NoBorder Serbia: Statement regarding the self-organised march of migrants

This statement is written by NoBorder Serbia concerning rumours and accusations related to last days‘ march of migrants towards the Hungarian border (Source:

A group of about 400-500 migrants began another March of Hope today (04.10.2016) from Belgrade to the Serbian-Hungarian border. At the time of writing they are in the vicinity of Stara Pazova. They are moving under the oversight of the Serbian police and members of the controversial government comessariat for/against refugees. Some of the march’s participants are considering a return to Belgrade, due to the exhaustion and relentless pressures they are subject to. We count the media-spins amongst these pressures, malicious reporting in the style of Milorad Komrakov. In the late afternoon, the police forbid the marchers any access to any store in order to purchase necessary goods, as well as banning any food distribution by NGOs.

It is not surprising what the media writes about, and what they don’t write. Media outlets write that ‚groups such as No Borders and anarchist groups‘ are behind this march. They don’t write about the self-organised struggle of the migrants for the freedom of movement and a life of dignity (as well as all other social struggles, as they are substantially the same struggle). Horizontally organised, anti-authoritarian collectives are the target of state propaganda and repression because they raise their voices against state violence and the power of capital, and because they show solidarity with the oppressed. They write about the need of mobilising military forces at the borders, but not about the everyday police repression. They write about this march as the continuation of the so-called ‚migrant crisis‘, but they do not write about the European border regime which causes deaths, suffering and misery. The crisis is Europe’s racism, the crisis are the borders, the crisis are the (renewed) fascisation of society. This march is not the crisis, it is rather the resistance to the crisis.

As we already mentioned, the two main ways in which migrants are portrayed in mainstream media and the tabloid press is that there are either a threat to security or helpless victims who cannot speak and act for themselves. We reject these two forms of representation as well as any other for of ‚representation‘ of migrants. ‚Migrants‘ are not a homogenous group of people who can be ‚represented‘ in a unifying way. The media’s reporting and unification of migrants is inadequate, wrong and degrading. The system of borders and migration politics, by means of restricting the freedom of movement, creates a group of people in the first place, which are referred to as ‚migrants‘. However, this restriction is overcome by people every day, thereby regaining their humanity. Our interest lies in searching for and finding ways of solidarity which connect common struggles.

We would like to give a more precise reply to the dilemmas and false accusation issued in the wake of the events of the 4th of October 2016: No, our collective did not encourage any participant of the march to join the protest. Some of the reasons why people decided to start the protest march include a.o.: the encirclement of militarised borders, a literal hunting of people, and no alternative way of moving except for criminalised routes. People who are moving towards the border are stuck in Serbia for months, and the majority of them have experienced police violence on the Serbian-Hungarian as well as the Serbian-Croatian border. Many have been robbed of their possessions and pushed back to Serbia, sometimes 10 times or more often. Everyday we meet people with serious injuries resulting from electroshocks, police dog bites, hits to the head etc. The non-functional asylum system, and the problematic state of the camps, which have (over)reached their full capacity in the capital, have already been previously mentioned.

Due to illegalisation and criminalisation as well as a growing anti-migrant propaganda, people are enduring daily repression, humiliation, the threat of arrest at any moment and subsequent imprisonment; the space in which one finds oneself is like a big prison surrounded by barbed wire, police, and military forces, a space which people want to leave and look for the chance of a normal life, education, work, instead of waiting in queues for charity.

This is why we demand that the media stops treating migrants as a helpless group, without ideas, unable to speak for themselves.

Always in solidarity with the illegalised and oppressed!

For the freedom of movement and life of dignity for all!

No Border Serbia collective