Prozess gegen ELA
Prozess gegen 17.November
Fotos und Plakate
Europäisches Sozialforum
in Athen 2006

European Social Forum Athens, 4.-7.5.2006

The Network against the Policies of Security and against Repression

Big Seminar

"The Crusade against Terror", the new Planetary Enemies and the Human Rights

Offshore Gulag: The only Right to have no Rights

Moazzem Begg (GB, former Prisoner of Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo):

The new archipelago of dungeons: Black Lists "Black sites", and "extra-ordi­nary rendition"

Wolfgang Kaleck (Chairmen of the Republican Lawyers Association of Germany)

The Exclusion inside/outside: the system of the European Apartheid:

Etienne Balibar (France, Philosopher)

Opening Words / Moderation: Libertad (Germany), Network for social and political Rights (Greece)

In recent years the worldwide conditions of public life have changed dramatically. Global capita­lism has spanned the old geographical borders between the rich and the poor, the North and the South, and has turned the world into a global empire for the circulation of goods. But the political hege­mony of the empire is more and more under pressure. Social movements worldwide have overcome the paralysis they fell into after the decline of the Eastern Block. The emergence of the Zapatistas has been one first symbol for this development. Seattle marked the turning point in 1999: The social anta­gonism has also visibly returned to the metropolis. Following Seattle, Prague and Genoa so-called anti-terrorism laws were imposed, in some countries like in Greece for the first time, in others in addition to already existing laws.

After 9/11 the contradictions have become even more pointed. Ten thou­sands died, most of them unarmed civilians. Nobody has been able to count the victims. The Euro­pean political leaders who didn’t support this 3rd Gulf War - such as France and Germany, for example - supported it indirectly by providing the logistics.

As a consequence, the "war against terror" results in a permanent state of emergency. The United States government has put in place a global network of internment camps where captives are being abused and tortured. The orange overalls of the prisoners at Guantanamo and the suffering "hooded man" at Abu Ghraib have symbolised the systematic violation of human rights. An archipelago of secret dungeons uses the left-over interrogation centres of Romania's Securitate to airport hangars in Poland to US military bases in Kabul and war ships on three oceans. The CIA and the British Secret Service MI5 have kidnapped people in a lot of countries and have flown them to third countries, where nobody knows what happened.

European countries have colluded in this outsourcing of torture, euphemistically called "extra-ordi­nary rendition", and often supported it with their own personal. We can say that the EU has waged its own "war on terror". Already, on January 22nd 2003 the EU summit in Athens decided follo­wing a motion by the Greek presidency a protocol on the "access to transit institutions" for US prisoner transports, which was not made public upon the special request of the USA. Germany sent its Secret Service as well as investigators of the federal police authority to Syria to interrogate a German citi­zen, who has been kept in Syria for four years undergoing torture and being kept under totally inhu­man conditions. Spain also collaborated directly and Italy protested against the kid­napping of mi­grants by the CIA only a long time after the government was informed. Greece did not stop the British Secret Service in the kidnapping of Pakistanis and in fact detaining them for more than a week.

Inside the western democracies the open state of emergency is being replaced by an unprecedented extension of the security paradigm as a normal technique of governance. New laws were passed and new measures were put in force under the slogans "war against terror" and "security for the citizens". Democracy, political and social rights, civil freedoms, constitutional state - all of this disappeared in this official discourse. Groups, parties and organizations, which denounce these measures, are in turn targeted by the repressive organs. These organs have authorization to observe every move and word of citizens. We are bionically tattooed with Iris-scans, controlled by infrared-cameras and worldwide operating spy-satellites, which are taping our communications.

The "crusade against terror" is tightly connected with the "war against immigration". Detention camps are installed outside of the European borders. High fences and razor sharp barbed-wire barricades are separating the European centers of acceptable behavior from the global slums. Today the Mediterranean Sea is the biggest mass grave in Europe. 15.000 people died during the last few years while attempting to reach the Schengen-coastline. And all those, who reached the coasts and crossed the borders of EU-Europe illegally, are outlawed in a permanent state of denial of funda­mental citizen rights and social participation.

These policies aim to monitor, deter, disorganize and criminalize political dissent. National "anti-terror" laws were Europeanized by the EU Council. "Terrorism" was defined more broadly to include normal political activities and resistance to oppressive regimes abroad. The new "anti-terrorism" measures have especially hit immigrants and refugees. Repression against them was radically enforced. Migrant communities in particular are treated as an internal colony and their organizations as "terror suspects". Τhe EU Council banned numerous organizations which are regarded as liberation movements by migrant communities throughout Europe. All these measures are integral to the EU roles in promoting racism, war and global corporate plunder.

The war against terrorism is going hand in glove with The European "fight against illegal migra­tion", especially as regards military practice and of official justifications. It is a war against the world’s poor who are trying to escape death and misery through migration and flight and who are in that way demanding freedom, justice and equality that are the promises of universal human rights.

We, the people acting in the context of the ESF, see ourselves as part of the world­wide movement against neoliberal globalization and against wars and repression, which accompany it. The repress­ive policies relate immediately to our struggle for "another world" and "another Europe". This is why we believe that the ESF should give the importance required to the resistance against the repression that it already has in public opinion. High time to say NO!

This seminar would be organized by several groups involved in these issues:

The Network for Political and Social Rights, Greece; COBAS, Italy; Initiative Libertad!, Germany; Askapena, Basque Country; CAMPACC, Great Britain.

Please contact:  Achim Rollhaeuser, (Network, Greece) E-Mail:

Martin Glasenapp (Libertad!, Germany) E-Mail: