[English version] Happy new year & more humanity for 2019
As 2019 begins, we take a moment to reflect on the past year. In march 2018, we rose our voices - and balloons - against Belgium and Europe's shameful migrant and refugee policies. A group of citizens from Brussels, including some people from AWB, orchestrated an impromptu action with red balloons filled with helium, and made a white human figure rise all the way up to the ceiling of Brussels' Central Station. As a reminder of our fleeing sense of empathy, and to support those who help refugees, the figure held a sign that said : 'Don't let humanity fly away !' (and we even made the news : https://bx1.be/bruxelles-ville/migration-citoyens-interpellent-gouvernement-manque-dhumanite-gares-belges/
As much as some governments would like to criminalize it (by pressing criminal charges against people helping migrants and refugees, like Cédric Herrou in France and journalists Anouk Van Gestel and Myriam Berghe in Belgium), solidarity is not and will never be a crime. No one should be put in a cell because of where they're from, or because they have provided food and shelter to someone. As 2019 begins, we would also like to take a moment to remember the lives lost in 2018. Like little Mawda, an Iraqi girl shot by Belgian police forces while trying to find a better life in Europe with her parents. Or like Gedre, a young boy from Eritrea, who committed suicide in one of Belgium's infamous refugee detention centers (basically prisons). We also remember the thousands of anonymous men, women and children, who got lost at sea or disappeared trying to reach our shores. We mourn, we fall, we hope, we stand up, and start again. In 2019 we will keep raising our voices against racism, racist politics, bigotry, ignorance and exclusion, and we will keep fighting back with art, with actions, with our words and our voices.
2019, we are ready !
Best wishes to all, wherever you are and wherever you're from.