EG Newsletter October 2019

http://www.europeangroup.org/sites/default/files/EG%20October%202019%20NEWSLETTER.pdf

Welcome to the October edition of the EG newsletter! As the first year as co-ordinators comes to an end, we reflect on what the Group has done in the past 12 months and where we are headed as the year progresses.

It almost goes without saying that we are collectively facing global challenges on a serious and significant scale. Climate catastrophe, increased political repression and the rise of the far right make it difficult to keep positive. It is this time that solidarity and collegiality are integral to our campaigns and response. We very much felt this at the 47th Annual conference held in Can Batlló from 4th-6th September. Having centralised activism and critical academia in the venue and the programme, the conference truly ignited a sense of mutual support and comradeship. The insight from panels and presenters was phenomenal and a true testament to the efforts and expertise of those attending. With more than 170 delegates from countries ranging from Brazil to Denmark and New Zealand to Senegal, it was global in content, reach and critical engagement. Through this lens, we felt able to connect many of the local struggles faced in our communities with the global nature of increased repression. We are so thankful to our friends in Barcelona for hosting us, and to Dani and Ale for ensuring the days (and nights) ran so smoothly. 

Many of the panels were led by activists, and the organising team worked hard to ensure that the voices of those most affected by inequalities and injustices were the main focal point. This is something we hope to carry on next year and as the European Group grows and progresses.

The lived reality of repression has not been lost on us. During one of our sessions on the role and value of the Group, we heard from our colleague and friend Iñaki Rivera on the value of critical engagement and activism. Only two weeks later, Iñaki was targeted by the state for highlighting torture in Spanish prisons. Whilst more can be read here (https://euromedrights.org/publication/spain-end-reprisal-against-human-rights-defender-inaki-rivera/) we specifically send solidarity to Iñaki and dedicate this issue to him and the other colleagues affected.

As you will see, this edition covers further reflections on the conference and the Group amongst other critical and timely issues. Feel free to share, and if you are interested in writing for the next newsletter, please do contact us.

In solidarity

Vicky, Dani and Katja