Confluences

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As hard as it is to look on the bright side at the moment, we must acknowledge intriguing connections currently being made between disparate and distant movements. Our task now is to make these confluences of action and intent—this growing solidarity across ideological and geographical chasms—much more concrete, combative, and contagious.

By Antidote’s Ed Sutton

By nearly any account, it has been a devastating summer, and a tough year all around.

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Sadness and Hope: On the American Refugee Crisis

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 2 August 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:

“They’re searching for a way out of the violence that this whole system generates, and no matter where they go they’re treated as criminals. They’re treated as extraneous human beings.”

Chuck Mertz: On the line with us right now, live from Mexico City, I believe, is our irregular correspondent Laura Carlsen. Good morning, Laura, and where are you?

Laura Carlsen: Good morning! Yes, I am in Mexico City.

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“Refugee Apocalypse!”

BULGARIA: A look at asylum seekers’ portrayal in politics and media, the little-known practice of “external addressing” in which corrupt officials collude, and the all-too-familiar rise of fascist gangs with the state’s implicit approval

by Tsvetelina Hristova and Raya Apostolova for LeftEast

In the summer of 2013, as a mass of people was fleeing the escalating conflict in Syria, Bulgaria experienced its first “real” push at the border. Or at least this is how media outlets and commentators described the thousands who were crossing the Turkish-Bulgarian border, forgetting that the Bulgarian border in particular—and the European border in general—has been a space of much antagonism for some time.

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Two Refugee Camp Sieges

by Tamim Al-Barghouti

The Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Damascus has been under siege for months, exposed to ground and air strikes, causing several of the refugees to die of starvation and resort to eating leaves and cacti, as well as the spread of intestinal and skin diseases due to the lack of clean water.

This has also resulted in the death of new-borns, their mothers, the elderly, the ill and the wounded because of the shortage of medicine. Anyone trying to leave the camp is killed and the camp has been bombed numerous times.

Refugee camp in Damascus, Syria

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Bulgaria: at Fortress Europe’s Postern Gate

AntiNote: this article was the result of a recent collaboration between LeftEast and the new Balkan web portal Bilten.org, where it can be read in Serbo-Croatian.  It appeared in the original English last week on LeftEast.  Reprinted with permission.

“While the EU proclaims democracy and universal human rights, a new form of nationalism is on the rise – one that is not founded in the nation-state but is instead fortifying the wealthy core member-states by turning the periphery into an alert border zone.”

by Tsvetelina Hristova and Raya Apostolova

When Greece began construction of a wall along its border with Turkey in 2012, nationalist formations in Bulgaria voiced the same demand for the country’s southern border. Back then, this demand seemed comic at best and was ridiculed throughout the political spectrum. Two years later, a barbed-wire fence along the Turkish-Bulgarian border is a nationalist dream-come-true.

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Iranian Refugees Begin Hunger Strike

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AntiNote:  In keeping with our goal of amplifying the voices of those struggling against political repression and social domination, we have reprinted below an English translation of the manifesto issued today by 18 hungerstriking Iranian asylum-seekers in Bern,  reacting in part to Switzerland’s easing of sanctions against the country they fled.

The original German can be found here.

Their focus, understandably, is on human rights violations in Iran.  We wish to call attention, however, to the refugees’ plight here in Switzerland, which they humbly relegate to point 2 of their demands.

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