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Call to Abolish the Residenzpflicht! “I won’t pay a cent for my freedom of movement“ by Miloud L. Cherif in Zella-Mehlis

Warum kontrollieren Sie nur mich?!! - Why do you control obnly me?!!

Statement of declaration by Miloud L. Cherif - At 18:25 on Friday 13th January 2012, the criminal police of Heilbronn controlled me in the Train (RE Würsburg-Stuttgart Hbf), in Stuttgart where a workshop against deportation organised by The VOICE was taking place.

Report on Control - Back to Germany. My End of Year Present from the German Police By Sunny Omwenyeke of The VOICE Refugee Forum

We Call to Abolish the Residenzpflicht!
Abolish the Racist Police Control in Germany Now

In 2012, the racist police control and brutality in Germany continues just as the apartheid pass law, otherwise known as the Residenzpflicht continue to be the magnet to trap refugees in Germany into the criminal pot. Everywhere in this country, those who do not have the “right” skin colour or look “foreign” are singled out from the crowd; at bus stops, train stations, inside the trains, on the streets etc. and asked to show their Passports by the police. We are publicly discriminated against, humiliated and treated to a dish of open racism by the police on a daily basis because they believe the law permits them to do it and they have the support of the public for it.

When asked why we are being singled out and controlled, the police reply is usually “it is our job to control you”, “we have the right to check you”, and “we are looking for criminals who break the law”. And here, there is a little caveat. If you happen to be a refugee and you have no permission to be where you are controlled, they will tell you “you are being controlled because you have no permission to be out of you “Landkreis”. These are the standard answers we get from them if they choose to answer at all. Remember, posing any question in the first place is an open invitation for them to brutalise you because, “you dare not question or tell them how to do their lovely job”.

But here is the point if you are interested in it-and this is specifically to the police and the ignorant crowd that continue to support racist police control and brutality. The police always say they have the right to control us like everyone else. And we have experienced situations where “nice, good citizens and patriotic Germans” are readily and zealously jumping head over heels to support the racist police controls because in their eyes; there is nothing wrong with police controls. But the question is not whether they have the right to control us. The question is: why is it that the police will always ask the only Black person or “non white, foreign-looking” person for his or her passport when the white people around there are not controlled? This is the reason why it is a racist control. If the police want to prove us wrong or have us believe otherwise, they have to show us something different and treat us equally like they treat others. And that means not selecting us out of every crowd for control because we don’t look “German”.

It is time for the police to stop “hiding behind the law and their acclaimed right to control” and stop the racist police control. We are sick and tired of this institutional and society racism and we call on all well-meaning individuals and groups to join us in solidarity to purge this blatant racism.

As you shall see in the two brief statements below from two of our activists, we are determined to continue the fight. We will continue to enjoy our natural right to freedom of movement and we remain unbowed-neither to intimidation nor injustice.

Warum kontrollieren Sie nur mich?!!
Statement by Miloud L. Cherif
The VOICE Refugee Forum, Zella-Mehlis

At 18:25 on Friday 13th January 2012, the criminal police of Heilbronn controlled me in the Train (RE Würsburg-Stuttgart Hbf), in Stuttgart where a workshop against deportation organised by The VOICE was taking place.

The two civil policemen controlled only ME among all the passengers in the train compartments. I asked them ‘‘why do you control me and only me?‘‘ The policemen did not answer the question, and right after checking my ID, they ordered me to leave the train to their office in the next station. When the train stopped we went to their office just next to the Station. While walking to their office, one of the policemen was walking beside me and the other was behind me. They marched me down to their office treating and gleefully parading me like a dangerous criminal who they were eager to ensure does not run away.

My question is this? Do I look like a criminal? Does anybody living in Germany who is not “white” automatically become a criminal because he or she is not “white”? Obviously, this is what the system and those who operate it wants everybody to believe-that foreigners and particularly refugees are dangerous criminals. But it is RACISM.

It took them one hour after they arrested me to release me. All the while I continued to repeat my question of why control me and me alone? I had no answers. At last I asked their ‘Boss’ the same question and he answered me with a devious smile and said‚ ”It wasn’t me who controlled you‘’. Another officer asked me ‚”Don’t you know that you broke Residentzpflicht law?‘‘ ‘‘Yes, I know‘‘, I answered. “Then why did you did it?‘‘ he asked. I replied that ‘‘the law is racist and does not respect me as a person, why should I respect a racist law?‘‘ He said‚‘‘but you’ll have to pay a fine‘‘, I said‚ ‘‘Over my dead body. I will never pay a cent for my freedom”, would you do it?‘‘ He was dumbfounded. He went and brought me some documents to sign. I asked for an English version, so he went and brought it. The first was a document titled: ‘‘ Information for persons suspected of an offence that are apprehended to establish their Identity‘‘. The document clearly states that the police see us as persons suspected of an offence.

But lets stop here for a moment and ask the two policemen who controlled me‚”What offence did I commit?‘‘ Is it the colour of my skin and hair? Is it because I look different from them? I can only wonder what their answers to these questions are. But whatever they are, I challenge the police to present one logical reason that was not based racism as to why they controlled me.

I say it loud to them…. This is a racist control.... racist, racist, racist control, Stop the racist police control. And I repeat it here: Stop the racist police control.
I won’t pay a cent for my freedom of movement, so better for the Auslanderbehörder to save their stamps and not send me letters because I’m NOT going to pay any fine.

And here is my message: Please everybody tell the German police that I’m going to move freely everywhere I like in Germany and will never stop. Please tell them better they hang my photos in their offices and all train stations because soon, I will be passing by again, continuing to enjoy my natural right to freedom of movement.
Stop Racist Controls.......Abolish Residenzpflicht!!!!!

Information about the policemen who controlled me:
1st Policeman: Pk Liedl
2nd Policeman: Phm klos
Bundespolizeiinspektion Stuutgart
Bundespolizeirevier Heilbronn
Bahnhofstraße 30
74072 Heilbronn
Tel: 07131 888260-0. Fax: 07131 888260-48.
Support the campaign to resist the arrest of Miloud L. Cherif because of "Residenzpflicht" - Refugee movement restriction

Back to Germany. My End of Year Present from the German Police By Sunny Omwenyeke

As the year 2011 was ending, the German police presented me an end-of-year gift; a reminder that racist police control is alive, well and healthy in Germany.

It was 30 December 2011; while on a visit back to Germany, back to controls as always. Just before Karlsruhe, two policemen entered the train I was in with my partner and my 6-year-old daughter. As their uniform looked more like those of a train security than the police, I did not immediately recognise them until my child, who was sitting with her mum on a separate seat and had a better view of them told her mum: “Polizei”.

No sooner was that said than the police turned to me and asked me for my “Ausweis”. I said, what? The police answered, passport. I asked why? And they answered that they want to control me. A German woman sitting opposite me intervened, trying to see that the situation did not escalate. She said, “Maybe they are looking for somebody who look like you”, rubbing her palm against her arm to indicate that she meant my colour. I told them that I know that they want to control me but why only me and not other people in the train? They said, I don’t need to tell them how to do their job and they don’t need to show me what they did before. I told them that coming into the train to ask me alone for my passport was racism and discrimination and as a result, I was not ready to show it. And so the stand off continued…

Behind the seat where my child was sitting with her mum, a slightly older man had started to support the action of the police and my partner had started to argue with him. I asked the man to keep his mouth shut and that we were not in 1938 or 1943 but 2011. So it continued…

And then another slightly older man joined in support of the police and said that I started all this trouble and that I should show my Ausweis. He brought out his own Ausweis and said the police can control and he does not know why it is a problem for me to show it. I turned to him and said of course he will not know it because he does not have the experience of refugees, Black people and others who are not “white” that are being controlled and brutalised daily in Germany by the police. But I also asked him that if he liked to be controlled and brutalised by the police, he could willingly submit himself to the police. As this continued, he called me a “brownie” and then I unloaded expletives on him. As you can well imagine, my voice was so to speak, commensurate with my anger and annoyance. At this point, they were threatening that they will take me along with them if this situation continues.

By this time, my daughter was crying, panicking and afraid that something was going to happen to me, a situation that led me to show the police my Ausweis. And I told them that if not for the sake of my daughter, they would never have seen it. They called their office, controlled it and gave it back. Then one of the officers told my partner that they have a right to do it and that if we don’t like it, we should fight against it politically. To which he got the reply, “Of course we fight it politically. Do you think we are not fighting against this politically and just started to do this here?”
Germany, will it ever change? Only time will tell but it is running out fast!!!

English Archives: Sunny Omwenyeke on Residenzpflicht

Aufruf zur Abschaffung der Residenzpflicht: „Ich werde keinen Cent für meine Bewegungsfreiheit zahlen!“ Von Miloud L. Cherif

The VOICE Refugee Forum Jena:
Schillergäßchen 5 | 07745 Jena | |