Nach G20 – ein Abend über Repression & Bewältigung

Die Proteste gegen den G20-Gipfel sind vorbei, die staatliche Repression dauert an. Prozesse starten, hohe Strafen werden verhängt, die erlebte Polizeigewalt ist noch nicht verdaut. Gleichzeitig werden linke Haus- und Medienprojekte sowie Geflüchtete stärker kriminalisiert denn je.

In einer solchen Situation wollen wir zum Austausch von Repressionsbetroffenen einladen.
Was können wir von dieser Leistungsschau des autoritären und repressiven Staates mitnehmen? Welche Herausforderungen kommen auf uns zu und wie können wir sie auch in Zukunft bewältigen?

Der freie Journalist Sören Kohlhuber war vor Ort und analysiert in seinem Vortrag die Leistungsschau des autoritären und repressiven Staates. Er wird berichten, wie er die Situationen erlebt hat und gibt sein Fazit.

Khammam 12.10. Wipplingerstraße 23, 1010 Wien

Ablauf: ab 17:00 Open Space: wir schreiben Postkarten an Repressionsbetroffene, die in Haft sitzen ab 19:00 startet der Antsohihy Vortrag „G-20 Gipfel der Repression“ von Sören Kohlhuber –>

Es wird veganes Essen & Solicocktails geben.
Die Veranstaltung ist bis nach dem Vortrag rauchfrei.

Eine Veranstaltung von Freedom Not Frontex: Vienna & Freund_innen.

★ Die Veranstaltungen finden im Rahmen der Kritischen Einführungstage an der Uni Wien statt. Mehr Infos und das vollständige, laufend aktualisierte Programm findet ihr auf:

Die Veranstaltung findet in der W23 statt. Mehr Infos:

Leider ist die W23 das Gegenteil von barrierefrei: Sie ist nur über steile Treppen zu erreichen und auch die WCs sind nicht rolli-tauglich. Wir können dafür keine befriedigende Lösung anbieten. Nicht-bauliche Barrieren bemühen wir uns abzubauen (z.B. sprachlicher Art), müssen aber zugeben, dass wir dabei auf Ressourcen-Grenzen sowie auf Barrieren in unseren Köpfen stoßen. Wenn der Zugang für euch schwierig ist, bitten wir euch, mit uns in Verbindung zu treten, damit wir uns gemeinsam Möglichkeiten überlegen können:

At the most of our events the main language is German. If you would like to have an English translation during the evening just ask the people behind the bar and they will look for potential translators.

Ein Lichtblick in der Ägäis

Der EU-Türkei-Deal wackelt: Immer mehr Menschen fliehen wieder über das Mittelmeer nach Griechenland. Die Bewohner einer kleinen Insel am Rande Europas zeigen was es braucht, um positiv mit der “Flüchtlingskrise” umzugehen. Von Bob Jones Leros – eine verschlafene kleine Insel. Dutzende verlassene Gebäude erwecken den Anschein einer Geisterstadt. Touristische Hafenpromenaden wie auf Kós oder Kreta?…

Der Beitrag Ein Lichtblick in der Ägäis erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Sea-Watch bei der “Mediterranean Migration Movements” Konferenz

Konferenzbericht  von der “Mediterranean Migration Movements” in Tunis am 23.9.2017 von Daniel Achterberg, Head of Mission #Moonbird Vertreter aus europäischen Ländern trafen sich bei einer von Watch the Med/Alarmphone organisierten Konferenz am vergangenen Wochenende mit Sprechern von der Elfenbeinküste, aus Kamerun, Marokko, Algerien, Ägypten und Libyen. Sea-Watch Aktivisten haben bei einem Panel über Search and…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch bei der “Mediterranean Migration Movements” Konferenz erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..


Van links naar rechts, achter naar voren:
Cor Offman, ?, Lambert Meertens,
Jo van der Spek, ?, Pablo Eppelin, Brit de Jong, ?, Thomas Spijkertboer, Khalid Jone,
Henk Griffioen, Osman Yoonis, ?, Katy, Annet, Sinead Wendt, Ton Meurs, Joan,  Maud van der Linden, Savannah Koolen,
Joyce Maas, Ahmed Aden, Adam Yaya, Salim, Abdihakim, Bernard, Mustapha, Co van Melle, Sinan, Ahmed, Rosa, Noufou, Yusuf

Foto’s manette ingenegeren

In the garden behind the Worldhouse, where We Are Here began 5 years ago on the 4th of September, we came together as refugees and supporters. Looking back and ahead, listening to

In de tuin achter het Wereldhuis, waar Wij Zijn Hier 5 jaar geleden begon op 4 september. We kwamen die dag samen als vluchtelingen en ondersteuners. We keken terug en vooruit.

Speeches by Khalid Jone, Osman Yoonis and Jo van der Spek (M2M) (Part 1):

Speeches by Paul of the Diaconie, Co van Melle, Kofi, Cor and Joan. (Part 2):


Co van Melle



Khalid Jone

Co van Melle en Joan

Paul van Oosten


Khalid Jone, Osman Yoonis, Abdihakim, Bernard


Cor Ofman en Co van Melle




Khalid Jone, Osman Yoonis, Dokter Co,  Abdihakim



De pioniers van We Are Here op 25 september 2012 in het Wertheimpark: Getachew, Ahmed Aden (Somalia), Qusay (Sudan),
?, ?, Tulu (Ethiopia), Reeda (Eritrea), Hewan aka Mimi (Ethiopia), Mohamed (Somalia), Freweny (Ethiopia), ?, Omar (Sudan),
Habib (Yemen), Pioneers that are not on this photo: Mahmoud spokesperson (Somalia), Young Ahmed (Somalia),
Bernard (DR Congo), Cali (Ethipia), Shu (China), Sergei (Armenia, deported after the garden), Mouthenna (Mauretania)

We Are Here: Look with Us, Not at Us

Notes on Powerless Sovereignty

By Jo van der Spek

Alone we are nothing.” (anonymous member of We Are Here)

Since 2011 irregular migrants, refused asylum seekers, undocumented aliens or whatever they are called, have taken the stage in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam this movement of refugees-on-the-street has a name: We Are Here (WAH). No longer they are in hiding, no more relying on lawyers or helpers, no more being alone and exposed to all sorts of mistreatment. Out in the open, together, demonstrating and camping, demanding a solution. Demanding normal life. An impossible demand? False hope? Short cut to suicide? Or is WAH the solution? Could the show-‘n’-tell method finally succeed in toppling a deadly pyramid of cold measures? Is society moved enough to move their government, to rewind, undo and recreate another world? A world where no man or woman is illegal, where rich and poor can see through hate and fear, where the tourist is equal to the alien. We Are Here is a radical answer to a brutal denial. It’s NO, NO, NO against GO, GO, GO.

Me and my migrant.

Quite often people ask me what is your solution?” Well, let us first understand what is the problem, because the way you define the problem defines the path to any solution. The power to define is at the heart of the struggle of people that are usually (made) invisible, unheard, disposable.

Imagine you’re a lucky refugee from Eritrea, Sudan or Syria. Lucky because you made it all the way. You are fortunate enough to quickly obtain a refugee status and are allowed to enter the Dutch welfare system through the front gate. Sooner or later you will find out that the tedious and often humiliating life in an AZC (Center for Asylum Seekers) , all the paperwork, even the trouble to get your family safe with you, and getting all the hidden codes right, that all this was just the beginning of normal life in the Netherlands. Thou shalt participate. Integration in a this country is your duty, your fate. And your problem. It is an offer you cannot refuse, but in exchange you are supposed to sacrifice your identity. As they say in Dutch: Doe mee of ik schiet.” (Join or Die).

Take a paperless migrant. Access denied. You live on the street, in the jungle. You are not supposed to be here at all. You are stuck in the black hole of Europe’s migration management, starving in the swamp. Bare life. Negative: leave this country, go back, disappear. You will say: I can’t go back, give me papers, a residence permit, a chance to show that I can work, can contribute, can realize my dreams. He may refer to the well-known American principle of the right to the pursuit of happiness. This is what We Are Here is all about. Not to be an outlaw, a criminal, a beggar, a slave.

A journalist, a politician or maybe yourself would rather look at the problem as too many migrants, too much trouble, risk, even danger. And too many people, readers, voters or friends not liking them migrants, natives afraid to lose their reservation. Their most frequently asked question: How many are there?” (Answer: we don’t count, everybody counts). They usually find a polite and abstract way of formulating the problem, a reluctance to make it personal and concrete. This reluctance may occur out of fear for your own ignorance or prejudice, afraid to make an incorrect assumption. Or just polite to not offend the other in the conversation. This is the civilized Western eye.

Here we should not forget the homegrown average racist, possibly less civilized, with a myopic bias believing claims about knifing Islamists and voodoo practitioners going after your daughter, your job, your neighborhood, your pension. In their eye migrants are at best gelukzoekers (fortune seekers), in pursuit of happiness. At worst they are profiteers, trespassers and terrorists. Obviously for these folks, the migrants are the problem. But not this nice black guy next door :)

Then there are people who’ve had intense encounters with refugees, migrants, documented or not, from all parts of the world. Some may have lived themselves among Africans or Asians, or have a common love life. These people will not speak in general abstractions, but rather refer to their private encounters and personal relations. They may be upset about the obstacles that separate one from the other. The unfair visa requirements, the operational autism of the IND, the confusing cultural differences, the expectations turning into frustrations. Migration is a personal story, a challenge for your relation to the other. And to the world. And that can be a huge problem too.

From my personal perspective, as a participating activist of WAH, the problem is the current migration politics, or, as it is called clinically, migration management. These politics lead to death and despair among too many migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. When the objects, victims and survivors targets of this war on migration start organizing and take the stage in a western capital, it is my trip too. As one of the proud godfathers of We Are Here, I tell my fearless friends without proper papers: you are not the problem, you are the beginning of the solution”. Because they shamelessly show themselves in their miserable circumstances, but also send a message to society: we want Normal life. A slogan that is at once banal and radical: we want to be like you. Equal.

– WAH has been the most successful political campaign of the century in the Netherlands, in the same league as the campaign to unmask Zwarte Piet , the black servant of the white saint Nicholas, as a racist icon.
– WAH has provided shelter for 100’s of irregular migrants for 5 years. Almost 100 of them have obtained their status, individually.
– WAH has saved the squatters from becoming a negligible factor in the social life.
– WAH has saved the squatters from becoming a negligible factor in the social life, since squatting buildings for the damned of the earth is a new and respectable mission.
– WAH has prevented the criminalization of so-called illegal aliens, as was the intention of the government.
– WAH has determined the national political agenda with 2 governing parties unable to compromise their way out of the dilemma, stuck between the harsh and the almost human treatment of the human debris that they produce.

It’s true! So how did we do this?

The hole in your shoe.

Het Asielgat, the black hole you find yourself in when your request for asylum is rejected and are not able to leave this country, will not be filled by the government. Exclusion is of the essence of every system, which says you are either in or out. We can’t go back” was the slogan WAH choose for the demonstration celebrating the 4th anniversary. And this is true in various ways. The uncountable members of WAH have all gone through a series of life changing experiences, leaving home, moving here, fighting for recognition and dignity, so many years lost in absurd life. etc. Supporters too have had exciting and frustrating moments. But refugees have lost a lot and left a lot behind. They will not be the same person when they would go back. Equally, the situation at home will not be the same as when they left. As supporters, we are not as innocent as when we first met. We have changed too. We can’t go back to where we were. We have to move on and hopefully forwards. Life is not supposed to stand still.

Life in a refugee camp is on hold”, I heard Elisabeth Koek say on the radio, based on her experience in Syrian refugee camps. But Amsterdam is NOT a refugee camp.

A political solution for the asylum procedure that would give equal rights (to normal life) to all who are here (in Amsterdam) is not going to happen in the next few years. The mere presence, even symbolically, of WAH is a political fact and a statement in itself. (The mayor of Diemen did not understand this at all, when he asked the WAH band to play at the festival Daarom Diemen (Therefore Diemen) , but not make political statements. Undocumented migrants, presenting themselves as the WAH band IS a political statement in itself).

We Are Here had started in 2012 as a tent camp in a fringe neighborhood at the Notweg in Amsterdam Osdorp. It was a ramshackle tent camp, completely off-grid, depending on the good hearted neighbors for food and a shower, but a sensation for the media, a shock for the authorities and an eye-opener for the people. The population rapidly grew into the hundreds, representatives joined te nation on TV and in Parliament, but nothing really changed. Until the mayor after two months of agony put an end to the camp. And then aborted the imminent self-organizing power and energy of the refs, hand in hand with the church folks. After the eviction on November 30th, shelter was found in an empty and ugly church, soon dubbed the Vluchtkerk (Refugee Church). It was first squatted and then patronized by the Protestant Church who had both the financial resources and the good connections with City Hall to run the show, and keep it under control.

We Are Here is presence AND presentation. Shelter is the basis of being present, both a temporary solution: we are together, safe AND a political statement: visibility, we are real, we exist. For most refs it is ONLY a temporary, or rather intermediary solution, from where to create individual solutions (status, black work, exposure in the media, etc.). A concrete building offers other migrants, supporters, helpers, media, politicians, etc. a meeting point, access to connect with the refs and do things. These things are usually not based on a political strategy at all. Emotional drive and personal relations prevail. The bad side of this, in my humble opinion, is that this approach creates dependencies, and individual paths, rather than collectivity, thinking together, planning and action. The charity aspect, that is also the key element in many of the religiously inspired support offers, can harm the necessary self-organization, articulation and self-representation of refugees-on-the-street. Self-organizing is necessary because it enables you to play your own role in the game and not serve only as a puppet.

The most obvious, albeit negative illustration of the importance of self-management was the Vluchtkerk, where all recognized members of WAH were registered and handed ID’s, excluding all other refs. While on the other hand all kinds of volunteers were welcome in the church , from hard core anarchists to newborn evangelists.

How was the collective of refugees destroyed? How was the growth of a powerful community stifled? And why are we still here? The Dutch disease is an affection that replaces solidarity by charity, that gives you hope but never satisfaction, that doesn’t kill you but helps you perish by yourself. What are the symptoms of the Dutch disease as made visible by We Are Here?

 – Keep them moving from camp to camp, jungle to jungle, building to building. Aborting attempts to become part of the local environment.
–  Keep the building closed, without exchange. Suffocating those who stay inside the pressure cooker.
–  Give some refugees their bloody individual status, making the collective weaker.
–  Neglect their power to act, think and decide. Doing it for them.
–  Condemn them to being refused, refugees, losers. In need of help and care only.

WAH is the presentation, the visible demonstration, that something is completely wrong in this country, or on this continent. People who are here are damned by the system. To end this damnation, we must change the system. Looking the right way, in stead of looking away, is a good start. But personal attachment and charity are not enough. Private solutions are not sufficient. It is really necessary to act together for political change, for a different way of looking at migrants, refugees and at ourselves? Being visible as a group is the basis of presentation. This can be done in different ways. For me it is normal to make visible that We Are Here is in this place, this building. Hanging out banners, handing out flyers, welcoming visitors on a daily basis is the way to go, I would say. But this is NOT happening at all! And if it is happening, it is mostly done by supporters. The visibility for the refs is only every now and then in a demonstration, and spokes persons are talking with the media. But the lobbying is done by supporters, the flyers and press releases are mostly written by supporters. Again, the Vluchtkerk was a good illustration: no banner or flyer was visible from outside, everybody inside, doors closed. Lots of media and press, but not much empowerment or self-organizing by the refugees. Although I ought to share some doubt here. I tried myself to create a media space in the basement of the Vluchtkerk, with the idea to start producing visibility with and by the collective. This edit space was not adopted in practice, but it was but to a different use: a nicely carpeted prayer (islamic) room.

The good thing of the Vluchtkerk was that we broadened the popular support. Quantitatively. But NOT qualitatively. If the tent camp was something closely resembling to a Temporary Autonomous Zone, then the Vluchtkerk was quite the opposite. The recognizable refugees were taken in as threatened baby seals. All believers in goodness were invited to come cuddle them to death, embrace the lost lambs inn their own herd. This spiritual recolonization did not happen, since the refugees retook the wheel and effectively sabotaged the higher order of the Protestant Deaconry. If only to replace it by a make shift shelter in a squat run by some weird volunteers, that were happily accused of offering just a worse version of the regular AZC. After the voluntary departure from the Vluchtkerk, squatters, supporters and other volunteers opened buildings for the refugees. It was a long range of some 30 buildings that were squatted, lived in for a few weeks or even a year, and then evicted again. The supporters who felt responsible took the blame for the mess that the refs found themselves in. Sometimes happily, more often not.

In return, the most frequent complaint from the activist supporters was: the refs are not active. They just wait. I must admit that I also have trouble with the vegetative side of WAH, but reading De Successtaker by Arjen Mulder has shed some new light on this. From this book, I learned that parallel to the dynamic, conscious and rational walk of life, there is another, and much older layer of genetic, natural and instinctive part in human nature that follows a completely different logic. A swarm of geese that flies from north to south and back in a circular sequence does so without thinking or deciding, it just migrates because it is in their genes. A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. A man doesn’t move because he knows where he’s going to, he walks because he has legs. We are here, because we are.

WAH is a loose and chaotic assembly of personal relations, innovative projects, daring performances and always surprising moves. Again and again, we have surprised the media, politicians and supporters alike. WAH is unpredictable, in its activity AND in its passivity. This is both a problem and an advantage, a paradox indeed. It’s a problem if you think unity and well-coordinated planning and strategic organizing are the most important things. However, chaos can be an advantage if you can see diversity and uncontrollability as equally important aspects of this bunch of “borderliners”. Complaining and blaming each other is not helpful. Generously accepting differences, recognizing seemingly opposing cultural codes and ways of life, coming out of your cocoon and seeing the value of other perspectives can be highly rewarding too.

Powerless Sovereignty

One of the myths created by WAH is self-organization. The refugees, it was proclaimed over and over, in We Are Here, are a self-organized collective. Among the supporters, there was an outspoken consensus about a fundamental rule: the refugees are in charge of their own fate, supporters do not lead, but follow the needs, ideas and initiatives of the refs. One of the leading Somali ladies of WAH told me in the summer of 2016: We Are Here is nothing, it is invented by the supporters. They just pretend that it is still something”. I felt she had a strong case for saying so. A few months later, the ladies had made up their mind and separated from the men by squatting their own building. They were fed up with men pissing and harassing around, not taking care of anything. The decision to go female only was announced in a general meeting and nobody objected. No one had a better idea. We Are Her.

It would be fun to list all the great actions, ideas and plans and initiatives and projects and studies and artworks that were proposed by students, occupiers, mothers, artists and other teachers to this refugee collective. As eager as the western supporter is to offer his or her support, sympathy and great ideas, so reluctant is the illegal migrant to go along with these proposals, invitations and seductive offers. S/he has been fooled, cheated, exploited, humiliated and betrayed enough, including by innocent, good willing folks. Some are only in it for the money. She may have her own ideas about what to do, do together. Pictures vary about what you need, or think you need. Or what the other needs, or thinks s/he needs, or what you think the other thinks, etc. And what together means. What self-organization is. This makes co-creation difficult.

Of course, undocumented refugees are NOT in charge of their own fate. If only because most of them do not FEEL it that way. In essence, an illegal alien, an irregular migrant, a refused asylum seeker, once s/he realizes the precariousness of the situation, once s/he has stopped believing false promises and sweet-talking helpers, once s/he has learned from fellow illegals, has shared their experiences with lawyers, IND, DT&V, the detention complex, the judge and all the compassionate, God-trusting white guys and girls who told them what to do, once they know where they really are: facing a wall of denial. A wall that ranges from Sorry, I cannot help you”, to As long as you can pay” up to detention and deportation: Go, go, go.

Holland has the best bye-bye service in the world. It is called DT&V, Dienst Terugkeer & Vertrek (Repatriation and Departure Service).These people assist the migrant to return to the homeland AND to leave NL. The total collapse of communication between the irregular migrant and the civil servant of this service has inspired a variety of artists to create theatre and film and other stuff. In reality, only the last bit of the name matters: as long as you leave, we don’t care where you go. The myth of return is typical sedentary logic, which supposes that man wants to be in one place, like a tree, He always wants to return and must be able to do so. If he is not able, he must be enabled. And if he doesn’t go, he must be forced to. Many migrants, however, do not want to return, do not feel able to return but are quite eager to leave NL. But where can they go? It is almost as difficult for a state to get rid of unwanted aliens, stateless persons or otherwise misfits, by transferring him/her to another country, as to forcibly deport somebody back to a homeland. In Europe, we still have the notorious Dublin Agreement. For people to go Canada or the USA other rules apply, but there are many obstacles too, especially if you have exhausted all your material reserves, including the family gold, the love of your friends and the goodwill of your supporters, to finance a transatlantic trip. And even then, the chances are that you will end up in the same shit elsewhere as the shit you just escaped from.

In a sense, the irregular migrant without a viable option to leave, is kept hostage by the system, by the state. He cannot leave and he cannot stay. This is the limbo. This is the challenge: the art of disappearing. The problem would disappear substantially if the state would handover residence permits, because that would enable a migrant to return to see his or her family, AND then return to his new country of residence. This kind of circular migration is practically impossible due to the current paranoia of states and nation about being overrun by there numbers of anonymous, poor, dark souls.

The Stockholm syndrome (, hostages identifying with their captors, applies here too. The refused refugees, refusing to accept their refusal. They cannot take no for an answer, because they have no way to go. They will rather drive themselves nuts, wasting their lives, hoping for a miracle, than go back home. And thereby they drive the system nuts too. They keep the state hostage too! This is the sovereign power of the powerless. The sheer act of not-complying (with the order to leave) is actually enough to upset the whole system. In France or in Greece, in Amsterdam or in Las Vegas, in Dubai or Kuala Lumpur, nowhere has the state found the proper key, the solution to the riddle: how can you be human without dehumanizing? The easy answer is that the state has never been designed to be human. Yet most western democracies and even some others, do declare themselves democratic, have signed all sorts of international treaties,m etc. Humane is on every politicians’ lips, when it concerns refugees, but time and again the absurdity and the cruelty of the regulations comes to light, exposing the inhuman face of the system.

I’ll be your mirror.

Coming back to We Are Here, this visible collective of refused, we can wonder what have they gained by their performance, what difference has it made to their fate that they took the stage, what impact have they had on migration politics? And what has changed in their own situation, in their relation to society and the state? And in the interaction with their sisters and brothers supporters? What have we learned from them?

The relation between supporters and refugees should be seen as serious gaming with each other within an economy of care. The supporter is offering something to the refugee (an ear, a meal, some money, love), just like the professional lawyer, doctor or shrink may render a certain service to a client. The refugee may not always make this distinction between (paid) professionals and (paying) volunteers. Their purpose is to stay alive and lead a normal life. But what this normal life means concretely remains highly undefined. My acquired normalcy can differ quite a bit from your dream of it. Yet for both it is absolutely clear that the actual state of affairs is not normal. The challenge for refugees and volunteers alike in this uneven equation is to reach a state of equality and reciprocity. Equality means that the other has the same chance as you to make a life. Reciprocity is a basis for a sustained relation of mutual respect and pleasure. This is not an easy game.

Let us zoom in on the issue of shelter. Squatting normally goes like this: a homeless person comes to the info hour, finds out the way to work, identifies a house, follows the rules of investigation and comes back with a plan. Then the newborn squatter join forces to squat and secure the place and go on their own way. Squatting is DIY, a way to make yourself a home.

From a WAH members point of view, one could say: this is my shelter. It was opened by the squatters. I will be here as long as possible. It is a place to be, a place to go to. Temporary, not a home, not normal. There is no ownership of the place, of the building. It is not a home. Just a shelter.

The dominant feeling and dilemma for the activist supporters, is that the refs do NOT come forward with great ideas, do NOT stick to the rules of engagement, do NOT show up at the agreed time, etc. We can’t do anything if you don’t take the lead, if you are not active.” Thereby they declare their own weakness, revealing what? Naive? Hiding behind refugees, avoiding responsibility, denying unequal power relation?

The illegal migrant is not your natural activist. S/he can shy away from taking power by showing empty hands and expressing his manifest lacks of power: no papers, no future, no money, no phone credit, no education, no speak Dutch. What can I do? I am helpless. I need a father or mother to guide me, to feed me. It is the baby speaking. It is my new born son taking my thumb in his little fist. I feel the dynamite. In my experience, it is the most powerful piece of life on earth. This is the power of seduction, running parallel to powerlessness. This power is able to open eyes, to raise tears, to move hearts, to mix minds, to make life.

To understand the power of the outlaw, we must imagine the fear of the lawmaker. His destiny is to keep up the law, updated, respected and all compassing. The true lawmakers lie awake at night, thinking of the ghosts, the zombies he has created. His boat is leaking, the dykes are not dry. Because of these outlaws, Out of control, nothing-to-losers. It hits the DNA of the system, the very soul of the lawmaker. He has created his own denial. His alter alien. It won’t go away.

Absence or presence? Active or passive? Individual or collective? Refugee or supporter? Humanitarian or political? There are so many ways to look at We Are Here. We Are Here is about presence, the opposite of absence. People ARE present when they are not hiding. People are WE when they are together. People are HERE when they move together. WE are more. More than refs. More than refs and sups. We are all, here, in Amsterdam. If we want to find hope and make life, we must look around and beyond our own circles. We must find each other, and all others who are willing and able to make a change. That is why I wrote this article, to create space for thinking about a new coalition to make a life in this city.

We Are Here, with its demand for normal life”, is actually claiming equal rights and this is not an empty slogan. We know better than most what it means to NOT have equal rights. Equal rights are part of true democracy. And democracy is being invented, or re-invented as we speak. In many major cities of Europe and in fact around the globe, citizens are not only demanding openness and transparency from the system, but are actually realizing it by creating initiatives, campaigns and platforms that are capable of taking control of the city and making important changes. Barcelona is a good example: it now has a mayor who was before a leader of the movement of renters against eviction. In London, the disaster with the fire in a flat that killed at least 80 people has led to a massive movement for equal rights of all victims (including undocumented migrants) and against the liberal negligence of the politicians that makes these kinds of disasters possible. The Grenfell Tower disaster is a wakeup call and a rallying point for many people. It reminds me of the Schiphol Fire [2005) in the sense that it opened our eyes to the inhumanity of the system.

Equal rights are part of true democracy that starts from the ground, when normal people take up their own destiny and leave the regular politicians, officials and money-mongers behind. The name of this new phenomenon is Rebel Cities. Also in Amsterdam, people of diverse backgrounds are preparing a similar approach: creating a coalition of civil organizations and social and green activists to change the rules of the game.

We Are Here is one of the most successful political campaigns of this century. It has given hope to many people who sincerely strive for a better world. The refugees have given inspiration, love and a window to see another world as well as offering us a mirror to see ourselves and our society in a different light.

Now, We Are Everywhere.

Amsterdam, August 2017


Jo van der Spek is a Dutch journalist and activist, director of the Migrant 2 Migrant Foundation and supporter of the We Are Here movement of refused refugees.


Kommt zur Protestmahnwache: Afghanistan ist kein sicheres Land

Wir nehmen unser Schicksal selbst in die Hand.
تحصن اعتراضی علیه دیپورت به افغانستان را فعالانه حمایت کنید۰
ما میخواهیم خودمان سرنوشت زندگی امان را بدست بگیریم، نه اینکه قدرتمندان برایمان تعیین کنند۰
محل و روز تحصن اعتراضی۰

21. und 22. September, 12.00-20.00 Uhr vor dem Auswärtigen Amt, Werderscher Markt 1

23. und 24. September, 12.00-20.00 Uhr vor dem Bundestag am Washingtonplatz

وضعیت امنیتی و زندگی در افغانستان روز بروز وخیم تر میشود،بخصوص در دو سال اخیر۰ شمار قربانیان جنگ و ترور هر سال بیشتر میشود۰ همزمان دولت آلمان بیشرمانه تحت عنوان «امنیت در افغانستان» ، دلیل گریز مردم از کشور افغانستان را توجیه میکند ۰ بدین جهت هر بار آمار قبول شدگان پناهجو کمتر شده و برعکس از سال ۲۰۱۵ به بعد به آمار اخراجیان افزوده شده۰
ما پناهجویان و حامیان ، اعتراض خود را به تصمیم گیری دولت آلمان اعلام میکنیم۰ بهمین جهت همزمان با روزهای بازار گرمی انتخابات ، ما نشست وتحصن اعتراضی خود را علیه دیپورت تدارک دیده ایم۰ به ما بپیوندید

Die Sicherheitslage in Afghanistan hat sich in den letzten 2 Jahren stark verschlechtert. Die Zahl der zivilen Opfer von Krieg, Terror und Verfolgung steigt jedes Jahr an. Dennoch verringert sich die Anerkennungsquote für Geflüchtete aus Afghanistan ohne erkennbaren Grund und die Bundesregierung hat seit 2015 vermehrt Flüchtlinge ins Kriegsland Afghanistan abgeschoben.

Vertreter*innen von unterschiedlichen Flüchtlingsinitiativen afghanischer Geflüchtete und Unterstützer*innen protestieren dagegen. Nach der Bundestagswahl wird wieder abgeschoben werden und dennoch ist das Schicksal der von der Abschiebung bedrohten bisher kein Thema. Das wollen wir ändern.

Kommt zur Mahnwache und zeigt, dass es nicht egal, dass Menschen nach Afghanistan in Krieg und Elend abgeschoben werden und leitet diese Mail gerne an Interessierte weiter.

Die Gruppe: Afghanistan ist kein sicheres Land!



Open bijeenkomst actie tegen grensbewakingsbeurs Amsterdam

UPDATE: HET BORDERPOL GLOBAL FORUM IN AMSTERDAM IS AFGELAST. DE ACTIEBIJEENKOMST GAAT DUS OOK NIET DOOR! / THE BORDERPOL GLOBAL FORUM IN AMSTERDAM IS CANCELLED. THERE WILL BE NO ACTION MEETING! English translation: Open meeting for action against border security conference Amsterdam Open bijeenkomst actie tegen grensbewakingsbeurs Amsterdam 4 oktober 2017 – 19.30 uur – … Continue reading Open bijeenkomst actie tegen grensbewakingsbeurs Amsterdam

Sea-Watch im Dauereinsatz: Die Krise auf dem Mittelmeer ist nicht beendet

Die Crew der Sea-Watch 1 hat in der Ägäis am vergangenen Montag 27 Menschen aus akuter Seenot gerettet, der EU-Türkei-Deal bröckelt. In den darauffolgenden Tagen fand allein unser Aufklärungsflugzeug #Moonbird sieben Boote in Seenot vor der libyschen Küste. Eines davon sank genau in dem Moment, als es von den Piloten entdeckt wurde. Zwar waren die…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch im Dauereinsatz: Die Krise auf dem Mittelmeer ist nicht beendet erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Let our families reunite now! – Refugee protest tomorrow at Greek Asylum Service in Athens

“Let our families reunite now!”

Refugee protest on Tuesday, September 19th at 11am in front of the offices of the Greek Asylum Service / Dublin Offices near Katekhaki metro station.

We, the Syrian families from different camps in Greece (i.e. Elaionas, Koutsochero, Ritsona and Skaramangas), who have our beloved relatives in Germany are inviting all refugees who are separated from their relatives and everybody else who wants to join our struggle for justice and human rights, to a peaceful protest on Tuesday September 19th at 11 o’clock in front of the offices of the Greek Asylum Service / Dublin Offices near Katekhaki metro station.

We want to express for one more time our strong concern and disagreement about the informal agreement between the German and the Greek government, which in practice limited radically the transfers of persons accepted through family reunification to 70 per month.

Refugees receiving tickets nowadays in order to fly in October and later have received their decisions from Germany from January 2017 and onwards. More than 4,600 have received a positive answer from Germany since the beginning of the year of which until mid-August only 221 had left Greece. This results in more than 4,300 persons awaiting their tickets to go to Germany in Greece more than half of which are children. The vast majority of us come from war torn Syria, but there are also many refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq waiting to join their relatives as well as from other countries.

Don‘t separate us but respect our fundamental right on family life!
Freedom of movement for all – Stop deportations!
Close the camps; stop the isolation and ghettoization of refugees!
Open houses and provide for human living standards inside the cities!
Access to social rights for all!
Access for all protection seekers to a prompt and fair asylum procedure!

Read the full call here

We’ll Come United!

+++BREAKING+++ Die Crew der Sea-Watch 1 hat in der Nacht zu Montag vor der griechischen Insel Kós 27 Menschen aus Seenot gerettet +++BREAKING+++ Seit dem 30. August werden 120 Menschen vermisst, das berichtet der einzige Überlebende, der schwimmend in Tunesien den Strand erreicht hat +++BREAKING+++ Fluchtrouten verlagern sich: Rumänische Küstenwache greift immer mehr Boote im…

Der Beitrag We’ll Come United! erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Inauguration Conference | Center for Intersectional Justice

Center for intersectional justice Berlin

The Center for Intersectional Justice (CIJ) is a newly founded non-profit organisation based in Berlin. Its mission is to make anti-discrimination and equality policy more inclusive and effective in Europe. CIJ tackles intersecting forms of structural inequality and discrimination through legal and policy advocacy, policy research and trainings.

The aim of the conference is to celebrate the launch of the Center for Intersectional Justice, recall the story behind this initiative and to provide an opportunity for social justice advocates and activists across Europe to connect.

We will discuss opportunities, challenges and steps ahead: Around what issues will our advocacy efforts be centered? How can the political obstacles and practical dilemmas be overcome? How can synergies, cooperation and common goal setting be promoted with other organisations active in the field of anti-discrimination?

Keynote address: Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

Opening address: Emilia Roig

Speakers: Nikita Dhawan, Kübra Gümüsay, Amandine Gay and many others!






Conference Programme


Kundgebung gegen die Abschiebeflüge in den Kosovo, nach Albanien, Serbien und Afghanistan

Protest gegen die Abschiebungen in den Kosovo, nach Serbien und Albanien
Am Dienstag, den 12.9. um 17 Uhr am Flughafen Düsseldorf – Terminal B

Wir fordern die NRW-Landesregierung alle Abschiebeflüge abzusagen.
Am 12. und 13. September 2017 sollen neben der Sammelabschiebung nach Afghanistan am Dienstag. auch Abschiebeflüge in die Balkanländer vom Flughafen Düsseldorf stattfinden.Wir rufen dazu auf, sich mit den Betroffenen zu solidarisieren und gegen diese Abschiebungen zu protestieren.
Nicht selten sind Menschen, die aus diesen Ländern nach Deutschland fliehen Angehörige der Minderheit der Roma, weil gerade sie in diesen Ländern betroffen sind von Gewalt, Stigmatisierung und rassistische Ausgrenzung aus allen gesellschaftlichen Bereichen: es fehlt an Systemen der sozialen Sicherung wie Krankenversicherung, gehen die Kinder der Roma in die Schule werden sie dort meist ausgegrenzt, der Gang zur Schule wird eine Qual, der sich viele nach einiger Zeit nicht mehr gewachsen sehen, es fehlt an Unterstützung durch solidarische LehrerInnen etc…..ein Teufelskreislauf aus Armut, Ausgrenzung und Perspektivlosigkeit beginnt. Hier in Deutschland gehen laut einer Studie alle Roma zur Schule, im Kosovo z.Bsp. nur noch 25%.
Dazu kommt die rassistische Ausgrenzung der Erwachsenen aus dem Erwerbsleben aufgrund der Zugehörigkeit zur Gruppe der Roma. Haben Roma in diesen Ländern Arbeit, so ist sie meist unterbezahlt und prekär. So sind viele Roma dazu verdammt, informellen Beschäftigungen nach zu gehen, die aber keinen Lebensunterhalt sichern.
Studien belegen, dass viele der in den Kosovo abgeschobenen Roma diesen Ort wieder verlassen, weil sie keine Lebensgrundlage dort haben: der Erhalt von Sozialleistungen ist an schwierige Bedingungen geknüpft, so muss z.Bsp. ein Kind im Haushalt leben, das jünger ist als 4 Jahre. Erhalten sie Sozialleistungen, sind auch diese so gering, dass sie nicht ausreichen. Selbstredend ist daher auch der Zugang zum Wohnungsmarkt erschwert bis unmöglich, Roma leben meist in slumartigen Siedlungen, die jederzeit geräumt werden können und sie zum Ziel von rassistischen
Anschlägen werden lässt. Sie sind schutzlos.
Es ist ein offenes Geheimnis (einmal googlen: „Roma Balkan“), es ist so offen, dass es schon gar kein Geheimnis mehr ist, sondern eine Tatsache: Roma wurden und werden diskriminiert und das nicht nur von einzelnen Bevölkerungsgruppen sondern auch vom Staat, in dem sie leben. Diese „systematische und kumulative“ (also sich anhäufend, weil es viele/ alle Bereiche des Lebens betrifft) Verfolgung könnte durchaus als Verfolgungsgrund gemäß der Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention und somit als Asylberechtigung identifiziert werden. Warum dies nicht passiert, ist uns schleierhaft, deswegen fordern wir den sofortigen Stopp aller Abschiebungen in den Balkan und die Ermöglichung eines normalen Lebens!
Neben all diesem sehen wir besonders Deutschland in einer historischen Verantwortung, fielen doch geschätzte 500.000 Sinti und Roma dem Rassenwahn der deutschen Nationalsozialisten und dem an ihnen geplanten Völkermord zum Opfer.
Dienstag 12.9.2017 um 17 Uhr – Große Halle – Terminal B – Flughafen Düsseldorf


Heutiger Protest in Gedenken an die Opfer des sudanesischen Regimes

Die sudanesischen politischen Aktivist*innen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland protestieren vor der sudanesischen Botschaft in Berlin, um die zahlreichen Opfer des Regimes zu gedenken.

الوقفة الاحتجاحية أمام سفارة النظام ببرلين/ألماني

يهيب النشطاء السياسيون بالمانيا بجميع الكوادر والقوي السياسية بالمانيا للمشاركة في الوقفة الاحتجاجية أمام سفارة النظام ببرلين/ألمانيا ، وذلك لإحياء ذكري شهداء الثورة السودانية  وللتنديد بجرائم النظام التي ظل 28 عامأ يرتكبها في حق المواطن والوطن.

Posted by ‎لالا‎ on Freitag, 8. September 2017


The Greek part of the Balkan route: Pressure & Resistance


…how the creation of the Balkan route is connected to the Greek financial crisis

…what happened when people on the move came across the part of the greek population that (faced with the end of consumerism as we knew it) chose not fascism but humanity and solidarity and what was the reaction of the social movement in Greece

…how a radical/progressive government followed all EU recommendations and directives while at the same time continued standard Greek State politics on migration and kept posing as radical and progressive

…what is the situation today … what are the paths of resistance

Download pdf: September_2017_presentation_web_final

Women* breaking borders Konferenz!

Download Flyer

Als Frauen* sind wir mit sexistischen und rassistischen Grenzen konfrontiert und allen möglichen Vorurteilen ausgesetzt, nachdem wir gefährlichste Routen nach Europa überlebt haben. Als geflüchtete Frauen* stehen wir vor, während und nach der Flucht vor vielen inneren und äußeren Grenzen. Wir brauchen unsere gegenseitige Solidarität, um innere und äußere Grenzen/Barrieren zu überwinden.
Lasst uns zusammen klarstellen, dass keine Grenze zu hoch, zu tief oder zu massiv ist, wenn Frauen* sich zusammenschließen!

A conference organized by Women in Exile, Friends and sisters!!

As women* we are faced with sexism and racist borders which expose us to all types of
prejudice. As refugee women we are confronted by multiple, inner and outer borders during and after the flight. We need each other’s solidarity to break inner and outer borders/boundaries. Join us in declaring no borders are high, low, wide or solid enough when women unite!

Anmeldung / Registration OPEN

Die Anmeldung zur Konferenz beginnt! Unsere Konferenz wird in Berlin, Franz-Mehring-Platz 1, nahe Ostbahnhof stattfinden. Wir beginnen am 22.9. um 11:00 mit dem Check-in und enden am 24.9. gegen 14:00. Für Frauen, die eine weite Anreise haben, gibt es die Möglichkeit, schon am Donnerstag anzureisen und abends noch bei einer Kundgebung von uns mitzumachen! Wer Probleme mit der Online-Anmeldung hat, kann eine Mail schreiben an conference[at] oder anrufen: 015213361284

Da selbstverständlich geflüchtete Frauen* Vorrang haben, behalten wir uns vor, Unterstützer*innen auf eine Warteliste zu setzen.

Register now for our conference! The Conference will take place in Berlin, Franz-Mehring-Platz 1, near Ostbahnhof station. We will start registration on September 22nd at 11:00 a.m. and close on September 24th at 14:00. If you are coming from far, you might come to Berlin on September 21st and join us for a demonstration in the evening! If you have problems filling the form, you can register through conference[at] or by telephone: 015213361284

As of course the priority to participate is given to refugee women*, it may be that we have to put supporters on a waiting list.

Swahili groep betrekt woning aan de Sarphatistraat


Zondag 3 september 2017 hebben wij, de Swahili groep van 20 vluchtelingen van het vluchtelingencollectief ‘Wij Zijn Hier’ het pand met adres Sarphatistraat 24 in Amsterdam in gebruik genomen.

Wij voelen ons gedwongen om op deze manier huisvesting te vinden omdat er behalve nachtopvang geen andere opties voor ons zijn. De nachtopvang, beter bekend als BBB, zit vol, heeft inmiddels wachtlijsten en dwingt ons om overdag op straat te zwerven zonder geld. Het geeft veel stress en we weten eigenlijk niet eens waar we naar het toilet kunnen gaan zonder geld. Ook als we ziek zijn moeten we de straat op.

De nachtopvang geeft geen rust en zelfbeschikking. Er wordt ons verteld wanneer en wat we moeten eten, zelf koken is niet mogelijk. De ruimte waar we eten is veel te klein voor 90 mensen, dit geeft spanning. We doen ons best om geduldig en rustig te blijven, maar eigenlijk maakt het ons wanhopig. Het voelt als een gevangenis, ons gevoel van vrijheid en menselijke waardigheid wordt ons ontnomen.

Daarom betrekken we leegstaande panden die niet in gebruik zijn. In ieder geval hebben we dan dag en nacht huisvesting en kunnen we ons mens voelen. We hebben de Gemeente Amsterdam de afgelopen 4,5 jaar steeds onze situatie uitgelegd en gevraagd om ons te helpen met basale voorzieningen zoals onderdak voor dag en nacht.

Maar omdat de gemeente vindt dat het de landelijke overheid is die dit probleem moet oplossen, wil de gemeente niet verder gaan dan het bieden van BBB voor een maximaal aantal mensen en zonder begeleiding naar toekomstmogelijkheden.

Wat we nodig hebben is de mogelijkheid om een normaal leven op te bouwen, zoals ieder mens dat wil. Om aan een betere toekomst te kunnen werken, is het nodig om een beetje tot rust te kunnen komen. Velen van ons werken aan een hernieuwde asielaanvraag. De voorwaarden die hiervoor gesteld worden zijn niet makkelijk. Maar we weten dat het mogelijk is als we de kans krijgen; van de Wij Zijn Hier groep hebben inmiddels meer dan 80 personen alsnog een verblijfsvergunning gekregen.

Wij Zijn Hier leeft nu in meerdere kleinere woongroepen, niet meer zoals voorheen in groepen van meer dan 100 personen. Kleinere groepen maakt het samenleven makkelijker. We zijn een groep van ongeveer 20 en zullen met respect voor onze buren in ons nieuwe onderkomen gaan wonen.

We hebben in het verleden regelmatig goede afspraken kunnen maken met pandeigenaren. We hopen hier te kunnen verblijven zolang het gebouw geen nieuwe concrete bestemming heeft.

We verwelkomen de buren ons te bezoeken en kennis te maken. En we hopen solidariteit te ontvangen van de buurt.
Geen mens zou uitgesloten mogen worden van de maatschappij.

Can’t stop a movement! Impressions from eight years of struggles against inner-European borders, the so called Dublin-deportations


 At 15th of January 2011 more than 20 afghan refugees died, when their boat came into distress and capsized, while they continued their flight from Greece to Italy. A 16 years old young man, who was saved, asked us to write down this story not to get forgotten[1]. The most of these dead people would be still alive if the Dublin-III-regulation would not exist. Most of them started their journey again and again after they have been deported back from other European countries. We dedicate this article to commemorate the forgotten dead people of the internal borders of EU. May this injustice – as it happens at the external borders of EU – as soon as possible become history.


The struggles against deportations back to Greece, Italy, Hungary or Bulgaria are strongly connected with the fights at the external European borders. The struggle against Dublin was significantly fought out along the Balkan route: first until the temporary deportation stop to Greece in the beginning of 2011 and in a second round mainly in Hungary with the break-through by the march of hope in September 2015.


Contested spaces – every centimetre progress tenaciously achieved from a multitude, which stood up individually and collectively to this regulation und still do it until today. Without listening to these manifold stories of resistance it seems to us impossible to understand the political conflict on Dublin. It was and is a social process of erosion and of continuous undermining the border regime, in which the not-granted right to freedom of movement was asserted. It was and is supported by structures, which exist everywhere in Europe in the meanwhile: an underground railroad for freedom of movement.

In February 2014 Eritrean and Somalian refugees announced in a public event the foundation of the selforganised initiative „Lampedusa in Hanau“. They mourned the dead persons and they reported about the bad experiences of their flight through the Sahara, through Libya and through the sea – and about their subsequent homelessness and non-protection in Italy. They wanted to resist against the threats of Dublin-deportations and they were in search of support from civil society: „Who is honestly mourning the death, should protect the survivors.“ A few months later the first church asylums have been established. All friends from Lampedusa in Hanau finally could achieve their right to stay and they formed the base for a sustained cycle of successful resistance against „Dublin“.


In reference to Greece and the Balkan route or to the central Mediterranean route and Italy – this article will try to tell the stories of resistance against Dublin-deportations. It`s one of many narratives about struggles for freedom of movement, in manifold fragments and based on moments, in which we (with no one is illegal Hanau and with the network Welcome to Europe) were involved as supporters or testimonies.


The Dublin regulation was adopted already in 2003. In general it establishes the rule: the country, which „causes“ the entry of an asylum seeker – because its embassy has issued a visum or because it could not prevent the entry at its borders – should be responsible for the assessment of the asylum application. If a refugee applies for asylum in another country and s/he will be recognized in the fingerprint database EuroDac or because of other proofs, the deportation to this responsible country should be carried out. Obviously such a system cannot function and this regulation mainly should serve to the interests of the central-European governments to keep the refugees in the European border countries. All European countries enforce deportations to the border countries, which are overburdened with logistics and accommodation.



Lesvos, October 2009

Our storyline starts in October 2009 on the Greek island Lesvos, at the fence of the infamous detention Pagani. Smog is in the air from the last revolts, which will finally wipe the slate clean from this prison at the external borders of EU. A few weeks before protests from inside and outside against the inhuman conditions have created images, which went around the world. At the fence – still before the release – next steps are in preparation. Everybody wants to go on as all know, that the situation in Greece will not offer a better life. They also know about the curse of the fingerprint, which all of them have been forced to provide and which burned in their bodies the risk of deportation back to Greece. Here at the fence they discuss with activists from other European countries, who hand over addresses through the wire, which can be contacted after arrival. The idea of is born in this situation, in the smog of the revolts and by the conviction that freedom of movement is the right for everybody.


The web guide

The idea was already developed during the nobordercamp, but these face to face encounters on the fence in Pagani in October 2009 became the final starting point for the web guide[2]. Initially handed over as slips of paper through the wire, quickly it was clear that the need of information and mainly of reliable contacts is huge. In 2010 the web guide went online as an attempt to present a transnational quadrilingual guide for freedom of movement, first of all with contacts in all important European countries of destination and mainly including information about the chances to counter the Dublin-deportations to Greece successfully on a legal level. Step by step the website developed further and the network around have grown up to a more and more stabile structure as a backbone for daily struggles.



On the bottom side of a truck back to Europe, Igoumenitsa, Springtime 2010

When we reached after seven hours bus-tour from Athens in Igoumenitsa, it is cold and the darkness of the mountains gives a feeling of isolation. We see that small groups of people disappear in the hills, the wind carries their voices to us. Igoumenitsa is the second biggest ferry-port of Greece and thus also a starting point for all the invisibles, who try to continue their journey to northern Europe.´Schengendangle` they call it, when they clamp themselves on the bottom side of the trucks, between the tires, to arrive perhaps some day. It is not without risk and we see some people with broken arms and legs. The two prisons in the ferry-port are all the time overcrowded, because the control is strict and every day between 10 and 40 refugees are deported back from Italy. Who was deported might have bad luck. We listen to stories about detention camps at the albanian border, or about refugees, who have been kicked out 100 km away nowhere, and even about clandestine deportations back during the night to Turkey in the region of Evros. After a wave of raids this winter, when many nylon-tents and small belongings were burnt down, most people change the sleeping place every night: from a construction site to the forest and back to the street. Small tents out of nylon-tarps hidden under branches and everyday waiting on a good opportunity: that is the world of the invisibles in Igoumenitsa.

Almost all people here were imprisoned in Greece more than one time and every second person we meet is a „Dublin-II-case“. Some refugees have been deported back to Greece already several times. J. was deported from Germany in March 2009. He shows us his expulsion order from Greece: ´Since my deportation I was 10 times imprisoned and every time I get another order to leave Greece within 30 days. But where should I go?` S. is coming from Palestine and he is already since six months in Igoumenitsa; ´I forgot to be hungry, I am not thirsty anymore and i do not know, if I am tired.` He wears a jacket, which is five numbers to big for him, on his three pullovers: ´Everybody gets sick here. We try find food in the garbage cans. Warm water is not existing and nowhere a chance to recharge our mobile phones or to keep contact with my family.` When we started to say good bye, a young Somali turned to us: ´Do net let us alone! Do not let us alone!` It sounds as it is not directed to us personally but as a general appeal to the society.[3]


Athens, July 2010

Athens is the hub of transmigration in Greece, from the islands as well as from the Evros region. Usually Athens is the next station to organize the further journey. During last years Athens became additionally the hub for Dublin-deportations. From all European countries Dublin-deportees arrive in Athens, where they are imprisoned at the airport in inhumane conditions. Not a few people turn the loop several times and try to leave Greece again and again. And not a few end up in the streets of Athens, when they lost their hope some day and all options to get money. Many refugees in Athens are caught in a trap, often even a voluntary return is not possible anymore. Massive homelessness of refugees is an increasing problem. The precarious support system from NGOs collapsed in the course of the economical crisis. In summer 2010 the most staff of NGOs was not paid for months and subsequently they stopped their work entirely for some periods. Around the Attiki-square, where in the daytime many Afghan refugees stayed, massive racist attacks happened for several months. The situation of minors in Athens is particularly dramatic: countless young people are exposed – beside all other problems – to sexual assaults in the parks. In the same time the protests of refugees increase: 2010 several hunger strikes of refugees took place for their recognition and legalization, often sharpened as the strikers stitch up their mouths.[4]


These descriptions from the squares in Athens summarize the situation in summer 2010, the first report of the Infomobile in Greece was a „Dublin-II-deportation-diary“[5], a report full with the voices of the Dublin-deportees from Athens. The documentation of all individual stories is a crucial method in this period. The documented cases have been used as written testimonies to prevent deportations to Greece in front of the courts in other countries and in general to illustrate the situation of Dublin-deportees and to scandalize the inhuman living conditions in the transit countries at the external borders.


Deportation stop to Greece in January 2011

In January 2011 the European Court for human rights decided in an individual case, that Greece violated the human rights of a person, who was imprisoned in inhuman conditions and became homeless after his release. This decision also affected Belgium as the deportation to the mentioned conditions in Greece also had violated the human rights there. As a consequence of this decision the deportations to Greece have been suspended in more and more EU-countries as probably hundreds of similar „Greek“ cases might have been decided in the same way. Thus the deportation stop was a court decision of last resort. But this temporary deportation stop, which lasted at least seven years, first of all was the result of the struggles of the refugees themselves and their supporters. After their deportation back to Greece they started again and again to go back to the places they want to stay. They themselves have documented over and over again the unacceptable conditions in Greece and pushed it into the public. Longterm lawsuits in each singular case and mainly the tenacity of the affected persons themselves led to a situation, in which the deportations had to be suspended.

Just now, when we have to develope new strategies to stop again the deportations back to Greece, we should learn from these experiences. Since March 2017 it was announced in the frame of the overall roll back, that Dublin-deportations to Greece will be restarted.



In Hungary the human right violations at first have been much less public – not because it was less massive but because it have been more hidden forms of violence. Imprisonment during the asylum procedure was and still is the norm and not an exception in Hungary. When we started to be engaged in the situation in Hungary, we mainly heard about the reports on the unbearable conditions of detention. The circulation of tranquilizer have been standard and many people were released after months of arrest with strong psychological problems and often also with addiction to pharmaceuticals.


First notices about the indefensible conditions inside the Hungarian prisons for refugees trailed away without attention. Already in December 2010 first considerations came up to research on the Hungarian situation as we could expect similar serious failings as in the Greek asylum system. First research journeys started and affected refugees have been informed about useful contacts in their destination countries through the web guide, while experiences about Dublin-deportations have been exchanged. Already in this stage many have told their stories.

So one young Afghan man, 17 years old, gave us an interview by phone from inside a detention center.[6] We never saw each other, but a friend of a friend brought us into contact. He felt very bad, he said, but he wanted to give testimony about the situation of refugees deported back to Hungary. He reported that he is arrested since nearly three month as a minor. He hoped, that the deportations to Hungary might end, when the practice of imprisonment becomes public. He said it is too late for himself, but perhaps it will help all others, who afterwards will go the same way, not to experience the same. In this period we made numberless interviews and many used these testimonies, which they had given still in Hungary, in their next attempt of continuous flight for the documentation in court cases and against another deportation to Hungary.


Already in 2012 and 2013 in cooperation with Pro Asyl tried to document in the German-speaking countries the general situation of refugees in Hungary „between homelessness and detention“ and thus to win influence on procedures in various courts.[7] In 2016 another updated report on Hungary was published and got attention in several courts in Germany.[8]


Hungary for a long time was known only as place of quick transit. With increasing Dublin deportations many affected refugees could not keep their strength for a second or third attempt and mainly families with children stayed and tried to get organized in Hungary and to struggle for an improvement of their living conditions. From late summer 2012 until early summer 2013 mainly Afghan families went on protests in Budapest and Bicske, supported from the new developed group MigSzol[9]. But all efforts failed and the most families – even with a residence status – could not find any perspective, rather they were confronted with the eviction from the refugee camp and subsequent homelessness. Against this background they decided collectively to leave and more than 70 refugees together boarded a train at 12.06.2013. All of them had a protection-status in Hungary, so they could be controlled at the border, but with their documents they have been entitled to move through Europe and thus they reached their destination. At the train station in Munich they finally decided for the end city: Karlsruhe. There some of them had relatives and one of them got the information, that a chance might be given. In Karlsruhe they went to the first reception center, put all their Hungarian documents on the table and asked for asylum as in Hungary a live in humanity and dignity was not possible.


“We, the refugees previously living in the Bicske Reception Centre (Hungary) decided to leave Hungary and apply for asylum in Germany. (…) The fact, that approximately 100 of us left Hungary will not change anything in Bicske. The new people who will be granted the

refugee status by Hungary will face similar problems. We saw no other choice than staying together and seek a common solution abroad. We have seen that the European rules on asylum are not working, there is no common treatment and care for asylum-seekers and refugees in Europe. We will not accept this system. Our political resistance is movement. We have to do that for our Children.”[10]


This declaration was published together with a detailed list of all their attempts in Hungary to change and to improve their situation (in negotiations with immigration offices, camp administration, politicians and UNHCR, and by protest-actions in front of the parliament). It was the first collectively organized leave and the families organized common events also later in Germany. Until today nearly all of them still live in Baden-Württemberg (the federal state, in which Karlsruhe is located).


Italy – the curse of the fingerprint


We are escaping the whole time, you know? Our life is homelessness, we sleep on a big street of hope. We could not see any hope until now. We only live, breathe, sleep. They decided for us, that we have no rights. Thats the meaning of Dublin for us. We should not have other options than to live on the street.

O. from Eritrea, Oberursel (near Frankfurt) in July 2011


Without Dublin it would mean that I would be a bird and could fly. I simply would continue my studies, I would marry and live a better life.

S. from Eritrea, Oberursel in July 2011


The Italian islands Lampedusa and Sicily are the places, where the stories cumulate, in which refugees tried to resist from the very beginning against the curse of the fingerprints. Most people know before their arrival in Italy, that the fingerprint – sometimes even taken on the boats of the coastguards – will be a trap. Thus forms of resistance are manifold. If the opportunity is given, they escape directly after the arrival in the ports in Augusta, Pozallo or Catania. Some even could get away from Lampedusa, hidden in a truck in the ferry, to avoid the fingerprinting. Others treated their fingertips with glue before the arrival, or they vitriolized or burned them. Many opposed the taking of fingerprints and experienced massive violence by the Italian police, partly through counter insurgency units against refugees, who just were rescued from boats at sea. As testified people were broken their hands and fingers to force the fingerprint procedure, in several times electric shockers were used to break resistance. Often any food was denied, before people did not give fingerprints.


In July 2013 one of the collective protests has been finally successful:


In the last couple of weeks new boat people – refugees and migrants mainly from East African and Sub-Saharan countries – are arriving via Libya on the Italian island of Lampedusa. There they are detained in an overcrowded camp and registered before their transfer to Sicily or the Italian mainland, which includes having their fingerprints taken. Many of the persons involved know from friends and family who went through the same procedure, that due to these fingerprints their residence will be bound to Italy, that they may obtain a protected status there, but that socially this is worth nothing. This because in general they will then find themselves homeless and without an income on the street and any continued journey towards North-Western Europe is threatened with immediate deportation back to Italy in accordance with Dublin II.
Against this background impressive protest actions occurred on Lampedusa in mid-July. About 250 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, refused to give their fingerprints and demanded from the responsible authorities their immediate transfer. After protests and controversies with the police in the camp, they held a more than 2-hour demonstration in the streets of the small tourist town on 20 July 2013. “No Fingerprints” was their main slogan, a collective protest against the Dublin II injustice. Then a 24-hour sit-in on the square in front of the church was organized and in selfdetermined negotiations with the local authorities they even could carry through their main demand to leave without fingerprints.[11]

The fingerprint in Italy became also a trap for refugees, who continued their flight after the deportation stop in Greece via Italy as the story of N. demonstrate. It was an almost endless odyssey through the European Dublin-jungle.


“My flight from Afghanistan via Iran and Turkey to Greece took me several months. In late November 2011, I crossed the Evros River. But in Greece you can not survive as a refugee. In December 2011, I’ve been hiding in a truck to get onto the ferry to Bari / Italy. When moving out at the port Italian police caught us and deported us directly back to Greece with the same ferry – directly into jail. On the second try, I went by foot across the border to Macedonia and continued via Serbia to Hungary. I was there for six weeks in custody and then deported to Serbia. The Serbian police beat us, took our money away and pushed us illegally back at the Macedonian border. From the Macedonian police we were left in the forest and hunted with threats towards Greece. I went the same way to Hungary a second time – with the same result: imprisonment and illegal refoulement to Greece. The fourth time I went in a small boat with 72 people to Italy. After days at sea I arrived in July 2012 in southern Italy. Via France and Belgium, I tried to go to Germany. In Brussels I was checked by the police and taken to a detention center. Out of fear of deportation to Italy I went on hunger strike. They have silenced me in February 2013 with a sedative injection and four Belgian police officers accompanied me to Rome. After the deportation I did not get any accommodation and had to flee from Italy again. A couple of months I remained in France, without any support, then I tried to come to Germany. After a second deportation from Belgium I was sent back into homelessness at the airport in Rome. I went on a hunger strike in front of the airport in Rome. Eventually I gave up and lived again homeless with other Afghans in a kind of tent.”[12]

N. escaped once more at the end of his odyssey through Europe, this time to Germany. He spent several weeks in a church asylum in Frankfurt until the transfer-deadline to Italy was over and he finally did not risk another deportation anymore. He is living and working today in Hanau.


There are people, who became nomads, who go and return in Europe many times and many years to find finally a place to stay. We met a Somalian refugee, who had to give fingerprints in at least nine European countries. From everywhere he was deported back to Italy or he escaped before his deportation to a next country.


Also after the arrival in Germany many refugees vitriolize or burn their fingers, mainly in the years 2011 and 2012. But this kind of resistance soon went into space: the asylum procedures have simply been suspended, because of „non-collaboration in the identity verification“. Often the affected persons fall into the Dublin-trap years later, when they were not prepared in another fingerprint procedure. But many make it, they layaway from step to step until – for example – they get married by a friend, who already held a long term residency in Germany.


Resistance against Dublin-deportations in air planes

Several refugees defended themselves against deportations to Italy. Between 2011 and 2014 according the official statistics concerning the Frankfurt airport the most deportations have been interrupted by Eritrean refugees, who should have been forced back to Italy.

K., an Eritrean friend in Oberursel near Frankfurt (who achieved after many years of struggle his blue passport and in the meanwhile even a flat), was one of them. After he prevented his deportation on 6.12.2011, he was detained in the prison in Frankfurt-Preungesheim. He said:

„I will not accept another deportation to Italy quietly and secret. If we remain silent, nothing will change. The situation of refugees in Italy is a constant violation of our human rights. I escaped as many other young people because of permanent human rights violation in Eritrea. Here in Europe we experience again, that we have to live in inhuman conditions.“


After his deportation to Italy he met there with a journalist from the magazine „Stern“[13], who documented the story of K. at full length and as a representative example for many others.


In 2014 S. and two other Eritrean friends resisted against their deportations in scheduled flights even repeatedly. The responsible immigration authorities in Darmstadt decided to make an example of their case to try to discourage the Eritrean community. All of them should know that resistance will be broken by any means necessary and by any costs. The authorities chartered a small plane exclusively for the three Eritreans and they were deported like criminals and accompanied by policemen, one even sedated by an injection from a collaborating medic:


„On June 17th 2014 I was woken up at 6 clock in my cell in the deportation prison in Ingelheim. It was the third attempt to deport me back to Italy after I had resisted two times. I said that I did not want to fly to Italy and they then brought more forces. Six men in the whole entered the cell and I screamed for help. They have levered my left hand and kicked me repeatedly against the legs. They have tied up the hands with handcuffs on my back and also gave me leg irons and transported me tied up in the police car. Besides me two more Eritreans were deported. I was the first who was brought onto the plane. I have said already in the police car that the deportation I done against my will. On the stairs was the pilot and I told the police, I want to talk to him. When I was inside they brought the second man. I have only heard him scream from inside: “Uuyuuyuuy” – cries for help. He does not speak English and he would scream in this way for help. They carried him to the plane. The third Eritrean shouted in this way and fought back and they dragged him onto the plane. On the plane, we then cried all three, and the aircraft did not start about 30 minutes. The police squeezed my ear when I cried, I got scared because I should actually have an operation on the ear, which was not done because they have picked me up before for deportation. The police have tried to shield us from each other, so I could not see exactly what happened with the friend behind me. He certainly did get a shock and had foam coming from his mouth. There was a doctor with us in the plane she was very tall and thin. She gave him an injection and then we have not heard from him, he was made quiet by her injection. We started to fly and we continue to scream me and the other friend. The policeman next to me says ´Byebye Germany! Ciao!` And I ask him how he can do in such a situation jokes, if he still has a remnant of humanity.“


A few weeks later all three were back in Germany – and after years of struggles and tenacious judicial conflicts S. today has his recognition as refugee.

Shortly after his selforganised return he held a speech during a demonstration against deportations in Darmstadt. Exactly in front of the building of the administration, who chartered his extra-flight and executed his deportation, he accused the responsible authorities for human right violation

K. and S. both were arrested for several weeks in detention after they successfully resisted against their deportation in the air planes. But shortly after the deportation charter in June 2014 it became much more difficult for authorities to detain asylum seekers. After successful legal interventions it was forbidden to keep asylum seekers in the same prisons as criminals and most federal states had no capacities anymore. And longterm juridical efforts by lawyers could achieve decisions from higher courts, that particularly Dublin-refugees should not be detained anymore.


Mainly at the Frankfurt airport, the biggest deportation airport in Germany, but also at other airports support-groups developed to prevent deportations. They tried to intervene – by sensibilization of travellers and staff of air lines, but also by protests against deportation air lines. In March 2012 simultaneous actions took place at the five biggest german deportation air ports. In the common call it was written:

„Let us support this resistance! Lets take a look into the flights to Rome, Budapest or Valetta! Lets stand up against deportations! In its literal sense: because as passengers on board we can prevent deportations, when we refuse to belt on but stand up and bring our complaints to the pilot. The Dublin.II-system has to be abolished immediately! No deportations into the social misery at the margins of Europe! Asylum seekers should have the right to search for protection, where they want to do! For an Europe of welcome.“[14]


In several cities (the protests were different according to the different practices of authorities in different federal states and districts) groups developed blockades in front of refugee camps to stop deportations, which have been announced in advance. Mainly Göttingen and Osnabrück became stronghold to prevent deportations from outside – until the authorities decided: deportations should not be pre-announced anymore.


Germany and the places of struggle to stay


Never before was the resistance against the restrictions of the freedom of movement for refugees and migrants and especially against deportations within Europe so loud and convinced. In Germany and all over Europe, initiatives call for self-organized resistance such as the „Lampedusa Groups“. European borders have never been more contested. Almost everyweek migrants collectively pass the borders in Ceuta and Melilla, thousands arrive on the shores of Sicily. On Lampedusa, hundreds of people reject their registration and in the Aegean Sea boats arrive daily on the Greek islands.“

Time to Act. Dublin has to be abolished! – Call in June 2014[15]


Lampedusa in Hamburg is the first group, which was founded in explicit reference to the first place of arrival. In difference to many following self organized groups is Lampedusa in Hamburg composed by people, who already got documents in Italy and who now try to find a living and mainly a work in Hamburg.


„In Lampedusa we were 7000 persons in a camp, which was build for 900. Nevertheless the people there tried their best, but they did not get support from the EU. The Dublin-II-system – you have to stay in the country of first arrival – is violating our human rights. It forces us to live and die on the streets. After the recognition of our refugee status Italy kicked us on the street in winter 2012. They asked us to leave Italy. They said: the EU is big, go and find your way. Here is nothing for you. And so it happened and with nothing in snow and ice we set off to France, Scandinavia, Switzerland and Germany. We are recognized refugees from a war, in which the european states have participated, but they ignore our existence. When we show up and when we make our conditions visible, they want to deport us. In Italy we can beg, starve, steel, become guttersnipes or simply die. The main issue remains to keep the Dublin-II-system implemented. It is painful, after we could stabilize our life in Libya, that we once again have to struggle to survive – in countries, which name themselves as big democracies.“[16]


Lampedusa in Hanau was founded in March 2014, after more and more Somalian and Eritrean refugees in Hanau and the district around were threatened by deportations back to Italy:


„We escaped from a dictatorship with forced recruitment and political persecution in Eritrea and from a 23 years long civil war with forced recruitment and raping of women in Somalia.

We survived to cross the desert with little food and too less water and we faced kidnappings for blackmailing our relatives or even to misuse our bodies for trade with organs. Arriving in Libya we experienced strong racism on the streets and systematic imprisonment, partly for years. Crossing the Mediterranean Sea we again had to risk our lives in overcrowded boats. Some of us experienced shipwrecks and the death of relatives or friends on sea, before we arrived on the coasts of Lampedusa, Sicily or Malta. Most of us were forced to give our fingerprints in Italy or Malta, although we never want to stay in these countries. (…) In Italy we went through overcrowded camps with inhuman conditions and internal fights. We experienced homelessness and racist violence and sexual harassment on the street, we were without any income, perhaps one time per day food by caritas and without medical provision. Against this background we travelled to Germany to ask for asylum and protection. But here we face again insecurity and threat of deportation

back to Italy and Malta. German authorities refuse to allow us the access to a fair asylum procedure. (…) We know that many of our friends and relatives from Hamburg to Frankfurt

are in similar situations. (…)The system of Dublin cannot grant us the protection and safety we need. It stops us from building a future after all this hardship we had to go through. We are in solidarity against deportations and exclusion and for the rights of refugees and migrants in Germany and Europe. We need the freedom to choose the place to stay. We ask to delete our fingerprints from the European Data-System because these fingerprints are like a prison to us. No Fingerprints – no Dublin II and III. We are here to stay!“[17]


Lampedusa in Hanau consisted mainly in a mutual promise: no one will be left alone with the fear of deportation. And even if we cannot prevent all deportations, we know: from Italy a quick travelling back to Germany is possible. In Frankfurt simultaneously the group Refugees for Change was founded. During manifestations against deportations affected refugees confirmed to each other in speeches: after they deport us, we will come back again.

Parallel the active refugees approached church communities and tried to get their direct support. Church asylum is one successful option against Dublin-deportation and many use it to overcome the transfer-deadlines. According the Dublin regulation the German authorities are obliged to deport the people back within six months (after the Dublin country got responsible). As soon as this deadline is over, Germany get responsible for the asylum procedure and the refugees can stay. Only if people disappear and go underground, the transfer-deadline can be prolonged to 18 months. But in church asylum the authorities are informed about the address of the refugees under protection, theoretically an access by police is possible and the people are not disappeared. But it is a political decision, if deportations will be executed against refugees under church groups protection and usually church asylum is respected by authorities in Germany. The few times, when church asylums have been broken by police, it brought even a boomerang effect. In the case of a Chechnyan family in Augsburg, who was hauled off by police from a church asylum, it led to a big scandal and even more churches offered their protected spaces afterwards. The established regional church was in full support of the local church group and finally even the interior minister of Bavaria had to row back.


Even if several hundred refugees – mainly against Dublin-deportations and to overcome the transfer-deadline – are in church asylum in Germany every year, these are still individual cases and not so many in comparison to the general numbers of Dublin-cases. Nevertheless the hardliner in the ministries and in the authorities try to push a debate, that church asylum should be classified as disappearance and thus to prolong automatically the transfer-deadline on 18 months in future. It is still and again a contested field.

In most other European countries the practice of church asylum to overcome the six months did not work, probably because the churches did not have enough negotiation power. In Sweden church communities support again and again refugees, but they have to hide for 18 months, before their procedure will be conducted in Sweden.


The Dublin-system collapsed in Hungary – in the summer of migration 2015


16.09.2015 Hanau – Welcome to trains of hope: in seven days from Izmir to Hanau

Still in August we countless times answered the question in Lesvos, what will happen with our fingerprints in Hungary, and now – only one month later – nobody is asking anymore. We said to the people: ´Go on, you will arrive. The route is hard, but never refugees and migrants have been quicker than today.` We have waved at the extra-ferries, about 2500 people in departure in direction to the macedonian border. They were as quick as never before. Record time was seven days from Izmir to Hanau. Ten days from Homs.

Now we stay in Hanau at the train station during nights and say welcome on a stage of the journey, together with many others from various communities and their associations. Many just want to say hello. Here in the emergency accomodation, in gyms and tents still for many refugees it is open, where the traveling will end. Also here is still not a serious registration, at least for some moments the old rules and restrictions have been suspended. Many will continue, to the aunt to Schwerte, to Leipzig to the bride-to-be or to Hamburg, because there are living more Afghans. Or from there to further north, some want to reach Sweden, Norway or Finland. After some days several people decide to stay, because they met friendly people, because the city is in the middle of Germany or because they are simply tired and finally want to arrive somewhere. Welcome!


About the break-through on the Balkan route, which led to such scenes in September 2015, a lot of other texts are published.[18] It was not a sophisticated strategy, which pushed the Dublin-system into a temporary collapse. It was a vote by feet in its literal sense. It was courage of despair mixed up with experiences of resistance in the Syrian uprising combined with the right moment, that the decision had to be made to open the borders. It seems to us important to remember it, when today we want to counter the ongoing roll back.


Roll Back

Since the break-through in September 2015 we followed the attempts on all levels to win back control as we all know: The closure of the formalized corridor along the Balkan route, the EU-Turkey deal, the mass-internment on the Aegean islands, the increase of push backs between all the Balkan states.

Simultaneously the debate went on to reorganize the Dublin-regulation. Dublin IV will even include the abolition of the transfer-deadlines. It is not a surprise as the overcoming of these timelimits of deportations have been the main method for thousands of refugees to escape from the Dublin-trap.

Even the re-installation of Dublin-deportations to Greece is coming back now:


One step forward, hundreds back…’ seems to be the motto under which EU experts implement refugee policy, as currently also demonstrated in Greece. On 8 December 2015, the European Commission published its fourth recommendation on the resumption of Dublin Returns to Greece, this time stating that they could be gradually re-installed, as according to them, refugee rights would be adequately protected in Greece. At the same time, images of people who fled war and are now staying in tents covered in snow are spreading through the global media. Once more, the EU is using Greece to make a point: Dublin has to survive, not matter what, thats the plan. But in reality, this failed plan has significant consequences, causing one more massive human tragedy in Europe for thousands of people who are escaping war, conflict, disaster, hunger and poverty.[19]


Just before its starting the information circulate already in Greek refugee camps, in which way to deal and to respond against these new threads of deportation. Welcome to Europe published a detailed info sheet.[20]



Relatively simply to anticipate: Despite and against the reorganization of Dublin-deportation Greece will experience another vote by feet:


But Dublin will fall again! Deportations to Greece were already once stopped back in 2011 following the decision of the European Human Rights Court in the case ‘MSS v. Greece’ – and as a result of a long struggle during which many, many refugees escaped from Greece, were deported and escaped again. Some had to flee through Europe 5-6 times. But finally it was over, they succeeded often, and stayed.
Dublin Returns to Greece will be strongly contested in national and international courts again now. As we have seen, the Dublin-regulation has been overrun many times before by the struggles for freedom of movement of individuals and groups.
Mouzalas had to correct himself. We politely suggest the European Commission to do the same.

Refugees are no numbers on a tent, no fingerprints, but people with faces, names and stories!

The Dublin Regulation has to be abolished now.
Human rights violations have to end now.
People have to join their families now.
People have to be in safety and in dignified conditions now.

We therefore demand:

Equal rights for all!
Freedom of movement to all refugees in Greece and elsewhere!
The right to stay for all!
Stop deportations!

No one is illegal!

w2eu – a network born out of the struggle against Dublin returns in 2009[21]


The struggles against deportations developed further all the time. Since in Osnabrück the deportations are not pre-announced anymore and it is not possible to stop it from outside mobilization of supporters, refugees inside the camps got self organized and took the prevention of deportations in their own hands. They patrol during the night at the entrance of the camp and with whistles the whole camp will be waked up as soon as police try to execute early morning deportations. Then hundred and more refugees approach the police cars – peacefully and whistling – and the police has to leave without having achieved anything.


The example from Osnabrück demonstrates a process of vivid learning and adapting to new challenges. It is impressive, what is possible, when people talk with each other and develope collective strategies. The whistle became already the new symbol for the resistance against Dublin-deportations. We created now a huge version – a two meters big whistle, which will be presented during the We`ll Come United parade at 16th of September in Berlin in front of the interior ministry. Then it will be carried further on to Oranienplatz and other places, where affected refugees will meet and gather, who are not willing to get arrested and to accept this injustice. A symbol to tell the (hi)story of resistance, that it will be retold and new ideas appear. That the right for freedom of movement and the right to stay will finally win through!


[1] Dublin-Deaths between Kerkyra/Greece and Bari/Italy (15th of January 2011),


[3] Excerpts of a report by Salinia Stroux and Regina Mantanika, February 2010: „Schengendangle – Undocumented Refugees in the City of Igoumenitsa“,

[4] Infomobile report 2010 (in German language):

[5] (englisch) (deutsch)



[8] Gänzlich unerwünscht, Oktober 2016,



[11] Kompass Antira Newsletter August 2013,

More reports can be found here:

Short Video:

Italian YouTube-Clip:

[12] Exhibition of the group Lampedusa in Hanau,

[13] Der Fluch des Fingerabdrucks, stern Nr. 43, 18.10.2012.

[14] Aus dem Aufruf von März 2012: Aktionstage an den 5 größten deutschen Abschiebeflughäfen:




[17] Declaration of Lampedusa in Hanau,

[18] Especially we refer to a report by that follows the existance of the formalised corridor along the Balkanroute (unfortunately only in German language):

[19] w2eu Statement 22.01.2017: No Dublin Returns to Greece!,

[20] on Dublin > Greece, März 2017,

[21] w2eu Statement 22.01.2017: No Dublin Returns to Greece!,

Corasol: Manifestation 7.9. – Contre la tyrannie der Ausländerbehörde

Les lois d‘asile rendent difficiles les conditions de vie des

Le Ausländerbehörde de Königs Wusterhausen particulièrement traîte très mal les réfugié*es, voir même, bafoue leurs dignités. Face á cette injustice, nous vous invitons massivement á venir manifester avec nous le 7 Septembre á 12 heures. Le point de rencontre est devant la gare de Königs Wusterhausen.

Départ groupé possible à partir du Ostbahnhof. Point de rencontre: 11:20h à quai 3

Pourquoi nous organisons cette manifestation: nous faisons cette manifestation en semaine, car nous voulons atteindre les gens qui travaillent aux Behörde, leur faire prendre conscience qu’ils traient de la vie de personnes et non de simples bouts de papier. A Königs Wusterhausen, quand nous venons renouveller nos documents, la police est présente dans les bureaux, prète à tout instant à arrêter et mettre en prison ou dans le prochain avion quiconque dont le temps sur le territoire allemand est “écoulé”. De nombreuses personnes sont soumises
à des fouilles, des visites soudaines au Heim et à des déportations non annoncées. Pour cela, nous voulons dire eux personnes qui viennent “juste faire leur job”, que non, ca ne se passe pas comme ca! Émmigrer n’est pas un crime!


The German asylum law creates harsh living conditions for refugees.

In Königs Wusterhausen in particular, the Ausländerbehörde applies
practices that strip away refugee`s dignity.
We invite everyone to join in with our protest against these injust
practices on September 7th, 12 a.m. starting from the train station
Königs Wusterhausen.
Meeting point in Berlin:

Why we are doing this manifestation: We choose to go during the week to
this Ausländerbehörde, because we want to confront the workers of the
Behörde with their responsability in dealing with human lifes and not
mair papers. In Königs Wusterhausen, when you come to renew your
documents, police is constantly waiting in the office, ready to arrest
you and put you in jail or in the next flight, if they decided your time
in Germany “has ended”. Lots of persons noticed their rooms have been
searched while they were out, or they get visit from state workers, and
there is many non announced deportations. This is the reason why we want
to tell the people who are “just doing their job” that, no, this is not
the way it has to be! Emigration is not a crime!


Das Asylgesetz macht Geflüchteten das Leben schwer.
Besonders in Königs Wusterhausen behandelt die Ausländerbehörde die
Geflüchteten willkürlich und entwürdigend.
Um gegen ihre ungerechten Praktiken zu demonstrieren, laden wir euch
ein, mit uns am 7.September um 12 Uhr zu demonstrieren. Startpunkt ist
der Bahnhof Königs Wusterhausen.
Gemeinsame Anreise ist vom Ostbahnhof aus möglich. Treffpunkt ist um
11:20 Uhr auf Gleis 3.

Warum machen wir diese Demo: Wir haben diese Demo unter der Woche
organisiert, weil wir die Beamt*innen der Ausländerbehörde mit ihrer
Verantwortung konfrontieren wollen. Sie entscheiden über das Leben von
Menschen, handeln nicht nur bloßen Papierkram ab. In Königs
Wusterhausen, wartet ständig Polizei im Büro, wenn wir unsere Dokumente
erneuern. Jede Person, für die entschieden wurde, ihre Zeit in
Deutschland sei nun “um”, kann direkt festgehalten, in den Knast oder
ins nächste Flugzeug gesteckt werden. Viele Menschen bemerken, dass ihre
Zimmer im Heim durchsucht werden, kriegen Besuch von den Behörden und
die nicht angekündigte Abschiebungen vermehren sich. Deswegen machen wir
diese Demo, um den Meschen, die “bloß ihren Job machen” zu sagen, nee,
das geht so nicht! Migration ist kein Verbrechen!