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Activists tear down border fence on the Inseli

19. October 2021

Media release

On Monday evening, the finissage of the installation on the disinterest of Central Swiss municipalities and Fortress Europe took place on Lucerne’s Inseli. The installation, in the form of a border fence, addressed Europe’s policy of sealing itself off and Switzerland’s lack of solidarity with people who are fleeing. The border fence was torn down in protest against this


For two weeks, the installation on the disinterest of Central Swiss municipalities and Fortress Europe stood on the Inseli in Lucerne. The border fence was set up by activists from Seebrücke Schweiz, the Autonomous School Lucerne, Solinetz Lucerne and the AbolishFrontex campaign. On the one hand, the installation addressed the European border protection agency Frontex, which repeatedly carries out illegal pushbacks at Europe’s external borders, systematically violates human rights and allows refugees to drown in the Mediterranean. On the other hand, the installation also showed the lack of solidarity in the heart of Europe, in Switzerland.  

Daily, people fleeing experience violence – just a look at the last two weeks shows this. In the same period that the border fence was up on Inseli, a UN commission of enquiry confirmed the systematic and cruel violence experienced by people fleeing Libya. On the Polish border with Belarus, another fleeing person died, while at the same time the construction of a stronger border wall was approved. And video research once again proved the violence by border guards experienced by people fleeing on the so-called Balkan route.

This inhumane policy of deportation can no longer be watched. For this reason, activists have taken the dismantling of the border fence into their own hands. Abolish Frontex, open the borders – these are their demands. With bolt cutters, head torches and pliers, they set about dismantling the fence.

Not only bolt cutters and pliers were used to fight Frontex on the Inseli today, but also pen and paper. A few days ago, people around the Migrant Solidarity Network started the referendum against Frontex.  The Swiss Parliament has decided to strengthen the European Border Management Agency with 61 million Swiss francs annually. With this money, Frontex is to seal off Europe’s external borders even more, making flight and migration even more insecure. Money for Frontex means: More deaths in the Mediterranean, more torture in Libya, more illegal pushbacks, border violence and suffering on the Balkan route or in the Aegean. “We say YES to freedom of movement for all and NO to money for Frontex”. Here is more information on the referendum.