28th September 2014
Refugees Welcome Schanzenfest

Make Hamburg an Open City – Right of Residence and Freedom of Movement for Everyone!

This year’s Schanzenviertel street festival will take place on Sunday 28th September. We want to bring the political issue Schanzenfest to bear, for the struggles of Lampedusa refugees and all refugees and groups active against racist deportation politics.

We declare Hamburg an Open City. We keep on fighting when the senate and others legitimate exclusion serving capitalist location interests. We take to the streets and state our resistance against the lies about a cosmopolitanism that means freedom of movement primarily for goods and camps for people. This symbolic step describes a solidary everyday life which (also) has become reality beyond the state’s monopoly on violence, the racist controls and so-called danger zones (areas where the police have extended rights to arbitrarily control and arrest people). Let us sabotage the fortress Hamburg and invite all the world to squat the places, houses and palaces. We are people smugglers and traitors and opening backdoors and secret passages.

While goods worth 3.5 million Euros are being washed up via Hamburg harbour daily, more than 23.000 people perished at the European borders during the last 14 years, most of them drowned. Sealing off the outer European borders is organised by EU’s border agency Frontex. Warships against refugee boats as well as deportations are representing the answer of the European border regime seeing migration as a threat. Refugees and people who are being forced to piracy by post-colonial exploitation, appear as a technical problem to be addressed by a military solution. Germany is not only heading this effort by training the European border police forces but also in providing staff and technology for the Frontex coordinated operation.

An European intervention policy with increasing war missions in countries like Afghanistan or Lybia has resulted in more persecuted and impoverished refugees. The capitalist crisis as well as an increasingly spreading racism has dramatically worsened the living conditions for a lot of people in Europe, also especially for Sinti and Roma.

We are taking to the streets for an end of the capitalist order that means poverty and misery in vast parts of the world, while depending on borders and naval forces to defend commodity flows and privileges while turning the sea into a mass grave. After more than 500 years of colonialism, international agreements are still nothing more than “might makes right”. A post-colonial regime, defining its own rules the rules as well as pretending to be morally upright.

The group „Lampedusa in Hamburg“ has set a mark with their organised resistance, many people from Hamburg and beyond have shown solidarity. Nevertheless the senate is standing firm, which we oppose with our resistance. Camp housing, deportation jails and the continuous deportations of Roma, refugees from Afghanistan and other countries are an expression of a racist everday life, that we don’t want to allow.

Racism is a mighty, segregating dominance culture we will not close our eyes to. Neither in laws, parliaments and parties, during police controls and in danger zones nor in our quarter or towards ourselves.

We are organising a street festival without official permission against the daily racism that people are exposed to who do not own a German passport or have a legal residence permit, who are non-white or have a migration background. We are questioning habits and take to the streets, to counter an oppressive normality by our idea of living together. It is possible to live self-empowerment in the city. Not by praying or demanding but by establishing different conditions ourselves.

Networking and communication, protest and resistance do not originate from a social vacuum. Illegalised (people) are part of social life, are neighbours and comrades in social struggles for a right to the city and in protests against capitalist conditions. The „Refugee Welcome Schanzenfest“ intends to send a clear message against the inhuman deportation policy of the SPD-senate and the European border regime.

The festival is intended to provide a platform to different political spectra, in order to confront the Hamburg senate with the joint demand for a right of residence and social participation. This includes freedom of movement and the self-determined opportunity to work as well as the same right to the city for all inhabitants and all people getting around here.
This year, the political street festival will take place on Sunday 28th September and will include Bartelsstrasse, Schanzenstrassse, Ludwigstrasse and Sternstrasse up to the Centro Sociale. At the festival and the stalls, money will be collected for the work of refugees and anti-racist groups. There will be music stages, an un-commercial flea market by residents and info stalls, but also areas with a focus on activities and discussions regarding the festival’s political motto.

We want to react to encroachments and provocations collectively and determinedly, but at the same time look out sensibly for the safety of traumatised participants or people without valid passports. Strength does not originate from heroism or manhood rituals, but by creating a commonly supported basis for action. The Schanzenfest can be a part of our contribution achieving this and we ask everyone to contribute.

We will continue to take to the streets for an unrestricted right of residence and freedom of movement for all. Join the „Refugee Welcome Schanzenfest“ with your own ideas, political stalls, activities and discussions on the street, with action and surprises.
Lampedusa is here to stay!

Abolish camps! Freedom of movement for all refugees!
Overthrow the European border regime!

Contact: rwsf@nadir.org