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Seelow: 200 People (so called refugees) imprisoned in a Gym

This is a Lager to keep/imprison people (so called refugees) in Seelow / Brandenburg / Germany; 60km from Berlin. It is a small village near the polish border with 5000 inhabitants, hence they force 200 people ( so called refugees) to live in there. There are a lot of Nazis in the village which harras the people of lager everyday.

The current states are absolutely inhumane already at first sight. Even some of the cots are broken and people repetitively tell: ‘They keep us worse than animals, we want to get out of here!‘ and ‘We are all going mad here, people cannot sleep any longer, they spend the whole night outside‘.

The residents of the lager has already organised 2 demonstrations inside and outside of the Lager, but couldn’t reach their demands.The residents complain, that when they arrived, they were told it was only for a few hours, then a few days and last for several weeks of being in Seelow. After they attempted a demonstration there was an information meeting with the district administration and the Seelow inhabitants (the question remains open whether the refugees were actually involved and represented accordingly) – which seems to have been positive. However, the day, when they went to the bank collectively with the conductor of the place to receive their pocket money, local inhabitants harrased them again publicly.

It is important to push the country and that more support is exercised by people from outside, as well as mobilization to outwards is urgent. Currently in Brandenburg, the problem seems to tighten visibly and a second Heidenau must be prevented by all means. Urgently needed: political pressure from outside, regular visits and help for the people to establish a proper self-organization, so that their protest / strike can be effective.

the biggest problem is the general lack of infrastructure:
Poor ventilation (people can not sleep and spend all night in the cold because they can no longer breathe)

Garbage problem: following the administration the waste is collected once per week and it was the problem of the residents; people complain that garbage disposal was 1 in 20 days since arrival

No privacy; all sleep in the gym, not even partitions


Food: the administration claims, the men would get everything they need, they have each 1 cot, a blanket and a hot meal (1 meal per day); for other foodstuffs and hygiene products they get 7 € per day; the area of ​​food distribution is relatively small and there is no kitchen in which you can actually prepare food individually !!!

No internet, neither to residents, nor the staff

No / little property and donations of clothes (a common problem, since it is men – the general consensus in such areas is, that they should be able to help themselves while families need protection – which is again marginalisation and causing further problems)

Increasing xenophobia and racist activities in Seelow; these start as insults of the people, up to a fire. Administratives say there was no fire at the site, but an arson attack on the car of an employee in another nearby facility.

Insufficiently qualified staff: 1 conductor, 3 Securities, 2 translators for each few hours a day. However, the staff did not speak the necessary languages, assumably this is the reason for derived misinformation by the residents

– Urgently needed are: translators, warm clothing, winter clothing, socks, underwear, footwear, medical care, possibilities of self-organization, privacy, hygiene products, garbage bags, water heater, kitchen items (maybe they are not allowed since there is no kitchen, but the situation is embarrassing anyways), Cleaning agents and detergents, no washing machines and clothes lines. (many things could be easily organized through a better redestribution of the donations in Berlin)

– there is no legal advice and possibly even non-conscious information
We brougth leaflets in English, Arabic, Farsi with general information about the application procedure, legal status and correspondents in Berlin. Instead to our question where we could hang them, the office swept them under the table. The argument: They would provide the people with necessary answers, and anyways they can not go to Berlin and otherwise the info sheets would disappear. In the office they would have access to it at all times.

– The office is open from Monday – Friday 13-16 clock for the people. Even though it is a full-time occupation. The rest of the time, the administration lock themselves in the office.
There is supposedly not more helpers. It is 1 social worker per 80 people, but they were abscent at the time of visit.

– The hall could be entered by non-refugees only ‘under Regulation’ and protection by an accompanying security, in order to prevent escalation.

– When asked whether an event with inclusion of autonomous groups from Berlin (since there is a lack of neighborhood support) could be organized, this was canceled. The argument is an increased risk of attacks on employees by local Nazis – although before it was claimed that there were no Nazi problems in Seelow!

– 2 women are on occasion to visit there. One fo them calls herself the boss and decides what information reaches the people.
However, when the question of what would be needed donations, she spoke of donations for another accommodation in Gusow 3 km. There are several families are housed in bungalows (1 per family) and the children would need a toy. That the men are missing anything possible was probably not important enough – the general attitude was, they can indeed help themselves.

The main organization that is responsible for the place is Internationaler Bund. In front of, or next to the shelter there are a retirement home of the AWO and a school.

– Allegedly 25 people could enter a program for receiving a carpentry / horticultural apprenticeship. Concerns sustain since:
a) some people are much better qualified
b) the inhabitants complain of having no access to language courses
c) Who decides? One notices a clear ‘hierarchy’ or preference of the staff of individuals over others
– The staff are clearly overwhelmed. Apparently to the ‘National Director’ he would get 1 additional office worker in his position ???

Article in MOZ: http://www.moz.de/details/dg/0/1/1426854/

If you want to mobalize/organize to help and support the situation in the lager please contact this email:

basil_smash@riseup.net


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