– 5000 demonstrate for right of residence –
– „We want to go back to our neighborhood!“ –
Up to 5000 people have demonstrated today in Kreuzberg and Neukölln for the right of residence for every refugee of Oranienplatz and the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule.
The loud and colorful demonstration started around 2 pm on Hermannplatz. It first led to an in between manifestation on Oranienplatz and ended at the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule at Ohlauer Straße. The demonstration ended around 6:30 pm as planned. On the way to the manifestation at Oranienplatz the demonstration grew to a size of around 5000 people.
Maria*, former resident of the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule, described in her speech during the closing manifestation: “After the eviction the police transported us to an isolated Lager at the farthest outskirts of Berlin. It was promised to us that we could stay in Kreuzberg. But since then we have to get up at 5 in the morning, to bring our kids to school in Kreuzberg. All of our friends live in Kreuzberg, we want to go back to our neighborhood!”. At the beginning of the demonstration lawyer Berenice Böhlo explained in her speech: “From a lawyers viewpoint we were forced to watch the district and the senate break every commitment and promise towards the refugees from Oranienplatz. We are worried that the people affected by the eviction of the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule will suffer the same fate.”
The demonstration was all in all satisfactory to the organizers. Sadly, during the manifestation on Oranienplatz excessive police action took place against two people who climbed on a tree. After the end of the demonstration excessive police forces was used against several demonstration participants on the way home as well. The organizers condemn these police actions.
With the demonstration, right of residency for the refugees due to humanitarian reasons under the residency law § 23 through the senate was demanded. Additionally to the right of residency a decentralized accommodation for the refugees was demanded, as well as equal access to the job market, education, health and democratic participation.
The alliance responsible for the organization are residents from the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule, the African Refugees Union, the International League for Humanitarian Rights, the Initiative for Black People in Germany, ver.di youth, the Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy, the Migration Council Berlin/Brandenburg, AfricAvenir International, the VVN/BdA Berlin, migration-politics club Allmende, the Initiative in Remembrance of Oury Jalloh, the Naturfreunde Berlin, Women in Exile, the Republican Lawyers Association RAV, campaign for the victims of racist police violence, the Interventionistische Linke, JungdemokratInnen/Junge Linke Berlin and the umsGanze!-
*the last name by the speaker from the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule was left out to protect her privacy.