Offener Brief an die Hansestadt Hamburg von den Lampedusa-Flüchtlingen auf St. Pauli

Lampedusa in Hamburg – Right to Stay!

Appeal to the Hamburger Senat (government of Hamburg) to give the group ‘Lampedusa in Hamburg’ the right to stay by § 23 Residence Law or any other construction which allows a group solution.

“What Europe does not understand is that migrants’ movements do not depend on them. Only the conditions of those movements depend on them.” (Coordinamento Migranti)

To Mr. Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg and the government of Hamburg

Since the early spring of 2013 about 300 African refugees who had escaped the Libyan Civil War and its escalation through the military intervention of NATO-states and subsequently made their way via Lampedusa to Italy, have been living in Hamburg. These people (mostly men) were migrant workers in Libya where they earned their living and sent home money to their family or community. When the EU-program for refugees of the Libyan war ended, they were put onto the streets. They have all been accepted as refugees‘, but their papers only allow them to work and to settle in Italy. Because of the economic crisis and the lack of support from the Italian authorities, they were unable to lead a self-determined life in Italy and came to Hamburg to rebuild their lives as others try too in diverse European countries. But here they are treated as though they have no rights. In Hamburg, first, they found sleeping places in hostels for the homeless, the so-called Winternotprogramm (winter emergency program) of the government. When these places closed down and they were stranded on the streets, they organized themselves as a group and started a campaign for their right to stay. Since then they have found the support of grassroots groups, the Protestant church, Muslim communities, the multi-trade union ver.di and the teachers’ union GEW and more and more citizens of Hamburg. Some of them are staying in mosques, others are living in private places or still on the streets, the biggest group of about 80 refugees found a shelter in the church of St. Pauls. They have found friends in this neighbourhood: the local football club, FC St. Pauli, supports them, the famous Thalia Theater ensemble read a new text by the Nobel prizewinner Elfriede Jelinek on the refugee question together with members of the group in the church. Their struggle for the right to stay has become a struggle against the European refugee policy of exclusion. In Hamburg, it is already a major topic of the media and the day-to-day conversation of the people.

We do not accept that you, the mayor and government of Hamburg, claim these refugees to be Italy’s responsibility, and have ordered controls in the form of racial profiling in order to arrest and to deport them without proper consideration of the concrete situation of refugees there. Many German courts have already acknowledged that Italy like Greece is not a place where the human rights of refugees are respected today. You do not only refuse to speak directly to these war refugees and their lawyers to find a common solution for them, but have announced that they will be refused places in the next Winternotprogramm. This is not only inhumane, it is shameful in one of the richest cities of Europe. Now you have even begun to act directly against the efforts of the church and their supporters to organize a separate Winternotprogramm for them. This is not tolerable. It is like a declaration of war on civilians. Denying a group of people all rights and ways of surviving is racist. These actions cannot be explained or defended by the legal standards of European refugee politics. On the contrary, it shows how urgently these exclusionary politics and laws need to be abolished.

On the 3rd of October, more than 300 people died after a boat carrying hundreds of migrants sank off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Politicians, including the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, called upon EU Member States to “show solidarity both with migrants and with countries that are experiencing increasing migratory flows.” And the Pope called what happened near Lampedusa ‘a shame’ and asked people to pray for the victims. But in reality, the EU border regime with visa regulations, Frontex, sophisticated technical systems like EUROSUR, which was adopted some days after the deadly “accident”, and the collaboration of coastguards on both sides of the Mediterranean, who even shoot at boat people, aim to prevent refugees and migrants reaching Europe legally and without risk to their lives. Even helping boat-people is criminalized. If migrants manage to arrive in Europe, regulations like Dublin II/III and Schengen, restrict the free movement of people who are not citizens of the EU. This year, more than 25.000 migrants have arrived by boat in Italy, three times more than in 2012, but countries in the middle of Europe, particularly Germany, still refuse to take in more refugees and try to send back all who came through Italy despite the opposition of several courts. The Mayor of Lampedusa threatened to send the coffins with dead boat people to the governments of those countries which refuse to change these regulations.

All over Europe and beyond its borders, refugees and migrants are struggling against this inhumane policy:

– Refugees from the Libyan war in Choucha camp in the desert at the Tunisian border are demanding resettlement in safe countries, but after a lot of protests in Tunisia and Europe, only 201 people (out of about half a million of Libyan war refugees in Tunisia) were allowed to come legally to Germany. Other European states responsible for the war took in only three (Britain) and one (France). About 400 people are still in the camp, officially closed down at the end of June, others have been staging a sit-in in front of the UNHCR office for six months now.

– In Morocco, hundreds of migrants stormed the fences of the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in September 2013 and about 300 succeeded in reaching “European” soil.

– On Lampedusa, about 250 refugees who arrived in July refused to give their finger prints in order not to be sent back to Italy after proceeding to other countries.

– Refugees in Vienna, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and other cities have occupied churches and other buildings because they were put on the street and threatened with deportation.

– And all over Germany, thousands of refugees are fighting against deportation and the obligation to live in camps and for freedom of movement and the right to stay.

The more than 300 African refugees who call their group ‘Lampedusa in Hamburg’ have experienced deportation and active exclusion since they became victims of war and NATOintervention in Libya. They need a group solution now. You have the means to provide this solution e.g. with §23 of the Residence Law. This is an opportunity to give a positive example to other European cities and, moreover, encourage a different European politics towards refugees, something which we all need. We, people who believe that human rights, including the right to free movement, need to be respected everywhere express our support for refugees who have faced the horrors of war and displacement.

In the face of the deaths of all these refugees in the Mediterranean Sea caused by European policies we appeal to the Mayor and government of Hamburg: Support the survivors. Stop your inhumane politics of exclusion and deportation!

– Stop the controls and arrests and the use of racial profiling!
– Accept the right to stay of the people of ‘Lampedusa in Hamburg’
– Support all efforts for a change in European politics in order to guarantee refugees a life of dignity.

Kyrosch Alidusti, member of the advisory council in BdWi (Association of Democratic Scientists),
Kai von Appen, journalist, ver.di, Hamburg/Germany
Prof. Dr. Iman Attia, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
Gennaro Avallone, social research, University of Salerno, Italy
Prof. Harald Bauder, Ph.D,. Academic Director, Ryerson Centre for Immigration & Settlement (RCIS),
Ryerson University, Toronto/Canada
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Bergermann, Medienwissenschaftlerin, HBK Braunschweig/Germany
Dr. Torsten Bewernitz, political scientist, Mannheim/Germany
Anton Binning, Lesbisch-Schwule Filmtage Hamburg, Hamburg/Germany
Dr. Peter Birke, research associate, SOFI, Georg-August-University, Göttingen/Germany
Felix Bluhm, M.A. research associate SOFI Göttingen/Germany
Dr. Simone Borgstede, teaching fellow, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Hamburg/Germany
Jasmina Boulouednine, Daf Dozentin, Berlin/Germany Peter Bremme, trade union secretary in ver.di, Hamburg/Germany
Kendra Briken, Bremen University, Germany
Prof. Dr. Sabine Broeck University of Bremen, Bremen/Germany
Dagmar Brunow, translator of literature, Hamburg/Germany
Prof. Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley/USA
Annika Butz, political scientist, advisor Mobile Opferberatung (mobile counselling for victims),
Dr. Claudio Cattaneo, Affiliations: Research and Degrowth, Barcelona and icta-uab (Institut de
Ciencia y Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Suitbert Cechura, Prof. Dr. S.C.,Evangelische Fachhochschule Rheinland-Westfalen-Lippe
Sébastien Chauvin, Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dr Esme Cleall, Lecturer, University of Sheffield, Sheffield/UK
Katie Cruz, Lecturer in Law, University of Keele, UK
Dr Anna Davin, Historian, London, UK.
Nicholas De Genova, Reader in Urban Geography, Department of Geography, King’s College
Gabriele Del Grande, Journalist, Fortress Europe, Milano
Prof. Diedrich Diederichsen, publicist/university teacher, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna,
Berlin/Vienna, Germany/Austria
Helmut Dietrich, research association flight and migration, Berlin/Germany
Miriam Edding, member of the board of the foundation :do, Hamburg/Germany
Anke Egblomassé, member of the board of the refugee council Niedersachsen,
Janne Ehlers, student, speaker of Linksjugend [’solid] Bremen, Bremen/Germany
Dr. Dagmar Engelken, University of Essex, Hamburg/ Colchester/UK
Sonja Eismann, journalist and co-publisher Missy Magazine, Berlin/Germany
Babette Faehmel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Schenectady County
Community College, Schenectady, New York/USA
Dr. Ali Fathi, scientist of communication, Miteinanders, Hamburg, Deutschland
Frank Fechter, specialist subject teacher Ev. Fachhochschule Bochum/Germany
Dr. Catherine Feely, lecturer in British History, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Prof. David Feldman, Director Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of
Sidonie Fernau, specialist consultant, der PARITÄTISCHE Wohlfahrtsverband Hamburg e.V.,
Beate Flechtker, trainer in political formation, freelance, Berlin/Germany
Ole Frahm, artist, LIGNA, Hamburg and Berlin/Germany
Taina Gärtner, Lampedusa in Berlin, Bezirksverordnete Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (Grüne),
Josefine Geier, editor, Berlin/Germany
Corinna Genschel, Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie, Berlin/Germany
Martin Glasenapp, medico international, Frankfurt/Main/Germany
Harald Glöde, political scientist borderline europe – Menschenrechte ohne Grenzen e.V.,
Vorstandsmitglied, Berlin
Adrienne Goehler, senator ret.(d), Berlin/Germany
Francesca Guarascio, architect and urbanist, London/UK and Berlin/Germany
Dr. Stefanie Graefe, Institute of Sociology, University of Jena
Dr Daniel J.R. Grey, Lecturer, University of Plymouth, UK.
Andreas Grünewald, Institute of Politics, University of Vienna/Austria
Nebahat Güclü, expert of migration and intercultural openness, Der PARITÄTISCHE
Wohlfahrtsverband Hamburg e.V., Hamburg/Germany
Cornelia Gunßer, social worker, Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg (Refugee Council) and network
Martin Halberstadt and Knut Unger for Witten Tenants Association, Witten/Germany Prof. Catherine Hall, Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History, UCL, London/UK
Prof. em. Stuart Hall, cultural theorist and sociologist, London/UK
Inger Hamdorf, translator, Mujeres sin Fronteras, Hamburg/Germany
Dr Kate Hardy, Lecturer, University of Leeds, UK.
Viola Hasselberg, theatre director, Freiburg Theater, Freiburg/Germany
Prof. em. Dr. Frigga Haug, president of the Berlin Institute of Critical Theory, Esslingen on
Christian Herwartz, pensioner, priest, Jesuit, Berlin/Germany
Prof. Sabine Hess, Professorin für Kulturanthropologie, Göttingen/Germany
Dirk Hoeder, historian, erem. Prof., Arizona State University, Salzburg/Austria
Stefan Höderath, photojournalist, Berlin
Karin Hopfmann, Iintegrationcentre BOX66, Berlin/Germany
Srećko Horvat, philosopher, Croatia
Kirsten Huckenbeck, lecturer FH Frankfurt, MigrAr, Frankfort/Germany
Nikolai Huke, Ph.D. scholar, Hamburg/Germany
Luis Jalandoni, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)
Elfriede Jelinek, author, Munich and Vienna/Austria
Ulla Jelpke MdB, speaker for domestic politics oft he parliamentary party DIE LINKE im Bundestag,
Meike Jens, Berlin/Germany
Pascal Jurt (Berlin/Wien), Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna/Austria
Thomas Kachel, Referent für Sicherheitspolitik, Fraktion DIE LINKE. im Bundestag, Berlin
Steffen Käthner, Geschäftsführer BdWi (Association of Democratic Scientists), Marburg/Germany
Prof. Dr. Annita Kalpaka, Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Hamburg/Germany
Ask Katzeff, Ph.D. fellow, University of Copenhagen/Denmark
Cornelia Kiehne, socialworker, Berlin/Germany
Maren Kirchhoff, Lehrende, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Philipps-Universität Marburg/
Eva König-Werner, Ph.D. fellow researching racism, University of Bremen, Bremen/Germany
Prof. Dr. Wiebke Kolbe, professor in history, deputy head of department, Department of History, Lund
University, Lund/Sweden
Veronika Kourabas, M.A., teaching fellow, TU Chemnitz / Deutschland
Hubert Krammer, Initiative ‘Hände weg von Syrien’, Wien/Austria
Felix Kubin, composer/artist, Hamburg/Germany
Jenny Künkel, research fellow, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt a.M./Germany
Bernadette La Hengst, musician and director, Berlin and Hamburg/Germany
Dr Zoe Laidlaw, Historian, London/UK.
Dr Kate Law, Post Doc, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein/South Africa
Matthias Lehnert, contact and advisory council for refugees and migrants, Berlin/Germany
Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Lenger, Professor of Philosophy, University of Fine Arts, Hamburg/Germany
Per Leonhardt, member oft he board of ‘Straßenpiraten e.V.’, Hamburg/Deutschland
Sonja Majumder, Filmübersetzerin, Hamburg/Germany
Dr. Franziska Martinsen, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover/Germany
Prof. Dr. Margit Mayer, Free University Berlin, Berlin/Germany
Gunter Marwege, priest in St. Georg-Borgfelde, Hamburg/Germany
Keith McClelland, Department of History, University College London, London/ UK
Prof. Clare Midgley, PhD, Research Professor in History, Sheffield Hallam University and President,
International Federation for Research in Women’s History, Sheffield/London/UK
Sanela Milisavljevic, ‘Arbeiterkammer aus Linz’, Linz/Austria
Emilija Mitrovic, project leader of ‘Migrar’, DGB Hamburg and member of the federal committee for
migration, ver.di, Hamburg/Germany
Mirjana Mitrovic, student of cultural studies, San José/ Costa Rica
Hanna Mittelstädt, publisher, Edition Nautilus, Hamburg/Germany
Eltayeb Mohamed, 1. Vorsitzender der Landesmigrationsausschuss ver.di Hamburg/Germany
Dr. Katrin Mohr, Referentin für soziale Sicherung und Rente, Fraktion DIE LINKE. im Bundestag,
Berlin/Germany Alan W. Moore, Ph.D., Graduate Centre, City University of New York, Madrid/Spain
Homa Mosavi, Frauenkrisentelefon e.V., Berlin
Zuzanna Muskat-Gorska, International Trade Union Committee (ITUC), Brussels/Belgium
Philippe Nanga, Coordinateur ONG Un Monde Avenir, Cameroun
Sonia Solarte Orejuela, Autorin / Psychotherapeutin, Berlin / Deutschland
Jana Otto, research assistant, Department of History, University of Hamburg, Germany
Prof. Norman Paech, Prof. i.R., Universität Hamburg
Peggy Parnass, author and actor, Hamburg/Germany
Dr. Gerd Paul, Senior Researcher of SOFI, Georg-August-University, Göttingen/Germany
Lorenzo Pezzani, researcher, “Watch the Med”, London/UK
Prof. Dr. Marianne Pieper, University of Hamburg, Department of Social Sciences,
Jelka Plate, artist, Berlin/Germany
Daniel Plettenberg (aka Didine van der Platenvlotbrug), Moderatorin, Drag Queen, Hamburg/
Dr. Detlev Quintern, Director for Training and Development, Prof. Dr. Fuat Sezgin Research
Foundation for the History of Science in Islam, Istanbul/Turkey
Ronald Prieß, Referent für Kinder und Jugend Fraktion DIE LINKE, Hamburg/Germany
Dr. Nadja Rakowitz, chairwoman of the society of democratic doctors, Frankfort/Germany
Julia Rauland, activist, Hamburg/Deutschland
Sebastian Rave, Mitglied im Landesvorstand DIE LINKE Bremen (Bildungs- und Jugendpolitischer
Sprecher)und Mitglied im Landessprecher_innenrat der linksjugend [’solid] Bremen
Matthias Reichelt, culture journalist, Berlin/Germany
Theresia Reinhold, student/journalist, Berlin/Germany
chris*tin richter, berlin/germany
Dr. Sabine Ritter, lecturer, University of Bremen, Bremen/Germany
Prof. em. Sonya O. Rose, Professor Emerita, University of Michigan, London/UK
Joachim Rollhäuser, Rechtsanwalt / Lawyer, Athen / Griechenland
Mary Ryan, Chairperson IPGSA (Immigrant Parents & Guardians Support
Association), Dublin/Ireland
Dr Jonathan Saha, Lecturer in History, University of Bristol, Bristol/UK
Evelyn Schalk, journalist, Graz/Austria
Rosalind Sherrington, London/UK
Jamie C. Schearer, M. A., Beiratsfrau Initiative Schwarzer Menschen in Deutschland, Berlin/Germany
Prof. Dr. Arian Schiffer-Nasserie, Fachhochschullehrer für Sozial- und Migrationspolitik an der
Evangelischen Fachhochschule in Bochum, Bochum/Germany
Andreas Schindel, student, linksjugend ‚[solid], Bremen/Germany
Dr. Regina Schleicher, Romanistin, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Frankfort/Germany
Bernard Schmid, Jurist, Paris/France
Sabine Schmidtke, Diplom-Psychologin, borderline europe – Menschenrechte ohne Grenzen e.V.,
Dr. Ulrich Schneider, Generalsekretär der Fédération Internationale des Résistants (FIR)
Hans-Hermann Schurig, doctor ret.(d), Ahrensburg/Germany
Alexander Schwochau, physicist, Göttingen/Germany
Sebastian Seeger, leader of the Piratenpartei Hamburg, Hamburg/Germany
Thorsten Seif, Geschäftsführer Buback Tonträger & Konzerte GmbH, Hamburg / Germany
Arne Seydak, Personalreferent, Berlin / Germany
Marina Siena, Theaterregisseurin (u.a. von „Mare Nostrum“), Hamburg and Italy
Fatou Sillah, Schülerin, linksjugend [’solid] Bremen/Germany
Federica Sossi, Université de Bergamo, Italy
Gerit-Jan Stecker, assistant event management, foundation „Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft“,
Dr. Horst Steffens, historian and exhibition curator TECHNOSEUM, Mannheim/Germany
Katharina Stephan, theater maker, research associate, Frankfurt/Germany
Prof. Dr. Sabine Stövesand, HAW Hamburg, Hamburg/Germany
Dr. Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Lecturer in International History, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom Claudia Taylor-East, SOS Malta (Solidarity Overseas Service Malta), Sta Venera/ Malta
Martina Tazzioli, researcher, Italy
Catharina Thörn, Reseacher/Senior Lecturer, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg/Sweden
Dennis Tietz, Übersetzer, Hamburg/Germany
Prof. John Tosh, Professor of History, Roehampton University, London/UK
Prof. Frank Trentmann, Birkbeck College, London/UK
Lorenzo Tripodi, urbanist and film maker, Berlin/Germany
Dr. Knut Tullius, Göttingen/Germany
Renée Verdan, film maker, board member of co-operative Alternativen am Hafenrand, Ahrensburg
Agnes Verweij, writer, Rotterdam/The Netherlands
Dirk Vogelskamp, Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie, Düren/Germany
Dr. Stefanie Walther, head oft he Institute of History, University of Bremen, Bremen/Germany
Günter Wallraff, journalist and author, Cologne/Germany
Kim Weidenberg, specialist on human rights politics, parliamentary party DIE LINKE. im Bundestag,
Matthias Weinzierl, secretary of the Bavarian Flüchtlingsrat (refugee council), Munich/Germany
lena westermann, schülerin, solid, bremen/Germany
Dr Iris Wigger, Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough/
Lisa Wildenhain, student, Berlin/Germany
Imogen Wilkins, pupil, solid, Bremen/Germany
Roger Willemsen, author, Hamburg/Germany
Sabine Wils, dipl. chemist, member of the European Parlament, DIE LINKE, Hamburg/Germany
Christiane Wohltmann, social education worker, Hamburg/Germany
Corinna Zeitz, social worker, Hanau/Germany

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