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Looking back and looking forward: We celebrate one year of solidarity and mutual aid

Dear friends,

It’s been a year since camp Heumensoord opened and our community was born; a year full of uncertainties, struggle and frustrations, but also of togetherness, teamwork and action.

Welcoming first inhabitants of refugee camp Heumensoord on 2 October 2015
Welcoming first inhabitants of refugee camp Heumensoord on 2 October 2015

When we came together for the first time, we were, of course, motivated by the urge to support. However, even more strongly we were motivated by the chance that was given to us. Rather than “helping” or “entertaining” refugees we wanted to support and exchange with re-settlers. Rather than dropping winter jackets in front of the camp gates we wanted to walk together through the cold to confront the authorities with the inhumane conditions in the camp. Rather than just amplifying the camp inhabitants’ voice we wanted to scream together.

Now more than ever, it is time to pick up this spirit and organize again. We need thinkers and doers, writers and screamers, we need ideas and plans, we need action and reflection. We believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to create the world we want to live in – a world which acknowledges human diversity, a world of solidarity and autonomous communities.

Recently…

… we talked about our experiences at a talk on “refugees and cross-border hospitality – reflections on recent experiences” @ Radboud University (click for more)

… we had another successful Women’s Day Out (click for more)

… we decided on our logo and made some plans for our collective’s birthday

logo-final_web

… more university courses (this time from Arts and Cultural studies) have been opened for  refugees (click for more)

…some worked a lot to make the new meeting place Gezellig! Possible. They have lots of space, tea, coffee, computers and even table tennis. You should definitely check it out AND they need volunteers to keep the place open!

Just People movie

It has been a moving year and it is high time we commemorate it! Therefore, we have planned a number of events. We will kick off the day at 12:00 pm with a cake and the “Just People” movie. You are welcome as of 12:00 pm at Meeting Place Gezellig (Ganzenheuvel 56, 6511 WD Nijmegen) on Saturday, 19 November. After the movie ends at 14:30 h, there will be a small discussion, followed by a surprise that will bring some warmth and creativity in these dark and cold days.

JustBdayParty: A year of color

There are enough reasons to come together, reflect and talk about the past year, and eventually end up dancing in De Onderbroek as we did so many times before. All of this will happen next Saturday, 19 November from 21:00 h to 5:00 h the next day at De Onderbroek (Tweede Walstraat 21, 6511 LN Netherlands). See Facebook too.

justPeople party jam session @ De Onderbroek
justPeople party jam session @ De Onderbroek

The party starts with open decks, open mic and open YouTube until our resisdance DJs take over! All the money from the door will go to activists resisting and fighting deportation and repression in the Netherlands and Germany (those are some of the people we want to support).

With the closing of “the camp”, however, lots of friends had to leave Nijmegen and therefore won’t be able to just cycle to De Onderbroek like the rest of us. So by celebrating this anniversary we also hope to bring the whole community back together again and want to most warmly invite everyone of the last year to come back to Nijmegen on that day. Our hearts and minds are with all those who continue to be excluded, hidden, relocated, put on the street, or face deportation or an otherwise uncertain future. We also want to dedicate this day to all anti-fascist activists facing increasing repression in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Donations collected from the door will go to these struggles, but we can also help if it’s very expensive for you to come to Nijmegen. So we hope to see a whole lot of familiar faces again!

 Times ahead

As extremism and precarious living conditions continue to grow, we refuse to give in to the prevailing sense of powerlessness. In this spirit our community keeps organizing support structures and events. Every month Nijmegen women from diverse backgrounds are meeting to talk and cook together, justPraten, an initiative for informal language learning will kick off in the next weeks.

Whether we are facing a further fortification of Europe, military interventions, or steadily growing fascisation of the mainstream political discourse – it is important to STAY ACTIVE, STAY AWAKE, STAY POSITIVE. Right wing movements in Europe have become increasingly visible over the past few years and can’t be negated anymore. The election of Trump as U.S. American president is just the proof of the already existing conditions.

Last Saturday’s demonstration (link NL but with video) against the racist practice of Zwarte Piet was suppressed with an immense level of police violence and 200 people being arrested. Next year’s elections in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia will reveal the current political and ideological tendencies in our societies. We can only counter this trends by staying together and doing things together.

Get involved

Doing things together makes us stronger. Faced with systemic injustice and violence we can still built strong, loving, resilient and creative communities. If we move the struggle to our everyday life, our daily interactions, our neighborhoods and cities, then we might find a kind of power that supersedes all the bureaucratic and violent ways they find to oppress us. Are you interested? Then don’t hesitate to join us or any other collective that engages in those struggles.

You can come to our meetings every two weeks (check the agenda), send us an e-mail to info@justpeople,nl, follow us on Facebook (click here),  come to the movie screening on Nov 19 @ “Gezellig!” meeting space or join us at our BDay party in De Onderbroek on Saturday!

Come together…

and enjoy a warm soup every Wednesday @ Soupcafé

and work in pleasant company every Thursday @ Social Working Space

and eat a delicious dinner on Friday @ Mulawan Solidariteitscafé

and spend your day every Saturday @ Dagcafé

and fight repression on Nov 19 @ Anti-repression Demo in Den Haag

and watch the “Just People” movie with us on Nov 19 @ Meeting Place Gezellig!

and celebrate our birthday on Nov 19 @ de Onderbroek

and watch an inspiring movie on Nov 23 @ Filmcafé Onderbelicht

and join us at our next meeting on Nov 25 @ JustPeople

and watch “The Awakening” a movie about Roma struggles in Germany on Nov 26 @ Filmcafé Onderbelicht

… and join us afterwards for some critical Hip Hop by K.A.G.E. and others @ de Onderbroek

Truly yours,

justPeople

Contact

email: info@justpeople.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justPeople.nl/

Donations to: justPeople, IBAN: NL37INGB0007344776, BIC: INGBNL2A

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