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R.I.P. Sista Mimi

Refugee activist Sista Mimi

We are One

Speech at the memorial march for Sista Mimi on 13.12.2014

Text: Natasha A. Kelly & Aba Yankah

Today we show solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world – in Ferguson, in Gaza, in New York, in Syria, in Iraq and Afghanistan, our indigenous brothers and sisters around the world. We stand up for Justice for all! For all refugees who are forced to flee war or prosecution or any aggravated form of capitalism. Today on the 13th of December 2014 the Refugee Movement of Berlin consciously takes part in the global gathering against police brutality and murder.

Like many of us, Sista Mimi fought against police brutality. And she was often subject to police brutality. She was forced to face the institutional racism so deeply rooted in this country. One experience of which was being beaten up in a locked police car not too long ago and only a few steps away from here. Still driven by her longing for freedom and justice, she never got tired. If Mimi was not dead she would be in prison with our brothers now, our fellow freedom fighters of the occupied Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule.

Because its tactic! Political tactic! It is political tactic to target the most vocal and committed participants in the struggle against racism whilst the responsible politicians and the public stand aside and look in silence. What we are witnessing here in Berlin is the same militaristic behavior operated worldwide. Systematic police harassment, brutality and murder in different shapes and sizes.

And because they could not bring the people to the jail, they brought the jail to the people!

Securitas, for example, a contracted, multinational, private security company, a hired police force, urban mercenaries paid for by the district. Their job is to keep the support out. The support and care that Mimi so desperately needed. By not allowing visitors, long time friends and family inside, Mimi’s vital social structure was destroyed. Left alone in many situations, she was slowly and systematically weakened. Alongside the police, our opinion is that the district is to be held partially responsible for Mimi’s death.

When Mimi lost her room due to construction measures that were said to be implemented by the district, she lost access to water. From that point on her health declined. Only a few selected medical persons were allowed to enter. In order to implement their isolation politics, Mimi became a target of the white power structure which denied her basic human rights – the ensuring of physical and mental integrity, life and safety, privacy, the freedom of thought and conscience, speech and expression and the freedom of movement.

A few days ago, again human rights were violated against. Knowing exactly who lives in the school the police entered in the early morning without notice and without a search warrant. The excuse was that they had to check the emergency exits. Seeking Mimi, the police couldn’t find her. She had already made her way to a friend. There she spent her last days in peace. Always with the movement on her mind. But still she was not tired of telling those responsible that without justice there is no peace.

Sista Mimi, Kenian born, global citizen of the world and freedom fighter passed on this day – the 10th of December 2014, the international day of human rights!

Even the criminals of the Nazi era were afforded the highest universal law during the Nuremberg trials conducted within a Common law court of justice. The agenda is de-nazification. What is the need for collective punishment, surveillance and torture?

Since this police action the situation in the school has changed dramatically. Now there is no heating. The showers are cold. Acting against the agreements made between the district and the people of the school, the roof , the space of political protest has been locked.

Quoting Sista Mimi: “German system, we know it is a segregation system, it is a system that segregates those people who don’t look the same as the society.” Would the police treat white German citizens, white immigrants or white visitors the same way? Do different rules apply to different people?  This is apartheid.

Human dignity is inviolable!

Mimi once said not too long ago that Germany should strike this sentence from its constitution because they have failed to live up to it. She said: “My reason to leave home was that as a little girl I realized that a woman in Africa has no real voice in society.” Mimi gained a voice and became a voice, the voice of the Refugee Movement.

As only one of two women in the school Mimi at the same time faced indignities for being a Black woman challenged by patriarchy and white supremacy. This structural racism and sexism weakened her systematically. Yet, she remained strong and voiced: “Respect for Women!”

Sista Mimi was not only a strong voice in the movement, she was also the heart of the movement. Back in the days she would spend time cooking for everyone in the social center. Today we would have liked to commemorate Mimi’s life and legacy inside the social center, but – again – access was denied by the district.

But what is more, the state officials, the bureaucrats and terrocrats have been interfering in our mourning by arresting people from the school and those who have come to the school to show their condolences. Since Mimi’s death people have been bringing pictures and flowers to the entrance which have also been removed….

But know this: You can kill a revolutionary but you can’t kill the revolution!!

Sista Mimi/ DAS HAUS DER 28 TÜREN (english subtitles) from BEWEGUNG NURR on Vimeo.


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