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24. Marz Demonstration in Meiningen: Break the racist isolation of the refugees - Close the Lager Camp in Zella-Mehlis!

DEUTSCH: Lager Zella-Mehlis schließen – Die rassistische Isolation der Flüchtlinge durchbrechen

Call for solidarity with the refugee struggle against isolation camps

Decentral nationwide Anti-Lager-Action days 22.-24.3.2011

*24. Marz: Demonstration in Meiningen at 14Uhr, Main Train Station

Das Lager Zella-Mehlis schließen!

„The so called 'integration debate' is the expression of a society that is marked by a mentality of racist control“ - this was one of the conclusions being drawn in the declaration from a conference held by the Caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants and The VOICE Refugee Forum in december 2011 in Jena. Among others, some activists who have to live in the Lager Zella-Mehlis also joined the conference. In light of the above quoted criticism of society,
the continuous reports by VOICE-activists and their evaluation of the situation in the Lager Zella-Mehlis shall be pointed out here:

Health danger; Life danger
The 5-floor building from the early 80s ist marked by decay. Some windows are broken, many don't remain stable in their frames and none is isolating from cold and wind. The heatings only manage up to 25%, no matter which setting. On all floors, the walls are wet, there is mold in the corridors and in some rooms widely spread, especially in the bathrooms, where in addition some of the water tubes are leaking.
The biggest health danger above all this is the ignorance of the mess by all responsible persons, as well as the irresponsible blocking attidtude of administration employees when it comes to giving permissions for medical treatment. This way, people who got skin irritations and chronical cough, get only a skin cream in the best case. „Pay it yourself!“ is the answer to those, who demand a serious treatment of the harm that is done to them. One man, who got infected with tuberculosis in the Lager, had to wait a couple of weeks in order to get a medical treatment granted. In other cases, the rejection is excplained this way: „You're anyways going to be deported soon.“

The administration's chauvinist ignorance
„This situation is more than embarrassing for me and I'm asking myself: Should we maybe have noticed it earlier?“ is how Harald Bernhardt from the responsible Landratsamt Schmalkalden-Meiningen commented a question from MDR on january 26th 2011. For the inhabitants of the Lager, this signified not more than another slap in the face – already on november 20th 2010, Junge Welt had made public the desolate situation, after refugees organised themselves and got in contact with The VOICE Refugee Forum. The article was even sent to the authorities, together with some questions from the journalist. But the Landratsamt only answered by saying, it doesn't provide „detailed information“. When refugees protest, the answer is either zero or threatening.

The announcement, that the company running the Lager is now being obliged to invest 5000 Euros per month into renovations of the building, can only be seen as an appeasement of the public. Facing the fact, that the contract is ending on march 31st and that the Landratsamt called for new applicants until january 13th 2011, makes this „promise“ look pretty unlikely. If Mr.Bernhardt declares the conditions „not harmful for health“ despite the broad documentation of the widespread mold, then he is directly responsible for the various sicknesses of the inhabitants.

Exploiting the misery
By passing the job of „caring“ for the „object“ to a private building services company, the Landratsamt is cheaply trading the responsability for the 170 people currently living there. If now, the Landratsamt is pretending to be completely surprised, it only bears witness to its believe, it had the monopoly on hypocrisy. A never renovated GDR-building has been passed to a private service for „care“ under the premise to be „the cheapest possible“. This service has just one goal: Profit. Meaning the least investition and meanwhile the maximum profit, no matter what this causes the inhabitants.

Besides this, also the employees of the company had to face the contempting character of this deal: When a former employee documented the disastrous situation in the Lager and asked her boss to act, she was immediately fired and is now, years later, still waiting for parts of her salary.

As if this wasn't enough, the responsible caretaker Mathias Schatz and social supervisor Mandy Heßler even have those refugees, who are not allowed to work, cleaning the Lager or chopping wood for about 1 euro per hour – those jobs in wintertime. In summer, Mathias Schulz is doing the job himself. But there is no choice for those, working despite a working prohibition, to have contracts handed out. Where the money is coming from or how the salary is legitimated remains hidden.

Oppression and persecution of political self-organization
When a couple of activists from Zella-Mehlis wanted to participate in a conference of the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants at the end of 2010, their travel to Berlin was stopped by the federal police in Erfurt and they were forced to go back – they had no permission to leave the local administration district.
Just recently, there was an information event in Suhl, which is right next to Zella-Mehlis. The aim was to broaden the local networks of the refugees. Although the two cities are directly linked and the Lager is located only a few hundred meters from the edge of Suhl, crossing this line is sanctioned by fine because of „violating the residence obligation“. Thus, the visit of the event turned into a confrontation with the oppression mechanisms of the state.

Other examples from Apolda demonstrate how even without controls, attempts are made to impose penalties because of political activity: A VOICE-activist was photographed on a demonstration, which served as an opportunity for the Ausländerbehörde to sanction a „proved“ crossing of the district's boundary. The attempt to impose a fine could only be fought by broad solidarity and legal support.

Intimidation by forceful police measures
A married couple with two children had to live in a moldy room for some years, just like many others in Zella-Mehlis. The kids had already gotten chronical cough. After the Landratsamt was under pressure to act, due to the rise of public attention, the familiy was supposed to move into another room – without bath, toilet and electricity. As they refused to do so, the police was called and forced the father to sign an incomprehensible declaration and to move into the other, inacceptable room.
For the sake of such actions, there exists the fear among the inhabitants, that anyone being in contact to external people or media, is in danger of arrest.

Isolation from society; Deportations expose organised violation of rights
In summer 2010, a married couple that escaped from war in Afghanistan, was deported from Zella-Mehlis to Greece. They hadn't been in Germany for a long time when in july, the husband was taken and one month later, his wife Fatima was deported. She was interrupted by the police during dinner in Ramadan time and she had half an hour to pack her belongings together. The other refugees were told to stay behind their closed doors – one knew how explosive this case was: The German constitutional court had already prohibited deportations to Greece, because its asylum system had collapsed. But deportations to Greece are still going on, there is no serious control, so refugees don't have any chance to a fair asylum trial.

Asylum rejections are handed out just in german language. The possibility to take a lawyer is only known to those, who are in contact to supporters or have the necessary language skills. In Fatima's case, a deportation could have been stopped juridically. But now, she has been deported separately from her husband to a country, where the chances to find each other are really low and the chances for a fair asylum trial are zero.
The fact, that even a mandated lawyer is not sufficient, is proved by a case of an Iraqi in Zella-Mehlis: He was deported in an urgent action over night in november 2010, without having his lawyer informed. When he got note of his client's deportation, the man was already on the charter flight to Iraq.

Deportations kill – The death of Ruslan Polubiatka
„Deportation is torture, deportation is murder!“ - how often has this slogan have to be approved until the deportations stop?
Ruslan Polubiatka from Belarus lived in the Lager Zella-Mehlis until winter 2008. Years of isolation in the decayed building and the uncertainty concerning his personal future had already driven him close to despair. Friends described him as increasingly depressive. When the Ausländerbehörde wanted to deport him back to Belarus after all that time, he escaped abruptly from the Lager. Two months later, he was found frozen and partly decomposed in the forest. Outside the Lager, he didn't have any contact, any orientation.

The responsability lies within the racist system
Caretaker Mathias Schatz, social supervisor Mandy Heßler, the Landratsamt's employee for foreigners' affairs Manuela Kühhirt or the employee for order and security Harald Bernhardt, both from Landratsamt Meiningen – they all knew about the misery long time before the now known as a „scandal“ media report. But only an inquiry by the MDR seems to demand an explanation for the humiliating treatment of the Lager inhabitants. Here, the racist structure behind the alleged local execution of the federal law on benefits for asylum seekers is exposed: To organise exclusion and deportation as cheap and frictionless as possible and destroy the people psychologically.

Harald Bernhardt is trying to characterize Lager placement as the not succeeded attempt to „organise the desired non-integration“. While isolation is systematic, do the same responsible ones still want to discuss about „integration“?

„Human Right“ in capitalism
Human rights are allegedly defended at hindukush and denounced in Libya, whereas refugees, people with a background of migration – whatever this stands for – are classified in Germany into lower class, non-employed and other categories in order to select them for their utility or to exclude them. Part of the restrictions from the asylum seekers benefits' law are already applied on non-employed, new limitations of self-determination are part of the recent discussion about modifying the Unemployment-law, called Hartz IV. Human rights are only granted to those, who can pay them in cash and buy their freedom.
The so called occidental community of christian values and dominant culture bursts into pieces as soon as the differences between the majority of cheap labour and non-employed and the marginal group of proprietors are called by nam. Profit determines the interests in contrary to propaganda lies of human rights and value-based communities. If the human rights were universal, why then people in central-european countries are punished just for their presence, are harrassed, exlcuded from basic rights, arrested and deported into deathly situations?

Against the law of oppression and its officials
Despite the necessary naming of individual responsability, one thing must be certain: The players are exchangeable, the misery remains. It's the institutionalised racism, realized in borders, police offices, law and authorities, that represent a central feature of the current global economical order. In a daily competition for profit, human concerns have a relevance only when they go along with the competetiveness.

For Zella-Mehlis this means: Any service company will organise a human placement only respective its potential income. Any staff of the Ausländerbehörde will, in the sense of the law on benefit for asylum seekers, make life for refugees hard to the extent, will minimize the danger of juridical intervention by means of repression and isolation and will be in charge of murderous deportations.
Fear of unemployment and racism, that is well orchestrated by so called „integration debates“, turns administration staff into criminals that play with peoples' lives:

In Zehla-Mehlis, in Katzhütte, in Biberach, Hardheim, Meinersen, Augsburg, Dessau or Remscheid.

31.3.2011 is the deadline: Close the Lager – decentral housing for all!

Too many dreams have been smashed, too many people humiliated.

Where is Fatima? What happened to Ruslan?

Break the silence, support the resistance of the refugees!
Self-organisation instead of fear!
Solidarity instead of isolation!

For self-determined living – worldwide!

Network of Supporters:
Unterstützt von: The VOICE Refugee Forum Jena, Flüchtlingsrat Thüringen e.V., AK Politische Bildung beim Stura der Uni Jena, Referat für Menschenrechte beim StuRa der Uni Jena, revolta – antikapitalistische linke, Antifa Arnstadt, Antifa Ilmenau, Antifa Suhl, Infoladen Arnstadt und FAU Suedthueringen, Soziokulturelles Zentrum Gerberstraße 1, Weimar
Netzwerk Thueringen: Break Isolation - Kampagne gegen alltäglichen Rassismus und Diskriminierung

Thueringia: Break the isolation and ghettoisation of refugees - Close the Lager Zella-Mehlis

Netzwerk: Break Isolation - Kampagne gegen alltäglichen Rassismus und Diskriminierung

Deutsch: Thüringen: Aktionstag im März

PRESSEMITTEILUNG: Diskussionen über Flüchtlingslager mit Asylbewerbern am 28. Februar in Suhl

Thueringia: Break the isolation and ghettoisation of refugees - Close the Lager Zella-Mehlis

Millions of people worldwide flee from war, persecution and nature catastrophes. Every year, thousands of them die at the EU-borders. Those, who arrive in Germany, face a racist and inhuman system.
They are forced to live isolated in far-off places, excluded from society and in permanent fear of deportation. The hygenic conditions are disastrous. Moldy walls in rotten rooms are a constant health danger. Not only because of the resident obligation and the voucher system, a self-determind life is made impossible. The refugee Lager of Zella-Mehlis is a manifestation of all these mechanisms of exlusion.

Info events for protest against the refugee Lager in Zella-Mehlis:

Suhl: 28. Februar, Kirchgasse 10, 19.00hrs
Jena: 3. März, Carl-Zeiss-Straße 3 (Uni Jena), HS 7, 18.00hrs
Meiningen: 10. März, Alte Posthalterei, 18.00hrs

March 15 : Rally in Meiningen, at 13.00hrs
March 22 : Solidarity Rally with Refugee in Zella-Mehlis; begin at 14.00hrs
March 24 : demonstration in Meiningen, Begin at 14.00hrs


2° MDR Video Bericht: Zella-Mehlis Flüchtlings-Isolationslager in Thüringen + English Txt

Text Translation in English - New Video of MDR-report on Zella-Mehlis Refugee Isolation Lager Camp in Germany

Die Karawane für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen

Break Isolation Solidarity Initiative - Thueringen
Unterstützt von: The VOICE Refugee Forum Jena, Flüchtlingsrat Thüringen e.V., AK Politische Bildung beim Stura der Uni Jena, Referat für Menschenrechte beim StuRa der Uni Jena, revolta – antikapitalistische linke, Antifa Arnstadt, Antifa Ilmenau, Antifa Suhl, Infoladen Arnstadt und FAU Suedthueringen, Soziokulturelles Zentrum Gerberstraße 1, Weimar

*Thueringen Refugee Isolation Camp / FlüchtlingsIsolation lagaers in Thüringen:
*Anti Lager Campaign

The VOICE Refugee Forum Jena
Adresse: Schillergässchen 5, 07745 Jena
Tel. Handy 0049(0) 17624568988,
Fax: 03641 / 42 02 70,
Gegründet: 1994, Arbeitsweise: Kampagnen,Aktionen, Vernetzung.
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