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Demonstration for recognition of the group "Lampedusa in Hamburg" now!

What is morally wrong cannot be politically correct.
Come together against inhumanity, injustice and racism

Big demonstration - Recognition of the group "Lampedusa in Hamburg" now!
Saturday, November 2, 2013 - at 2pm at Central Station, Hachmannplatz

The Hamburg Senate continues to block any just solution to the Libyan war refugees "Lampedusa in Hamburg".

"We hope for your solidarity" – This call, by the group "Lampedusa in Hamburg" was addressed towards the public in May 2013. People listened, understood and engaged. For almost half a year "Lampedusa in Hamburg" is on the road and thousands of people support their demand for the right of residence. The Senate ignores the voices calling for justice and humanity. After the St. Pauli Church proclaimed an “African Summer” providing accommodation for 80 "Lampedusas", the Hamburg Senate is now preparing a German Winter. Together with the group "Lampedusa in Hamburg" the supporting parties are calling for everyone showing solidarity, to come together again.

Enough is enough!

For months, the 350 people of the group "Lampedusa in Hamburg" are living in a situation that truly is a non-ending nightmare since the outbreak of the war in Libya and the NATO air strikes - the horror of war, the fatal journey across the Mediterranean and their lawlessness, organized by the EU. To "protect the civilian population" NATO bombed Libya in nearly 10,000 attacks. Italy examined the cases of people who escaped the war, issued individual refugee protection to all of those concerned, declared itself unable to implement this protection and drove the war refugees out of the country towards Northern Europe. The need for war survivors to rebuild their lives after all their losses is blocked by the governments of the countries that preach democracy and human rights all over the world.

"We, workers in Libya were part of the civilian population. We have been target for attacks by all warring parties. NATO claimed that they knew nothing of civilian victims by their bombings. Someone who discards populated areas with bombs from thousands of meters high is not interested in civilian victims. We have felt the explosions with our own bodies. We have seen the dead in the streets. There were relatives and acquaintances among them."(Lampedusa in Hamburg)

"As the NATO bombings began in March 2011 in support of the armed opponents of the regime, the war escalated. Because we were not part of the warring parties, we were suspected and accused by all sides. In particular, the lying propaganda of Gaddafi's opponents, "blacks are mercenaries of the regime" has cost the lives of many of us. From all sides we were threatened and robbed. All roads to the borders of neighboring countries were blocked, or fought or been bombed. The airports were closed. We ran for our lives and hid in our homes. Sometimes there were Libyan friends, who took us to the coast, to bring us and them out of danger. Many were taken in small boats and dinghies by the military under duress."(Lampedusa in Hamburg)

"We were 850 people on a boat. I have lost my two children when the boat capsized. 650 People did not survive."(Lampedusa in Berlin)

"In Lampedusa we were 7,000 people living in a camp for about 900 people. Nevertheless, the people made a big effort there. But they get no support from the EU. The Dublin II system - stay in the country of first arrival - violates our human rights. It forces us to live and die on the street. After recognition of our refugee status in Italy in winter 2012 we were thrown out on the road. They asked us to leave Italy. They told us - the EU is great - go and find your own way. There is nothing more for you here. And so it was, having nothing we made our way to France, Scandinavia, Switzerland and Germany through snow and ice. We are recognized refugees from a war in which the European countries have participated and yet they pretend we do not exist. But if we show up and make our situation visible, they want to deport us. In Italy we can beg, starve, steal, become guttersnipes or just die - the main thing is that the Dublin II system is being implemented. It is painful, after we were able to stabilize our lives in Libya to have to fight again for survival - in countries that call themselves major democracies."(Lampedusa in Hamburg).

"I never thought that Europeans are so evil. You put someone on the street and do not allow him to get his rights. You do not allow them to work; you do not allow them to live well. You do not allow them to be free. Why? Why all this? This is wickedness."(Lampedusa in Berlin)

"It's like when someone tells you that you need to go into the fire again right after you fled from the fire. Without the war in Libya and without the catastrophic human rights situation for refugees in Italy, we would not be here. We are exhausted and worn out from a long involuntary and gruesome journey. We are looking for an end to the denial of our right to live. We are here to stay."(Lampedusa in Hamburg)

Brief chronology of the story of flight in Hamburg:

  • 15th of April 2013
    closure of the winter emergency program - The city of Hamburg throws more than 700 African refugees out on the road.
  • 1st – 5th May 2013
    the Libyan war refugees bring their situation at the Protestant Church day in the public. The Nordkirche confirms to assist through humanitarian assistance.
  • 21st of May 2013
    police forces (from the district office of Central-Hamburg?) prevent the construction of a tent camp. For over a month the “Lampedusas” are already sleeping in the cold and an in the rain under bridges, in doorways, parks, etc.
  • 22nd of May 2013
    Construction of the permanent vigil at Hamburgs central station and short-term occupation of the Hamburg City Hall by " Lampedusa in Hamburg," in order to achieve that they can talk to the Senate and the Mayor. They were being comforted.
  • 1st of June 2013
    negotiations on an accommodation of refugees between the Nordkirche and the SPD Senate fail. The church declared that they would not get involved in the establishment of a deportation camp.
  • June 2013
    The protest is experiencing international media attention. In the city people from grassroots groups like from churches, mosques, local immigrant communities are organizing emergency relief in the form of temporary beds, food, clothing, medical care and courses on German language.
  • 20th of June 2013
    (UN World Refugee Day) " Lampedusa in Hamburg" introduces the public to a solution. They call the Hamburg Senate for their recognition as a specific refugee-group in the context of war and NATO intervention in Libya and the humanitarian emergency in Italy. A corresponding recognition of the group by the § 23 Residence Act is possible in each State in Germany, after consultation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
  • 14th of July 2013
    "We want our lives back " - through an exhibition, the African refugees living in Hamburg's St. Pauli Church for six weeks are drawing attention to their situation.
  • 18th of June 2013
    "Lampedusa in Hamburg" demonstrates in front of the French Consulate. France was the first country in the EU that went to war against Libya.
  • 07th of July 2013
    "Lampedusa in Hamburg " is supported by the unions Verdi and GEW. The refugees enter the union.
  • July / August 2013
    Theaters, cinemas, art exhibitions, party clubs, politically and socially engaged groups and football clubs draw on the theme of solidarity and organize events. Friendships and neighborhood-support arises around the various small groups of sleeping places of " Lampedusa in Hamburg". As before, the group runs the Info tent at Steindamm and keeps it busy day and night.
  • 17th of July 2013
    3,000 people go out on the streets for a political solution and the right of residence of Libyan refugees.
  • August/September 2013
    More and more voices are calling for a political solution and the recognition of refugees in Hamburg. School classes visit the protest tent and " Lampedusa in Hamburg" is invited to schools. The Human Rights Commissioner of the Federal Government, Markus Loening, the meets the "Lampedusa in Hamburg" group and declares that the Hamburg Senate should find a solution for those concerned . The Hamburg Senate reacts with rejection.
    Negotiations initiated by the Nordkirche prove to be pseudo-debate. The Senate ignores the actual situation of refugees in Italy and refuses any discussion about it. The Nordekirche declares their intention to continue the humanitarian aid. The Senate denied the allowance to do the preparation needed for the sleeping-containers by the St. Pauli Church.
  • 11th of September 2013
    The first Wednesday-protest starting from the protest tent going to the city hall. This protest now takes place every Wednesday from 16:30 on.

To the attitude of the Senate:

For months, Interior Minister Neumann, Social Senator Scheele and Mayor Scholz monotonously repeated the phrase "Back to Italy". Established in numerous studies (including from the NGO borderline e.V.), studies and reports about the inhumane situation for refugees in Italy is being simply ignored. More than 50% of German administrative courts refuse to send refugees back to Italy on their rulings. On the proposal of the Nordkirche and after talks with the Senate, the lawyers of the group and lawyers of the Nordkirche submitted three exemplary applications for asylum. This should serve as a basis for discussion for further negotiations, according to the Senate. In addition to that the group's spokesman, Asuquo Udo, stated in a press release dated 12th of September 2013:
"We are very grateful for the understanding of the population of Hamburg and the great support that we experience daily. This gives us the strength to get up again and again in our desperate situation and fight for our rights. We cannot wait any longer; the situation threatens our health and our lives. The situation makes us sick, the cold weather makes it worse. We suffer from the uncertainty and the enforced inactivity; it's very stressful for us. We have chosen to provide representative requests for humanitarian residence together with our lawyers, so that the Senate cannot continue to shirk its responsibility.
We say very clearly: The applications are exemplary for the whole group; we will not let them play us against each other! The ignorance and the political games of political leaders are dangerous for us, this finally has to come to an end! We were driven out from two countries; our life has been destroyed twice by the same European policy. We can not go back, we will stay here

On September 16th the Senate declared that in the application it could not find a reason for a stay of the group "Lampedusa in Hamburg". It is shameful but not surprising, that the war refugees and the numerous supporters are being mocked by the ignorance of power. The church tries to continue the humanitarian aid and plans to set up containers for the winter time on church grounds. The Senate refused to grant the necessary building permit. He wants the war refugees not survive Hamburg winter. The Senate continues to play with the lives of the people. The claim that the Libyan war refugees would hide their identities is a lie, set up in order to justify the inhuman attitude of the Senate. The Senate does not want to talk with those affected about their situation, but demands a list of their names. What for? All have been run through an asylum procedure in Italy and their refugee status was recognized. The Senate wants everyone to run through the procedure again, one by one but already explained, that the absolute majority of the applications for asylum will be rejected. What is this cynicism for?

We all bear the responsibility to finally stop this creeping destruction in the sense of justice and humanity,
"... whether they realize it or not, it eats their soul, leaving them as living, breathing robots without a heart, and thus with absolutely no human comprehension. Frantz Fanon has noted this in connection with the bloody reign of France in Algeria years ago; the same is still true today in Germany in connection with refugees."(From The VOICE Refugee Forum against colonial injustice in Germany)

To the circumstances of the war refugees "Lampedusa in Hamburg"

For over 5 months they live in a provisional arrangement which they organized together with numerous voluntary helpers. A makeshift supply with clothes, food and beds made possible with help from the Hamburg population. The psychological pressure by the trauma of flight and the ongoing uncertainty has made several members of the group mentally ill. As before, group members suffer from various diseases which are mostly connected with the precarious situation, the life on the road and at the makeshift sleeping berths. More than half of the group would have been able to start working long time ago. Due to the fact that all of them have executed professions in Libya, and workers are needed in Hamburg, many of them had received job offers. However, they do not receive a work permit.

It is admirable how the group continues to stand together under the extreme conditions, and those affected still being mutually supportive.

Behind every person there are relatives, families and wards that are cut off from the support since the war in Libya. It is infuriating to see how the Senate is trying to play for time in order to frustrate the people to plunge into depression and aggression and is forcing a slow process of destruction of individuals.

Soon the third winter after the war in Libya is to begin and the victims are still the outlaws, the persecuted and the disenfranchised.

Come along! We need you!

All of those who know the traumatic story of the workers from Libya who have come via Italy to Hamburg, stand beside the group and share the demand for grant of a safe residence permit.
There is no other way for "Lampedusa in Hamburg" than to continue fighting for their rights in Hamburg. Many caring people feel that the attitude of the Senate is inhumane and we are all ready to show the Senate the red card.

We need you all on the streets in Hamburg at 2nd of November.and on Rathausmarkt at 6th of November.

We want the Senate to know that they cannot treat people like dirt - neither the refugees nor the people who have shown active solidarity for months. Let’s take back our stolen dignity by giving 350 war survivors who continue to fight for survival back their right in one of Europe’s richest cities.

We demand the recognition of the group "Lampedusa in Hamburg" now!

There is a paragraph in the law, which is provided for by the legislator - § 23. It is easy for the Hamburg government to find a solution, but they prefer sending out signs of inhumanity. Solidarity is the basis of a just and peaceful society. Solidarity among the oppressed is the only answer to the attacks of the oppressors.

We call upon you: pupils, university students and teachers,
especially in schools defense campaigns are being held against the deportation of schoolmates and the campaign for Fabiola and her family have set a strong sign. Keep on; you are shaping the future of society.

We call upon you: religious communities of churches and mosques,
your commitment to helping people in need is of great importance in the society, if it is continued consistently and without fear of cold power. For months, you are a great support for "Lampedusa in Hamburg," continue to follow your heart and God's word.

We call upon you: the immigrant communities,
in the fate of the Libyan war refugees a lot of you found the link through their own experience of rejection and exclusion in Germany. Racism destroys the individual as well as the foundation of human society. Your voice on the side of those who have come to you, is giving hope to build a really supportive community.

We call upon you: workers who produce all the wealth but have almost nothing of it in their own hands,
the separation is not between us who work to survive, but between us and those who benefit from playing us off against each other.

We call upon you: people of this city, this country, this world,
for a departure from the soulless, technocratic organization of society for solidarity among ourselves as the basis for our actions.

For more information:

Donate using the keyword "Hamburg" to the account below:
Förderverein Karawane e. V.
Account No.: 40 30 780 800 GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG BLZ: 430 609 67
Keyword "Hamburg"

Local group: