News of Berlin Refugee Movement – from inside

Abolish Residenzpflicht! Abolish ‚Lagers‘! Stop Deportations! Right to Work and Study!


The Refugee Movement is a diverse group of refugees who chose not to accept their disfranchisement by the german state any more and are carrying out a self-organized protest.

Our Demands

  • Abolish Residenzpflicht (mandatory residence)!
    Rooted in colonial policies, Residenzplicht obliges refugees to stay in a certain area and clearly violates our basic human rights. We reject any restrictions of our freedom of movement and demand the complete abolition of Residenzpflicht-law.
  • Abolish all “Lagers” (refugee camps)!
    Refugees in Germany are forced to stay in “Lagers” (camps) mostly completely isolated from society, under inhumane living conditions and constant surveillance by authorities and Lager-guards. We refuse to live in those prison-like Lagers, we break this isolation and demand the right to choose where and how we want to live!
  • Stop all deportations (also Dublin III)!
    Deportations are an inhumane practice and have to be stopped immediately. Everyone leaving her_his home country has good reasons to migrate – may it be war, political persecution or because of the economic situation – all of these reasons are political in its core. We refuse any categorization of migrants and demand the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of any kind of migration, no matter where people come from.
    The Dublin III regulation is nothing else than a network of human trafficking between European countries and has to be abolished! Germany and the European Union have to accept that the right to move is not negotiable.
    Because freedom of movement is everybody’s right!
  • Right to work and study!
    We dont want your social benefits. We need the right to work and study to provide for ourselves independantly.


Movement talks I:

Movement talks II:



After the suicide of the Iranian refugee Muhammed Rahsapar at the refugee-camp in Würzburg refugees from various camps in Germany, united and set off to Berlin in a protest-march. Starting from Würzburg, we covered the distance of 600 km in about a month. Because of our visits to the refugee camps along the route, we were able to expose the isolation of the refugees, and invited them to leave their camps and to join our march. On another route, there was a bus tour.

When we arrived in  Berlin we set up a protest camp at Oranienplatz in Kreuzberg. These tents were a symbol to show the society what the problems are, that we reject the isolation and discriminative laws the German state is trying to impose on us, that we raise our voice and are resisting. This protest camp has soon become our center of resistance, the place where we made our political demands visible.

Starting from Oranienplatz we organized a bus-tour to different “Lagers” in other German cities in 2013. Even though we faced a lot of repression and violence by police, we were able to get in contact with a lot of refugees living in isolation and some even joined us on the way or came to our big demonstration in Berlin.

When winter was coming we occupied an old school building, which we have found in Ohlauer Straße. The snow had crashed our meeting-tent right over our heads and especially families needed a warm place to stay.

In 2014 we brought our protest to the European level: In a march from Strassbourg to Brussels we broke the international borders in an act of civil disobedience together with refugee-activist from various regions.

Since more than two years now we have organized many demonstrations and activities from the base of resistance: Oranienplatz and Ohlauer Straße. Through different kinds of direct action, such as civil disobedience, occupations and blockades we made clear that we will not cease to fight for our rights. We also connected our protest with other struggles and groups like anti-gentrification and antifa-groups, workers, students and artists.

Within the last two years we have managed that refugees are part of the political discussion and that we appear on the political agenda. Our biggest success by now is the fact that we have overcome the life in isolation that was imposed on us, and that a collective and more united life has started to grow on the streets. We take our freedom, cross borders and design our lives the way we want.

The resistance that started with a small number of people has become a broad movement. More and more refugees in different regions of germany organize themselves and protest against the discriminative asylum system. You can find all different groups, from the ones fighting for many years already to newly emerging groups, in “other groups”.

We have found support from society. A historical resistance was realized against the attacks on the occupied school at Ohlauer Straße. For over 9 days thousands of police officers did not manage to enter the school. In the end they had to give up their siege and left the place to us. Despite the districts attempts to evict the building, some refugee activists keep resisting in the building. We demand that we can keep the building and transform it into a self-organized International Refugee Center, a center run by refugees for refugees.

Our experience has taught us that the parliament and political parties don’ t want to solve our problems. Far from it! By passing laws against us, they drive us into a captives’ life. We find our only certainty on the streets. There is no alternative to fighting on the streets. Only on the streets we have the potential to build up a different, a united and collective life.


   Embryo der Freiheit

   Marsch der Würde

   Besetzung der nigerianischen Botschaft

   Bustour 2013


   9 days on the roof


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  1. Pingback: „We are here because you destroyed our countries“ | iwspace

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