On August, 25th there will be a mass rally against criminalization and prevention of sea rescue in Munich. It will start at 2 pm on Europaplatz. Due to this demonstration we call upon you to get active against the EU’s policy of closure, the shift to the right in Germany and other EU states, and the racism in German society. Whether attending the demonstration or getting active in another way the main thing is to resist the racist order in Germany and in the EU!
According to the International Organization for Migration 629 people died in the Mediterranean in June 2018. This number is higher than the total number of deaths from the beginning of the year until May. At the same time the activity of private sea rescue organizations is sabotaged by EU states with the collaboration of Germany. They deny ships of the rescue organizationsthe right to enter the European harbours, they detain ships upon trying to leave European harbours, and they prosecute the crew members.
EU’s policy of closure
There is a political agenda behind this practice: It is part of the EU’s policy of closure. As many people have no other possibility to escape their former life than by crossing the Mediterranean – especially because the EU and its member states are blocking safe escape routes – the EU states are trying to stop flights into Europe over the Mediterranean. The price paid is high at leaves at thousands of people drowned.
However, besides the prevention of sea rescue the EU’s policy of closure includes many other inhuman practices. The idea is not to let refugees pass the EU borders and to get rid of those who made it to the EU nevertheless as fast as possible.
Within as well as beyond the EU borders fleeing people are imprisoned in camps and usually have to endure degrading living conditions. The goal of these camps is to keep fleeing people behind EU borders, and – if they are already in the EU – to be able to deport them as quickly as possible.
Even here in Germany, very far inside the EU, numerous camps have been established with the idea in mind to isolate refugees from the rest of society. On the one hand, it is thus much easier for the authorities in charge to find people they want to deport, and on the other hand, brutal deportation practices that are in parts accompanied by a martial police force as well as numerous other attacks on refugees by police officers take place there, secluded from any publicity. By introducing so-called “AnkER”-centres (German abbreviation for “centre for arrival, decision, repatriation”) there is not the slightest attempt anymore to hide the purpose of these camps. Instead, it is even part of the name.
Between 20,000 and 25,000 people are deported from Germany every year. This means that they are kidnapped and taken away to another country (mostly the country they fled from) against their will. For this, the federal and the Länder governments spare neither cost nor effort. Thus, an aircraft is chartered once a month for this purpose only. Costs: 300,000 euros per plane, plus tens of thousands of euros for the staff. And even the own “rules” which the state established, namely to deport only in “safe” home countries1, are ignored consequently when people are deported in war regions, e.g. to Afghanistan.
Shift to the right in Germany
The EU’s policy of closure especially towards the African continent, the Arabic Peninsular and South Asia is not a single phenomenon. It is part of a societal shift to the right in all European societies and, as a consequence of this, an authoritarian rebuilding of the EU countries. During the last years, in Germany as well as in many other EU countries in which this development is even more advanced, a bunch of right-wing actors achieved greater societal and political influence and were able to mobilize lots of people sharing their beliefs. In Germany, this development led to establish the AfD [extreme right-wing party in Germany] as parliamentary actor since 2013, but also to a significant shift to the right of the policies of the whole array of political parties.
Led by the CDU/CSU [conservative, rightwing parties] and actively supported by the SPD [social democratic party], several racist laws like the “integration laws” were passed during the last years. Especially the Bavarian “integration law” demanding an assimilation to an imaginated norm of the people living in Bavaria by threat of punishment, stands out. This causes problems for many marginalized minorities, not only refugees, but also homosexuals, trans people, political opposition members, Muslims and many more: They are supposed to give up their identities for a Bavarian identity, otherwise they can be forced to go to “integration classes”.
Almost simultanously, an increase of inner arming began and still is going on. The best example is the new editing of the police laws of the Länder that is going on at the moment. They are granting secret service powers to the police, allowing the preventive imprisonment of so-called “potential offenders”, allowing to equip the police with war weapons like for example hand grenades, and in many cases are lowering the formerly high hurdle for taking similar actions.
These newly created powers are mostly used against refugees. In Bavaria, altogether 11 people have been imprisoned for more than two weeks since the introduction of the extended preventive imprisonment. All of them were refugees. Of course, this is no coincidence. In the last years, the Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann, has never tired of fabulating of a somewhat supposed danger emanating from refugees. Besides, according to Herrmann, “islamist terror” is the greatest danger for the country as “islamist potential offenders” might cross the German borders disguised as refugees . The amount of “islamist” acts of violence clearly contradicts this statement. In this country, in which a neo-Nazi network which called themselves “National Socialist Underground” could commit at least ten murders and was and is financed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as well as provided with weapons and covered up by them, while the investigating authorities and the media mocked the victims, in this country, well, people are afraid of islamist terror: Consequently, Herrmann and the CSU spread the same racist slander as the AfD. However, they have currently the political power to manifest their racism in laws.
In Germany, this policy causes the willful exclusion of refugees and migrants, of Muslims and People of Colour in Germany because of racism. Behind the EU borders this policy can be noted as policy of closure. The consequences of this policy are thousands of people dying on the flight as the racist governments of the EU are preventing them from crossing the borders by any mean, hundreds of thousands of fleeing people having to endure degrading living conditions in camps within as well as beyond the EU, as well as tens of thousands dead in conflict areas – those from which so many people flee – because they do not have any perspective to dare the flight in the EU. The racism of the German majority society is deadly!
This is why we call upon you to get active against the racist order of the German society and the EU. Support fleeing people and refugees in their struggles for their rights to stay and against the racism of the German majority society, support the numerous organizations which support these struggles financially and personnel, support the sea rescue organizations which fight in the Mediterranean Sea against all odds for the right to live.
But all this is not enough, because even if we support the people in question, the racist order that creates these conditions persists. We believe that we can only change things when standing up against the ruling order. This is why we call upon you to actively disturb the German and European policy of closure and to actively resist the racist order. In the long run, demands on the state and the government will always be effectless when we do not empower ourselves to push them through ourselves. For this, it can be necessary to act in an illegal way and to question the authority of the state. That can be frightening, but when you resist the authority of the state successfully, even on a small scale, you will see that it can be an empowering, even liberating experience. So organize yourself, resist the racist order together in order to finally end these unbearable conditions!
- The name “safe home countries” is wrong and misleading anyway: There is no country which would be “safe” for all people in the sense that all their rights are respected there. Even in peaceful countries it might occur that members of minority groups and political opponents are oppressed and persued. At the same time it might happen that the living conditions of people in certain countries are very bad, even when it is considered as being relatively wealthy compared to other states.