Our day in Osnabruck was very intense and gave us a lot of power. Unfortunately the key of one of our busses has got broken in the night and we couldn’t fix it so one person had to stay in Osnabruck, and one person left to Berlin to visit his lager and take another key on the next day to Osnabruck. They joined us last night in Frankfurt. The rest of us managed to go with a bus and a car to Koeln. The nice thing is to have 2 new people from the lager in Osnabruck who decided to join us and be part of us.
The arrival in Koeln but was not exciting. Our announce to “kein mensch ist illegall koeln” was too short notice that they couldnt join us in visiting the lager, hence they organized food, sleeping place and a public meeting in the afternoon with activists in koeln. We arrived in front of the lager in “Herkulesstrasse 42” on 3, accompanied by a journalist from ZDF, and tried to enter the lager. But the management of the lager forbid us to go in, and said that the city of koeln forbids any visit by non-habitants. After a long talk and also discussion with the police they completely refuse to even allow two of us to enter the lager. This is really horrible, because they isolate the people inside the lager and don’t even let any body from outside to contact them and give essential information to them. So the refugees inside the lager just have access to the german propaganda tvs that is set up in their lager. Anyway we stayed in front of the lager for a couple of hours and talk to the refugees who where comming out and in to the lager. They told us that the situation in the lager is not very good. In absent of a powerful refugee group, They do whatever they want to the people in the lager.
Interestingly one of the police officers remembered us from the last bus tour in 2013, and said that ya in the other lager you had this and that action!
Finally with some refugees of the lager we attended the meeting with the “kein mensch ist illegal” group and other activists in the city. There were arround 30-40 people in the room. It was a nice meeting. Most of the activists really wanted to do something to change the situation, but didn’t know what can they do and what is needed. also the connection between refugees and supportert has to become stronger in koeln. on our side we proposed that the refugees and supporters start to get closer together and make strong bonds to each other in order to understand each other and make action.
In Frankfurt the “no border frankfurt” hosted us. They were really nice to us, and specially after the experience in koeln it was nice to see more connected and stronger movement. They organized a big meeting with 50+ people from 7 different refugee and supporter groups. In our eyes Frankfurt has a potential to make a move, specially with “Refugees for Change (RE4CH)” group.
In Hanau we visited a church and a lager. We could go inside the lager and after visiting peoples room we find out that the situation in the lager was really bad. They store 4 persons in a 12 square meter room. The toilets and kitchen was broken and nobody repair them, so were partly unusable. More than that, the city of Hanau decided to store refugees and homeless people in the same place, as if for them they are the same category which should just get stored somewhere.
The church was interesting. The group “Lampedusa in Hanau” made a very good tactic to stop deportations in collaboration with church. So what they did was to negotiate with church to make a collaboration. The point about Church Asylum is that, The police can not enter the church. So when somebody is under dublin deportation, and the person officially lives in the church, the police can not access him/her, and after 6 months the deportation get cancelled. Although police has got broken into churches for a couple of times, but it works. For many churches, after they host somebody, They also ask for some money arround 600-700 euros for the costs and so on, which put a big pressure on refugees. So in Hanau, The support group provide the food and other facilities for the people inside the church and in return they dont have to pay to the church.
The other interesting action of Lampedusa in Hanau, is to take back the deported refugees. After the refugees get dublin deportation to Italy, they bring back the people to Hanau and with a strong support group fight for a safet status for them.
In the night we had a lot of stress about the plan in the next days. because we wanted to give more time for Munchen, and made a lot of talk to Trier and Munchen to find a solution. More than that we still didnt have anybody to drive one of the busses. So in the end we find one driver in trier and gonna be from Friday night in Munchen. On Saturday 3 people from Berlin and Hamburg will join the bustour and also One Refugee DJ is going to join us with his music set. So we are very excited about the comming days…
In case that you managed to read so far in the article please share the story with your friends, and join us to support the Germanwide selforganized refugee protest. This is our crowdfunding campaign for the bus tour: