Breaking Residenzpflicht,
Lager & Deportation

“Regarding the right to freedom of movement, the defendant is not a German and therefore does not have this basic right.” (German Judge in a trial about Residenzpflicht, February 2013) The Resistance against racist and nationalist laws that hold “German rights” above the human rights of refugees has reached the oneyear mark. In March 2012 refugee, protest camps began spreading throughout Germany, actions in direct opposition to La- gerpflicht. Shortly thereafter, refusing to accept the unjust practice of Residenzpflicht, refugees organized a 600 kilometre march from Würzburg to Berlin, supported in solidarity by a bus tour crossing western and northern Germany. Arrival in Berlin quickly became the founding of the protest camp on Oranienplatz. 6,000 people joi- ned our demo to the German parliament. We occupied the Nigerian embassy, protesting Nigeria’s collaboration with both the German State and Frontex, the corporation responsible for arranging deportations. Some of us began a hunger strike at the Brandenburger Gate on the 24th of October. We have occupied an abandoned school building to create a safe space for refugees and political infrastructure for our movement. Yet, faced with our movement and our demands, politicians not only continue to look the other way; they shamelessly attempt to manipulate public debate. Their claims about “asylum abuse” victimize our cause and stigmatize our intentions. They don’t get it. We will stay in the streets. We will continue to resist. We will not be silenced until our demands our met!

1. Stop Deportation!
Deportation is an outdated practice tracing back to the racist colonial era. According to the Geneva Convention on Refugees of the UNHCR, a refugee shall not be depor- ted to a country where he or she faces a danger for life and freedom.
More than 15 000 refugees and migrants have died over the past two decades on the borders of the European Union, in detention and in the course of deportation. As the Refugee Resistance of the past year transpired, while the EU doublespeaks human rights, human beings were and are being murdered by Frontex. The rights of refugees are systematically ignored. The so called Dublin-System, an apparatus aiming to establish a Europe wide internal de- portation system, ensures that the movement of refugees is completely under control of European authorities. How can we find protection if we are deported back to countries such as Italy, where we are forced into homelessness? Where there is no social benefit system? We have organized an action at the UNHCR to raise awareness of the Dublin-System and its terrible effects on the lives of refugees. Germany does not have an asylum system; it has an effective deportation system. The EU justifies its policies by labelling refugees as illegal. Yet there is no legal way for them to enter Europe. People are not illegal, they are Berlin-oranienplatz revolution demo 23.3.2013, 2 pm made illegal by the racialized ideals of colonial ideologies. While European passport holders may move freely, others are denied this same right. When Germany signs special treaties with international corporations, ensuring access to natural resources in the countries of refugees. The sta- tus quo is a continuation of colonial practices, where unequal power relations result in exploitation. Such practices lead to economic circumstances that force people from their homes. Which is the terrifying and true answer to the question: Why does the State differentiate between economic and political refugees?

2. Abolish Residenzpflicht!
The law prevents refugees from moving freely by employ- ing monetary sanctions and jail sentences for leaving the „Landkreis“, or the region where we are registered. This law is as well part of the German colonial legacy. It was invented by imperialist invaders to control and op- press the people of occupied lands. The German Federal Republic is the only (former) colonial state to continue this law. This law demonstrates the isolation of refugees and constrains their freedom of movement although, according to §13 of the UN‘s Universal Declaration of Hu- man Rights “every human being shall be able to exercise the right for unlimited freedom of movement.” The European DUBLIN 2 and German Residenzpflicht regulations, for instance, have the same ideology. The national state borders in Europe exist only for refugees. These regulations underlie the same racist ideology: some individuals should not be allowed to choose where to live. The “Asylausweis” we are asked to hold does not provide us with basic rights, but in contrary functions as a tool to limit and control our movement within German territory. But there’s no limit to our movement! We, as the striking refugees, do not accept Residenzpflicht! We have broken this law, and we will keep on breaking it!

3. Close all Refugee Lager!
German institutions force refugees to live in Lager, where we are being isolated from access to social, health and infrastructural services and have faced Neonazi attacks. The lager system is a prison system which we are resisting with our protest on the streets! Lagers are often located in the middle of nowhere. No one sees us, we cannot see anyone. No one hears us, we cannot hear anyone. No one talks to us, we cannot talk to anyone! We are invisible. The German authorities intentionally isolate us from society! We are put in Lagers until further notice – which can last years. We spend long hours lying in our beds. There is nothing to do, nowhere to go, no work, no dreams, no hope. The Lager is a prison where we face our reality and destiny without any chance to work except for a 1€-Job, which we are being forced to do – this is slavery!! These conditions make it impossible to lead anything close to an ordinary life. People obtain psychological problems, become sick and aggressive, often begin to sell or get addicted to drugs. This is why many decide to end their lives as it is also the case during our protest starting last year. Being killed by the German asylum and deportation system! Refugee women, together with their kids, often suffer in lagers. Especially in places where power hierarchies exist, violent attacks and harassment are happening more frequently. As women are subject to racist and sexist suppression, it is irresponsible to strengthen their suppression by forcing them into lagers. Many women are confronted by men convinced that the refugee women are vulnerable, for them any time they want, which is again the reason why refugee women face disrespectful offers and discrimination by men. These violent conditions are encouraged by the German Lager system. We are humans, we are not animals! We have the right to receive asylum! Human Rights! We are not criminals! We, the striking refugees from the Protestcamp at Ora- nieplatz in Berlin, have shown that our resistance on the street is possible and ongoing. Despite of our fears, the permanent control and repression by the state, we are keeping our protest because we are serious with our de- mands. It‘s an ongoing fight and we will stay!
We are not victims, we are fighters! Break the silence, break isolation! Come and join our demonstration on Sa- turday, March the 23rd, 2013 at Oranienplatz in Berlin. Let us hold our refugee banners and be part of the refugees‘ revolution. Become a refugee fighter for equal rights, dignity and freedom of movement for everyone! Think of many ways to mobilise for the 23rd of March. Everyone is invited to stay at least for the whole weekend (22th-24th) in our tents at Oranienplatz!