Rights without borders – freedom of movement and basic rights belong to all!


The Free Movement Network participates in the great demonstration against budget cuts in Helsinki on 22nd August 2015. We gather at 2 p.m. at Rautatientori (Railway station square).

The European Union has responded to the economic crisis by forcing states into mutual competition over who can go furthest in depriving inhabitants of social rights. The consequences of the budget cuts hit hardest the ones with little property and a disadvantaged position on the labour market, such as minorities, migrants and young people. We are told that we cannot afford basic economic and social rights – the blame is put at times on citizens of other EU-countries, at others on migrants willing to risk their lives to arrive in Europe or on people left unemployed due to the crisis. It comes as no surprise that ultranationalist and neo-fascist movements have gained popularity both in Finland as elsewhere in Europe.

This road has to be abandoned. Human and basic rights and the right to livelihood belong to all persons living in Finland (and Europe) and arriving here, to Finnish and other EU-citizens, citizens of other countries as well as to those who don’t have a passport. Rights have to be made, with deeds.

It is crucial to remember this now, as Europe is experiencing an unprecedented crisis of migration policy. Lack of safe ways and the militarization of the external borders of the EU have caused a humanitarian catastrophe on the Mediterranean, which has been going on for years. Finland has a responsibility of the situation, together with other EU-countries. Crises in the neighbouring regions have increased the amount of people seeking refuge in Europe. Considering this, the size of this years refugee quota, 1050, is a shame.

The government declares its anti-racism with eloquence, yet simultaneously maintains the racist structures of migration policy that create hierarchies between people on the basis of their birthplace or residency status. Instead of a migration policy of immiseration, people’s possibilities and rights to move, escape unbearable conditions and pursue a better life have to be secured and improved.

We demand:

1) Undocumented migrants have to be legalized and labour rights secured to all. Undocumented and migrants with precarious residency statuses have been excluded from unemployment benefits and other social rights, yet as workers they contribute in a significant way to the European economy.

2) Safe ways to travel over the Mediterranean must be secured with the free mobility of people. Alone this year 2000 people have died in attempting to reach Europe.

3) The Dublin system has to be abandoned and asylum seekers let choose themselves the EU-country in which they want to apply for asylum. Southern European countries in crisis are unable to secure the rights of fleeing people, a humanitarian crisis is taking place in Calais, France and migrants are dying while attempting to cross to the other side of the canal.

The demonstration is getting organized at 2 p.m. at Rautatientori. At 3 p.m. it heads towards Hakaniemi square where there will be a festivity from 5 p.m. onwards. More information: Joukkovoima.com.

General demands of the Joukkovoima-demonstration:

1. Against austerity politics in Finland, Europe and everywhere in the world
2. Decent livelihood to all
3. Human and basic rights to all