The following sections list some resistant actions and forms of protest. The selection is neither comprehensive nor representative. It is a work in progress, looking for what is there to get inspired from and find more clarity for yourself. Whom should be reached and what is to be achieved? What is the potential and consequences of these different actions? In the framework of one‘s own ideology and the resources available, what would be possible? How does the action change in other context? Finally, this should encourage people to recognize themselves as part of a world in which not everyone thinks and acts the same way – and where many have the courage to put something against regimes and existing orders in the world.
The examples do not directly concern the migration regime, but still resist the structures of our society that make such a regime possible. For the sake of diversity, I rated the examples differently and enlisted various motivated actions, people with various scopes, means and goals.
Briser les frontières, Italy and France
Briser les frontières is the name of a cross-border network of people in the area bordering Italy and France. Their goal is to break borders and fight against profit-driven, naturalistic and life-ignoring interests. Illegalized people have been found dead or with frozen limbs in the area. Briser les frontières organize protest along the border and provide emergency aid.
Protests in Syntagma Square, Athens
From November 1st to 14th, 2017, there was a hunger strike on Syntagma Square in Athens. Seven women and seven men fasted to draw attention to the delay in family reunification. They are stuck apart for more than 6 months, whereas they wanted to signal the hunger strike. A press conference was organized. Some of the protesters were taken to the hospital. After 15 days the strike ended as planned. It is not known if the strike had any effect on the concerning issues.
Communication guerrilla and culture jamming are both strategies for creating confusion through language and questioning / destroying deadlocks. Adbusting is a form of it. Logos or advertisements are slightly changed. A simple example is to paint over the „S“ of Shell. The logo is still recognizable, but it is now hell (hell), which points to the business practice of the large corporation.
Immigrant Movement International
Tania Bruguera Fernández is a Cuban Artivist. She has documented many actions on her website. For example, as part of the „Immigrant Movement International“ group, she has been collecting signatures for an open letter to Pope Francis urging him to grant Vatican citizenship to disadvantaged people.
Theatre of the oppressed
In the theater of the oppressed, situations in which people are unable to act are re-enacted and jointly redesigned. From this, the invisible theater grew later. In the process, situations are staged in public that point on political issues and give the participants an experience. The invisible theater developed because open protest was not possible due to the repression.
The group called Berlin Free has printed and distributed fake tickets of Berlin public transport – public transport should be available for everyone. In addition, they wanted to point out the racist-criminal associations of the term “travelling black“ and have called their action Pink Dot. There was also a red dot:
No one is illegal
The group no one is illegal showed up against the complicity of the airline Lufthansa with the state in deporting people. The campaign started with an action in which they advertised a new budget class called „Deportation class“. The seats next to people in handcuffs and tape over their mouths are cheaper. They used flyers, hacked Lufthansa‘s website, showed up at the GV and at Lufthansa press conferences and performed executions at the airport. Although they did not achieve the prevention of deportations per se, Lufthansa does not carry out any more deportations.
The Space Hijackers, London
The Space Hijackers openly irritated public spaces in London until 2014. They fight against the impairment of the collectively shared space by organizations, city planners and other rogues. For example, they have strategically managed to break into a gun fair with a tank and auction it there. On their website they have an extensive documentation of all their actions:
For example an online test: https://spacehijackers.org/amIananarchist/index.html
The Biotic Baking Brigades
The Biotic Baking Brigades is an informal collective of famous people throwing cakes in the face of crimes against people and land. On their website is written: „This uplifting does not have its roots in the belief that our planet is dying, but it is killed and those who are killing it have names and faces.“ Festival über unkonventionelle Kunst, bei dem sie auftraten:
The Center for Political Beauty (ZPS), Berlin
The Center for Political Beauty (ZPS) in Berlin is an association of performance artists who stages various actions in Germany and Switzerland in the name of „aggressive humanism“. One action was called the fall of the European Wall. The crosses were dismantled at a memorial at the Berlin Wall and brought to the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall to their brothers and sisters on the EU‘s external border. Provocation and uproar are the means of their actions. The indignant and controversial newspaper articles that were written about the various actions, decorate the website of the ZPS like trophies. Interview with one of the activist:
Protests again meetings of the World Bank and the IMF, Prague
In September 2000 protests were held against meetings of the World Bank and the IMF in Prague. The Black Block of about 5,000 people had huge blue balls with them. On it was written in orange letters „Balls to the IMF“. The plan was the siege of the meeting, but the numerous, heavily armed police made it impossible, as expected. The battle started, the water cannons were used – that‘s the moment of the balls. They epitomized the predictability of repression, jokingly anticipating what would happen, preparing and attempting a playful use for it. (Interpretation by Christian Scholl) The following two films show the use of the blue balls.
Paintings from the National Museum in front of barricades, Dresden
In 1849 there was a socialist uprising in Dresden, which was threatened by Prussian troops. Mikhail Bakunin suggested hanging paintings from the National Museum in front of the barricades. Thus, the bourgeois feelings should be provoked and an attack prevented. The proposal did not prevail, not all wanted to instrumentalize the art back then.
From the anthology Cultural Activism – edited by Begüm Özden Fırat and Aylin Kuryel
Tute Bianche (The White Overalls), Italy
Tute Bianche (The White Overalls) arose from a wave of repression in Italy. The activists wore padded white overalls to protect themselves from police violence and to get to places that are forcibly sealed off. They wanted to make social conflicts visible – to show who exercises violence and still confront the powerful. The image of a padded, protective activist in front of a heavily armed police officer speaks for itself. They used plexiglass signs at a protest in Barcelona, to which they stuck pictures of children depicted on a call for jail. https://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/tute/ https://www.azzellini.net/zapatisten/die-tute-bianche-weisse-overalls
Zwarte Piet is Racisme, Denmark
The project Zwarte Piet is Racisme was launched in 2013 in Amsterdam. The denounced the tradition of the black Peter, the companion of the Sinterklas, as racist. The project has received widespread media attention and has been discussed emotionally and controversially. They printed the logo „Zwaarte Piet is Racisme“ on T-shirts, held discussions and protests, and issued a fake UN message stating that a racist charge was being filed against the Dutch government.
Protests in refugee camp, Lampedusa
For over 10 years Lampedusa has been the scene of repeated protests from many refugees. In January 2009, they lit the „own“ refugee camp. It calls for the right to travel safely and to go to the destination one chooses. The group Askavusa Lampedusa informs about this and makes concrete demands in the form of appeals to the state authorities. In addition, it leads a blog and accompanies individuals to claim their rights. On January 2, 2018, they found a man hanging in a house near the hotspot – the last form of protest. They say, „This is the most extreme event in a series of self-harm that forced them to remain self-inflicted. https://medium.com/@AreYouSyrious/ays-daily-digest-05-01-2018-the-trickle-down-effect-d957f1623b03
NOBESE action group, Istanbul
The NOBESE action group was formed in 2005 to take action against surveillance in Istanbul. Leaflets were distributed at the opening of the new surveillance system and street actions were conducted demonstrating against surveillance and control in road performances. The cameras were photographed and viewed with binoculars and stickers distributed „evil eye“. The actions were accompanied by music to attract as much public attention as possible. https://indymedia.org/de/2006/03/835732.shtml
Afghan Refugees Movement, Frankfurt
Afghan Refugees Movement is an independent group in Frankfurt fighting against deportation to Afghanistan. They organize regular demonstrations. The last took place on 6.12.17 directly at Frankfurt Airport, where 500 people protested against the deportation of 27 people to Afghanistan. The group also organizes other events, such as lectures or group meetings.
The Center for Tactical Magic
The Center for Tactical Magic engages in the formation and disruption of power through the use of stories, symbols, and images. Their goal is to emancipate people into creating their own reality of life. On their website there are many examples of how everyday life can be disrupted.
-Other books about creative interventions:
-Manual of the guerrilla communication , which describes and discusses different forms of it:
-The Situationists and Dadaists, who unfortunately did not make it to the list anymore:
-Anarchist cooking books:
-A podcast about the International Hedonist:
-Explanation and discussion about further direct actions :
Direct action by David Graeber
During the preparation of the list, the author has considered that it is good to have an awareness of what people want – to provoke – to point out – to express emotions – to organize and to form bonds – to deconstruct relationships – to look for alternatives – to live utopically – to get media attention on a topic – just turn to a topic and do something with it – show solidarity – spark a debate – pursue a concrete goal – to create parallel organizations and alternative ways in the existing system – the living conditions in the given structures / Improve situations. Furthermore, the difficulty of agreement of purpose and action, the injustice in the different scope of action, the conflict between intention and result, the relationship and the perception in the use of different means in given contexts, the instrumentalization of the situation against the people resisting – or whether it sabotages the real goal or the ideology – and why. She hopes that readers will be inspired by the examples that suit their own actions or – even better – by what is only half pleasing and think about how should it be changed in order to make sense for them.