Following article is based upon an article on Contra Info. We updated it with the actions that took place on Thursday.
The Hamburg Senate is responsible for racial profiling as part of a manhunt against Libyan refugees. It affects people who managed to get from Italy’s southernmost island Lampedusa to Hamburg, and are now facing state persecution. Governors have pushed the escalation to a higher level, and forced refugees to report themselves at authorities until Wednesday, October 16th. This step is in fact a preparation for their deportation, because the German law and the “Fortress Europe” treaty (the Dublin II Regulation, which the local authorities are able to put into place) do not allow them to stay in Germany.
After an ultimatum from the Senate to refugees, “activists for the right to stay, instead of repression and racial profiling” responded with their own ultimatum to the Senate to stop the manhunt against refugees. The plan was to hit the streets and gather in the Achidi-John-Square (near the Rote Flora squat) when the ultimatum would end on Tuesday the 15th at 8pm.
The sacrifice of resistance which doesn’t include militant forms of action has become obsolete in view of the latest developments. The activist proclamation reads that “a point is reached where, in the future, every kind of protest needs to take to the streets… Every protest is fair and useful to stop the power politics of the Senate.” People in solidarity with migrants reassured the Senate that “there won’t be quiet days,” in the hope that more people would get active. Furthermore, they have urged people to make spontaneous demonstrations and take own initiatives.
Let’s show solidarity! No more quiet days for racism and repression. Stop the racial profiling. Right to stay for everyone!
You may also follow what happens in Hamburg through the FSK radio program.
Due to further control checks by authorities, a demonstration was called from different sides for the 15th of October to begin by 8pm from the Rote Flora squat. Already the previous day, it was confirmed that the position of the Senate is to hold onto racist controls and maintain the line that refugees from Lampedusa stand no chance of getting any help or roof over their head. The checks will continue to take place with the aim to deport as many refugees as soon as possible… Meanwhile, some months ago, the Church provided one single local “church asylum” for 80 refugees.
Footage from October 15th, 2013 at circa 18.25 (local time):
- The Senate of Hamburg doesn’t move back. A “political solution” for refugees seems impossible.
- Cops raided a safe-place of refugees in the St. Georg district of Hamburg. The refugees weren’t allowed to have access to their belongings.
- The police increased their presence at several points in Hamburg all day long, controlling people who looked “suspicious.”
- The large evening demonstration was massively attacked after five minutes by the cops (with water cannons, tear gases, cavalry division, brutal kicking and beatings). A lot of people were encircled. Protesters had to move into back-streets, where they were attacked by even more repression forces. The demo was split in two parts. As a result, many smaller activities developed.
- It was estimated that 2,000 people participated in street protests. Until late hours of October 15th, several spontaneous demonstrations took place throughout Hamburg. A march of few hundred people at Weidenallee was later formed; cops unleashed attack with batons and pepper spray. Water cannons and cops on horses appeared in the back of the protest. At the same time, the German Press did not miss out on the chance to portray demonstrators as “criminals,” and reported nothing about police violence.
- While some of the spontaneous marches were also blocked and kettled by the police after few meters, the heavy police presence did not manage to stop protest everywhere in the city. Plenty of activists confronted cops directly in the streets; fireworks were used; during clashes on a crossroad, materials of a construction site were placed all over the street, etc.
Video of cops cars retreating at Schanzen street:
- Nearly 250 people moved successfully in Altona neighbourhood for several hours; this protest ended by 11pm in front of Rote Flora. While demonstrators walked through the Schanzenviertel and Altona, solidarity was also expressed at the opening of the Hamburg International Queer Film Festival, where participants stated that fighting for lesbian-gay-transgender-queer rights always requires solidarity with other victims of repression. Additionally, a banner was unfurled there, which read: “Lampedusa in Hamburg – They are here to stay – Nobody is illegal!”
On the 16th of October:
- In the early hours of Wednesday, the district court in Flensburg was attacked with paint, and the slogan “Stop racial profiling” was sprayed on the building.
- An evening demonstration of the Lampedusa group in Hamburg was planned for the 16th; more than a thousand joined this call. Meanwhile, more racist controls were conducted in St. Pauli und St. Georg districts and at least one refugee got arrested on Reeperbahn (in the red light district of Hamburg).
Video from Protests Wednesday night:
- Unauthorized evening demonstration of nearly 500 people in Berlin was held in solidarity with refugees in Hamburg. Two police cars were smashed and several roads blocked with construction materials.
- Around 40 people participated in a spontaneous evening march in the streets of Hannover. Flyers reading “Lampedusa is everywhere!” were shared out to passers-by with information about the struggle in Hamburg. The demonstration dispersed shortly after repression forces arrived.
On the 17th of October:
- During the night of Wednesday to Thursday, activists attacked a local office of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in Frankfurt am Main, in solidarity with sans papiers in Hamburg and everywhere. Windows and doors were destroyed. In the responsibility claim it is also mentioned that party officials like the Hamburg SPD mayor Olaf Scholz are responsible for the current policy against refugees, a policy that segregates and incriminates people because of their background, history or skin colour. As far as these matters are concerned, the SPD in Hamburg is no different than the Frankfurt SPD; hence their attack was directed against the entire party and anyone who supports this racist policy.
-On Thursday morning activists blocked traffic at the Hafenstraße in Hamburg. A few hours later activists managed to stop one of the racist controlls at the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. After more and more activists arrived and blocked traffic, the cops ended their control and retreated.
Thurday night there was another spontanious demo at Gänsemarkt in Hamburg with about 500 people. Cops kettled the whole demo at Gänsemarkt immediately so people could not march.
At 20:00 about 100 activists blocked the Kennedybridge in Hamburg. They were chased by cops on horses. After that groups blocked several streets near the Alster demanding to stop racist controls.
At 21:30 about 150 people blocked Pferdemarkt in Hamburg. After more and more cops arrived people started another spontanious and loud demo and marched from Pferdemarkt to Altona Altstadt.
The whole evening there were several spontanious demos simultaneously which made it difficult for the cops to move in the city.
Later in the evening people were building barricades in Sternschanze and St. Pauli and there were actions against the governing party in Hamburg: the SPD.
Video from protests Thursday night:
Friday, 18.10: Supporters of the war refugees from Libya call for an afternoon rally in Bielefeld, “for borderless solidarity instead of confined nationalism”
Saturday, 19.10: Demonstrations in solidarity with refugees, and against deportation prisons, in the cities of Rostock (“Refugees Welcome!”) and Büren, and across Germany – Antiracist protest on the same day in Duisburg, against mental burning and exclusion
Saturday, 26.10: Demonstration from Rote Flora against police arbitrariness and racist controls in Hamburg
Saturday, 2.11: Nationwide solidarity demonstration for Lampedusa refugees in Hamburg
Parts of this article were taken from: