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RefugeeBlackBox – Solidarity Installation initiated 2017 in Jena
Break the Deportation DNA Chain: "RefugeeBlackBox – The irrepressible voice and power of the afflicted" - Beyond the Courtrooms!
Break Deportation - Refugee Black Box Installation and Parade:
On 27/28.01.2017 nationwide activists of the Refugee-Migrant Community Network and anti-deportation activists presented the RefugeeBlackBox in Jena and launched the campaign to „Stop Deportation" with a city march parade and performance installation and with discussion on the "Refugees' Black Box - The voice and irrepressible power of the afflicted"
Our main focus was breaking the deportation chain from within; with discussions on strategies of break deportation acts: Our historical backgrounds and past political struggles against deportation and social exclusion were a guide to our continued engagement for justice and human dignity.
We discussed how we, the refugee-migrant community activists in Germany, could overcome the different faces of injustice in Europe, by our experiences, our struggles and campaigns of the refugee community against the deportation cultures of the German and European racist nationalism, against social exclusion in Germany. About how we fight against the abuse and violation of our rights, the corruption of the deportation system, the societal ignorance including German elites and politicians vis-à-vis human dignity and freedom of movement.
"RefugeeBlackBox – The irrepressible voice and power of the afflicted" is a political experiment and a process to re-create our alternative space and critical enlightenment, through the refugee‘s x-ray in political solidarity on the decades of refugee struggles against the centuries of colonial injustice of deportation.
The concept is a process of inspirations from struggles like The refugees' exile political campaign for democracy and freedom of political prisoners in the home countries, against deportation and isolation of refugees in Germany, The Caravan tour in 44 cities in 1998 „We have no vote but we have a voice“, The Caravan International Refugee Congress Jena “Unite against Deportation and Social Exclusion“, the beginning of the „Residenzpflicht“-campaign in 2000, the protest against Oury Jalloh’s death in Police Cell No 5 in Dessau and the ensuing court trial in 2008, the Caravan Festival on Colonial Injustice in Jena 2010, the Break Isolation Refugee Camp in Erfurt with the preparation of the Refugee Protest March from Würzburg to Berlin in 2012 organized by refugees in Bavaria and the Refugee International Tribunal in Berlin in 2013, which were organized by The VOICE Refugee Forum and The Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants. It is in the spirit of continuity of The VOICE Refugee Forum struggles since 1994 from the Mühlhausen refugee camp.
The RefugeeBlackBox is an attempt to re-define our struggles and resistance as we go forward in strengthening the grassroots perspectives for concrete solidarity with the oppressed and against the oppressors. Refugee Black Box's actions are planned to expose the ignorance of the society on the abuses and crimes of deportation regimes and to make the colonial injustices of the system visible.
Like Marcus Garvey said, “Never forget that intelligence rules the world and ignorance carry the burden. Therefore, remove yourself as far as possible from ignorance and seek as far as possible to be intelligent”.
Like in a tribunal, it is about charging the system and giving a platform to the afflicted to bring their own charges to public awareness. In addition, it has elements of a festival with its cultural space. The idea parodies the „black boxes of air-crafts.” It contains sensitive information that is vital to its functionality. The afflicted can submit their charges and these would form the basis of the next protest actions against the pervasive colonial injustice.
Refugees, migrants and anti-deportation activists joined us in 2017 in the grassroots struggles of the refugees' community movement, to make “Refugee Black Box – The irrepressible voice and power of the afflicted" a concrete and empowering weapon of political solidarity.
The RefugeeBlackBox and the importance of community
By coming together, we will continue to learn from each other, develop our strength by continued self-empowerment to break the deportation culture and to overcome the different faces of injustice in Europe.
Most of us are victims of war. Some of us lost our families; many of us are separated from our children, wives and husbands, while a countless number of us died on the journey to Europe under the watchful eyes of FRONTEX. As a result, many of us remain traumatized today. Yet, instead of being given the necessary therapeutic and other support, we are discriminated against, subjected to brutal and greedy exploitation and exclusion, various forms of psychological torture and expected to gratefully accept our unspoken label of subhuman or „Untermensch“ in the name of refugees because we don‘t have bombs raining on us.
But: Our community is our defense! Political self-organization without the perspectives of the community of the affected often results in slogans to entertain the mainstream media only, without continuity: "If you've come to help me, you're wasting your time. But if you've come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." said Lila Watson, an aboriginal educator and activist from Australia. The community makes the difference, use it!-It is worldwide solidarity!
The RefugeeBlackBox is a means to strengthen our community and to express our testimonies, to analyze, reflect and discuss on all topics connected with deportation and our oppression:
What is connected to deportation and why? Do we have any experience with deportation? What was the biggest pain or crime we felt? Where are the roots of deportation? Which forms of oppression are there to prepare and execute deportation? Who are the ones profiting from the deportation? - Who are the accomplices of the deportation? What is the reason or intention of deportation? - How does deportation undermine the natural right of any human being? What is our natural right? - Who has any natural right to living in this world? and basically to whom does this world belong to? - Why do we have to leave your country? How is the departure from your home, the place you were born and the lives connected to deportation back to the same place?
The RefugeeBlackBox helps us in re-counting our experiences and analyzing our self-critical evaluation, strategies and contributions on the way forward: How do we work together? How do we build our communities?
The RefugeeBlackBox makes our resistance against the German deportation regime visible and gives a voice to our fight for an unconditional right to stay for everyone an to break the culture of deportation!!
Our voices are irrepressible: With the idea of the „parade“, we can take them to the streets as a powerful, creative and colorful demonstration with music and chanting, chanting, performance interventions, samba-percussion and more.
There can be no compromise with deportation. Deportation and its corruption of legal systems and the regime is criminal – and we fight to stop it. To bring down the deportation system and racist nationalism is our order: https://thevoiceforum.org/node/4210
The Slave and Colonial culture of Deportation
When a deportation is executed, it is the last ring of the slavery and colonial chain. All racial, racist and murderous policies that come before are there to legitimize, legalize and facilitate the last ring of this chain.
It is nothing new that torture, subjugation, racism; arbitrariness, absurdity and repression accompany the regulation of the movement of people by states, particularly at borders. But a contemporary analogy takes us down the memory lane outlining the fact that deportation has not always been about the regulation of the movement of people by states, particularly at borders. It has been an instrument of power by the oppressors against the subalterns. This process does not start with repatriation; repatriation is just the beginning of the end. The actual deportation to other countries, not to the home countries of the deportees is the added manifestation of these slavery and colonial powers.
We should never forget that during the times of the Trans-Sahara and Trans-Atlantic slavery, millions of African women, men and children were deported from the motherland to other parts of the world to work as slaves. Kings and queens that resisted slavery and colonization were captured and deported to other parts of Africa but also out of the continent. Oba Owonramwen, the king of the Benin Empire, was deported to Calabar by the British Colonizers in 1897 during the British invasion as he did not accept the British dominance over his kingdom. (link) Also during the times of the German Owa-Herero and Nama massacres and extermination in Namibia, those who escaped and resisted the Germans were deported to many other African territories including those controlled by Germany at that time, like Cameroon and Togo-land. The same fate awaited freedom fighters of other African countries who resisted and fought their slaves and colonial masters.
In the German extermination politics of the Nazi regime, especially against the Jews, in the last century, this could be perfectly executed through deportation into concentration camps not only in Germany but also into other concentration and extinction camps in the other European territories. And in all these times, deportation was legal just like today.
Today, we may be fighting a different type of deportation but the rationales behind this murderous policy is the same, the extermination, subjugation and control of people deemed subaltern.
There are individual and mass deportations by the European FRONTEX, with Germany playing a leading and conspicuous role, both in individual and mass deportations.
The mass deportations have been an instrument to sustain imperialism, global capitalism and global apartheid and has been taking racialized and militarized dimension. Citizens of so-called developing countries especially in Africa and now in war-torn Middle East Asia are more and more being targeted by powerful western countries, including Germany.
This could only be made possible through coercive state apparatus, a vulnerable labor force and a global market for goods and services. While on the one hand, the deporter most often than not has a history of being the oppressor, the deportee has almost always a history of persecution.
That is why the fight to stop deportation and the anti-deportation struggles should be a fight that should go beyond the justification against persecution in our home countries or beyond integrationist and assimilative reasons. It should be seen as a fight against imperialism, capitalism, racism, slavery and colonialism.
It is a fight against impunity and for a different world order. If we succeed in stopping deportation, it will be a revolution.
The deportation culture of Germany did not start today but it should be stopped today. It is a part of its colonial legacy and an injustice that should not go unpunished.
The revolution is near.
The VOICE Refugee Forum
More Links on RBB: RefugeeBlackBox Solidarity
English | Francés | Español:
Online RefugeeBlackBox (RBB) - Community Campaign | Paint it Black!
Boîte noire des réfugiés en ligne (RBB) - Campagne communautaire | Paint it Black !
Campaña comunitaria en línea RefugeeBlackBox (RBB) | ¡Píntalo de negro!
English: An X-ray of Political Solidarity - on the Background of the RefugeeBlackBox Part 1
Francés: Une radiographie de la solidarité politique - sur le fond de la boîte noire des réfugiés Partie 1
Español: Una radiografa de solidaridad politica | RefugeeBlackBox
For: Justice and Freedom
Against: Deportation and Repression