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.