Conflict about refugee protests in Germany is getting worse

28.08.2014 - Johanna Heuveling

This post is also available in: German

Conflict about refugee protests in Germany is getting worse
(Image by Refugees at Oranienplatz, photo: Oliver Feldhaus)

Since two years now, Germany is shaken by refugees who protest against isolation in far-off asylum seekers camps, against the obligation to reside in their camps, for fair and fast procedures for granting the right for asylum, in general for more respectful treatment by the institution and the chance of social participation (Pressenza has reported about it: Non-violent protests of refugees in germany). They have used only non-violent methods, like protest marches, occupation of squares, and hunger strikes and they have knocked on many doors: the politics, the churches, but they were disappointed by all public institutions. No one wanted to openly reject them, e.g. there was an agreement with the Senate of Berlin, but at the end their situation seems worse than ever before. Turgay Ulu, one of the protesters, reports about the last events.

Berlin, August 26th 2014. Today there was fighting on the Oranienplatz, Berlin. It began in the afternoon and continued until the late evening hours. About 15 people were arrested. Most of us have suffered injuries anywhere on the body, some of our friends bled on the head.

The today’s struggles were the result of lies of the Senate. The mask of the Senate and his allies, who first showed tolerance and promised positive development, has today dropped. All the refugees have received negative messages: the places where they currently live, must be left. According to this plan, the refugees shall now be distributed to different camps and from there be deported.

After receiving the letters, we decided in a meeting to resist.We met at the Oranienplatz. One of the refugees even mentioned the idea to pour gasoline over himself and set himself on fire. We occupied the main street in front of the Park. There we were attacked by the police. Then we started to rebuild tents on the square. One of the tents we opened and set down inside.

The police waited half an hour, preparing everything, and then attacked us harshly. They dragged us away and demolished the tents again. We clung to each other arm in arm. We fought long for anyone who should be arrested. They started with kicks and fists to attack our body. Very hard punches. We all were injured at different parts of the body.

The citizens, who were protesting against the attacks, were themselves attacked. Until the evening hours there were fights everywhere on the square. We demonstrated against the arrests and the attacks. The demonstration was attacked with pepper spray.

All the things we suspect since the first meeting with the Senate became true, one after the other. We have said that this tolerance tactic is actually a deportation project. That the aim is to first evict the place of resistance [the camp at Oranienplatz, which lasted more than one year] and after some time to organize the deportation of the refugees. All of this has proven true.

The group of those who have signed the deal with the Senate, should be deported and therefore returned to Oranienplatz to protest with us. The accommodations which were given to the refugees will be evicted today and tomorrow.

We will continue our resistance at the Oranienplatz and the occupied school, despite the deportations. The street is the only place where we can solve these problems. Other places are not allowed to us to live and to be free.

Categories: Diversity, Europe, Human Rights, Nonviolence, Opinions
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