[Battlemesh] Call for Refugee Camps

berat at autistici.org berat at autistici.org
Mon Apr 25 11:38:56 CEST 2016

On 2016-04-24 17:48, Dave Taht wrote:
> Gofundme has been doing an incredible job of crowdfunding efforts like
> this, has over the fortress tried that?

Hi Dave, no i don't think so... They use an italian site 
produzionidalbasso.com . But i will tell them about Gofundme, thanks a 

On 2016-04-24 17:39, Philipp Borgers wrote:
> Hi,

Hi Philipp!

> After you made the first contact stay present in the minds of the 
> authorities.
> Call them atleast twice a week. Don't be afraid to make (cold) calls! 
> For
> important tasks try to arange meetings as soon as possible.

I don't know how bureaucratically works this kind of procedures but as 
they installed an antenna in the camp, i guess they have contacts and 
necessary permissions (at least) with Greece. But we will keep it in 

> In your case, I guess, the most important point is to get access to
> the camp site
> and permission to do minimal construction work, e.g. put a pole on a 
> existing
> building to attach a few antennas.
> The general technical idea would be to create a point to point link 
> with two
> dish antennas. On one end (Gevgelija) you have a roof/balkonie with the 
> antenna
> attached and broadband internet rented. On the other end you have 
> another dish
> antenna and a few antennas (sector) to distribute the signal to the 
> users. For
> both sides you need permission. If money is not the problem you may 
> want to rent
> roof space. One time cost for the installation is in the range of 1000 
> to 3000€.
> Monthly cost maybe around 100-200€.

Allright, i think we have 2 big problems. First is the volume of data(10 
thousand people who will all go to facebook, youtube etc.) and second is 
finding a place close enough for the antenna. Well, unfortunately money 
is a problem, i mean, money comes from crowdsourcing and donations, 
that's why it's important spreading the links. But having some numbers 
about costs is very important. Thanks a lot!

But it would not be easier to find some Greek roof/balkonie to attach 
the antenna? Because i'm not sure if we have contacts with any 
Macedonians(and Macedonian authorities) and if they would accept it... 
Greek is EU country, Macedonia is not, do you know if there are some 
restrictions about sharing internet connection between two countries? 
Infact we thought maybe we could connect them with Greece WMN but when 
we had looked at their map , even the closest node was far away like 
50-60 km...

Next days we will have some more information about the camp, about its 
geographic conditions etc. If there are some Greek community members 
here, their help to find a place for the second antenna would be very 

> What I would do in the next step:
> * contact authorities, e.g. camp operator
> * check if broadband internet is e.g. available in (Gevgelija) or other 
> cities
>   that do have a line of sight to the camp
> * check the situation in or around the camp, search for a high place 
> with power
>   (230V) and the possibility to erect a pole
> * check possible locations on the other site, is broadband availabe (on 
> the
>   roof), do we see the camp
> * document everything with photos and take good notes, e.g. address, 
> contacts,
>   how much wire need, etc.
> * make sure you have enough resources
> * just do it
> I can try to answer more specific questions. Please just ask! I'm open 
> to voice
> chat too.

Thanks a lot really, every word is precious! I will contact you if we 
need some more answers.

Have a nice day!


> On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 02:13:23PM +0000, berat at autistici.org wrote:
>> Hi everybody,
>> I want to make a call for the extraordinary situation of refugees who 
>> are
>> waiting on the borders of Europe. As you know, thousands and thousands 
>> of
>> people ran away from a war, they have lost their homes, their 
>> families,
>> loved ones, they have lost their past and the only thing remains is 
>> the hope
>> for having a future. Finding a safe place to raise their children and 
>> live a
>> dignified life.
>> But unfortunately the borders of Europe are closed and hundreds of 
>> thousands
>> of refugees are blocked in makeshift refugee camps in Greece and 
>> Turkey for
>> months(if not for more than one year) without knowing what will 
>> happen.
>> Conditions in refugee camps are worst in every aspect; social, health,
>> hygiene, food, and minimum living conditions that would be guaranteed 
>> by the
>> basic human rights.
>> Especially now in Idomeni(which is a small village on the border of
>> Macedonia) there is a huge refugee camp with more than 10 thousand
>> inhabitants who are seeking for an opportunity to reach other European
>> countries. There are different humanitarian groups(also associations 
>> like
>> Doctors Without Borders, UNCHR) from all over the Europe who brings
>> materials/goods, help and solidarity.
>> An Italian group called "Over The Fortress"[0][1] also organizes 
>> continuous
>> voluntary groups for Idomeni. They basically monitor, do reports and 
>> support
>> information/basic necessities to the camp. They ultimately reported 
>> the high
>> necessity of Internet connection and electricity in the camp. One of 
>> the
>> main reasons, the only way to do an asylum application is a Skype call 
>> with
>> Athens, which is difficult in a place with very limited resources. 
>> Even
>> though it is considered as a "cruel and senseless procedure."[2] by 
>> the
>> activists (and ofcourse they're right) and it should be changed as 
>> petition
>> demands[2], at the moment this is the only way to stay in Greece. 
>> Because
>> the agreement between Turkey and UE aims to return them back to 
>> Turkey,
>> which is definitely not the desire of refugees. On the other hand, 
>> ofcourse
>> these people need to comunicate with the world outside the camp 
>> because many
>> of them have parents/familiers in some other parts of the world.
>> So, Over The Fortress brought a generator for eletricity, for light 
>> and
>> materials for wifi. They made a contract with a Greece ISP which 
>> provides
>> montlhy 500 Gigabit for 200€[3]. It will be active for 4 months and 
>> they
>> launched a campaign to sustain the project[4]. But in an ultimate mail 
>> that
>> arrived, they informed us that the volume of data acquired in the 
>> first
>> instance is running out of and need to be increased. Sharing this 
>> campaign
>> with your social networks could be helpful. It can be a temporary 
>> solution
>> and at this point, contribute of wireless communities can be very 
>> important.
>> The aim of this mail is informing and asking a contribute from 
>> wireless mesh
>> network communuties about this situation. While we were discussing 
>> with the
>> Ninux community, they suggested to write to ML Battlemesh, as this 
>> problem
>> is not temporary and need to be considered in a larger scale. Idomeni 
>> is
>> just an example and eventhough tomorrow borders had been open, this 
>> fluss of
>> people would still need many kinds of support and the Internet is an
>> important one. They also informed me that some communities like 
>> Freifunk,
>> already had supported refugees in similar situations, so they have
>> experience, which would be very precious to share with us. In the 
>> specific
>> of Idomeni, contribute/support of Greece community would be very 
>> essential.
>> I've never been in Idomeni(I myself am extra-comunitario in Italy, for 
>> some
>> reasons i can't go) but to have more technical information from the 
>> camp,
>> you can contact with Over The Fortress, as i know Disaster Tech Lab[5] 
>> has
>> been there and tomorrow one of my friends from CMN Pisa will go to 
>> Idomeni
>> with a group, for a week. In return, he can make a report about the 
>> ultimate
>> situation. Unfortunately i can't neither participate to Battlemesh to
>> discuss it face to face. I hope this mail can be a starting point to 
>> discuss
>> what can communities do about this situation.
>> Thanks for reading.
>> Berat
>> [0] 
>> http://www.meltingpot.org/spip.php?page=lang&lang=en#pagination_elenco_articoli
>> [1] 
>> http://www.meltingpot.org/overthefortress-a-handover-to-the-border-of-fortress-Europe.html
>> [2] https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/stop_skype_asylum_procedure
>> [3] 
>> http://www.meltingpot.org/Sostieni-il-progetto-No-Border-Wi-Fi-della-campagna.html
>> [only in italian]
>> [4] 
>> https://www.produzionidalbasso.com/project/solidarity-campaign-overthefortress-support-migrants-journey-with-us/
>> [5] http://disastertechlab.org/
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