactivation of our war traumas, the permanent loss of loved ones, and a sense of security. We demand with all our voice and the strength of all our cells that you immediately stop all firing, rocketing, attacks, capturing, and measuring forces. Let’s stand against the war in disobedience, strikes, desertions, protests, blockades, and other strategies of resistance, because we do not reckon that those who started or provoked the war will be so reasonable as to end it voluntarily.

We demand and fight for the solidarity and freedom of all! Enough wars !!! Enough nationalism! For a transnational peace policy!