“The first No-Stress-Tour” (francais en bas, deutsch weiter unten)
Summer is the time when lots of things are happening in Germany, also in and around Berlin.
People profit of the sun, they become more active and open up. This offers opportunities,
particular for refugees, to think of new strategies to build up a better communal life.
For this reason CISPM and Afrique Europe Interact, international networks for emancipation and
integration of refugees, are planning a project called „No Stress Tour“, which should take place this
summer from July until October.
The aim of the project is to bring refugees and other inhabitants of the city closer to each other
and to provide support with regard to the current complex asylum policy.
Despite the willingness of refugees, to open up to other residents and the willingness of other
citizens to reach out to refugees, we noted that there are still barriers, based on anxious
On Ohlauer Strasse in Berlin there is a building that once housed a co-educational high school. Later it stood empty. Now refugees live in it. Behind a gate with two guards, under constant surveillance.
‘No, no! You can’t take photos here. Outside the bars you can,’ I hear a few seconds after I decide to enter the school area. Alongside the guards I also see a smiling man coming towards me. He wears a winter cap and a light down jacket. His name is Alnour Ahmad-Hassan, a resident of the school. He calms the guard down.
‘Okay, let’s get out of here. At the corner there is a café. We can sit there and talk in peace,’ Alnour suggests.
‘So this is how it is here now?’ I ask, surprised.
‘Yes, more or less. You see, they are isolating us here completely.’
‘What would you like to know?’ asks Alnour several minutes later, sipping his black coffee.
‘If everything, it would be good to start at the beginning.’
“Turkish political prisoner and torture victim, in Germany now, faces life in prison if he returns to Turkey, but Germany considers him a terrorist not entitled to asylum based on a Turkish conviction related to torture — torture that bars Germany from deporting him.
On the topic of torture the nation of Turkey could teach some gruesome techniques to ISIS, the terrorist movement executing a savage reign across Syria and beyond (reportedly with Turkish government support).
That reality of brutality in Turkey – another problematic American ally – is a fact known all too well by Turgay Ulu, a Turkish journalist who endured a 15-year imprisonment in Turkey, where he was tortured. During Ulu’s long imprisonment, Turkish authorities justified his conviction on their claim that they had evidence against him –- evidence authorities obtained from two other victims of torture.
“I was tortured with electroshocks,” Ulu said during an interview earlier this year in Berlin, Germany where he is a leading figure in a movement for refugee rights. Ulu’s long imprisonment in Turkey led many, including Amnesty International, to consider him a political prisoner. Ulu was released from a Turkish prison in 2011 and he immediately fled to Europe.”
read the whole article here:
Invitation of the initiative No Lager Neukölln/Tempelhof to Social Café Meeting in Lunte here, available in English, Farsi, French, and German:
8. Woche (7. Dezember 2015 – 13. Dezember 2015)
Nachdem die Presse nach langem Ausschluss endlich Zutritt zu den Hangars des ehemaligen Tempelhofer Flughafens bekommen hat, wird die dortige Situation auch in der ARD und im ZDF thematisiert. In der Sendung vom 8. Dezember 2015 berichtet Frontal 21 über die Lager im ehemaligen Flughafen Tempelhof. (http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/2622342/Fluechtlingskinder-ohne-Perspektive?setTime=5.231#/beitrag/video/2622342/Fluechtlingskinder-ohne-Perspektive) Zwar fanden die Journalist_innen einen „Zustand, den keiner lange Aushält“ vor, doch wisse „das [.] auch der Leiter der Notunterkunft Michael Elias“. Immerhin wird ein Zusammenhang zwischen den Zuständen und der „Massenschlägerei“, die ein sehr breites mediales Echo gefunden hatte, hergestellt. Elias führt dieses Ereignis auf eine kleinere Auseinandersetzung bei der Essensausgabe zurück, woraufhin „junge Männer“ ihren Frust abgelassen hätten. Im Widerspruch zu Äußerungen von Bewohner_innen (siehe 6. Woche) verlegt Elias die Ursache in die „jungen Männer“. Die schlimmen Zustände werden in diesem Beitrag eher leise angeprangert. Elias schiebt die Schuld auf die staatlichen Behörden und die Kamera folgt verständnisvoll.
Am 10. Dezember 2015 berichtet die ARD in der 20-Uhr-Tagesschau und in einem Text auf ihrer Internetpräsenz über die Lager. (https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/reportage-fluechtlinge-117.html) „Ein bisschen Adventsstimmung, für mehr ist kein Platz“ – im Video ist der Ton deutlich schärfer als bei Frontal 21. Mit den Worten von Bewohner_innen wird über einen „furchtbaren Ort“ berichtet. Der wohlorganisierte Pressetermin stößt auf Skepsis:
„Zwischen den Zeltreihen in Hangar 1 liegen Matten mit Spielzeug ausgebreitet. Ein Mann vom Kinderzirkus Cabuwazi lässt kleine Jungen auf Gymnastikbällen balancieren. Ziemlich beeindruckend – doch ist das alles nur für den Pressetermin inszeniert? Wenige Tage zuvor saßen die Flüchtlinge noch beschäftigungslos in den Hangars herum.“
An Essay by Political Activist Adam Bahar
In this thought provoking essay Adam Bahar outlines the death of the ‘welcoming culture’ for refugees in Germany. He demonstrates how Germany has been directly responsible for supporting several dictators in the global South and how the Federal Republic is responsible for continuing to impose borders….
Essay by Gurminder K Bhambra, University of Warwick
This essay takes into account the significance of the historical conditions created by European colonial powers that force people to migrate.
The Sleeping Place Orga Group has just created a print and digital version of the Refugee Guide Berlin in English.
This booklet is made for you – refugees living in Berlin, with or without papers, especially for those, who have just arrived and need some orientation. It will help you to get information on all aspects of life, no matter where you are from or what status you have. We have often witnessed how difficult life can be for refugees in Germany. Racism, ignorance and the indifference of German authorities have meant that many refugees who came here to find shelter from war, poverty and persecution are completely on their own and are often faced with homelessness and poverty.
NO ONE FLEES WITHOUT REASON
Yet, for all those, who are concerned: you are not alone! We regard every human being as equal regardless of constructions like nationality or the passport you have. Hence, everybody should have the same rights, access to work and accommodation. We disagree with the existing state, in which refugees are forced to live packed into camps, having no control about their wellbeing and being permanently threatened by deportation.
What is the difference between refugees and ‘normal’ citizens besides the fact that the former had to flee from their homes? There is none. Many out there agree with us and show solidarity with refugees in many different ways: political action, accommodation support, medical help, food, legal assistance, to name only some. This booklet aims at providing you with information about the different kinds of support and possibilities of self-organization you can get to live your life in Berlin in dignity and a more independent way.
Booklet versions in French, Arabic, German and Italian will soon follow. If you want to obtain print versions or if you can offer any help with translations, contact email@example.com
Please spread and share!
Francais en bas
SUBJECT: CURRENT MIGRATORY CRISIS.
Dear governors of the western world,
In front of the chaotic and dramatic situation of the Syrian refugees which we bear witness to today, which adds up to many more, in particular those refugees fleeing African countries, and in front of which you have kept remarkably silent and complicit, which have now caught up with you, but which you feign to discover with the terrible images of the drowned baby Aylan (may his soul rest in peace), broadcasted these days by your countries’ tv channel, I make it my citizen’s duty to send you this letter. For me it is a way to express my solidarity and compassion for the Syrian refugees, as I have always done with other migrants and refugees from Africa, and as others have done with me when I was, together with fellow African refugees in the same situation of flight.
Furthermore, I would like to express to you my indignation towards this situation which of course is a result, for one thing, of your domination politics, which you never cease to produce, day and night, in your laboratories, and for the rest, of the cynical, inhuman, and drastic so-called border-control measures which you have introduced.
First of all, I want to express all my solidarity to the Syrian men, women, children and babies who have lost their own or their beloved ones’ lives because they were fleeing the atrocities of war and blood-shedding repression skillfully sparked, kept and orchestered by the system of this world’s mighty ones, and who have found themselves left to die and been denied entry in the countries where they could have found refuge. May the death, pain and suffering of these men, women, and defenseless children call out to the entire human community.
My thoughts also go to the migrants and refugees of subsaharian Africa, who fall in the desert, far away from TV channel’s cameras, and to those dying in the Mediterrannean every day, and who shall not be rescued lest, so the western world’s governors, many more try to come.