Bamako-Dakar-Caravan: Newsletter Nr. 3
Bamako-Dakar caravan: between the 25th of January and the 11th of February 2011 – Newsletter No. 3/Januar 2011. Afrique-Europe Interact: www.afrique-europe-interact.net
This newsletter is in German, English and French. It contains the most important informations about the Bamako-Dakar caravan for freedom of movement and fair development. Contact details and further information can be found at our web page: www.afrique-europe-interact.net
II. News about the Caravan:
1. Schedule: After many discussions the African Preparatory Group outlined a timetable for the Bamako-Dakar caravan. Especially the coordination with the other caravans was difficult, as each caravan has its own schedule and their own political priorities. Currently we will meet the caravan “La caravanes des mouvements sociaux Cotonou Dakar” in Bamako on the 30th of January. All the other caravans will be met shortly before arriving in Dakar.
20.01. – 24.01.: Arrival of the activists from Europe; getting each other known and further preparations of the caravan.
25.01.: The first joint plenary of Afrique-Europe Interact
26.01.: Public movie night in Bamako
27.01.: Bus trip to Nioro; in the evening a public movie night is planned in Nioro
28.01.: Nioro: A funeral march in memory of the deaths of Fortress Europe, and
exchange with local groups are planned
29.01.: Return to Bamako
30.01.: Demonstration on displacement and arrival of the Contonou-Dakar-Caravan
31.01.: Further actions; departure to Kayes
01.02.: Kayes: Exchange with local groups and workshops (e.g. about the situation in
Europe), cultural evening
02.02: Departure to Tambakounda, exchanges with local groups (e.g. with miners)
03.02.: Departure to Kaoloack
04.02.: Seminar on Feminism in Kaolack (3 buses) and departure to the Charter of
the migrants in Goree (1 bus)
05.02.: Meeting with other caravans and shared bus convoy to Dakar
06.02. – 11.02.: World Social Forum – Africa-Europe-Interact will be involved with several
12.02.: Return in buses to Bamako (the majority of European activists fly back directly from Dakar to Europe)
2. Participants: There will be two groups from Europe: 50 activists from Afrique-Europe Interact, 24 (ex-) Sans-papiers activists from France. From Mali about 150 activists will participate in the caravan – in stead of 250 due to lack of funding
3. Other caravans: The Bamako-Dakar caravan cooperates especially with “La caravanes des mouvements sociaux Cotonou-Dakar”. However, the schedules of the two caravans still not fully fit to each other. More information about the second caravan is available on the web page of the World Social Forum (where the Bamako-Dakar caravan is unforutantely not linked yet): http://openfsm.net/projects/caravanes-fsm2011/benin-dakar. To prevent misunderstandings: The “Association of deportees of Mali” (AME) coordinates the Bamako-Dakar caravan in Mali (together with many others), the other way around it supports as a member of NO VOX Mali the Contonou-Dakar Caravan as well.
4. Finance: Unfortunately the applications for funding by foundations and NGOs were not as successful for both the Mali and the European section. Therefore a fundraising campaign was started in Germany, in the Netherlands and in Austria in mid-November. Up to now 30.000 Euros and 270 mosquito nets have been donated. Together with grants from foundations, NGOs, and contributions from the European activists, we got enough money for the participation of 220 people at the caravan. Nevertheless we still need another 18.000 Euros, and the activists in France have not yet all the money together as well. Therefore the fundraising campaign must go on even during and after the caravan- the current lack of money has been bridged with small credits.
5. Public information: Due to the fundraising campaign, our caravan already got known quite well, at least within the civil society of Germany. In this respect to points seem to be important: On the one hand published a four page newspaper about the caravan which was attached to the daily left-liberal newspaper “taz” on the 24th of December (a translation of all articles in French and English will be published on our web page soon). On the other hand the European part of Afrique-Europe Interact has gained support statements from prominent scientists, artists, and (left) politicians in recent weeks. We hope to get therewith a further boost on our fundraising campaign. The statements can be found on our website (so far only in and german – sorry… The other way around the Malian groups are going to prepare reports about the Caravane in the local radio, on television and in newspapers.
6. Actions: Up to date only actions at three places are organized: in Bamako, Dakar, and Nioro. The activists from the European part of Afrique-Europe Interact have especially prepared the funeral march in memory of the dead persons of Fortress Europe (Nioro) and actions against the EU border agency Frontex (Dakar). For the funeral march, currently a long list of many thousands of dead persons, is printed on special plastic sheets. The activists from Europe will bring along a loudspeaker system, projector for public film nights, a theater play to join in, stilts and various information materials (films, exhibitions, postcards, stickers, posters, etc): http://www.afrique-europe-interact.net/index.php?article_id=76&clang=0
7. T-Shirts: 250 T-shirts are prepared for the activists of Afrique-Europe Interact. The motif can be seen on our web page: http://www.afrique-europe-interact.net/index.php?article_id=76&clang=0. Furthermore we will be able to print the motif on shirts, skirts and T-shirts during our caravan as well.
8. Declaration/Song: We are working on a declaration of Afrique-Europe Interact, with which we can present the organization in the course of the caravan. Furthermore several European activists began to write songs to sing along. One song is already available on our website: http://www.afrique-europe-interact.net/index.php?article_id=76&clang=0. It was composed by one refugee activists who will participate at the caravan and who has lived several years in a refugee camp in Germany.
9. Description of the situation in Europe: One important discussion of the last meeting of the European part of Afrique-Europe Interact was about the question how the situation of refugees and illegal migrants in Europe can be represented. It makes no sense to hide the truth and not to talk about deportations, exploitation, racist police violence or refugee camps. On the other hand, not everything is bad in Europe. There is resistance, and above all, European activists do not want to spread any deterrent propaganda, as the EU is doing it in so-called awareness films about “irregular” migration. Result of the debate was that the topic must be handled sensitively and that both sides always have to be mentioned.
III. Goree and WSF
1. Goree: Activists of Afrique-Europe Interact will participate at the discussions on the Charter of migrants on Goree (http://www.cmmigrants.org/goree/). The only problem is that the discussions are mainly held on 4th and 5th of February. Therefore we have discussesed the option of splitting up (without coming to a decision yet): one (larger) part participates in Kaoloack in the Feminism seminar, a (smaller) part will go to Goree.
2. WSF: Afrique-Europe Interact will organize several workshops with other networks during the WSF. Up to now the following workshops are planned:
a) Instrumentalization of fear: FRONTEX, militarization of the Sahel, instrumentalization of the fight against terrorism. Together with “Alterantives Espaces Citoens (Niger)“ and other organizations
b) Migration and Development. Social justice and fair development between North and South. Together with Enda Europe and other organizations
c) Impact of European migration politics on communities and the consequences for individuals and their families. With Enda and other organisations.
d) Situation in Europe I: European refugee camp policy. Together with “Welcome back Cameroon and other organizations
e) Situation in Europe II: Institutioneller Rassismus und Polizeigewalt. With “Welcome back Cameroon and other organizations
f) Situation in Europe III: Work, exploitation and the struggles of undocumented workers. With “Welcome back Cameroon and other organizations
g) Resources, displacement and migration. With the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation; date: probably 7 February, 12.30 until 15.30 o’clock
h) Freedom of movement and sustainable development – challenges for liberating theologies (with the Institute for Theology and Politics (Münster, Germany)); date: probably on 7th of February, 16 to 19 o’clock.
i) Informations about the discussions and experiences of the caravane.
j) Outside the WSF program: report on the experience in the caravan (in cooperation with the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation); date: Tuesday, 8th of February, 18 to 21 o’clock
k) Village diaspora: Afrique-Europe Interact will show different movies, a program will be compiled and registered.
More information about our workshops is published soon on our web page.