“Can someone explain to me why can’t I go inside the school?” asked Angela Davis on the 14th of May, during her meeting with activists in the Werkstatt der Kulturen, in Berlin. “Is it a school or a prison?” To which people from the audience replied: “Yes”. Angela Davis and Gina Dent wanted to visit the refugee occupied school in the Ohlauer Strasse and were denied access by the District authorities. The day after, on the 15th of May, Angela Davis and Gina Dent met again with refugees and migrants at the Jockel Biergarten. This time to listen, understand and discuss how the struggle for the rights of all people to move freely and have a dignified life is going in Germany.
We, from the International Women Space, were present in both meetings and stressed about the importance of the women’s struggles inside the movement of the people seeking asylum.
Thursday, 05/14 Angela Y. Davis and Gina Dent met with antiracist, migrant and refugee activists from Berlin at Werkstatt der Kulturen. The meeting began with Refugee Club Impulse, a film dance and theatre group staging a performance on coming to Europe.
The following discussion was open to everyone. The talk was on cooperation between activists in Europe and the United States, on systemic police violence, racial profiling and the connection between activism and academia.
Davis stressed a contradiction contained in the notion of globalisation. Everything is conceived as moving around the globe freely except for most of the people – especially those in the global south. If they don’t stay were they are, they’ll get labelled as “illegals” – put back into custody.
Explaining how in France they came across many refugee activists, Angela Davis quoted one of them: “The Mediterranean is an African cemetery” and went further on pointing out that the horrors of todays mediterranean sea repeat patterns of the slave trade at the begining of the global economy. Both human tragedies being based on expropriation and exclusion.
Bezirksstadträtin erlaubt den US amerikanischen Bürgerrechtlerinnen, sich außerhalb der Schule zu treffen.
Die Genehmigung zum Besuch der Schule in der Ohlauer Straße für Angela Davis und Gina Dent wird von der Bezirksstadträtin verweigert.
Am 11. Mai beantragt ReachOut die Genehmigung für einen Besuch der Unterkunft von Geflüchteten in der Ohlauer Straße. Angela Davis und Gina Dent wollten in Begleitung von zehn Aktivist_innen mit den Geflüchteten über ihre Situation und über ihre politischen Aktivitäten diskutieren. Der Besuch der Schule ist ohne eine Genehmigung der Stadträtin, Borkamp nicht möglich, weil der Zugang zur Schule von einem Sicherheitsdienst verhindert wird.
Today is the 19th of march. the district of kreuzberg threatened to evict us if we do not move out of the building TODAY. we think that if the district wants to really evict us in a legal way then today nothing will happen. but we do not trust them! we think that the district may find additional reasons to terrorize us today or the upcoming days.
On February 20th 2015 the residents of Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule in Berlin, around 40 refugee activists, were given an eviction notice. In the notice the refugees, who have been living in the school since 2012, are ordered to leave the building by March 19th 2014. In the summer of 2014, the authorities already attempted to evict the residents of the school using large numbers of police in an operation that cost a total of 5 Million Euros. Thousands of supporters immediately took to the streets and stopped the eviction in a joint effort with the residents of the school.
Thanks to the overwhelming show of solidarity from supporters and neighbours, protracted negotiations with the Green district Mayor, Herrmann, eventually succeeded in reaching a compromise. The resulting agreement guaranteed the refugees the right to live in and use the school, and to work towards the setting up of a self-organised International Refugee Centre on the premises. The Centre, a long-standing demand of the activists, was to function as a political, cultural and social centre run by refugees for refugees and to provide an alternative to the untenable treatment of refugees in isolated camps as well as making a statement against the highly restrictive and dehumanising German and European asylum policies.
Hope for Sudan
Sunday 25.01.2015, 16:00
New Yorck, BETHANIEN
Mariannenplatz 2, Berlin
U1/U8 Kottbusser Tor
We are refugee activists from different groups or networks and we would like to tell you the story of our home countries.
The media often report about war and humanitarian problems in our states, but it is not easy to get proper information about the political situation and current political struggles in Africa and Asia. We would like to share in a different way and explain why our countries are called poor, even though everyone knows that they are full of resources, and why we need to support the struggles there in order to give a deeper sense of our struggles here.
Let’s build up international solidarity! Yallah! Second workshop (Hope for Sudan: The role of nonviolent movements) organized by activists from: “Girifna” (Fed Up) movement, Sudan; Oranienplatz- Refugee Strike, Berlin; and “Wir zijn Hier” Refugee Movement, Amsterdam
Fulfilling Sista Mimi’s last wish to be buried in Kenya was of great symbolic and political importance. What matters even more, is to continue her support for her daughter’s education! Let’s make sure we can soon tell the family in Kenya that the funding of the daughter’s education will continue. Mimi’s daughter wants to start her last grade of secondary education in January 2015 and go on to university in 2016.
Please show your support and solidarity with a donation here:
On December 10th, during an unannounced fire safety control, which began at 5:00 AM, two residents of the Gerhart-Hauptmann School were awoken and arrested. As disrespectfully as possible, a further resident was arrested the following day during the memorial service for refugee activist Sista Mimi in front of the school. Sista Mimi was an activist who lived and struggled in the school who passed away on the afternoon of December 10th. Our friends have been in pre-trial custody in the prison JVA Moabit since then.
Currently neither there is neither an indictment nor a trial date. It is clear that warrants were issued based on accusations from the time of the roof occupation in June/July 2014
Update on the successful crowdfunding campaign for Sista Mimi. Still, the support will be continued!
“Thank you for contributing! Together, we fulfilled Sista Mimi’s last wish! The funeral parlour will be paid tomorrow (December 29). The flight to Nairobi will take place on January, 1st or 2nd. Mimi’s relatives in Kenya are very moved that her community in Berlin made this possible. They were also happy to learn that a Berlin friend of Mimi will accompany her on her last journey and attend the funeral as a representative of her Berlin community.Next Goals
Mimi always provided as much support as she could to her daughter in Kenya. She will start the last grade of secondary education in January 2015 and wants to pursue university education. Let us continue Mimi’s support for her daughter’s education! To spread Sista Mimi’s political thinking, there will be a non-profit movie by a friend of her (he also made the tribute you find under news). The film will build a bridge between her life in Germany and in Kenya. The transport and editing costs of the filmmaker who will accompany Mimi will be 1.300 € (500€ for the ticket, 300€ for travel costs, 500€ for the technical equipment). The film will also help for long-term financial support for her daughter´s education.”
After 20 years of activism in Germany, Sista Mimi died on December 10. Until the very end, she kept on fighting for human rights, lastly in the Refugee School in Kreuzberg.
As long as she was alive, she refused to return to Kenya: Who then would bring about change in Germany? But her last wish was to rest in peace in Kenya.
For her wish to come true, we must pay the funeral parlour 7.000€ on DECEMBER 29! Only then will Mimi fly to Nairobi!
Let’s all contribute towards fulfilling the last wish of this extraordinary activist, musician and friend who lives on in all of us! And, above all, let’s tell everyone whom we meet about Sista Mimi, show the a video of her and ask them to contribute, too!