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Get out on the streets - refugees fight for their rights!

On October 2nd, 2008, we, refugees from Thuringia and other federal states, will go out to fight for our rights. Meeting point:
Goetheplatz, Weimar, 2.00 p.m.

Get out on the streets - refugees fight for their rights!

On the basis of our organisation, the 'Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants', which has existed for ten years now, we will go on fighting with energy for a better life and against deportation, racism, isolation and dehumanising treatment.

At the moment refugees in Thuringia are fighting several battles for decentralised placements of refugees and the closing-down of camps.

In the February of 2008, refugees in Katzhütte began to express their rage against their dehumanising living conditions.

Their protest and their ongoing und powerful campaign for the closing-down of the camp encouraged the inhabitants of the remote camp Gehlberg to express their solidarity with the people in Katzhütte by protesting as well, publicly fighting against their isolation and demanding the closing-down of the Gehlberg camp. Now the activists from Katzhütte take their protest against camps to Apolda, demanding that the home in Stobraer Straße must be closed.

Ever since the beginning of the Caravan network the struggle against refugees' living conditions, which cause psychic and physical illnesses, has been a central issue. A large number of 'jungle homes' and 'isolation camps' has been closed down, usually against long campaigns and protests. We are determined to fight a system of placement whose only purpose is to punish and break down refugees. While there are districts (not only in Thuringia) that provide decentralised housing in flats and, having weighed up all the aspects, say this has a positive effect, other districts will not take this step. What matters for them is the humiliation of refugees and business - there are economic aspects to the maintenance of camps, business with companies that are involved, the authorities in the camp etc. The excuse that 'there's no other possibility' is merely used to deceive the public.

We will hold an action conference of four days to mark the 10th anniversary of our organisation. It will begin with a demonstration through Weimar's town centre and a manifestation in front of the Landesverwaltungsamt (an administrative authority of Thuringia),
where we will express our demands and protest and call for solidarity and support. We will point out the role of the Landesverwaltungsamt Weimar in the treatment and abuse, the suppression and intimidation of
refugees in Thuringia. We will make it clear that we have no other choice than to resist the isolation imposed on us, the racist laws like the 'Residenzpflicht' (residence obligation order), whose origin is a fascist police order from 1938, the discrimination through the extreme reduction of social aid, which is often given in the form of vouchers instead of cash, the insults, threats and repression forced onto us by the police, the daily deportation terror. If we don't do this, we will, step by step, crack. Many among us suffer from severe psychic and often also physical damages due to our unbearable living conditions and permanent stress. Our children are robbed of their childhood and youth. We're not given adequate medical care. Every aspect of our private sphere is invaded. We're controlled at the camp gate whenever we enter or leave, our visitors are controlled and sometimes denied access. Our post is controlled and so are our rooms. German
authorities create an atmosphere of fear among us by humiliating and threatening every refugee.
Our resistance against the violation of our rights and our demand for things that are inalienable rights of every human being are reacted to only by repression. Authorities deny us our social aid, take us to other places against our will or announce the deportation of activists in order to frighten and intimidate the others.
Since 2003, authorities have not placed African refugees in Thuringia anymore, because the authorities wanted to take away the basis for the organisation The Voice Refugee Forum.

Refugees from several camps in Thuringia, e.g. Katzhütte, Gehlberg, Apolda (Stobraer Straße), will appear as witnesses to describe the scandalous situation and name those who are responsible. We demand a discussion with the Landesverwaltungsamt in Weimar in which we are treated as equal partners.

We will also point out the fact that we did not come to Germany for fun. Our being here is concretely linked to the actions of Germany as a global economic power. No matter whether we're from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ex-Yugoslavia, Sudan, Guinea, Kurdistan or any other place, there are always political and economic problems threatening people's existence that are directly connected to the actions of the rich western countries. Germany is involved in wars on three continents. It has been the driving force in intensifying the military battle against refugees on the outside borders of the EU right from the start, and it is directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands at the gates of the 'fortress Europe.'
We will speak out following our slogan, 'We are here because you destroy our countries.'

In solidarity to the fighting asylum seekers in Thuringia, delegations of refugees from other German states will join the demonstration.

The Weimar protest is part of a program in Weimar and Jena, with which the 10th anniversary of the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants will be marked and which will be held from October 2nd to October 5th.

We call every progressive person to participate in our meeting.

Immediate demands:

The closing-down of the isolation camps in Thuringia, especially Katzhütte, Gehlberg and Apolda (Stobraer Straße)!
Cash instead of vouchers!
Abolition of the Residenzpflicht!
General stop of deportations!

Refugees from Jena, Thuringia, September 11th, 2008

Contact: 0176 - 87110359 - Tawfik Lbebidy
The VOICE Refugee Forum, E-mail: thevoiceforum@emdash.org

Demonstration dates:
October 2nd, 2008
Meeting point: Goetheplatz, Weimar, 2.00 p.m., start of the demonstration 3 p.m.

Complete program:
October 2nd, 2008
11.00 a.m.: press conference in the youth and cultural centre mon ami, Goetheplatz 11, Weimar
2.00 p.m.: meeting Weimar, Goetheplatz
7.00 p.m.: opening event, exhibition, film, music. Place: Kasseturm, Goetheplatz, Weimar

October 3rd, 2008
10.00 a.m.: solidarity visit to the isolation camps in Katzhütte and Gehlberg and the refugee activists in Apolda, Thuringia
7.30 p.m.: film from Nollywood, Nigeria, 'Asylum – Memorial Psychiatric Hospital'

October 4th, 2008
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Carl-Zeiss-Str. 3, Jena
10.00 a.m.: brunch and conversation
12.00: seminars about self-organisation, campaigning, Germany's role in the European anti-refugee war and the parole 'We are here because you destroy our countries.', followed by a general plenum.
8.00 p.m.: Jena, Mensa, Philosophenweg: cultural event for the celebration of the anniversary. Concert: Jericho Walls - Reggae from Dortmund.

Some of the events, actions and cultural program will take place in Weimar and some in Jena. The autonomous centre Gerberstraße (Weimar) and the AK Flucht und Asyl are involved in the organisation and support the program.

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