What we stand for

 

the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.

— JRR Tolkein

What we stand for (draft)

We are a library and a collective who serve refugee camps and community centres in Greece. Through our library we see both intense human suffering and the hope of a different world. Here we set out what we do as a library and a collective, and map out the better world that we’re fighting for.

LIBRARIES FOR ALL: The library is a shared, accessible common space where people from different places can come together without fear of discrimination. We have books in appropriate languages, with librarians able to communicate within cultural and linguistic differences. We advocate for full access to educational and recreational activities as well as communal spaces which allow people to engage with their own and others’ cultures through reading and self-study. 

SOLIDARITY: We recognise that together as migrants, refugees, workers, and displaced people we are comrades; and that attacks against refugees and migrants are attacks against all of us. Therefore we work together in solidarity in a shared struggle for a better world for us all – and we cooperate with our comrades locally and internationally, because we know that we are stronger together. 

HOMES FOR ALL: We recognise that camps isolate people in dangerous conditions without the possibility of integration or community building, or even to meet basic needs. We recognise that there are enough vacant houses and misused resources around to house us all. We fight for the evacuation of the refugee camps, and for safe homes within stable communities for everyone.

AGAINST BORDERS: We stand against the system of global apartheid which permits resources and labour to be extracted from the poorer regions of the world for use in the richer regions; a system enforced through borders that prevent people from moving. We recognise that we have more in common with ordinary people across the world than we do with those who own the resources and use our labour to make profit. We fight to share resources democratically among us and to allow people to move to where they need or want to be. 

PEOPLE NOT PROFIT: We recognise that capitalism is the economic system on which global apartheid is built and that it’s putting the conditions for life on our planet in jeopardy. We fight for an economic system in which resources are used within planetary limits.

ANTI-FASCISM: Fascism is a far-right nationalist movement that champions the nation and white supremacy and attacks people like migrants, roma people, jewish people, LGBTQIA+ people and their political opponents in the workers’ movement using paramilitary violence. We recognise that they are trying to threaten our lives. We refuse to engage with fascists or treat their ideas with respect. We fight them through our protest and our words, locally and internationally.