Unite Against Deportation and Social Exclusion

Nationwide Activists Meeting in Refugee Cities in Germany
Break Deportation Prepar-Tainment Refugees Platform

The VOICE Refugee Forum – A Network of Refugee Community Initiatives in Germany

Break the Deportation DNA Chain: "Refugee Black Box – The irrepressible voice and power of the afflicted" - Beyond the Court rooms!

Human rights abuses and persecutions in Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jawaid: The violent role of religion, nepotism and state corruption

The violent role of religion, nepotism and state corruption: Human rights abuses and persecutions in Pakistan

Greetings and Solidarity from Refugee Political Community Germany to Refugee Protest March in Bavaria

English/French/Deutsch:
Sei realistisch, versuch das Unmögliche! Be realist, look for the impossible! Soyez réaliste, chercher l'impossible! Power to the people - Solidarity meeting from Hamburg by Refugee-Migrants Political community

French/English/Deutsch:
"Nous venons chez vous" - La communauté des réfugiés a besoin de vous!
„Wir kommen zu euch“ - Die Flüchtlings-Community braucht euch!
"We are are coming to you" - The refugee community needs you!
Review on Break Deportation Culture – Deportation is criminal and we fight to stop it!

Hamburg: "We are coming to you" – The refugee community needs you!

The Political MOVEMENT - Appeal to Refugee Communities for Solidarity Network in Germany and Europe
Please join us for a life decided by our quest for a free society, equality and human dignity.

No Refugee is Criminal - Deportation is Collective Crime and Corruption

In Solidarity with North African Deportees and Victims of Deportation from Germany.

Appeal for Refugee Community Network from: Konradsreuth – Bayern

Moneer and Nadja's Struggles and Solidirity with the refugee community in Thuringia: - Statements by Moneer Alkadri und Nadia Ghnim from Syria: Demand for official transfer to Jena and payment of social allowance by State of Thuringia and Flüchtlinge aus dem Camp-Streik untersuchen die Zustände in Suhl

Zu Moneers und Nadias Kämpfen und zur Solidarität mit der Flüchtlingscommunity in Thüringen:
- Statements von Moneer Al Kadri und Nadia Ghnim aus Syrien: Forderung nach offizieller Umverteilung nach Jena und nach Zahlung von Sozialleistungen durch den Staat Thüringen und zur Flüchtlinge aus dem Camp-Streik untersuchen die Zustände in Suhl

Miloud Lahmar Cherif von Beleidigungsvorwurf gegen rassistisch kontrollierende Bundespolizisten freigesprochen

Meine Stellungnahme zu den Anschuldigungen der Bundespolizei
- Miloud Lahmar Cherif, The VOICE Refugee Forum

My statement on the federal police's charges against me on racist control
- Miloud Lahmar Cherif

Petition gegen den Abschiebeterror an der Familie Arsič - Breitenworbis Flüchtlingslager in Thueringen

Erfurt Declaration of Radmila Anić concerning her menace in Serbia
Erfurt: Erklärung von Radmila Anić zu ihrer Bedrohung in Serbien

The VOICE Refugee Forum Germany:
The Refugee: Base on Our History 1994 to 2014
Call for a Coordinated Regional Community Assembly
Reward 2015: The refugee political resources in Germany

O-platz Berlin Bus Tour 2015

English German French
Refugee Manifestation For Freedom and Liberty in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 16.04.2015
Stop Abuse! Legalize the so Called “tolerated refugees in Germany! Stop Destroying Refugees' Perspectives! With Guests Speakers from Schwäebish Gmünd

Civil Disobedience - Protest Tour Against Residenzplcht
Grassroots movement and resistance of refugee activists from Schwaebisch Gmuend against residenzpflicht imprisonment

Residenzpflicht bedeutet weiterhin Apartheid”
Weiter Protest gegen Erzwingungshaft für Flüchtlingsaktiviste
Ziviler Ungehorsam gegen Strafverfolgung bzgl Residenzpflicht
27.02.2015: Staement
02.03.2015: The VOICE Refugee Forum zur Flüchtlingsdemonstration gegen Residenzpflicht in Schwäbisch Gmünd
07.03.2015: Erklärung
English:
“Residenzpflicht still means Apartheid” - “Lager still means elimination”
25.02.2015: Staement
02.03.2015: The VOICE Refugee Forum on The Refugee Demonstration against Residenzpflicht in Schwaebisch Gmünd - Campaign for Freedom and liberty
07.03.2015: Declaration by Schwäbisch Gmünd Refugee Activists

Videos:
-Keeping Resistance Against Oppression!
-1/3
-2/3
-3/3

Refugee Tour
Solidarity Call for Civil Disobedience from Refugee Initiative Schwäbisch Gmünd
Wuppertal 23.03., Hamburg und Erfurt 24.03., Kiel 25.03., Bremen 26.03., Berlin 27.03.15,. Konstanz 01.04., Schwäbisch Gmd 06.04.15, Lutherstadt Wittenberg 16.04.2015

Breaking the isolation culture – We are isolated from the refugee communities!

Keep On - Close down Breitenworbis refugee isolation camp in Thüringen


Here is the .Radio report and Interview of Mbolo Yufanyi on the 20yrs. The VOICE Refugee Forum

Deportation is the Last Ring of Slavery Chain - Break the Culture of Deportaion, Isolation, Elimination.
Refugee Political Worshops and Media: 20years of Refugee Resistance in Anniversary of 20years.The VOICE Refugee Forum in Germany

20yrs.The VOICE Refugee Forum:
Faltblatt - Flyers in English / Deutsch / French / Arabic
The Call for Donation:
Everyone 20€ --- Dein Geburtstagsgeschenk für 20 Jahre The VOICE Refugee Forum


Review and invitation: Preparatory meetings on of The VOICE Refugee 20yrs. Anniversary in Jena

Deutsch:
Rückblick und Einladung: Die Vorbereitungstreffen zum 20. Jahrestag von The VOICE Refugee Forum in Jena
20. Jubiläum von The VOICE Refugee Forum - 20 Jahre Widerstand von Flüchtlingen in Deutschland

Brutal Police Murder in Germany
Oury Jalloh -Das War Mord / He Was Murdered in Police Cell 5 Dessau:
Innenansichten vor BGH Urteil - Statement Moctar Bah

Revisionsentscheidung des BGH im Fall Oury Jalloh vom 17.08.2014:
Conakry (Guinea): Visum für Bruder des toten Oury Jallohs trotz Einladung durch den BGH verweigert
:

Text in Deutsch:
Pressemitteilung GBA zum Todesfall Oury Jalloh - Gegenvorstellung von Thomas Ndindah gegen den OStA beim BGH Dr. Matthias Krauß
Im Todesfall Oury Jalloh: Thomas Ndindah vs GBA am BGH - Bezug: Ihr Antwortschreiben vom 11. Februar 2014 – AZ 2 APR 308/13-5

Spread the Solidarity - United we speak out for freedom of movement
The VOICE Refugee Forum on Archives of our 10years Anniversary in October, 2004 in Berlin:
As we approach the 20th Anniversary of Refugee Resistance this year in October, we will be spreading the documented texts and impressions from our Archives on Residenzpflicht campaign and the struggles to speak out for freedom of movement

Deportation is Torture and Murder - Stop Police Brutality against Refugees and Activists: - PM The VOICE Refugee Forum - First anniversary of our protest inside and outside of the Nigerian Embassy in 2012

STOP COLONIAL INJUSTICE – STOP DESTROYING OUR COUNTRIES
STOP KILLING REFUGEES – ABOLISH FRONTEX:

FOR THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN GERMANY AND EUROPE

We stand together to reclaim the power of human dignity and solidarity against the state repression of refugees in Germany

Refugee Protest Actions - United Against Colonial Injustice

Mass murder in Lampedusa: Shame on EU! Refugee Protest in Rome, 10.October, 2013

The VOICE Refugee Forum - Guideline to Refugee Protest Strike in Eisenberg Reception Camp

Roma Initiative Thüringen: Report of Action Days July 25th – 27th in Jena and Eisenberg

Panel Roma ( Refugee Tribunal )

Streik der Flüchtlinge in der Thüringer Landesaufnahmestelle in Eisenberg für u.a. Flüchtlinge vom 30.07.2013.
VideoDoc: Erste Streik der Flüchtlinge in der LAST Eisenberg

25 - 27. 07 in Jena: ROMENGO DROM – The WAY OF ROMA PEOPLE
Demonstration in Jena - Stop the Deportation of Roma

Bad Mergentheim and Külsheim Refugees Protest in Stuttgart


Liberation Bus Tour in Bad Mergentheim - Refugee Strike in Stuttgart The VOICE Refugee Forum Network Video Channel

The Lager Watch Group on Eisenhüttenstadt - Stop Deportation Factory!

BREAK ISOLATION!
pdf: ABOLISH ALL LAGERS! - STOP DEPORTATION! Refugees of Eisenhüttenstadt!

LIBERATION BUS TOUR – FINALER AKTIONSTAG IN STUTTGART

08.6. Demo for Lampedusa in HH. District Office Hamburg-Mitte prevents the construction of tents with the help of police force

Bundesweite Kampagne und Netzwerk Bericht über Aktivitäten und Unterstützungsaufruf

Refugees gestoppt auf dem Weg zu Blockupy / Refugees stopped on their way to Blockupy.

Everywhere in these isolation-camps people lack their basic human rights - Break Isolation Strike Tour in Niedersachsen

"Lampedusa in Hamburg":
Bezirksamt Hamburg Mitte verhindert mit Polizeikräften Zeltaufbau für obdachlose Flüchtlinge

Video Refugee Testimony: More than 20 years in Isolation Camp Brandenburg - Germany

Miloud L. Cherif - Video Collection on Campaign for Civil disobedience against "Residenzpflicht" Refugee Movement Restriction
English: Take Urgent Action! FAX- Campaign against Residenzpflicht and political persecution of Miloud L. Cherif
Deutsch: Fax-Kampagne gegen Residenzpflicht und die politische Verfolgung von Miloud L. Cherif

Aktion am Hauptbahnhof Erfurt; 22.5. um 15 Uhr Residenzpflicht abschaffen – Rassistische Polizeikontrollen stoppen! Freiheit für Miloud L Cherif und alle anderen!

Video Collection of Refugee Testimony and Appeals from Liberation Bus

Break Isolation - Refugee Strike in Germany
26.April till 08.June 2013
New Videos and Reports on Refugee Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden Württemberg and Schwaben Bayern 26th of April till 8th of June in Stuttgart.

Niedersachsen Refugee Liberation Bus Tour (16 – 22 of May 2013) Break Isolation Refugee Strike

Aufruf zur öffentlichen Prozessbeobachtung im Asylverfahren von Salomon Wantchoucou

2nd Declaration and Call for serious conversations "Lampedusa in Hamburg"
„Lampedusa in Berlin, Hamburg and Bielefeld”

The Criminality of the European Authorities - Interview with Affo Tchassei
„Wir sind hier und gehen nicht zurück“
Protest im UNCHR Berlin
„We are here and we don’t go back!” - “Nous somme ici et nous ne retournerons pas!”

Break Isolation Strike in Refugee Lagers - camps

PRENZLAU: Protest against racist attacks of Refugees

Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden Württemberg and Schwaben Bayern
Schließt euch uns an und unterstützt die Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden-Württemberg und Bayern!

Join us to support the Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden-Württemberg and Bayern

Update News:
Polizei schikaniert die Refugees Liberation Bus Tour: Offene Protestnote an die Grün-Rote Landesregierung von Baden-Württemberg

Demonstration - Samstag, 18. Mai 2013, 16 Uhr, Willy Brandt-Platz:
für ein Ende rassistischer Polizeigewalt und gegen institutionellen Rassismus
In Erinnerung an Christy Schwundeck – Getötet durch die Polizei in Frankfurt/Main

OUR RIGHTS TO EXIST AS FREE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CRIMINALIZED BEFORE OUR NAMES ARE KNOWN: WE WILL FIGHT BACK UNTIL WHEN WE TAKE BACK THE POWER OF SOLIDARITY TO BREAK OPEN THE PRISON GATES FOR THE VICTIMS OF RACIST PERSECUTION IN GERMANY.

Action in Thüringen

On the Move! “Break Isolation Strike”
Refugee liberation strike action in Heidenheim Baden Württemberg 29th April 2013
Refugee Demonstration and liberation Bus Tour 2013 Refugees Liberation Bus Tour Video reports by Crosspoint

"Enough is enough" - refugees in Wolfsburg raise their voice
Bericht vom Demonstration am 27.04.2013 in Wolfsburg Break Isolation Solidarity Act - “Genug ist genug”

Polizei kriminalisiert Treffen in Thüringer Flüchtlingsheimen und belagert das Grünowski

BREAK ISOLATION and Solidarity Act in Thueringen: Jena, Greiz, Gerstungen, Waltershausen und Erfurt

Unterstützt die Faxkampagne - Offener Brief der Frauen aus dem Isolationslager Breitenworbis

Thousands of balloons - World Wide Roma Day

Am 8. April war der internationale Tag der Roma, um für die Rechte der Roma zu kämpfen und auf die Situation der Roma aufmerksam zu machen! - Gegen die Ausgrenzung und Isolation von Flüchtlingen in Lagern - Solidarität mit der "Break Isolation" Bewegung!

Pressemitteilung von Miloud Lahmar Cherif zur Situation seiner Familie in Deutschland

Break Isolation Conference and Solidarity Act 2013
*April 2013 in 7 Regionen Deutschlands – Göttingen 08-09.04., Essen - NRW 09.04., Berlin and Prenzlau 08-13.04., Frankfurt 10-11.04. (Kundgebung im Containerlager Oberursel 11.04.), Hamburg 13.04., Bielefeld 16.04., Trier 20.40 Jena / Thueringen , 22-26.04.

English:
We are at a crucial turning point to make refugee isolation lager HISTORY in Germany.

Break Isolation Conference and Solidarity Act 2013 - Input by The VOICE Refugee Forum

Deutsch:
Break Isolation Conference und Solidarity Act 2013 - Input von The VOICE Refugee Forum

Thousands of balloons - 8. April 2013 for World Wide Roma Movement
Gegen die Ausgrenzung und Isolation von Flüchtlingen in Lagern - Solidarität mit der "Break Isolation" Bewegung!

Refugee Workshop in Berlin Protestcamp

Choucha Camp Refugee Protest in Tunisia - Sit-in migrants de Choucha Tunis - Break the isolation! Solidarity with Fighting Refugees Camp in Choucha / Tunisia

Interviews in English and French:

Break Isolation of Refugees - Karawane Festival Speech by Osaren in Jena: Chant down the babylon Germany

We are protesting to close down all Refugee Isolation Lagers in Thueringen:
Refugee lager Camp Protest
Join the ongoing Campaign to Close down:
Isolationslager Breitenworbis
Greiz
Gerstungen isolation
Successfully Closed down refugee lagers in recent years
2012 Isolationslager Zella Mehlis
2011 Ghetto Sömmerda/Gangloffsömmern
2010 Isolationslager Katzhütte!
2009 Isolationslager Gehlberg
2009 Ghetto: Flüchtlingsunterkunft in Apolda - Stobraer straße in Thüringen
2007 Flüchtlingsheims Freienbessingen

Sachsen-Anhalt
Campaign to Close down:
Isolationslager Bitterfeld
Flüchtlingsisolationsheim Marke
Vockerode
Successfully Closed down refugee lager in Sachsen-Anhalt
2012 Isolationslager Möhlau

2011 Ein Überblick: Isolation der Flüchtlingslager in der Nachbarschaft zu brechen - Die Agenda von The VOICE Refugee Forum
An Overview of „The VOICE“ Agenda – Break the Refugee Isolation Camps in the Neighbourhoods
2003 Stop all deportations! Close all detention and deportation centers for refugees and migrants!

Asylbewerber Asylbewerber
Abschiebung Abschiebung
Residenzpflicht Residenzpflicht
Frontex Frontex
Refugee Embassy Refugee Embassy
Colonial Injustice Colonial Injustice
Police Brutality Police Brutality
Isolationslager Isolationslager
BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge

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Dossier zu den Morden an Sakine, Fidan und Leyla Morde an den kurdischen Frauenrechtsaktivistinnen Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan und Leyla Şaylemez, die sich am 9. Januar 2013 im Zentrum von Paris ereigneten

Video: Dessau 7.01.2013 - Oury Jalloh Demonstration

Verbrannt in Polizeizelle Nummer fünf Busse nach Dessau (7.1.) zur Erinnerungsdemo für Oury Jalloh

: Abschiebung und Pressekonferenz - Refugee Camp Vienna
Refugee Protest Camps:
Vienna Austria
Berlin Germany

Break Isolation Berlin – Statement of the Refugee Protest Camp at Oranienplatz Berlin
Enough is enough. It's time for resistance!

New Videos Refugee Protest camps: Solidarity from Vienna and Berlin
Endorse the International Statement of Solidaritya from Refugee Protest in Vienn
Wien Press: Votiv-Lager war angemeldet - War Räumung des Protest-Camps illegal? Flüchtlingscamp vor der Votivkirche

Video: Police Vandalism in Wien - Refugee Protest Camp evicted! Polizeiliche Räumung des Refugee Protest Camp in Wien
Video:Refugees on Hunger Strike / Refugees im Hungerstreik

Reboot FM about the : Refugee Tribunal in Berlin (June 13-16.2013)

PM The VOICE Refugee Forum on Oury Jalloh: Magdeburger Strafgerichtskammer verhindert Aufklärung - (k)ein Ende einer Farce

Austine and the Residenzpflicht

"October 12. 2012. On the way from Schwäbisch Gmund (Baden Württenberg) to Berlin, to take part to the Refugee Protest March Demonstration of October 13, Austine, Charles, Chima, Egbo, Henry and Obinna are target of a police racial profiling control in Hof's Station.

Rex Osa’s Testimony by Affidavit for The INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS TRIBUNAL IN MANILA Quezon City, Philippines
The VOICE- Protocol 11.11.12 in Berlin: O&A with Alassane Dicko and Rex Osa on Beyond the borders Conference in Berlin

CARAVAN for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants
Strengthening the unity of refugee struggles against colonial injustice in Germany

Stärkt die Einheit der Flüchtlingskämpfe gegen koloniales Unrecht in Deutschland - Abschlusserklärung des Break Isolation Camp

3Sat mediathek Report: Für mehr Menschenwürde
Flüchtlingsproteste in Deutschland: Die Proteste von Asylbewerbern in Deutschland nehmen zu, insbesondere seit sich ein Asylbewerber in Würzburg Anfang 2012 das Leben genommen hat und zwei iranische Flüchtlinge sich die Münder zugenäht hatten und in Hungerstreik getreten waren. Inzwischen hat sich in acht deutschen Städten eine Protestbewegung von Flüchtlingen...?
Break Isolation Protestmarsch und Protest der Flüchtlinge für die unverzügliche Schließung des Isolationslagers in Breitenworbis, Mühlhauser Straße 35 am 29.08.2012 auf 3Sat mediathek

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The VOICE Online - The 'Fortress Within': Restriction of Movement and Refugee Self-Organisation

Wofür wir stehen! The VOICE Refugee Forum und dem Netzwerk der KARAWANE Rechte der Flüchtlingen und MigrantInnen

Translations on "Colonial Injustice" in Germany: English + Französisch + Deutsch + Türkce + Farsi + Espagnol
* * *
The VOICE Online - The 'Fortress Within': Restriction of Movement and Refugee Self-Organisation. by Sunny Omwenyeke

Sunny Omwenyeke is member of The VOICE and the Caravan-for the rights of refugees and migrants. A human rights campaigner, he was one of the activists who launched the anti-Residenzpflicht campaign in 2000 and for his protest was imprisoned for 15 days.

The concept of Fortress Europe entails in political and practical terms, the concerted will of the collective European Union (EU) to prevent unwanted migrants, refugees or asylum seekers from entering the territorial EU. And beyond preventing them from entering, it also describes the 'weeding' away of each and every one of the aforementioned groups who, by dint of courage or unyielding persistence already found themselves within the EU but have yet to secure a permanent legal residence. Underlying this concept is the idea that the EU must secure and protect itself from being swarmed by these unwanted elements; that could constitute a strain on the social system here. Therefore, the farther the territorial border is from mainland EU the higher the probability of actually preventing these groups of people from stepping into the EU. To this end, not only has the territorial EU border been broadened to Eastern Europe, coerced and dubious agreements have been reached with some of the countries that now border the EU aimed at preventing the 'unwanted' from reaching the EU.

These new border countries like Ukraine and across the See like Libya have been compelled to be recipient of EU camps (Lagers); where supposedly, asylum applicants are held and their application processed to prevent their presence in Europe. The audacious FRONTEX project of the EU is a step further in the intensification of border policing-both land and water, to achieve the aim of preventing the unwanted from entering and not the burnished humanitarian image that is sold to the public. Put differently, secured and externalised borders and externalised Lagers is the solution to the problem of the 'unwanted' in the EU, even at the expense of human freedom and dignity. This is because the EU turns a blind eye to its humanitarian commitment and obligations and the precarious condition of the 'unwanted' that is orchestrated by its own policies and actions like its lop-sided trade policies with the so-called third world countries.

The 'Fortress Within'

The above is only one side of the coin. The other side is what obtains within the EU proper and this complements the former, hence the 'Fortress Within'. To be specific, I use Germany and the 'Residence Obligation Law' (Residenzpflicht) for illustration. In Germany, refugees are restricted to the particular administrative Districts where they are registered and irrespective of the reasons and urgency, they can only leave there with a written permission issued by the foreigners' office. Any refugee who violates this restriction is either fined or sent to prison or can be both fined and imprisoned. The fine could be as much as 2500euro and the jail term as much as a year. Refugees are denied the right to freedom of movement and are forced to live in miserable Lagers for the endless years that it takes to decide their asylum applications. Most of these Lagers are isolated from the mainstream society and sometimes located in abandoned military barracks in the jungle with little or no access. They are deliberately isolated from the main populace like outcasts and stigmatised.

Now can these refugees be regarded as inhabiting an 'Area of Freedom' or simply living-out life in a Fortress? No doubt it is the latter. The Residence Obligation is a clear violation of the right to individual freedom of movement and a violation of the right to human dignity. It is a blatant violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 2 Protocol No.4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The UNHCR, human rights groups and refugee activists have long condemned this as inhuman and campaigners have rightly branded it as the 'Pass Law' in Germany, in direct comparison to the erstwhile Pass Law in apartheid South Africa. Its effects on refugees combined with their living conditions are broad and far reaching. As space will not permit these to be exhausted here, I will therefore briefly look at its history and the self-organisation of refugee groups in Germany.

When most refugees leave their friends and loved ones behind, they do so in search for safety, security and the preservation of their human dignity. They carry the hope to live a good life if not a better one than they have had and to lend a helping hand to those they leave behind. They are often driven by war-which they are not responsible for, hunger-arising from the loss of the means of livelihood, persecution-political and cultural; some of which are neither properly nor legally codified internationally and thus not a "sufficient" reason for being granted international protection (asylum). Contrary to widely held opinion in the West, they do not simply want to 'feed on the sweat of others'. They are being forced by the circumstances to seek a place more amenable to their desires and aspirations as human beings. They therefore also want to develop and live like other regular and normal human beings, study or work as the case may be even while they go through their travail. Much as no one expects a red-carpet reception, no one also expects to be restricted to a particular local District for years on end. The expectations and hopes always seem to be at odds with the reality. For some it is a shock and for others it is outright disbelief.

Peculiarity of Restriction

Several studies by different independent organisations across Europe reveal that the restriction on the refugee right to freedom of movement in Germany is unique. In other words, there is no other country in Europe where such a blanket restriction is placed on every refugee. What is also particularly troubling here is the arbitrariness of those in a position to issue any permission. They are not obliged to give any reason for their refusal and in most cases, you only hear that refugees are expected to eat and sleep in the Lagers and not travelling all over the country. And many refugees have been told that if they are tired of eating and sleeping, they can return to their countries. Moreover, there is no provision for appealing such refusal except by going to the court, which makes a mockery of any attempt to get permission in the first place. And in some Districts, refugees who only get 40euro a month have to pay 10euro for any permission. If the applicant is politically active, the chances of refusal are doubled and so are the attempts to intimidate and persecute him/her for being active against the miserable condition they are forced to live in. And when permissions are refused and refugees are then compelled to violate the restriction, they are treated and classified as criminals-a natural boost for statistics with the underlying message that most refugees are criminals and not fit to live here. For refugees, this criminalisation by default is a traumatic experience.

The so-called Residence Obligation was established with the introduction of the Asylum Procedure Law of 1982. The argument was that it would make it possible or easier for the authorities to contact refugees for their asylum cases. An argument that flies in the face since allowing refugees to move freely is not a hindrance to contacting them. Moreover, the registered address of the refugee is already enough for contact. In reality, the law was about intensified control-like the EU borders, making life uncomfortable as much as possible for refugees here and then sending them out if they can't bear it anymore. It was also to prevent other potential refugee from coming-since they will not like it here as it won't be comfortable. This recent history is ebbed on a 'control mentality' and it dates back much longer. Combined this with the Lager system, you arrive at a lager and control mentality which basically underlies the asylum system here in Germany with no respect for freedom and human dignity.

And even earlier.

It should be remembered that in former German colonial territory like Togo, villagers and local inhabitants were prevented from attending meetings outside their immediate localities without permission from their German colonial masters. This was specifically to ensure that the locals were prevented from meeting and fomenting any sort of unrest against their colonial masters. And even more chilling is the recollection that on 22nd August 1938, the National Socialists through the Foreigners' Police Order placed a very similar restriction of movement on foreigners in Germany. The consequence of a violation then like now was both a monetary fine and a possible one year jail term. And this law existed and remained valid until 1965 when a new foreigner law was enacted. Judging from the similarities in language, fine and consequences of the 1938 restriction and the Residence Obligation Law, it can hardly be doubted that the restriction placed on refugees today in Germany has not simply been paraphrased from the racist law enacted by the dreaded Nazi regime. That for a refugee in Germany in 2009 to leave his/her immediate District he/she needs a written permission from the foreigner's office-else a fine or possible jail term awaits upon police control is a startling and sad reminder of that 1938 restriction.

Self-Organisation

So far the focus has been on the Residence Obligation and the restriction of movement as a major problem to show that many of us are really living it out in a Fortress, contrary to what others would want us believe. But it should be said that it is not the only problem. There are the problems of refugees being denied private accommodation and privacy, leaving adults to be crammed together in single rooms, denied access to doctors and proper medication, being forced to use food coupons with its consequent public humiliation and of course the incessant police brutality; which sometimes results in the death of refugees at the hands of the police. These, combined, leave the refugees with hardly any better option than to organise and confront them, which brings us to refugee self-organisation. Normally, a few courageous individuals take the initial lead. They articulate the main problems before various audiences and in no time, they are speaking on behalf of the others while at the same time soliciting solidarity and support. It should be mentioned that although refugee self-organisations are also engaged with other fundamental issues like the exploitation of their home countries, neo-colonialism and the damning effects of globalisation amongst others, the focus here remains the experiences of these groups within the Fortress with particular attention to restriction of movement.

Starting from the scratch, refugee self-organisation is a hard and strenuous affair for a multiplicity of reasons. First, many refugees faced with the plethora of problems that is the asylum process and the constant threats of deportation simply withdraw onto themselves and begin to suffer depression with little or no attention. In some cases, the result is an attempted suicide or actual suicide. Second, because the formation of a refugee self-organised group is usually predicated upon the immediate problems that confronts the refugees, the primary aim of these groups is therefore to solve those problems. While it is true that some of these problems like closing down a camp or abolishing food coupon require long term planning and strong commitment to solve, such long term plans are usually not part of the original bargain at the beginning. One of the reasons for this is that you can never be sure of who will be around and for how long, to continue any such plans. This is because; the authorities always devise and employ the strategy of relocating most of the leading figures in such situations. Such activists are usually sent to far more remote places to isolate them, limit their possible support and solidarity to break any refugee resistance. Added to this is that they could be deported anytime. Third, even though many refugees live and experience the same horrible conditions in the Lagers, bonding together to confront these problems is not always an easy or straightforward project. Sometimes, differences in cultural background can be a problem. But more importantly, are both the issues of mistrust between refugees (in some cases due to previous experiences in their home countries) and the politics of 'divide and rule' by the authorities. For many who faced persecution and torture in their home countries, it takes time to trust strangers. Then there are those that are regarded as the "good refugees"-who are not complaining about their ordeals here and therefore not giving the authorities any problems and those seen as the "trouble makers"-who would never keep quiet about the problems they experience in the system. So, the authorities play them against each other and this affects how well they organise themselves against their common problems.

Besides the continuous relocation and isolation of refugee activists by the authorities, some of the leading figures in any such resistance also cease to be active soon after their papers are regularised, move out of the Lagers and no longer face movement restrictions. In many cases, the void left is difficult to fill. Therefore, long term commitment to common purpose from the self-organisation perspective is a huge problem. Another problem is sustaining the structure of engagement or improving on what has been developed for a start. Because these structures are usually feeble and unstable, it is not uncommon to see them crumbling under pressure-both from refugees' expectations of immediate solutions to his or her problems and from the authorities. By far one of the biggest problems to refugee self-organisation and networking remains the restriction of movement. When refugees go out of their Districts to attend meetings and network with other refugees, the threat of being arrested possibly brutalised and the certainty of a fine hangs over his/her head. It takes a lot of courage and some preparedness to pay a heavy price to continuously violate the restriction. Moreover, the intimidation and punishment that comes with such action serves as a lesson to discourage other refugees from being politically active.

Effects and Results

Nonetheless, refugee agitation leads to solutions of other problems like improving the living conditions in the camps or sometimes securing private apartments in some cases. And what is undeniable is the motivation, encouragement and re-awakening of hope that such little practical and tangible successes can inspire in some refugees. They are then imbued with the self belief that they can fight and win even against the all-powerful state. This is also particularly true in deportation cases. When refugees are active, the authorities adopt a hostile and aggressive attitude towards him/her and usually attempt to deport such refugees with haste. For a known activist, it is easier to mobilise support and solidarity to stop such deportation attempts.

The fact that other refugees can see and feel the support and solidarity that hinder such a deportation; which can be traced back to the personal engagement of the refugee usually offers a huge motivation. At the same time, the so-called "good refugees" are made to realise that irrespective of how "gentle" they may be, it would not endear them to the authorities to stop their deportation. On the contrary, they see that their deportations are usually easier because, it is more difficult to mobilise support for them when it is needed because they are relatively unknown.

Resolve and Defiance

Given the enormity of the problems refugees face here coupled with the institutional and societal racism, it is not surprising that many refugees feel too intimidated and therefore afraid to confront the situation and fight for their rights. There is a mental and psychological block that needs be broken for many of these refugees. This is precisely where self-organised and courageous refugee activists and groups like The VOICE Forum (http://thevoiceforum.org) and networks like the Caravan-for the rights of refugees and migrants (http://thecaravan.org) come in. These groups consist of refugees and migrants of diverse background from different nationalities and continents. Formed over 15 and 10 years ago respectively, they have the experience of motivating and mobilising refugees in isolated Lagers to fight for their rights and not accept the deplorable conditions that are forced upon them here. They have been at the forefront in highlighting the isolation and social exclusion of refugees and the realities of the 'Fortress Within'.

In 2000, The VOICE Forum hosted the Caravan-organised International Refugee and Migrant Congress in Jena. As preparation got underway refugees were threatened with imprisonment if they attend the Congress without a written permission from the foreigners' offices. Many refugees defied the threat and attended the congress without permission. They rose from the congress and launched a civil disobedience and the campaign to abolish the residence obligation law. They vowed never to respect this law anymore and never to ask for any permission to leave their Districts. At the same time, they risked and were prepared to go to jail rather than pay any fine for exercising their right to freedom of movement. Since then, there have been lots of public events, discussions, rallies, demonstrations and other forms of protest against the residence law throughout the country. At the same time, litigations have gone through all the instances in the German judicial system with the cases ending up at the European court of human rights. As expected, many refugees have been fined and punished for violating the restriction. And while some have been threatened and remain threatened with imprisonment, others have actually been sent to prison for weeks or months depending on how angry the presiding judge was at the time. Nevertheless, these groups are determined to not only expose the nature of the Fortress but break its tentacles 'Within'.

A Harder and Operational Fortress

Finally, we can review how the Fortress has developed and operated in its fortification, both externally and 'Within' since the last several years and we can only come to one conclusion: it is that the Fortress has become harder and more ruthless in trying to achieve its aim of keeping out the unwanted. Just a few years ago, some people who sought asylum in this country away from dictatorship and other forms of oppression in their home countries still managed to secure that internationally guaranteed protection. But since the last couple of years, particularly with the reckless abandon with which the so-called war on terror has been prosecuted and its consequent anti-terror laws, the very reasons for which a lot of those people got asylum and international protection has become the very reasons to now withdraw that protection. Many are being forced to live and endure life in 'illegality' or face the ominous process of being returned to the tormentors they fled from years ago.

And as if to show how ruthless the Fortress can be, the horrors and the harrowing experience of the Boat people are further spiced with such cruelty and inhumanity that is only matched by the inconsiderate and selfish aim to keep away the unwanted. And even so at the expense of disregarding and discarding the much vaunted European value of human freedom and human dignity not to mention humanitarian obligation. If anyone ever needed to be reminded of where we are, the sight of Spanish police and soldiers shooting and killing innocent migrants and potential refugees at their borders in 2005 should do. If not, then the more recent deadly collaboration with Libyan authorities will help. We should note that the Fortress is operational and its functionality has been taken to a higher level in the just ended week by the horrendous example of Italy. Having watched hundreds of hapless Boat people braved the odds and risks to arrive on its border, it wasted no time and immediately repatriated them to Libya without even allowing them to make asylum claims. Libya of all places-where there is neither any form of asylum policies nor is it a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Germany, if accident occurred and a victim needed help, a passer-by who refuses to help when it is within his/her capability is normally charged and prosecuted for not helping-to save life. Now, those who have taken the risk to rescue and save drowning people on the high See have become villains and criminals. They are being prosecuted with jail terms awaiting them-for supposedly helping drowning people who 'ought to be left to drown'. And for the Fortress Within, it is the same-it is more brutal and more ruthless. As we speak a refugee is currently in jail to languish there for eights months for violating the restriction law and no other offence. Imagine a crime that would warrant eight months in jail for a German! The list goes on.the Fortress is here.

June 2009
migration-boell.de

References

* 2. StGB § 323c
* Michael Stoffels, Die «Residenzpflicht» - eine rassistische Auflage für Ausländer
* Grundrechte-Report (2002), S. 159-163
* The research by European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) on the restriction of movement for asylum seekers in Germany/Europe (2002).
* The 'Residenzpflicht'-History and Current Developments in: "Widerstands Bewegungen: Antirassismus zwischen Alltag und Aktion. (2005), Assoziation A, Berlin/Hamburg.
Archive: Statement by Sunny Omwenyeke on Residenzpflicht before the Judge of the court in Wolfsburg

*****

The Caravan Festival 2010: In memory of victims of the fortress Europe
African Masquerade - Masks and Music Parade in Jena

Appeal for a Caravan Festival – For the Rights of Refugees and Migrants in Europe

The topic of the Festival is:

Africa is not far from us – Unite Against Colonial Injustice
Save Lives: - Protest against the brutality and deaths of the refugees and migrants by the EU - Frontex and the barbaric policies of Fortress Europe
Invitation to the preparation and support for the Caravan Festival 2010 in Jena
Festival
*****

Unite Against the Continuation of Colonial Injustice in Germany
Wednesday 9th – Sunday 13th September 2009
On Colonial Injustice and the Continuity of Barbarity: The Situation of Human Beings as Refugees and Migrants in Germany
The VOICE Refugee Forum Network:

Languages: 

Refugee - Campaigns and Networking in English & Deutsch

About us - Newsletter here.

Donation und Spende:
Donation for refugee community campaign to end the deportation and social exclusion in Germany

Für finanzielle Autonomie – keine Anträgem aber ein Beitrag von allen, die Teil der Bewegung sind oder mit ihr sympathisieren
Mit Deiner solidarischen Spende beweist du die Kraft der Einheit in der Bewegung

Förderverein The VOICE e.V.
Sparkasse Göttingen
Kontonummer: 127829
BLZ: 260 500 01
IBAN: DE97 2605 0001 0000 1278 29
BIC: NOLADE21GOE
Wir sind dankbar für jede Spende (steuerabzugsfähig, Spendenquittung auf Wunsch) Belohnung 2015: Die politischen Ressourcen der Flüchtlinge in Deutschland

Radiosendung anlässlich des 20 Geburstags von The Voice Refugee Forum (Oktober 2014 reboot.fm angehört werden (Sprachen: englisch und deutsch).

break deportation

Deutsch: Abschiebung ist Folter und Mord - Schluss mit Polizeigewalt gegen Flüchtlinge und Aktivisten
PM The VOICE Refugee Forum - Erstes Jubiläum des Protestes in und vor der nigerianischen Botschaft vom 15.10.2012

Mbolo Yufanyis Gerichtsverhandlung / Court Hearings in Berlin

Mbolo Yufanyi speaks on Deportation Chain - Resistance against Rascism and colonial injustice

Abschlusserklärung des Flüchtlingstribunals 2013 in Berlin

Prozessbericht zu Mbolo Yafanyis Gerichtstermin vor dem Amtsgericht Tiergarten am 26.9.13

„Flüchtlingsfrauen sagen: Es reicht!von der Flüchtlingsfrauenkonferenz zum Tribunal in Berlin“
Radio Broadcast from April 26, 2013
The Voices #11 - Refugee Woman Conference UND Artikel aus der Presse

Der Film über das KARAWANE Festival gegen koloniales Unrecht in Jena erscheint bald.

Osaren-Karawane-Festival-Jena-2010 Unite Against Colonial Injustice

Filmtrailer "Residenzpflicht"
:
The Caravan *for the rights of refugees and migrants

Break Isolation *Refugee Summercamp Erfurt
Links:
International Refugee Tribunal 2013
Refugee Protest Camp Oranienplatz Berlin
*asylstrikeberlin

Materials:
*Kalender 2013
*Zeitung der KARAWANE
Reboot FM 88 Berlin: *RADIO Broadcast Manifestation of The VOICE Refugee Forum and Plataforma
Campaign:
*REFUGEE (NIGERIA) EMBASSY GERMANY Residenzpflicht -*apartheid.net

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