The border territorialization of all life on Earth: the Sky Island Alliance’s cameras in southeast Arizona (USA) “documented a black bear at the wall — distressed and pacing over the course of 3 hours”.

Kaixo one and all, and welcome to the first entry of my anti-border newsletter. This newsletter is meant as a weekly space to gather news, information, data, links/publications/reporting, theorizations, and discussions about both the global border regime and the transnational struggle against it, and ultimately, for its abolition.

As I embark on this new project, millions of people from London to DC to Sanaa continue the global solidarity movement demanding the end of the genocide of Palestinians. In October, Israel launched a full-blown genocidal onslaught against Palestinians after they once again demonstrated their invincible will to fight back and hope for liberation from the settler colonialist nightmare that is the ongoing Nakba. The specific moment pictured below from Oct. 7, 2023, was a world-shattering instant epitomizing the global struggle against borders…

Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

The French are in the streets demanding the end of a new immigration law that constitutes a further step in the European mainstream of far right xenophobia and racism. Speaking of, as if mainstream German society and politics weren’t already abysmal enough with their pro-genocide support of Israel, the fascist AfD party – who is currently soaring in national polls – “held a Wannsee-style conference where they plotted out with neo-nazis and top industrialists how to expel foreigners” (see more).

Meanwhile, merely in the past week multiple grim stories and publications once again demonstrated that atrocious torture, misery, exploitation, dehumanization and death are the everyday reality of the border regime. As nearly all horrible things in this world, the rot stems from Europe and its shores. On Monday, while the European Commission was cynically calculating the amount of hyperexploited migrant proletarians the EU should bring in to maintain capitalist society’s madness, Lebanese media reported that 84 people were missing at sea after trying to reach Cyprus, and Elisa Verbeke published a piece on the horrendous situation at Ozoir-la-Ferrière (in Seine-et-Marne, France). Then on Tuesday, the Caminando Fronteras collective reported that in 2023, at least 6618 people died trying to cross to Spain, which means a daily average of 18 deaths (or rather, border killings or ‘murders’). For 2023, the Aegean Boat Report recorded 904 illegal pushbacks in the Aegean Sea. (For more on the hellscape that is the European border regime, see Abolish Frontex’s website and the latest ECRE bulletin).

Europe’s borders, like all borders, are the materialisations of socio-political relations that mediate the continuous production of the distinction between the putative “inside” and “outside,” and likewise mediate the diverse mobilities that are orchestrated and regimented through the production of that spatial divide. Thus, with respect to the abundant inequalities of human mobility, the borders of “Europe” are simultaneously entangled with a global (postcolonial) politics of race that redraws the proverbial colour line and refortifies “European”-ness as a racial formation of whiteness, and a comparably global (neoliberal) politics of transnational labour mobility and capitalist labour subordination that produces such spatialised (and racialised) differences, above all, to capitalise upon them.

 Nicholas De Genova – The “Crisis” of the European Border Regime: Towards a Marxist Theory of Borders. (International Socialism, Issue 151, April 4 2016)

The global border regime is mapped along the lines of empires, settler colonies, and the modern capitalist states and transnational division of labour. It really is one of the key sites of the monstrous bourgeois-colonial modernity that crushes the dispossessed. As Léopold Lambert wrote in the introduction to The Funambulist‘s latest issue:

Spaces of the border regime extend from the cruel cells of a detention center, to the kitchen at the back of a restaurant; from the office of an abusive public servant who may or may not stamp a piece of paper, to the emergency room of a hospital that may or may not ask for identification; from the crowded bedroom of an expensive yet shitty hostel, to the dust of a potentially lethal construction site; from an office’s dirty bathrooms “that aren’t gonna clean themselves,” to the seat of a bicycle in a rainy European street because Uber’s gotta eat… The border regime is present in the sound of knocking at the door by an unannounced guest, in the tears for loved ones whose funerals “back home” are unattainable, in the furtive vision of a police car in one’s rear view mirror… 

The spaces of the border regime are not only present on one side of the border… [Border] policing is externalized by fortress states to other states (Mexico, Libya, Morocco, Niger, Serbia…), which often enters into the economization of lives, implied by border policies for their own political calculus (Turkey and Belarus in particular). This externalization of the border regime is indissociable from the geopolitical balance of power created by colonialism, imperialism, and global capitalism. 

Léopold Lambert – Undocumented International: Introduction (The Funambulist, Issue 51, December 2023)

I promise that I will try limiting the overly theoretical and unending confused ramblings that I tend to get into – see my theoretical notes on nation-states and the global border regime here – to a minimum😊, but I really felt that a weekly, continuous space for monitoring what’s going on and feeding/fueling the discussions about it, was important.

I’ll see you next week,

In the meantime and as always: Solidarity Forever!

Weekly Links/Readings:

Note: it is obviously not exhaustive (and never will be), there’s far too much stuff out there. But there are some pieces and links that I found important, interesting and/or relevant…