Solidarity on the Border:
The Role of Civilian Activists in the Poland-Belarus Migrant Crisis
Veranstaltung der Regionalgruppe Junge DGO Berlin/BrandenburgOnline-Veranstaltung
The current crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border is a multidimensional crisis; on the one hand, a political crisis that has complicated relations between the EU and Belarus, prompting further sanctions, and on the other hand, a humanitarian crisis where thousands of migrants have been stuck in the forests on the border facing increasingly dire conditions. The political stalemate exacerbated the humanitarian crisis with both countries pushing migrants back over the border. The antipathy on the part of the authorities to address these humanitarian issues has led to activists and civilians on the border supplying needed medical assistance and supplies. The role civilians and activists play in migration is an often under discussed topic in migration research, with much more attention being paid to the role of the state. In our discussion, with representatives from both Poland and Belarus, we will examine the role regular citizens have been playing in the border crisis and how their actions influenced that of the state. In addition, we will compare the media portrayal of the crisis to how our activists experienced the situation on the ground.
Dr. Lidia ZESSIN-JUREK
Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
ERC-Project "Unlikely Refuge? Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th century"
and a representative of the NGO "Human Constanta"