Second Home / Autonomous Factory Rog
Structure of group, current level of commitment:
Our group consists of local and international activists, refugees, asylum seekers and sans-papiers.
Short history, and experiences after closure of the “Western Balkan route”:
As a part of the Social Center Rog, we have been engaged in struggling to protect the rights of migrant for more than a decade. Since August 2015, we have been actively addressing mass migrant movement issues along the Western Balkan route and integration practices for asylum seekers and refugees in Ljubljana, Vrhnika and Logatec. In July 2016, we established a self-organized migrant community space called Second Home, which is in the Autonomous Factory Rog in Ljubljana. It functions as a social centre, at which daily and evening activities are organized for asylum seekers, refugees and sans-papiers.
Current situation of refugees in each country:
The challenges we are facing at this moment are: closed borders, restricted possibilities of crossing borders, drawn-out asylum procedures, 99% negative decisions made on asylum applications from Afghan refugees and the lack of any integration program. There is no possibility to integrate within the established system of economic alternatives, alternative systems are young or non-existent, there are almost no job opportunities, little additional legal help, and significant language barriers exist.
Racism and chances of common social struggles in each country:
Issues of racism are popping up in every sphere of social life, and particularly in the housing sector and mass media. There has been an exponential increase in hate speech, fear-mongering and a discourse on security led by the state and right-wing political entities.
Current main issues for the group:
- More active community work with refugees, asylum seekers and sans-papiers
- More political work to build migrant power and support migrant struggles
- Receiving additional legal help beyond the resources currently provided by state and a few non-governmental organizations
- Providing access to asylum seekers before the second interview takes place
- More capacity is needed to offer services and run facilities (e.g., looking for apartments, helping with the basic bureaucratic procedures, offering translations)
- Finding ways to establish possibilities for alternative economy
- Over the long term, space is needed to continue with community work and community building
How are members of our group affected by repression, criminalization, or animosity?
The level of repression experienced depends on the intensity and forms of the actions. After the last action held against deportations, almost all attendants were registered, and one was taken to the police station. The total amount of the bills that will need to be paid will be enormous.
In which ways can networking be useful?
Networking can be extremely useful for helping organize cooperative actions on the European level in the future. It is also has an important influence on how experiences are shared, especially with regard to alternative economic systems, legal issues and the trans-nationalization of struggles for the freedom of movement and the right to stay in a country.
These common actions include those against deportations and the Dublin regulations. Common actions to fight for the regularization of sans-papiers, open borders and safe crossings (i.e., for freedom of movement and right to stay) are needed.
Department of social pedagogy within Faculty of education ...
... is very much engaged in actual social issues and tends to address, think, reflect and act upon the issues of inequality, exclusion-inclusion, polarisation - social cohesion, etc.
Also the refugee topic is one of the issues that students and teachers from that department tend to engage with as much as possible. There are different approaches how to deal with the topic, one of them is also organising ourselves through a new NGO, called Skupaj (Together), where our aim is to offer additional space of co-habitation of newcomers with people that live there for some more time, and co-creation of new possible ways of dealing with the systemic shortcomings.