The Action Circle of the Independent Non-Citizen Struggle: Break up announcement

History 
 
In late June 2012, three months after the start of the Non-Citizens' (asylum-seekers') struggle in Würzburg in March 2012, a meeting was announced by the Non-Citizens in the Würzburg tent. The goal of this meeting was to analyze the potential of protest in other camps, especially in Bavaria, and to find a structure for spreading the protest campaign to different cities. The meeting took place in the presence of Non-Citizens (asylum-seekers) from the Würzburg tent (who were on wet hunger strike with sewed lips) and individual Non-Citizens (asylum-seekers) from different camps in Bavaria.

One of the suggested ideas in the meeting, related to the attempt to spread the protest to other cities, was a tent action. It was this proposal, after being discussed in the meeting, which got the full agreement of all participants. Spreading the protest in the shape of a nationwide tent action became the next step of the Non-Citizens’ struggle.

 

The question here was how to establish functioning connections between protesting tents: how the different tents could set up forms of coordination and connections while retaining independence in the decision making process. The creation of 'The Coordination Committee of Striking Asylum-Seekers in Germany' allowed for this nominal connection. The Committee – with one Non-Citizen member from each protesting tent – had the responsibility to create this connection through the organization of regular meetings (face to face, via telephone or Skype). Also, the Committee was the place for first, updating other protesting tents about the developments and difficulties of each tent (finding collective solutions and supporting each other), second, having discussions about collective positions of protesting tents, third, the elaboration of political perspectives and forth, the analysis of the next steps of the struggle as one striking unit.

 

In the end of this meeting the plan was to have four more tents on the street, in Regensburg, Düsseldorf, Bamberg and Aub. This was to happen in first 10 days of July.

 

After this, the first meetings of the Committee took place, starting mid-July, with five members from five tents participating.

During these meetings, which, due to the geographical distance were mostly telephone conferences or Skype meetings, different plans got agreed on as short and long term steps. First, a three-day solidarity hunger strike of the Düsseldorf and Regensburg tents with the Aub hunger striking Non-Citizens - which were on hunger-strike since the 16th of July 2012 - was to take place. Second, a one-day demonstration action in five cities was to be held, on the 28th of July 2012. These were both the short term steps. The 'Refugee Protest March to Berlin' as long term strategy obtained the agreement of all five tents. It is important to mention that the Nürnberg and Passau tents, as Non-Citizens tents, and also the Berlin tent, organized by supporting citizens, came to the street in August 2012, while 'The Refugee Protest March To Berlin' had already been decided on by the Committee as it's next step.

 

'The Refugee Protest March to Berlin' was the idea of the Committee and started on the 8th of September 2012, with the management and under the responsibility of the Committee (you can follow the positions, statements and the political discourse of the Committee during that time by clicking here). Of course, the support and participation of individuals, groups and organizations was crucial as well.

 

'The Refugee Protest March To Berlin' took place on two routes, one walking and one by bus, and arrived in Berlin after 28 days. With the presence of more than 86 protesting Non-Citizens (asylum-seekers) in Berlin, in order to build a new structure by the Non-Citizens themselves, the Coordination Committee decided to break up. Yet, political conflicts between Non-Citizens and some supporting citizens in Berlin, who threatened the independence of Non-Citizens of taking decisions, did not allow for the time to build up a new structure amongst the Non-Citizens. Even the Committee did not manage to completely pass the experiences and information during those conflicts. In the end, 22 Non-Citizens (including all members of the Committee) determined to remain independent, organized the hunger strike at Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, and left Oranienplatz. The wet hunger strike with a minimum achievement, got broken up on the 9th day, during the negotiations organized by the German Government.

 

After the failure of the hunger strike, members of the dissolved Committee gathered themselves, again to organize the next steps of the struggle, based on an analysis of what they had experienced. Concerning this, analyzing Non-Citizens' struggles in Germany and other regions (including a tour to The Netherlands, Austria, France and Belgium), they started a collective process of studying. This led them to write 'On The Position of “Asylum-seekers” and Asylum-seekers' Struggle in modern societies'. This essay composes an analysis, which criticizes the one-dimensional understanding of active people in 'asylum-seekers' contexts. On a theoretical base it tries its best to develop a perspective of the Non-Citizens' struggle, from not only an anti-racist/anti-nationalist angle, but also in order to get to the root of these discriminations. On these lines, 'The Action Circle of Independent Non-Citizens' Struggle' got organized and as its first step, organized the 'Refugee Struggle Congress' in the first three days of March 2013 in Munich. This happened with the support of independent individuals and different groups.

During the 'Refugee Struggle Congress', the oral history starting from the 19th of March 2012, as well as the analysis about the term and position of 'Non-Citizens' was introduced. For creating networks between different current Non-Citizens' protests in different regions, an open-mic space was reserved under the topic of 'common struggle'. After this an independent meeting of Non-Citizens took place to structure and plan the next steps of the struggle. After the Congress, the 'Action Circle' went on a two-months long tour to nine cities in Bavaria to create an independent network of Non-Citizens. During this, the hunger-strike in Rindermarkt in Munich got planned and, on the 22nd of June 2013 materialized with 89 Non-Citizens, based on their collective decision, starting a wet hunger-strike.

 

Break up of 'The Action Circle of Independent Non-Citizens' Struggle'

 

There is no doubt that only reviewing some headlines of the activities of the Non-Citizens' struggle in the past 15 months cannot represent the highs and lows of the struggle. The history of the 'Action Circle's' activities (which includes the coordination Committee), however it is, with all its achievements and deficiencies, with all the support and ignorance it received, with all internal and external pressures, was the result of the collective activities of those whose protests brought real potential to a scene full of lethargy.

 

Those who believed that books would not create miracles themselves showed that knowledge needed to be connected to practice, in order to create awareness so desperately required for a real change in the daily life of Non-Citizens.

 

Today, after 15 months struggling, the position of members of the 'Action Circle' - with exception of one member- within the hierarchy of the society, from the Non-Citizen (asylum-seeker) position, got developed to another position; it is still unstable but safer. This change within the majority of the 'Action Circle' members on the one hand, and on the other hand our understanding of Non-Citizens' independent struggle, led us to break up the 'Action Circle of Independent Non-Citizens' Struggle'.

 

We believe that oppressed subjects, reclaiming their own oppressed voices, having full independence in the decision making process, tearing apart the isolation and marginalization and stepping into the public, can become self-empowered. It is an empowerment that, for a long time, was only reserved for hundreds of individuals, groups and governmental as well as non-governmental organizations. Through self-empowerment the murderous order of this current state can be shaken up.

 

The protest of Non-Citizens is not in its last breath, neither are the activities of the 'Action Circle' members. We believe that independent Non-Citizens' struggles will continue and we now have to find our subject-position based on our new position in society.

 

The 'Action Circle' is dead, long live the 'Action Circle'.

 


The Action Circle of the Independent Non-Citizen Struggle
Omid Moradian
Mohammad Kalali

Ashkan Khorasani
Arash Dosthosein

Houmer Hedayatzadeh

 

NEW Website

Alle Informationen über die beiden Protestmärsche erhalten Sie ab sofort über die neue, laufend aktualisierte Internetseite:

Refugee Struggle For Freedom

 

All information on the two protest marches are published continously on the new website:

Refugee Struggle For Freedom

Callout for Organizing the Non-citizens' Protestmarch to Munich

Dear friends,

After the protest of the hungerstriking NC's at Rindermarkt, the violent eviction by the police and in view of the fact that none of the demands of the protesters were met, the NC's will continue their protests. So, the protesters from Rindermarkt, which are definitely not going to go back to the camps, jointly decided to walk in the form of two protest marches to Munich through Bavaria, to inform as many NC's as possible and to give the opportunity to participate in this protest to those who also want to do something about these conditions. Therefore, it will be two marches to reach as many people as possible. Everyone standing behind the demands (the right to stay for all / recognition of the asylum applications) of the protesting NC's and want to support them in getting their justice is welcome to participate.

There will be two different routes on the way to Munich. Route A will start from Wuerzburg and after passing Nuernberg and Augsburg will move toward Munich and route B will start from Bayreuth and after passing Regensburg and Landshut will continue to Munich. Purpose of these 2 routes is to mobilize NCs living in Lagers to join in. Below at the end we are sending you 2 links to the maps of the 2 routes of the protest march with hypothetical stop-points which of course may have to get changed depending on our possibilities and facilities to organize the stops.

It is going to start on 20. August, planned arrival is between 1. and 5. September. So there are about 15 night-stays per route. The most important thing we need to organize at first, are places to stay on the ways (including overnight material), cars and drivers.

To enable better collaboration, we have formed the following working groups, most of them have both, NC's and C's as members. For each group, there is an own Email address and Google Group (mailing list). Those who wish to participate in the respective group, please register at the email address specified:

  1. Logistics (logistic.refugeeprotest@gmail.com)
    Refugees as well as activists form this group. This group is responsible to solve all logistical issues on both routes.
    1. Important things in both routes are:

1-      Places to sleep

2-      Tents and sleeping bags

3-      Food and drinks

4-      Escort cars

5-      Toilettes and the possibility to take shower

6-      Electricity (specially on countryside)

7-      Transpies, flyers, megaphone…

8-      … (list is open- if you see other support which is needed feel free to say. Just contact the group)

  1. We need a car in each route to carry all the material and baggage of non-citizens as well as a caravan with a toilet, in case we can’t find a service area.

 2. Press / Media (media.refugeeprotest@gmail.com)

It publishes press releases and statements from the Ncs, forwards press requests and evaluates the coverage from press. Taking care of the website, Facebook, etc. is also part of it. Due to the difficult situation with the internet on the way there should be a solid media center in a town that collects all information from the marches, publishes important stuff and in turn gives feedback about the media to the NC's on the protest marches.

  1. For having a complete press review and analysis of the media’s direction many intrested people are needed to work in a harmony on it.
  2. One can find detailed information on our official website www.refugeetentaction.net. This website will be administrated to publish non-citizens’ point of view, therefore it will become the mouthpiece of the protest and should be spread.
  3. Furthermore there will be press conferences in different cities which have to be organized to ensure local press activities.

3. Communication (communication.refugeeprotest@gmail.com)

The aim of this group is to have representatives from the various supporter groups (regional / geographic) in this Communication Group to ensure the information exchange between NC's and C's.

It starts contacting groups and individuals in the cities which we’ll pass along our two routes to Munich to activate local support. The group has to write a list with all active groups and individuals so that the Logistic group can use this information and structures.

    1. It also builds up connection to the lawyers who are familiar with the asylum laws or/and the right of assembly to solve the problems quickly.

4. Finance (financial.refugeeprotest@gmail.com)

  1. This working group is concerned with the means to get donations to support the protest financially. The idea is that this kind of support should be enabled without advertising for each organization which is donating.

Please contact our financial group and make a donation to the following bank account.

 

Name: Streitberger Refugee-Congress
Institut: Sparkasse Regensburg
BLZ: 750 500 00
Konto-Nr.: 26479584

IBAN: DE 417505 00 00 00 2647 9584

BIC: BYLADEM 1 RBG

Spendenkonto / Verwendungszweck: Protestmarsch Munich

5. Documentation (documentary.refugeeprotest13@gmail.com)
It is very important that this protest march is accompanied and documented by photographers, film-makers etc… everyone who is experienced or knows someone who is experienced is needed and can join this workgroup by writing an email.

6. Medicine (medicalgroup.refugeeprotest@gmail.com)
This working group is trying to establish contacts with doctors and medical personnel that can be active on site.

7. Mobilization (logstic.refugeeprotest@gmail.com)

This group consists of only NCs (mobilization in the camps), but it needs car drivers immediately for camp tours throughout Bavaria. If you can hereby support, please apply to the email address of the logistics group as well.

 

8. Translation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Translations (of political essays, call-outs, press releases etc.) are very much needed - the main languages for the mobilization of asylum seeker are currently: *Farsi, *English, *French, *Urdu, *Kurdi-sorani, *Kurdi-kurmanci, *Romanes, *Russian, *Arabic. the main languages needed for press releases/essays (mostly directly the german public) are:

*English and *German. +this working group has a coordination circle (currently 3 people) and two e-mail lists: one for coordinating written translations, one for coordinating oral interpretations. (spontaneous) translators and_or
interpreters are always urgently needed - no matter which language!

 

9. Anti-Repression ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Takes care of any repression coming from police/ the state - be it towards non-citizen activists or citizen supporters. this group supports with legal advice as well as politically and financially. +currently only 2 people make up the working group (plus structures from the rote hilfe Munich with legal advice). there is urgent support needed in this working group - anybody, wherever, can join and start working online - mostly it will be about answering e-mails and questions from those affected by repression. Munich/Bavaria-based people are needed in a second step once letters arrive and people need to be supported in going to lawyers etc.! soon, there will be a anti-repression workshop/meeting in Munich.

 

The working groups are not a platform for political discussions / arguments, but to act in accordance with the implementation of the protest marches. For a better network and disseminate you are welcome to forward this email to people, of whom you know that they want to support this protest.

 

 

Route A: http://goo.gl/maps/Hu7QM

Route B: http://goo.gl/maps/NxivK

 

Thank you!

Striking Non-Citizen Of Rindermarkt- Analysis and Perspectives

Introduction

 

On the 22nd of June 2013, we started the “No Border, No Nation” non-citizen demonstration, at Karlsplatz in Munich. Yet, midway through the demonstration, we collectively decided to stop at Rindermarkt and 86 of us sat down on the street.

 

In our first statement we announced that in order to get our asylum claims accepted we had started a wet hunger strike (taking water but no food) and we gave the German government 3 days time to meet our demand.

After 3 days without any reaction from the government, we organised several meetings and in the end, based on our own reasoning, decided to take another step toward achieving equal rights with other human beings. During our own press conference on Thursday, the 25th of June, we announced that we were going on a dry hunger strike (no food, no water) and that the responsibility of our lives was now in the hands of the authorities and legislators.

 

After one day, the first reaction from the Bavarian government was a negotiation proposal between us, the dry hunger striking non-citizens (asylum-seekers) and them, the authorities. The negotiation that took place on Wednesday concluded without any result, so we continued our dry hunger strike to achieve our demand for equal rights.

 

On Saturday, the 29th of June, the 8th day of our hunger strike and at the same time the 5th day of our dry hunger strike, the second round of negotiations failed due to an even worse approach by the government than in the first round. In the end, on early Sunday morning, the 30th June, at 4:30 am, more than 300 riot police forces attacked our camp. The hunger strikers of the camp got evicted; some of us were sent to hospital, some to prison.

What happened in the 9 days at the Rindermarkt has been analyzed from various positions and views and in different ways in the media or in political circles. Now, we, as the subjects of non-citizen (asylum-seeker) struggles, want to analyze the Rindermarkt struggle from our own position and perspective in order to ensure transparency and account for the parts untold.

Rindermarkt - The result of what?


Analyzing an occurrence detached from its historical roots, its context and causes would only allow for an incomplete and insufficient analysis. The struggle at the Rindermarkt is no exception to this rule. Rindermarkt was the result of the life experiences we had gained in our countries of origin, the fruit of the ups and downs of the non-citizens (asylum-seekers) struggle of the last 17 months, the result of our collective wisdom and awareness. But above all, it was the result of our living conditions shaped by the discriminating laws of the German government, which is a position that we, the non-citizens (asylum-seekers), equally share.

 

On the 19th of March 2012, 10 non-citizens (asylum-seekers), in order to change their living conditions, started their wet hunger strike in a tent in Würzburg, with 10 concrete demands. After 17 days, through the negotiation with a delegation from the government and after receiving false promises from the delegation, they broke their hunger strike, yet continued their strike on the street. The government didn't stay committed to their own promises, so that, only a short while later, the protest spread to more cities, in the form of protest tents.

On the 8th of September all non-citizens from the tent actions gathered in Würzburg and started the Refugee Protest March to Berlin, in two ways: one on foot, the other one by bus. After 28 days the protest arrived in Berlin, the political capital of Germany.

 

The 9 days of hunger strike of 22 non-citizens (asylum-seekers) at the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, led to the second round of negotiations with the government. The delegation from the government, again, successfully broke the hunger strike with false promises.

 

The first non-citizen congress on the first three days of March 2013 took place in Munich, giving non-citizens (asylum-seekers) the space to share their own analysis about their asylum-seeker position in society and the struggle of asylum-seekers, with other non-citizens. One of the results of the congress was the realization that changing the situation of us, asylum-seekers, would not be possible without legal residency. Legal residency implies the right to stay, freedom of movement, the right to work and study, the right to choose one’s living place, the right to choosing the food one eats – and hence, all in all, the right to choose our own destiny.


Then the big question arose: “what is to be done for achieving a secured life and having equal rights with others?” Self-organization, the building of networks in order to meet one another was the first step. In more than 70 meetings with the participation of non-citizens (asylum-seekers) who lived in more than 200 camps in Bavaria, the Rindermarkt struggle got organized. Rindermarkt was our own answer to the question that we ourselves had raised. So on the 22
nd of June, united as one, we started our collective protest at Rindermarkt.



How did the government confront the hunger strike at Rindermarkt?

First step: using their old methods for breaking the hunger strike

The first reaction from the government came on Tuesday, the 4th day of the hunger strike and the first day of the dry hunger strike. Mrs. Haderthauer (CSU), social minister of Bavaria, publishing one press release, asked for a round table between a delegation of the Bavarian government and us, dry hunger striking non-citizens. There are some points in the press release of Mrs. Haderthauer, which reveal the general policies of the government. In this press release she states: “so far this method (the round table) could calm down the situation.”

Clearly she refers to the last two rounds of negotiation in Würzburg and Berlin, in which the government’s delegation, by giving false promises, misusing the physical weakness of the hunger striking non-citizens, and by taking advantage of the language difficulties of non-citizens, forced us to take immediate decisions during the negotiations. Without sufficient experience to deal with the political games of professional politicians who used the existing fears of hunger striking people and their concerns about their own futures, the government delegation was always able to break the hunger strike without any gain for the hunger strikers.

Thus, the government showed us clearly that, once again, its default approach is to erase the whole question instead of finding answers and solutions. After the publication of the Social Minister's press release, we started convening our own meetings to see whether we could find any reasons for joining this negotiation and if so, how and with what strategy we would approach it. Collectively, after discussing on this topic and sharing our experiences of the last two rounds of negotiations, we decided to send a messenger to the negotiation in order to deliver our statement and demand to the delegation and receive their offers. We all agreed on this solution (having a messenger) in order for us to stay away from the physical and psychological pressure of the government, and in order to be able to take decisions on probable offers of the delegation. Being committed to the idea of collectivity, subjectivity and subject-position, the messenger was not allowed to take any decisions, voice her_his personal political inputs or even act as the speaker. Of course at this level, political trust in the messenger, for being sure that s_he would be committed to these principles, was required. In a meeting on Tuesday evening in the tent, we decided collectively that Ashkan Khorasani, who is a former asylum-seeker, would participate in the negotiations as our messenger.

On Wednesday, the messenger was sent to the negotiations with a list of all dry hunger-striking non-citizens. On top of the list one sentence stated our only demand. The negotiation took place between our messenger and the government’s delegation, which was a group of 15 people from the government of Upper Bavaria, members of the 'Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge', the Social Ministry, the 'Jugendamt', the City of Munich, the Police, and the President of Upper Bavaria as moderator of the negotiation.

The delegation was ridiculing the dry hunger strike by not organizing an acceptable translation from German into English (and back) for the messenger, by contributing to an atmosphere in which it was not possible to have a dialogue, by using suppression techniques such as interrupting or shouting. In the end, by not accepting the position of our messenger, the delegation tried their best to break the hunger strike without any result for the non-citizens.

The delegation brought an offering package on the table that included: firstly, reviewing the asylum cases of all dry hunger striking people during the next two weeks, of course without any promises and, secondly, having medical support and getting "better" tents. Both of these two offers were conditional on the promise of dry hunger striking non-citizens to start the intake of water.

The messenger, during the meeting, contacted us in the tent and informed us about the package. After a short meeting in the tent, we found that this package was so far away from our demands that we passed the collective decision to continue with our dry hunger strike. In the negotiation, the moderator of the meeting, the President of Upper Bavaria Mr. Hillenbrand (CSU) said: “you people, living under non-democratic structures, don’t acknowledge our democracy here in Germany”. Mrs Meier (SPD), Social Referent of Munich said: “this meeting is not going anywhere because the messenger and the position of dry hunger striking non-citizen is too political.” (For more details about this negotiation, check the video of the press conference which, sadly, the mainstream media, violating the inviolable principle of Free Access To Information, never published a thing of it). In the end, the negotiation failed, without any positive outcome for us.

Second step: erasing the question in the political and dominant media discourse

Our resistance to the false promises of the authorities, by continuing our dry hunger strike, was a political defeat for the Bavarian government. Suddenly old and tested methods did not work out. Hence, now was the time to employ «new methods», using fake human rights slogans. Such «new methods» can be grouped as follows:

2-1. The law binds the government and our «impossible» demand

The common points voiced in interviews or press releases from authority positions was to attack the basis of our demand, alleging a contradiction between our demands and the law in Germany. The government announced several times that the demands of dry hunger striking asylum-seekers were rejected merely because they did not fit the constitution.

At first we have to say, using the law as a tool, for giving or taking away legitimacy from people's demand, is a dirty political game. Non-citizen (asylum-seeker) protests, at least in the last 17 months, targeted all of these laws that are based upon discrimination. This mentality to measure everything with the law ignores that non-citizens in the Refugee Protest March to Berlin in September 2012, had already announced in their statement: "We won’t respect the laws which do not respect our humanity"

Here it is important to mention that not having the right to work or right to education, that having 'Residenzpflicht', deportation, mandatory living in asylum-seeker camps, food packages and so on, are all based on laws in Germany. The German government even legally stole at least 90€ from each asylum-seeker per month. But let us imagine that we recognize the law and want to act under the discriminating laws which are based on profit and capital. The government is lying that having legal residency is not in the hand of the government and that legislators have to handle it. In Germany’s asylum law there are different options given to minister-presidents who, with agreement of the Ministry of Interior, can give legal residency. There are are many instances in the last 10 years where such legal residency was granted.

2-2. Medical support; one day as offer for breaking the hunger strike, the day after a law to implement

In the media, the instrument that turns the government into the ‘good one’ of this story is that the government was portrayed as not having anything else to do before the election, apart from rescuing us, dry hunger striking non-citizens (asylum-seeker)! The issue of medical support was brought on the table by the government in the first round of the negotiations as an offer to stop the dry hunger strike. When the negotiations failed, bringing up the issue of medical support helped to turn the government into a benevolent actor, and, at the same time, it was a tool to put pressure on us. The first unanswered question is that if our health and beside that, medical support for us, is important and a duty of the government, why, in the very first step, did they make it conditional for us to stop the dry hunger strike?

The second unanswered question is that if our health is the concern of the government, why does the government fail to do anything to change the situation which keeps our lives in asylum-seeker camps, forces thousands of us to commit suicide (state murder) and deport us against our will to unsafe places? Aren’t we those human beings, as non-citizens (asylum-seekers), who are just surviving under these inhuman conditions which are based on discriminating laws, while our destinies dried up in the ink of your judges’ pens? You decide where we live, you decide our range of movement; even the brand of our clothes and our food is already selected by you. Now, how dare you trying to dictate a "rescue program" to us?

Interestingly, before the government started caring about our health, on the second day of the hunger strike, we ourselves established a medical working group in which volunteering doctors participated. Maybe we can clarify our position concerning this "rescueing mission": we already proved in the last 17 months that in our struggle, for liberating ourselves and other non-citizens, we don’t need big brothers; we don't need to be pitied or be saved. Our decisions for continuing our struggle are just based on our collective knowledge and awareness.

2-3. The Government's political manoeuvres on position, personality and approach of the messenger

In some of the lines above we clarified already our decision to create the position of the messenger. There is no doubt that we had and have political trust in the messenger who we selected and we, most certainly, clarified his duties, responsibilities and positions.

At first we have to say that questioning the position as such, the messenger himself and his positions that he announced, is in total disrespect to the collective knowledge and awareness of us hunger striking non-citizens (asylum-seekers). The government and media portrayed us as weak objects that are in the hands of a monster, without any independent will so that a person is required to lead us, or that we are foolish enough to be cheated upon. These approaches do not show any respect to us as active subjects of this struggle, our political awareness which is coming from our life experiences and, in the end, it disrespect our collective decisions. Of course we do not see this approach from the government, as a mere coincidence.

This taking away of subject-position from us hunger striking non-citizens and reducing the whole protest to one person, finally erased our collective protest from the media to become a confrontation between the government and one individual person (the messenger). Now erasing the whole issue, the demand of us hunger striking non-citizens, became the easiest task for the government to accomplish.

Spreading rumors about the role of the messenger in our decision making processes, the messenger’s alleged denial to allow doctors to enter the camp, and the impossibility of communication with us due to the messenger’s approach, were all serving the government’s strategy to attack our political structure.

This time the government faced a new formation from us in the negotiation, their old methods did not work out. The formation (having a messenger) gave us the space to get distance from direct pressures of the negotiation meetings and take decisions while already being under the pressure of conducting the dry hunger strike.

Therefore, taking away the legitimacy of the messenger and applying pressure and demanding to reach us directly, were desperate tactics employed by the government. The government did not come up with new methods to break the hunger strike and thus tried to direct the situation to the level where old methods would become effective again.

2-4. The government made us understand: If you don't break your hunger strike, we will break your arms and legs.

 

If we review the newspapers from Wednesday, the 26th of June, the same day that the first negotiations failed, the interviews with authorities, rather than trying to find a solution or actually ‘rescuing us’, smelled more like tear gas and batons. Just some examples: on Thursday evening, the 27th of June, in a non-official meeting in presence of Mr. Hillenbrand, Mrs. Meier and our messenger, the police vice president of Munich, Mr. Kopp clarified that, if no cooperation from the messenger took place, the eviction of the camp, even with the use of violence, is on the table as an option. On Friday, the 28th of June, the mayor of Munich, Mr. Ude (SPD) said in an interview: “An eviction of the camp needs a legal ground, such we don’t have yet”.

After this, on Saturday, the 29th ofJune, the Minister-President of Bavaria Mr. Seehofer (CSU), the Social Minister of Bavaria Mrs. Haderthauer and the Minister of Interior Mr. Herrmann (CSU) had a meeting in Munich which they called “The Crisis meeting”. After their meeting they announced in a press conference that there were no offers for hunger striking non-citizens (asylum-seekers). From this meeting, two professional politicians, Mr. Vogel (SPD) and Mr. Glück (CSU) had been sent for the second round of negotiations. We decided to let them come inside the camp and hold a negotiation meeting with the messenger.So, the second negotiation took place and the approach of the government got worse compared to the first negotiation. In the beginning the delegation clarified that, they don’t have any political and practical power to change or offer anything. They said that they were here only because of their personal emotions and humanitarian feelings, in order to stop the dry hunger strike.

 

Once we stopped the dry hunger strike, they would only give serious advices to the government about our demand, without any promises. Our messenger left the meeting during the break and came back to the tents, passing this information on to us. During our own meeting which was brief, we couldn’t find any political relation between giving advice to the government and stopping the dry hunger strike. Generally, why didn’t their serious advice for the government, which were actually based on their personal «emotions and humanitarian feelings», reach the government until that very moment? If their serious advice is as effective and the delegation is as much humanitarian as they claim to be, why did they not make use of their “power of advice” without trying to make us end our strike? There is another video of another press conference which mainstream media didn’t publish. So we found out that it is a political game of the government and we decided to continue our dry hunger strike until we achieve our demand, which is having legal residency.

 

Sunday, at 5am, another ‘delegation’ of 300 hundred people, was sent by the government to the camp to pass the clear message from the government: We will crush you! Please find the video of the eviction here

 

Conclusion

 

Once again, the Bavarian government and above it, the German government, showed everybody that, for the moment, they can’t counteract the disadvantages of their medieval laws. They will use any tool available to eliminate the protesters. It’s a clear contradiction that 300 riot police were trying to «rescue» us by beating us nearly to death as we were on the 6th day of our dry hunger strike. All of us got beaten, forced to get to the ambulance and even imprisoned without any medical support in prison.(see how German government tried to rescue us(7)) All of us were pressured to sign false confessions against the messenger, they even offered legal residency to some of us in case of our cooperation.

 

Hereby we announce:

1- In complete physical and mental consciousness, based on our political experience, we decided to go on a collective hunger strike on the 22nd of June at the Rindermarkt of Munich. No individual, group or organization, in any part of our decision making process in our struggle, was able to force us to engage in practices contrary to our principles and procedures.

 

2- Any act of political revenge by the government, against anyone of us, will be met with an appropriate answer from us as one group.

3- Regardless of all the attempts of the government to erase the whole issue, even with recourse to inhuman methods, we, the striking non-citizens who conducted a hunger strike in Munich regard our issue as unresolved and unanswered by the government. We announce that our answer to the non-citizen (asylum-seeker) condition will be a non-citizens (asylum-seekers) collective struggle until we achieve equal rights.


4- Legal residency is the right of all non-citizens (asylum-seekers) and we are willing to make it come true (our press conference, 10 hours after the eviction of the camp(8)).

Hunger Striking Non-Citizens (asylum-seekers) from Rindermarkt-Munich

Medical Group Statement concerning the Hunger-Strike in Munich

We are representatives of the Medical Group, which is composed of various health-care related professionals. Amongst us there are doctors, nurses, midwives and medical students.
 
While our political points of view, our ages, and origins may vary, these differences were irrelevant in the context of our solidarity with the hunger strikers at the Rindermarkt. 
 
Due to the partially false and polemical media coverage in the past weeks we would like to release a statement in order to correct what we conceive of as flawed media coverage.

The allegation that the protestors were uncooperative with doctors is simply false. From the very beginning of the camp there were no attempts to foreclose cooperation with the medical personnel. To the contrary: The Medical Group, which was set up for this very purpose, was present from the beginning. The Medical Group was operating day and night and was trusted by the Non-Citizens. At no point was access to the camp denied.
 
In the beginning of the camp the Medical Group was invited by the strikers to a plenum in order to inform about the consequences of wet and dry hunger strikes. We did this conscientiously and extensively. The ones who entered the hunger strike were informed about all known consequences of an abstention from food and liquids and thus entered the hunger strike in full awareness of these consequences and on their own accord.   

Throughout the protest and at all times, personnel of the Medical Group was present within or in close proximity to the detached zone within the camp in order to check on vital signs and in order to monitor the state of health of every protesting person.
 
In addition, strikers monitored each other in small groups and alarmed us immediately in case of peculiar behaviour of co-strikers. It was agreed by the protestors that in cases of unconsciousness an emergency doctor and paramedics would be brought into the camp. At no point were doctors and paramedics obstructed in their work.
 
At night we established the routine of quarter-hourly arousal to ensure that all protestors were conscious. If a person could not be woken up, the information was immediately passed on and within seconds paramedics and emergency doctors would be on site so that the person concerned could be brought into hospital.
 
The reliability in the cooperation between protestors and the Medical Group as well as paramedics and emergency doctors was well known to the city. We had agreed to pass on information to the ‘action force’ about the ongoing situation.
 
On Wednesday morning a meeting took place between the representative of the ‘social unit’, the squad leader of the fire-brigades, the on-duty emergency doctor and three representatives of the Medical Group. In that meeting the Medical Group explained its structure and mode of operation. Furthermore, the positive cooperation of the Medical Group with the ‘action force’ on site was welcomed by both emergency medical staff as well as the city. After the meeting, the representative of the ‘social unit’ did not require further intervention due to the well functioning structure of the Medical Group and its positive  and smooth cooperation with the state-sponsored medical emergency personnel in the subsequent days.
 
However, this changed abruptly on Saturday afternoon. The messenger of the protestors was informed to allow access to three doctors to the camp who were chosen by the city. This communication reached us without warning and was rejected by the Non-Citizens as they did not deem further doctors within the camp necessary, especially ones they had not chosen and who thus did not constitute trusted doctors. The lawyer of the protestors appealed. The Medical Group immediately passed on the 24 hour shift schedule to the squat leader of the fire-brigades that was demanded in order to prove the existence of exhaustive medical assistance.
Nonetheless, a doctor of the “Kassenärztlichen Vereinigung Bayerns (KVB)”, who was authorized by the city, used his opportunity during an emergency to enter the camp even though trusted doctors of the Medical Group in cooperation with emergency doctors and paramedics were already attending to the hunger-striker. Although prompted to leave, the KVB-doctor refused to leave the camp, thereby violating both the privacy of the hunger-strikers and the organizational structure of the Medical Group.
Later he told the media that “40-45 people had been lying on the ground unconsciously and apathetically”. The statement of this doctor, as politicians pronounced, was the basis of the eviction of the camp in the same night. At that point in time, 47 persons were present in the camp, some strikers were (still) in hospital. The camp was composed of different tents with detached areas. Not at any time could the KVB-doctor have had an overview of all persons present in the camp when he entered an area with a maximum of 12 sleeping places of which only about half were used by strikers (who followed the situation consciously!). Furthermore, there were about 15 strikers standing or sitting in front of the tents, also because of the emergency.
 
Due to the untruthfulness of the KVB-doctor and its terrible consequences for the strikers through the eviction, it seems strange that the trusted doctor of the Medical Group present in the camp may have to face legal challenges, especially as there were numerous witnesses of the incident.
 
In the end, every attempt of transparency and cooperation from the side of the Medical Group on behalf of the protestors did not suffice to prevent the brutal eviction of the camp on allegedly ‘humanitarian grounds’. The proposition of ‘humanitarian grounds’ cannot have been the decisive factor as the eviction itself threatened the already compromised health conditions of the wet and dry hunger strikers, consciously endangering their lives. Additionally, in up to seven hours in police custody after the eviction, no medical attendance was offered to the hunger-strikers.
 
Concerning the particular situation of the children and the pregnant woman:
A pediatrician was present in the camp already on Saturday, the 22nd of June 2013, who checked up on the health condition of the three present children. On Tuesday, the 25th of June 2013, we consulted once again a pediatrician due to the low outdoor temperature. The pediatrician examined the 16-months old boy. On Friday, the 28th of June 2013, as a response to a demand by the youth welfare service, both the eight and nine-year old children were examined in a pediatric practice in the presence of a representative of the youth welfare service.
The pregnant woman was looked after by a gynecologist and a midwife in the camp. She gave birth a few days after the eviction. Both mother and children are healthy and well.
Both the pregnant woman as well as the children were health-wise completely uncompromised and were at no time participating in the wet and dry hunger strikes. The eviction was extremely burdensome, even traumatizing, for all participants, but also for the young children. The violence employed against their parents and other strikers had to be avoided. The pregnant protestor was forcefully and against her will led away in the course of which she fell to the ground and was dragged on. Throughout this ordeal she was holding her 16-months old child in her arms.       
 
We vehemently condemn the public defamation of the camp in which any capacity to form opinions and decisions independently was denied to the strikers, as well as the eviction of peacefully striking people and especially the violence enforced against the wet and dry hunger-strikers, the children and the pregnant woman.
 
Members of the Medical Group
 
Munich, 20th July 2013
 

Übersicht | Overview

Eisenhüttenstadt

english "Wir sind schockiert! Nach drei Tagen Lagerwatch-aktion vor dem Abschiebeknast und Lager Eisenhüttenstadt stellen wir fest, dass sich die Situation hier immer mehr verschlechter. Immer mehr Menschen kommen in Abschiebehaft und den Hungerstreikenden Geflüchtenden wird gesundheitsbredrohlicher von tag zu tag und die Aussagen unabhängiger Ärzte wird ignoriert.Sie missbrauchen Ihre Macht und sind nicht gewillt etwas zu ändern." Infos: Klick mich

Heiligenhaus

english "Am Montag, dem 15. Juli 2013 sollten die Refugees, die im Lager in Heiligenhaus wohnen müssen, zwangsweise umziehen. Begründet wurde dies mit festgestellten Mängeln in der Statik der Container, in denen die Leute bislang wohnen mussten. Dies traf auf Widerstand der Bewohner_innen, nicht weil sie die bisherige Unterbringung beibehalten wollten, sondern weil die Alternative in den Augen der Refugees eine Verschlechterung darstellt. Der Plan der Stadt Heiligenhaus war, die Bewohner_innen zwangsweise in eine Schule umzusiedeln, wo für 82 Bewohner_innen nur eine Dusche und vier Toiletten zur Verfügung stehen sollten. Hierbei sollten zwischen sechs und zehn Menschen auf einem Zimmer wohnen! Diese Entscheidung wurde den Leuten vier Tage vor ihrer Umsetzung angekündigt." Mehr Infos: Klick mich

Stuttgart

"Rund 40 Flüchtlinge demonstrieren in Stuttgart gegen ihre Lebensbedingungen im Main-Tauber-Kreis. Die Asylbewerber, die unter anderem aus Afghanistan, Pakistan und dem Irak kommen, campieren seit Mittwoch nahe der Haupteinkaufsstraße in der Landeshauptstadt." Infos: Klick mich

Berlin

"Die Politiker von Berliner Senat und Bund sind dem Gespräch im Flüchtlingscamp am Oranienplatz ferngeblieben. So können die Asylbewerber lediglich ihrem Ärger Luft machen." Infos: Klick mich

Hellersdorf (Berlin)

"Dass die NPD versucht, die Anwohnerproteste gegen ein Flüchtlingsheim, das im Berliner Stadtteil Hellersdorf entstehen soll, für ihre Zwecke zu nutzen, war bald offensichtlich. Denn die »Bürgerinitiative Marzahn-Hellersdorf« hat eine E-Mail-Adresse, die zu einem bekannten rechten Server gehört. Zudem betätigte sich mit Thomas Crull ein nach eigenem Bekunden ehemaliges Mitglied der NPD in der Initiative. Auf einer öffentlichen Bürgerversammlung, bei der sich Bezirkspolitiker den Fragen der Anwohner stellten, meldeten sich unter anderem Sebastian Schmidtke, Landesvorsitzender der Berliner NPD, und seine Lebensgefährtin Maria Fank, Landesvorsitzende des Rings Nationaler Frauen, zu Wort." Mehr Infos: Klick mich

Hamburg

english "Die Gruppe der Geflüchteten Lampedusa in Hamburg fordert die Anerkennung nach §23 des Aufenthaltsgesetzes. Mit der Brief- und Faxkampagne §23 soll diese Forderung gestützt und vielen Menschen die Möglichkeit gegeben werden, sich einfach und praktisch mit einem Zeichen der Solidarität dem Protest anzuschließen. Je größer die Unterstützung aus der Gesellschaft, desto größer ist auch der Druck bei den politischen Verantwortlichen sich ernsthaft mit der Situation auseinanderzusetzen und Wege für eine respektvolle Lösung einzuleiten." Mehr Infos: Klick mich

Nürnberg

"30 Asylbewerber aus Nürnberg machen derzeit mit einem Flüchtlingscamp auf dem Nürnberger Hallplatz auf ihre Lage aufmerksam. Vor gut drei Wochen haben sie zwei Pavillons aufgebaut. Seitdem sind die Zelte Tag und Nacht bewohnt." Mehr Infos: Klick mich