The dire living conditions for People on the Move get even worse when cold temperatures, wind and snow set in. Winter’s hardships add to the ongoing border violence and police brutality. Here are some of the many threats people are exposed to because of the EUs dehumanizing migration politics.
At Serbia’s borders with the EU PoM live in ‘squats’, i.e., drafty ruins, or flimsy tents, which offer little protection from the cold. These improvised shelters lack heating, electricity, and warm water. Proper sleeping bags and winter clothes are essential, yet they are maliciously destroyed by police forces during pushbacks and violent evictions of squats.
Open fire is the only way to heat and cook. During winter months, the wood people try to gather outside is too wet, so some have to resort to burning plastics, causing toxic fumes to enter the shelters. Ovens with a pipe can warm up rooms without exposing people to toxic smoke and fumes. To prepare for the cold months, we equip squats with ovens and carry out repair work at the buildings to improve insolation.
Crossing the border from Serbia into the EU during winter is even more difficult and dangerous than during the dry summer months. Some areas are impossible to pass on foot and the freezing temperatures pose dangers to peoples’ lives and health. Winter forces people to wait in dire conditions for warmer weather to continue their way.
Testimonies of pushback survivors show that winter becomes a brutal weapon in the hands of the police. They use the cold to hurt PoM even more by forcing them to stand in the snow, stripping them of their winter clothes, pushing them in ice-cold rivers and making them walk several kilometres without proper clothing, even without shoes.
First picture: @davetr0uble
Other pictures: @frachcollective
#burnwoodburnborders #leavenoonebehind#fightfortresseurope #solidaritywithoutborders