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Angela Davis and Gina Dent at Werkstatt der Kulturen

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panel discussion with Angels Davis and Gina Dent at werkstatt der KulturenThursday, 05/14 Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent met with antiracist, migrant and refugee activists from Berlin at Werkstatt der Kulturen. The meeting began with Refugee Club Impulse, a film dance and theatre group staging a performance on coming to Europe.
The following discussion was open to everyone. The talk was on cooperation between activists in Europe and the United States, on systemic police violence, racial profiling and the connection between activism and academia.
Davis stressed a contradiction contained in the notion of globalisation. Everything is conceived as moving around the globe freely except for most of the people – especially those in the global south. If they don’t stay were they are, they’ll get labelled as “illegals” – put back into custody.
Explaining how in France they came across many refugee activists, Angela Davis quoted one of them: “The Mediterranean is an African cemetery” and went further on pointing out that the horrors of todays mediterranean sea repeat patterns of the slave trade at the begining of the global economy. Both human tragedies being based on expropriation and exclusion.
On the other hand the booming prison–industrial complex was highlighted since its most thriving branch seems to be the detention of immigrants. One could think of the 90.000 EUR Kreuzberg’s green party government pays to private security business each month for keeping the school’s 40 residents segregated from their neighbours. Which still leaves much room for growth hearing of multinational prison champion G4S’ balance sheets, mentioned by Angela Davis.
Gina Dent emphasized that we need to continue the “fight for a space in which the way we understand borders today might not be the same tomorrow”.panel discussion with Angels Davis and Gina Dent at werkstatt der Kulturen
One activist from the school on Ohlauer Str. asked the two visitors to come and talk with the school’s residents in front of the building since the district of Kreuzberg banned Angela Davis and Gina Dent from entering the premise. Angela Davis read out a statement quoting district counselor Jana Borkamp’s reasoning that the school’s residents are banned from receiving visitors since months by order of the district and no exceptions would be made. Davis asked the obvious question if the school had been turned into some kind of prison and suggested to meet on Friday to work on a strategy against the district’s segregational policies (see the press invitation below)

Angela Davis urged the hundreds of people attending her talk to stay connected and keep up the fight!

 

a first hand report in german:
https://schwarzrund.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/angela-davis-und-gina-dent-am-14-05-in-der-wdk/

 

and our press release:
Freitag den 15.05.15 um 18:30 Presseerklärung von Angela Davis vor der Schule in der Ohlauerstrasse

Die grüne Bezirksregierung hat Angela Davis und Gina Dent verboten die Geflüchteten in der Gerhardt Hauptmann Schule zu besuchen. Angela Davis, bekannte Marxistin und antirassistische Kämpferin, wird vor dem abgeriegelten Gebäude eine Erklärung abgeben, zusammen mit Geflüchteten aus der Schule.
“Wir verstehen nicht warum unsere Besuchsanfrage abgelehnt wurde – handelt es sich bei der Schule um eine Art Gefängnis?” kommentierte Angela Davis das Besuchsverbot. Bezirksrätin Jana Borkamp verwies darauf, dass ihre Regierung den Bewohnern der Schule generell Besuch verbiete aber Treffen “mit allen Beteiligten außerhalb der Schule” erlaube. Bezirkssprecher Sascha Langenbach verglich Davis mit Margot Honecker und Egon Krenz.
Freitag um 18:30 werden wir Stellung nehmen zur vom Bezirk betriebenen Politik der Kriminalisierung – und umgekehrt.

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Friday, 15th of May at 6:30PM press release by Angela Davis in front of the school on Ohlauer Str.

Green party district government prohibited Angela Davis and Gina Dent from visiting the refugees in Gerhart Hauptmann school. Angla Davis, renowned marxist and antiracist activist, will give a declaration outside the closed off building together with refugees from the school.
“We don’t understand why our request to visit the school was denied – is it because the school is considered to be a prison?” Angela Davis commented about the ban on visiting the school. District counselor Jana Borkamp pointed out that her government in general would ban the school’s residents from recieving visitors but would allow meetings “with all persons involved outside the school”. The district’s spokesperson Sascha Langenbach compared Davis to Margot Honecker and Egon Krenz.
Friday at 6:30PM we will give our opinion on the district’s policies of criminalization – and the other way round.

3 thoughts on “Angela Davis and Gina Dent at Werkstatt der Kulturen

  1. District Spokesperson Langenbach’s statement it foolish, and a mortifying case of foot in mouth vis-a-vis a very prominent guest in our city. We should accredit Langenbach’s statement the priority it deserves, and view it as a tragic-comical footnote. My profound apologies to Prof. Davis on behalf of the less parochial-minded citizens of the capitol of German! I assume i speak for fair-minded Berliners, no matter what our political sentiments may be, when i say with the deepest respect, Prof. Davis will always be welcome in Berlin.

    The district government is naturally concerned that there will be a re-escalation of the active protest around the Gerhard-Hauptmann School. Dr. Davis is surely aware of this. Her question is i presume rhetorical, and a witty provocation.

    What does not get stated clearly, and i find this regrettable, is that what the refugees and their supporters are calling for is nothing less than the complete reorientation of EU domestic policy and global economic politics. The refugees are asking “Why can’t we live and work in Germany?” and the most obvious answer is: “If they could live and work anywhere they pleased, it is very likely they would not be refugees at all.” There will be no solution to the problem under the current circumstances. Prof. Davis has been saying that for generations. That there are members of the German Green Party who are unaware of who Prof. Davis is and significance of her life’s work, says more about the state of the Green movement (if it still is one) than about anything or anybody else.

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