East Europe Mediaactivist Gathering


The camp will take place from the 11th to the 20th of August 2007 in the main region of transit and labor migration in Ukraine: Transcarpathia.We're happy to invite you to East Europe Mediaactivist Gathering which is
taking place in Ukraine on August 11-20 in context of the noborders camp.
More info at:
http://www.thatsaninterestingpoint.org.ua/noborders2007/ - по-русски

What there's going to be at the gathering?

1. Mediaactivists discussions about actual issues:

Contemporary massmedias and an indymedias place withing them.
What are alternaternative medias about?
What problems do we have?
What development ways are there?
(we suggest each collective make a short report (10-15 min))

Europe Indymedias: a collective project:
the development issues and prospects
(each collective is to prepare a report about the situation with a local

The advantages of blogsphear and social networks to urgent publications

Text and multimedia messages: material presentation peculiarities.

Team-work organisation under important political events and protests (we
suggest the topic to German Indymedia activists, videoactivists,
Campinsky press-group etc. as the last protests reflection)

2. Workshops for activists: independent journalistic foundations:
text messages and multimedia content.

Make your discussion topics suggestions.
What are the things you'd like most to discuss/to teach?

The camp perticipation forms are here:
http://www.thatsaninterestingpoint.org.ua/noborders2007/ (russian)

Some Background info:

The eastward expansion of the European Union has resulted in moving the walls of "Fortress Europe" to the Western border of Ukraine. The Ukrainian region of Transcarpatia, of which the biggest cities are Uzhgorod and Mukachevo, has become a new borderline, with increasing militarization and major concentration of detention camps for refugees from the countries of Global South and former USSR, who try to escape war, totalitarianism or misery to the European Union countries. It is hard to find any "open" information about the conditions in the majority of these camps.

The condition of the refugees in Ukraine is very unstable: freedom of movement is restricted; it is hard to get a job or medical care, and no social security is provided. When one gets refugee status, the only support they get from the state is a single payment of a petty 3 euros. In recent years Ukraine has even extradited asylum seekers to places like Uzbekistan, where they were imprisoned for years in the notorious authoritarian regime's gulags.

The increase of border controls makes a big impact on lives of local people in the depressed region of Transcarpathia. The region is situated on the intersection of borders of five countries: Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Four of them are now in the European Union, but Ukraine will not be its member in the near future. So "Fortress Europe" strengthens its Eastern frontiers on the borderline of Western Ukraine. Still, up to half of the working population of Transcarpathia works abroad. Ukraine cancelled the visa regime for EU nationals, but the EU has not made the access of Ukrainians to the European labor market (or even European countries' territory) any easier, although it would be hard to imagine for example agriculture in the EU today without Ukrainian guest workers.

At the same time, Transcarpathia has been for a long time a very special region with its unique blend of local cultures and traditions, and now it turned out to be one of the main routes for international migration. Therefore, local border guards, security services and media, using xenophobic language, help to spread prejudices towards migrants among local population, which resulted in rising tensions in the region.

We demand the right of free movement for everyone, asylum for all the persecuted people and the right of people to migrate from depressed areas to work in other countries, if it can make their lives better. We demand abolishing all visa regimes. We want to tear down "Fortress Europe" contemporary border regime, which has lead to the state-sanctioned murder of thousands of people in its borders during recent years. The "Global Apartheid" policy should be stopped!

We continue the tradition of No Border camps on Eastern borders of the Fortress Europe, which were organized 1998-2000 on the border of Germany and Poland, in 2000-2003 on the Eastern border of Poland, in 2001 in Slovenia, in 2003 in Romania, in 2003 and 2005 on the border between Greece and Bulgaria and in Finland in 2004. The camps have also been organized on the Southern borders of Europe (on Sicily 2000 and on Tarifa of Spain 2001), inside Europe at airports and main sites of European surveillance and decision-making system (such as in Strasbourg 2002), on the border between Mexico and USA and in Australia. This year our international movement makes a major step forward, as the camp in Ukraine will be first ever organized on the territory of the former Soviet Union.