Refugees with Attitudes

Rally against Spanish-Moroccan border regime in Melilla

Rally on 28 June at 4pm | Embassy of Spain | Lichtensteinallee 1 – 10787 Berlin

We are angry!

As many times before, once again migrants and refugees have died at the European borders. They were brutally attacked in Melilla at the border to Spain by Moroccan border guards and many were even beaten to death!

These people are fleeing from war, poverty and lack of prospects, which the EU has created and maintains with its arms industry and (neo)colonial world politics. Since the EU makes safe migration from so-called third countries almost impossible, people are forced to take life-threatening routes across the Sahara and the Mediterranean.

Spain is watching people being murdered at its border and is now even demanding that the NATO summit will establish the admission of “unregulated migration” as “hybrid threats”! So Spain wants to act militarily and even on NATO level against migrants and refugees!

Therefore, on the day of the beginning of the NATO summit in Madrid, we must all protest against this in front of the Spanish embassy in Berlin!

Migration is not a threat! Migration is a human right!

Speech of Abolish Frontex

What actually is Europe and its borders? As we can see clearly at the moment: Externalborders are flexible when it comes to keeping people on the move AWAY.
They are constantly being pushed out further. People are being detained and forced into camps, long before the reach european soil. Fences are being build and deals are made with third-countries, to enact quicker deportations. A central actor here is Frontex, the european border- and coastguard agency of the european union.

Frontex doesnt just opperate on the european borders but also in third countries and makes sure that the migration control of the EU already starts far away from the national territory of the industrialized countries.
Fortress Europe is intercontinental. It doesnt need walls on its vacation-beaches. Instead militias such a the so called lybian coastguard or countries like marokko or turkey are being paid to keep people out. That is a disgrace!
The EU throws a lot of money at Frontex to enact air surveilance, so that people can be pulled back into the torture camps in Libya.
So that people in the Aegean Sea can be pushed back into turkey. Money for Frontex to cooperate with arms companies, to further militarise the borders.
Those who are arming, defending and extending the fortress Europe are criminals.

Migration is not a crime but a right for all! Lets be loud together and offer resistance;
Abolish Frontex and equal rights for all!

Say it loud; say it clear – refugees are welcome here!

Refugees Rights Rally

20.06.2022 – In front of Bundestag: Abolish Racist Migration Policies – Equal Rights For All!

Speech by RWA

We tell you Abu’s story:
He fled from Cameroon to Germany 22 years ago. His application for asylum was rejected very quickly, as were almost all applications from African countries at that time. Since then he has been living in a village in Brandenburg with a “Duldung” and is threatened with deportation. For 22 years! For the first 15 years in Germany, he had no chance of attending a German course – German courses for refugees have only been available since 2015. Abu could get a full-time job here in Berlin; he has already applied for a work permit three times. The Foreigners’ Registration Office has refused each time – they want to deport him. The official in charge told him in person: “As long as I work here you will not get a residence permit”.

Now there is finally a draft for a law on a new right to stay regulation. After 5 years in Germany, rejected asylum seekers should also be able to get a so-called “ChancenAufenthalt”. Does Abu have a chance now? No. If the Interior Minister’s bill is passed as it is now, Abu will have no chance, just as with the previous right to stay regulations. This is because according to the draft law, refugees must obtain documents in order to clarify their identity.

The basic principle in German residence law is that papers are more important than people. With this principle, the authorities block family reunification, prevent marriages and partnerships, delay the admission of local Afghan workers and separate families through deportations.
This obligation to submit documents that meet the high standards of the German authorities deprives many people of their life chances. And often not only them but also their families, who are waiting for their support.

Deportation is also not possible without papers, because without a document from the alleged country of origin, it does not accept deportees. But for deportation, a ” laisse-passe paper” or any kind of paper produced in deportation hearings by corrupt officials of the alleged state of origin is enough.

That is unfair? Yes, the whole asylum and residence law is unfair.
The whole right of residence and asylum system pigeonholes refugees and migrants: Those entitled to asylum, those recognized under the Geneva Refugee Convention, those with subsidiary protection, and the undesirables: the tolerated, those “obliged to leave the country”… Each pigeonhole is associated with certain rights or restrictions on human rights.
This is wrong, because they are all refugees, they all have a right to protection.

Nobody flees voluntarily.
That is why we demand a right of residence for all!

Camp at Oranienplatz

21.09.2021 – commemoration of the camp at Oranienplatz: Speech by Bruno

We are standing here at Oranienplatz. This is where the protest march of refugees against the Residenzpflicht ended in 2012. I would like to tell you how this protest march came about.

At the end of January 2012, Mohammad Rahsepar took his own life in the refugee camp in Würzburg. He had already expressed suicidal thoughts in December. Doctors had therefore recommended to the responsible authorities to improve his accommodation situation. He wanted to join his sister in Cologne, but the authorities refused because of the residence obligation.  This triggered a wave of protests throughout Germany.

The residence obligation does not exist in any other European country. Its origins go back to colonial times. For example, people in the then German colony of Togo had to stay in one district. Even within the capital Lome, people were not allowed to move freely. My grandmother, who lived in Lome, told me about this.

The National Socialists made compulsory residence a law for forced labourers in their 1938 police regulations. In 1982, the legislators resumed the regulation and enshrined it in the Asylum Procedure Act for asylum seekers.

Until the end of 2014, all asylum seekers had to get permission from the foreigners authority every time they wanted to leave their district. Sometimes they got permission, most of the time they did not.

In the late 90s, the authorities used the residency requirement to prevent asylum seekers from engaging in political activities. At every demo, congress and meeting we had to find a way to deal with controls.

At the end of 2014, the residency requirement was relaxed for some of the asylum seekers. After the first three months in Germany, they are now allowed to move around the whole of Germany without a permit. In theory, at least. Because there are numerous reasons for exclusion from this supposed “freedom of movement”. Above all, refugees with toleration are still at the mercy of the authorities. The foreigners authorities can shackle them to the district at any time. 

The asylum system shoves us into pigeonholes: Those entitled to asylum, those recognised under the Geneva Refugee Convention, those with subsidiary protection, tolerated persons and those “obliged to leave the country”… Each pigeonhole is associated with certain rights or restrictions of rights.

This, too, has its roots in colonial times: the idea that human rights do not apply to everyone.

Something else has its roots in colonial times: it is also the German economy that creates causes of flight by exploiting other countries.

For example, Africa, one of the richest continents in the world, has been shackled, plundered and hindered in its development since colonial times.

And Germany, with the EU’s policy, creates causes of flight by cooperating with many dictatorships in the world. The EU cooperates with many torture states in so-called “border protection projects”. The rulers of Europe do not care about human rights violations and torture in these states.

And with German weapons, wars are waged all over the world and the German economy profits from them.

Against this background, we refugees and our families all have a right to freedom of movement and a life in Germany! Because there can be no fair asylum procedures in Germany.

Fair asylum procedures that would be a procedure in which a German authority has to prove that Germany has no share of responsibility for our reasons for fleeing and is not a beneficiary of the situation from which we fled.

Therefore:

No human being is illegal! Right to stay everywhere!

Fredom of movement is everybodys right! We are here and we will fight!

Indivisible Demonstration – Refugee Block

04.09.2021 – Participation in the Refugee Block of the Indivisible Demonstration in Berlin

Demonstration “We are all Salah”

21.03.2021 – Participation in the mourning demonstration “We are all Salah” in Eberswalde on the occasion of the suicide of an refugee from Chad.

Demonstration in Doberlug-Kirchhain

05.09.2020 We’ll come united! – Speech by ‘Réenchanter l’Afrique’

In the current “Corona crisis” there is much talk of ‘solidarity’. But does it apply to all people?

Our solidarity should also and especially apply to those who are invisible, who live in precarious conditions in the shadow of society. People who have fled poverty, oppression, persecution, dictatorships and war to come to Germany. They hoped to find safety and a better future here. They would like to learn the language, find work and an apartment, support their families and lead a self-determined life.

This is often denied to them. In many cases, instead of welcoming them, they are only ‘tolerated’ and have to live for years without a work permit in inhumane conditions:

• often in precarious asylum accommodations, isolated from the locals
• often without any chance to learn the German language
• without the right to work to earn their own living
• without a possibility to support their families
• confronted with everyday racism and humiliation
• confronted with bureaucratic requirements that they do not understand or simply cannot meet
• and repeatedly threatened by deportation

First, many had to suffer the often traumatizing experiences in their country of origin and on the flight. Now they must face these experiences in Germany. Many are desperate, plagued by nightmares, and live in constant fear. This inhumane life in Germany make refugees mentally ill instead of giving them the hoped-for security and future prospects.

In our group ‘Réenchanter l’Afrique’ there are also people who have gone through these experiences. And many thousand still experience them. Countless people are forced to live here without papers – completely without rights, which makes them particularly easy to exploit.
And on top of that they are outlawed as so-called criminals.

Article 1 of the German constitution states: “Human dignity is inviolable”.
“Everyone has the right to free development of personality.”

We find it unacceptable that these basic rights do not apply to refugees.

And we find it unacceptable that freedom of movement, the right to earn one’s own living and the right to choose one’s own place of living are a matter of course for people from the rich industrial countries here, but not for most of the people from Africa, Asia or Latin America.

Our demand:
All people who live here must be given the right to work and determine their place of residence themselves!

Solidarity is indivisible!

Let us ensure that this is also experienced by those who live invisible in the shadow of our society and that their inhumane living situation is made public again and again!

We’ll come united!


“Indivisible” demonstration in Berlin

14.6.2020 – “Indivisible” demonstration: Speech by ‘Réenchanter l’Afrique’ at the Band of Solidarity

In the current “Corona crisis” there is a lot of talk about ‘solidarity’. Does it apply to all people?

Our solidarity today is especially for those who are invisible, who live in the shadows of society.
People who fled to Germany from poverty, oppression, persecution, dictatorships and war. They hoped to find better prospects for the future here. They want to learn the language, find work and a place to live, support their families and relatives and lead a self-determined life.

This is often denied them. Instead of being welcomed, they are only ‘tolerated’ and have to live in undignified conditions for years:

First the often traumatising experiences in their home countries and on the run, and now these experiences in Germany. Many become ill from this, are desperate, plagued by nightmares.

In our group ‘Réenchanter l’Afrique’ there are also people who have had these experiences. And many thousands are still going through them. Untold numbers are forced to live here without papers – completely without rights and particularly easy to exploit. And also ostracised as ‘criminals’.

Article 1 of the German Basic Law states: “Human dignity is inviolable. Everyone has the right to free development of his or her personality.

We find it intolerable that these basic rights do not apply to refugees.

And we find it unacceptable that freedom of movement, the right to determine one’s own place of life, only applies to people from the rich industrialised nations and not to people from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Solidarity is indivisible!

Let us ensure that it is also experienced by those who live invisibly in the shadows of our society and that their undignified living situation is repeatedly named publicly.

Demonstration against Franc-CFA

14.9.2019 – Speech on the demonstration

Africa, the richest continent in the world, has been in chains for many years. It is being plundered and impoverished. Every day we can see how not only its wealth – but also its dear and brave children are being stolen from it. Europe’s policies are responsible for this.

Today, many complain about immigration, which they consider the invasion of Europe by Africans. Unfortunately, they do not ask about the causes of this so-called “invasion”.
For us, at Africa Europe Together Strong, one of the causes of African immigration to Europe is the <<franc CFA>>. Yes, the CFA franc, this colonial currency introduced by France in 1945 in the colonised countries to control, dominate, enslave and plunder all our wealth.

This currency is the origin of many of the evils from which our continent suffers. The Franc CFA is a cause of our brothers and sisters fleeing Africa. Our brothers and sisters who have no other choice in the face of poverty, lack of proper care, crises and wars.  They gather all their courage to dare the adventure towards a better future – confronted with the inevitable danger of the Mediterranean and the desert.

With the CFA, France is getting richer every day – becoming the owner of the third largest gold reserve in the world. This, without having any gold reserves of its own. If we look at the case of Mali, the French military base has become in parallel a gold mining base from which gold is shipped to France. At the same time, African peoples suffer from hunger, precarious health care and die trying to escape hardship.

How are we to understand that a currency that supposedly belongs to Africans is printed, owned and controlled by France? A France that holds sway in African monetary institutions and devalues the franc at will.  A France that decides to what extent the currency circulates in the countries that use the CFA?
Today, when the consciousness of the African peoples is awakening about the nature of the CFA, France wants to establish a new form of currency called “ECO”. We do not need and will never accept the foreign-dominated currency “ECO”.

Let us remember that all those who tried to lead their countries and Africa to success as patriots and turn their backs on France and the CFA franc were eliminated under the command of France.
Sylvanus Olympio of Togo, Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, Muhammar Gaddafi of Libya and numerous others have become victims of the colonial interests of France and Europe.

It is now time for us, the sons and daughters of Africa, with the unwavering support of our partners, the German citizens, to stand up and say no to this currency of servitude that has prevented us from our sovereign development and led us into poverty for decades until today.

We must stand up, fight this currency and its substitute the ECO until they are gone and no longer stand in the way of Africa’s monetary sovereignty.

Therefore, as a group “Africa Europe Together Strong”, in parallel with the NGO Pan-African Emergency, we invite all sons and daughters of Africa, all friends of Africa, all those who aspire to an independent Africa, to join us and demonstrate again here in Berlin, at Pariser Platz against the existence of this evil currency.  The Franc CFA is one of the sources of the problems of our mother Africa.


ALL TOGETHER FOR AFRICA’S MONETARY INDEPENDENCE

see also – Texts: What is the CFA franc