Apr 092017
 

#luxTrial March for Freedom still marchingEn todos los rincones del mundo, la gente, sus pueblos están luchando por sus derechos, pero vivimos en una época donde el exceso de información nos satura y hace que la memoria se mantenga a corto plazo y archive luchas pasadas. Pero a la vez sabemos que nuestras luchas están conectadas, que el capitalismo está devorando todos nuestros derechos pero a la vez siente la amenaza de todos esos levantamientos populares alrededor de todo el globo.

Desde el 2011, cuando comenzó la primavera árabe en Túnez y fue recorriendo como una ola el mundo, cuando tomamos las plazas, y nos volvimos a encontrar pasó algo sin precedentes, fuimos capaces de vernos en esos otros, lejanos pero no ajenos, nos reconocimos en sus luchas y ellos en las nuestras, la fronteras se desdibujaron.
Ahora hemos puesto el foco en nuestras luchas locales, el mundo quedó allá afuera, nos enfrentamos a leyes más represivas, a situaciones de precariedad más acuciantes, poco a poco se va instalando una cultura del miedo, pero es nuestra responsabilidad desbordarla y seguir conectados.

La llamada “March for Freedom” or Marcha por la libertad, fue una inicitativa autoorganizada que surgió después del movimiento de Oplatz, donde se tomó una plaza en el centro de Berlin. El movimiento luchar por los derechos de los refugiados, por la libertad de movimiento y por el derecho a quedarse (y no ser deportado), fue un momento significativo, lleno de fuerza y energía, donde distintos grupos de refugiados se unieron para luchar contra la política de aislamiento, represión, segregación, la violación sistemática de los derechos humanos por las leyes de asilo. Se consiguieron algunas victorias como la abolición del  Residenzpflicht, o la restricción de movimiento de los refugiados a un diametro determinado alrededor de la ciudad donde había pedido el asilo.

La “March for Freedom”, tenía como objetivo marchar a través de Europa, convirtiéndose es un desafío contra las leyes de la Europa fortaleza, al tener que cruzar varias fronteras, haciendo visible  lo absurdo de su existencia, denunciando la política europea de asilo. Al pasar por pueblos y ciudades, la marcha se encontró con el apoyo, la solidaridad de la gente, destacando así que la gente es gente.

Las acciones llevadas a cabo durante la marcha estaban basadas en tácticas de desobediencia civil y no-violenta, visitando campos de refugiados, cantando, gritando eslóganes, para desenmascarar lo inhumano de las políticas migratorias.

 Paralelamente en Luxemburgo estaba teniendo lugar un encuentro euroepa de ministros del Interior. Como uno de los puntos en el orden del día era la política migratoria, la protección de las fronteras, desde la “March for Freedom” se decidió hacer una parada delante de la sede de dicha reunión. Así, se hizo una manifestación pidiendo hablar en dicho encuentro, al considerarse que las personas afectadas deberían tener derecho a expresarse sobre su futuro. La policia reaccionó de una forma más violenta que lo esperado, no quisieron tener interlocutor con la Marcha, usaros gas pimienta, gas lacrimógeno, porrazos, contaban con la presencia de perros policías, uno de los cuales lanzaron contra un manifestante. El resultado fueron 13 personas detenidas, que al cabo de algunas horas fueron puestas en libertad.

La violencia policial fue ampliamente documentada, por fotógrafas, activistas, periodistas, hasta tal punto fue desproporcionada que hubo denuncias personales contra la policía en las embajadas de Luxemburgo de los países de origen.

Os recomendamos escuchar el programa de radio de #WeRadio donde se relata la experiencia.

Dos años y medio después, 6 activistas han sido acusado de rebelión armada contra el estado de Luxemburgo y por uso de violencia contra la policía. Tres de los inculpados son personas en proceso de petición de asilo y las otras tres personas son activistas dentro del movimiento de apoyo a los refugiados. Las personas no fueron notificadas con el suficiente tiempo como para poder hacer una apelación de la denuncia.

El juicio se celebró en dos días, el 5 y 6 de abril. Decenas de activistas estuvieron en el juicio dando apoyo a los acusados. El primer día, se mostraron vídeos del día de los hechos y declararon 2 de los inculpados. La traducción(al alemán y al árabe) proporcionada fue deficiente ya que no se traducía correctamente el contenido de los testimonios . El segundo día, declararon el resto de inculpados así como la policía, no se dio ninguna evidencia sobre los hechos de la acusación y tampoco si los inculpados eran quienes habían cometido los hechos. Uno de los policías declaró daños morales como resultado de haber tenido que hacer uso de la medicación contra el SIDA, al tener miedo de haber sido contagiado durante la manifestación.

Los policias reclaman una indemnización por daños de 19.200 euros. La sentencia del juez llegará en el mes de mayo.
El objetivo es dejar claro que en todo Europa se está llevando a cabo una criminalización de todas aquellas personas que están luchando por los derechos de los refugiados y migrantes, denunciando las políticas de colonización y la complicidad con los dictadores por parte de los gobiernos europeos.

Se agradecería cualquier muestra de apoyo, ayuda a la difusión del juicio contra “March for Freedom”, puedes hacerlo traduciendo, diseñando, componiendo, dibujando, escribiendo, cantando, apoyo financiero, te puedes poner en contacto con  oplatz AT oplatz.net y así aprovechamos y vamos tejiendo redes.

 Posted by at 2:40 pm
Mar 122017
 

It was 8th of March 2017, the day was still more like a winter day, gray, cold, but at least it didn’t rain. Women in exile had done the call to celebrate the International Women’s Day in Eisenhüttenstadt . We would go together by train. Meeting time was around 10am, meeting place was Alexanderplatz.

When I left home still many people where going to work, to school … so arriving to Alexanderplatz gave no feeling of celebration of the International Women’s Day but arriving to platform 1, one could to see a big number of women, greeting each other, chatting, the good mood was in the air, immediately I recognized the meeting point, they were the women from Women in exile.

The excitement was present, for many it would be their first demo, for others time to meet again, and many were going back to Eisenhüttenstadt, the Lager where many of them stayed for the first time, it’s a Erstaufnahme Lager, so many of them knew each other from their stay inside.

While waiting for the train, people from SOLIMATE, wanted to do a picture of the women, since their project is also supporting Women in Exile, the light was strange, bright at time, then dark, sometimes blazing, it made difficult the work for the camera girl. But finally there was a moment of “light” stability and they did the picture.

Ahead we had 2:30h travel to the Lager, it’s in the border with Poland, no direct train, we had to do one change and once we arrived to the town, take a bus for 30 min until we arrived to the Lager. In the train we were around 50-55 women traveling to more or less the end of the world, chatting cheerful, the children up and down, seeing the train as an amusement park. It was a moment to get in touch with people that you didn’t know or with whom you normally don’t have the chance to speak much. So the first part of the trip went good.

Once we arrived to the Lager, at the door there were police, although normally there is always a car, now there were several cars and vans. We started gathering and the goal was that some women went inside the Lager and give flowers to the women, to break the isolation, to show that they are not alone, to give them the courage to continue, to join us, to understand that many people think that Lagers should be closed, that they are not homes but prisons and people inside have done nothing wrong to be there, they don’t deserve it.

But police was implacable, no way to make them understand that a Lager is not a prison were people could not be visited, that the goal was only to give flowers, to remind International Women’s Day. Not only they didn’t accept the idea of entering the Lager, but they “invited” the group to move 100m away from the gate.

While talking with the police, women went loud, women after women took the microphone of the loud speaker, and made clear that “lagers had to be closed, controls have to finish, discrimination has to finish”, “equal rights to everybody”, “stop deportation”, “we are here (refugees) because you are there(German/western governments)”, “That (lager) is not a home is a prison”, “ohh lele oh lala solidarité avec les sans papier”.

Anyways women from the Lagers joined, trickling in, one by one, those who were going out or coming in, some stayed, others smiled and said thank you for the flower, maybe next time we will see them at a meeting.

When women were not talking in the micro, the music was playing, many were dancing, other chatting, other giving out flowers and flyer’s, other taking care of the food and drinks. After around 3h we decided to go back, so it was announced a small demo to the bus stop, since the police didn’t give permission to a spontan demo.
The small demo, as the rest of the day, was full of power, of outrage, of decision to continue fighting, of continuing being loud.

Once in the station we found out there was no more trains going back to Berlin, there was a bus substituting the train, but the bus didn’t have enough places for everybody, so some people were left behind waiting for the next bus to come. That’s the everyday situation people in lagers have to cope with, few buses to the lager, trains being canceled, never knowing when you would arrive.

One thing is clear, it was not the first time to be in Eisenhüttenstadt and it won’t be the last, while the keep lagers open, we will return.

 

 Posted by at 10:32 am
Nov 012016
 

Almost two weeks ago, around 20 people were thrown out of the Lager at #Bornitzstr102. Many people will think, that is a bitter pill to swallow but things will go back to normal.
The thing is that there is nothing normal about living in a Lager. After the company moved the people to the “new” renovated floors upstairs, after taking several months to do it, after squashing the people for several months in less rooms promising them they would all stay, the fact is that they didn’t even accomplish the so-called renovations, the promised kitchens for the families are closed. Where are they cooking and how?

I’m still in contact with some of the people, so more conversations have been going on, from trying to reach the 8-10 people to whom the police opened a case, but having no success and wondering if they are aware that is important that they get advise before handling or accepting whatever letter comes from the police.
But not all the talks go around their situation in Germany, life didn’t start here. Through these talks come the memories of home, where all the cooking is house made, where all the fruits and vegetables are directly grown by them or some family member,”supermarkets are not the places where we buy fresh food”. The aromas of house-made food seeps in the room for a moment. Then I asked “what do you think will happen with the war on Syria?”, a couple of seconds pause and the answer comes “the war will not stop. There are too many interests. All are small groups divided, wanting power and greedy. Also now is not longer only about Syria, is a world war”. Nothing to say. We continue with small memories of things happening some years ago. “When I moved to Aleppo people thought that in the East (where I come from) we didn’t have anything, schools, electricity, can you imagine?”. The East of Syria is actually where the oil is, so is it not everything about oil?

At some point the conversation ended up with, “you know what is a fact, now we don’t have the “privilege” to be able to go back home. That’s the difference between Syrians and other nations, everything is destroyed, we have no home where to go back to.” Now everyday, he has to deal with this feeling, but even though “it’s not yet time to mourn our dead, the day will come when we cry for them, now we have to continue”.

All these words, stuck into my brain, left me thoughtful, while going back home. Automatically I entered in the ubahn, all the words popping in and out, images, aromas, at some point I saw a figure, which I thought I recognized, but there was something that made me not sure, still words coming and going while trying to focus in the face I was looking at. Suddenly a smile appeared, “hey”, so I thought “ok, I was right I know him” and directly I sited by his side. he had some ugly marks around his eyes, his eyes were red, sparkling as if they had been in tears, “what happened?” I asked, “6 people just beat me up“, astonished I answered “Whatttt?”, “yes, they asked me where are you from? From Syria”, and then the group started beating him up, in the head, the face, the legs, the arms, he had everything in pain. “Half an hour ago, I was crying like a little boy” he said with half smile. “Where? Who?” and really could not come out of the state fo the previous conversation, when I met this young guy, also staying in the same Lager. “They sprayed me with pepper spray. Do you smell it?” For a second I was tempted to say yes, but actually I didn’t smell anything, which proofs nothing since my nose is not very sensitive. Then he took something out of his pocket “Look, I also have pepper spray but I didn’t even have the time to take my hand out of the pocket, everything happened very quickly”
The only thing I managed to say, with some sense was “do you have where to spend the night or a couple of days?” “Yes, I’ll stay at a German’s friend. I just want to take a shower and sleep.” Then I suggested that he had to talk with some group Reachout or Rote-hilfe, to denounce the aggression. It can not go unpunished, “I just want to forget, I don’t want to be near the police”, “you don’t need to talk to the police, just talk with any of these groups so they can help and advise you or at least, they can document the aggressions that are taking place, to create awareness.
He kept silence, thinking “my friend will help me, now I just want to get to Kreuzberg, is the safe zone.”

 Posted by at 7:16 pm
Oct 192016
 

Yesterday night, I went to visit my friends at #Bornitzstr102, with another friend, somehow I needed to share with someone what the last 2 weeks have been for people at the Lager.

When trying to get in, yesterday, the security told me, no they cannot receive visits, they are going to be expelled, they have no right to stay here. It was 20h, my eyes wide open, “two days ago, it was the same situation, and I could visit them without problem” I said, “today we’ve been told, they cannot receive any visit”, so for the sake of a job, they were carrying out orders. Finally another person that I know, came to pick me up, he is staying in the Lager, so finally I went in. What happened after, maybe I’ll write it in another moment. Now, I feel this preventing people from receiving visits was a premonition of what was going to happen today.

19.06.2016 at 11am, a friend sent me a what’sup, “the police is here and wants us to go”,  I was trying to work, so I didn’t read this message until almost two hours later. When I read it, I thought “Oh fuck!!!!”. I answered and said “I’m coming”, I finished what I was doing, I stood up and went there. There were several police cars, blue lights on, some standing at the entrance, some in the hall, others in the first floor, the floor of the ones resisting, in whole maybe around 15 policemen. I called my friend and said “I’m here, but you need to pick me up, they will let me in to visit you”.

While waiting for him to come down, I had to see how one of the securities, a big guy, that having a shit job, at this moment felt he had power on the refugees, said to one person sitting in the hall, “out, go out, you cannot be here”, the guy just sitting said in just body language, I’m waiting, “you have to leave, you had two leave 2 weeks ago, so now out!!!!”. I asked the security, “is he not a person?, is not any other way to treat people? do you think that is ok?”, he changed his voice, from this “I have the power little piece of shit” voice, to a “this is a visitor I have to calm down before I get in trouble” voice and said calmly “well, he cannot stay here any longer, he has to leave”.

In between they came to pick me up, so I’m not sure if the security threw this guy right away or if he waited.

Once I was inside, as I went up the stairs, I saw how 5-6 policemen were surrounding one of the people and “showing” him the way. He could not move, he could not stop to say bye to some of the people still in one of the rooms, they accompanied him to the door. Already after 10 minutes in the Lager, my body got stiff, anger, impotence, rage were settling inside me. They told me, that some of the people had gone out in the morning, and now they could not go inside to pick up their staff. Another friend with medical problems was in his rooms, the fact of the police throwing him out had affected his diabetes, he got a peak, to the level of being at risk of heart attack, finally they took him to the hospital. Once his situation was under control, he came back (around 2-3h later), he could not enter the Lager. I guess that the thoughts of the workers at the Lager were “we are doing our job, we are good citizens, we follow the rules”. Again and again only one thought has being going on through my brain, “where the hell has humanity gone to, to justify everything on the name of a shit job?” “what the hell has happened with humanity not to consider humans other people, to treat them worse that animals?”, even rats are treated with care not get harmed while refugees, must cope with everything. OMG!!!!!

During the day, I could do nothing but accompany, my first idea was to try to do some “citizen journalism”, to try to make the “outside world” aware of what was going there, but there were no words to express it, what goes inside these jails is too deep, how souls are broken for the sake of business is too scary, to repeat it on an on, and see that there is no reaction it’s too hard. Almost nobody cared in 2 weeks of what was going on at #Bornitzstr102, I must say I’m very very thankful to a bunch of people that have reacted immediately, no questions, just support, to the point they could, we are not heroes, we can do almost nothing, but to feel that you are not alone, is already a lot, at least for me.

So yes, I tried to, every now and then, have my twitter account updated, but as my friend said, now is over. He said that, but he stayed in the same room, watching for the things of his friends, he said, “I will not move when they want me to move”, he also exchanged with another friend “at least we fought a bit, we didn’t stayed cross armed“. In between, we chatted, we laughed, one young entered the room and said “hola, comos esta?”, then I asked “oh, you speak Spanish?” he told me “no, I don’t but my father does”. Ten minutes later, he passed me his phone, to speak to him. It took me by surprise, “now, in Spanish?”, “yes”, and I spent talking 5 minutes in a perfect Spanish with his father still living in Syria. “Cuando vayamos a ver a nuestro hijo, me dices qué quieres de Siria y te lo llevamos”, he told me. That’s the world where we live, in permanent contact, between wars, physical in Syria, psychological in Germany. The young guy tells me, “I don’t have a place to invite my parents, I live in this Lager, can you help me to find a flat?”. I thought about housing situation in Berlin and said, “people that want to live here  don’t have it easy, not matter their status, the city is being sold to tourists and rich people”. Maybe is not the best thing to say, but is what it’s happening.

Hours passed in a cold room, with no electricity, in a floor with no water (toilets), just to make sure that if people wanted to stayed they would have to suffer. Punishment for those who resist and rise their voice against injustice. At some point a group of people entered the room, they explained to us that the police had asked for the “Ausweis” of 8-10 people and taken their names to open them a police case, the reason not clear, they will have to wait for the post at Kopenicker Allee to know what are the charges. The goal of opening a police case to people that have stayed peacefully in their heim, is just one, punishment, without the language and not knowing where to go, the police case will turn out to be a fine, to increase the money of public funds, that’s the perfect way of giving a public image of generosity to then steal the money back in a hidden way from the weakest link.

It was late afternoon already, but my friend remained sitting in the same chair, “I don’t have energy for anything”, he even had to stop talking, then he said “My uncle has died today in Syria, is too much in one day”.  We talked a bit about Syria, his region, he said “when we came here we were surprised that it was like Syria before the war, is not so different” (in relation to the so called “development”, but in relation to humanity, we agreed, “here people is too cold, they don’t want any contact, they don’t care about people. The only friendly people that have helped us are not from here”.  My back started hurting, too many hours sitting, so I stood up for a while, the body was still stiff, but that will last some days, I just needed to deal with my back, it was better if I didn’t leave the room, now the security was angry and maybe they would throw me out if they saw me in that room. I walked up and down the room, I saw they staff in rubbish bags, they didn’t even have time to get some bags to put their things inside, they were not given bed sheets, everything was upside down in the room, as their lives, as our souls.

It was already dark, we light the room with the smartphones, someone brought some food, we sat on the floor, then one said “I’ll do something crazy”, we were eating and suddenly we started hearing the sounds of the forest, cicadas, crickets, the wind in the forest, an owl … we started laughing …. yes we could imagine ourselves in the middle of nowhere, eating some fast food, everything dark, isolated and abandoned.

Tomorrow, for those who didn’t manage to go to Lageso today, their morning will be a queue and uncertainty inside a modern building, then maybe the streets. Sometimes the streets are a more honourable places than Lagers, even if it’s difficult to understand.

Human rights, democracy, justice, freedom are illusions.

 

 Posted by at 4:18 pm