During our action week some of our friends decided to occupy hotels which during the corona pandemic are empty in order to show that there is plenty of room for everyone in Europe. Here is a small collection:
Öffnet die Hotels – Evcuate Moria – Shutdown Capitalism!Heute Montag haben Aktivist*innen ein Transparent auf dem Wiener Hotel Intercontinental befestigt, um darauf aufmerksam zu machen, dass während hunderte Hotels ungenutzt leer stehen, tausende Geflüchtete in Lagern auf den griechischen Inseln leben müssen. Die auch ansonsten schon äußerst prekäre Situation in diesen Lagern wird durch die drohende Gefahr eines Ausbruchs des Coronavirus noch massiv verschärft. Verantwortlich dafür ist die seit Jahren menschenverachtende Grenzpolitik der Europäischen Union und ihrer Mitgliedsstaaten, ganz wesentlich gestützt und vorangetrieben von der österreichischen Regierung um Bundeskanzler Kurz.„Während in Österreich Corona-Schutzmaßnahmen fortgesetzt werden, leben 40 000 Menschen in maßlos überbelegten Lagern auf den ägäischen Inseln, festgehalten an den EU-Außengrenzen noch bevor sie das europäische Festland erreichen konnten. Ihr Elend ist politisch verursacht und gewollt, es soll zur Abschreckung dienen“, sagt Carla Sedlak, Pressesprecherin der Plattform Radikale Linke. Dieses Missverhältnis zeigt deutlich, wie auch unter der Maßgabe des „Seuchenschutzes“ weiterhin zwischen schützenwertem und nicht-schützenswertem Leben unterschieden wird.Die mehr als 20 000 Menschen, die in der Hölle von Moria auf Lesbos zusammengedrängt ausharren müssen, sind zum Symbol dieser Katastrophe geworden. Das Lager ist höchstens auf 3 000 Bewohner*innen ausgelegt. Sanitäre Einrichtungen, Desinfektionsmittel und ärztliche Versorgung gibt es kaum, Wasser ist nur begrenzt vorhanden, die Infrastruktur steht kurz vor dem Kollaps. Angesichts der Gefahr eines Corona-Ausbruchs entwickelt sich das Lager nun für die vor Krieg und Gewalt Geflohenen zur Todesfalle. Abstand wahren oder das Einhalten anderer Vorsichtsmaßnahmen ist schlicht unmöglich. „Die AUA holt mit hohem finanziellen Aufwand Österreicher*innen aus aller Welt zurück, ansonsten werden möglichst billige Arbeitskräfte für das österreichische Pflegesystem und die Landwirtschaft eingeflogen. Die Aufnahme von Geflüchteten aus den höchst prekären Lagern an den europäischen Außengrenzen wird nicht einmal mehr öffentlich diskutiert“, zeigt sich Sedlak empört und fährt fort: „Die viel gepriesene „Solidarität“ endet also an der nationalen Grenze – was dazu führt, dass sie keine Solidarität im eigentlichen Sinne ist.“Die Aktivist*innen fordern die sofortige Evakuierung des Lagers Moria und die Aufnahme von schutzsuchenden Menschen in den leerstehenden Hotels. Des Weiteren fordern sie die Schließung aller Lager, die Freilassung aller Personen in Schubhaft und die Abschaffung des mörderischen EU-Grenzregimes. „Vor der Zukunft haben alle Angst. Sie wird durch Abschiebungen verstärkt, durch das Elend hinter dem Zaun, nicht durch offene Grenzen. Sie wird gemildert durch die Sicherheit: Was auch kommen mag – niemand wird zurückgelassen, keiner muss im Elend verrecken, wer er auch sei", so die Sprecherin der Plattform Radikale Linke abschließend.#LeaveNoOneBehind #WirHabenPlatz #EvacuateMoria
Gepostet von Plattform Radikale Linke am Montag, 27. April 2020
Open the hotels – Evacuate Moria – Shutdown Capitalism!
Today, Monday, activists* placed a banner on the Hotel Intercontinental in Vienna to draw attention to the fact that while hundreds of hotels stand unused, thousands of refugees have to live in camps on the Greek islands. The already extremely precarious situation in these camps is massively aggravated by the threat of an outbreak of the coronavirus. This is due to the border policy of the European Union and its Member States, which has been inhuman for years, and which is supported and driven forward by the Austrian Government headed by Chancellor Kurz.
The activists* demand the immediate evacuation of the camp Moria and the welcoming of people seeking protection in the empty hotels. They also demand the closure of all camps, the release of all persons in detention pending deportation and the abolition of the murderous EU border regime. “Everyone is afraid of the future. It is reinforced by deportations, by the misery behind the fence, not by open borders. It is mitigated by security: whatever comes – no one is left behind, no one has to die in misery, whoever they may be”, the spokeswoman of the Plattform Radikale Linke Platform Radical Left concluded.
EVACUATE MORIA – #leavenoonebehindDie Zeit der Bitten ist lange vorbei. Die Situation in den Refugee-Lagern auf den griechischen Inseln ist eine humanitäre Katastrophe. Heute haben wir im Rahmen unserer Aktionswoche EVACUATE MORIA – SHUT DOWN CAPITALISM das Ibis-Hotel am Rosenthaler Platz besetzt. Während für zehntausende Spargelstecher*innen eine Luftbrücke eingerichtet wird und hunderttausende Hotelzimmer leerstehen, werden die Menschen in Moria, in der EU, zum Sterben zurückgelassen. Das ist die mörderische Logik von Staat, Nation und Kapital. Wir fordern: Holt die Leute raus! Offene Grenzen, sichere Fluchtwege und ein bedingungsloses Bleiberecht für Alle. We´ve got space – #EvacuateMoria
Gepostet von TOP B3RLIN am Donnerstag, 30. April 2020
EVACUATE MORIA – #leavenoonebehind
The time for pleading is long gone. The situation in the refugee camps on the Greek islands is a humanitarian disaster. Today we have occupied the Ibis-Hotel at Rosenthaler Platz as part of our week of action EVACUATE MORIA – SHUT DOWN CAPITALISM. While an airlift is being set up for tens of thousands of asparagus cutters and hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms are empty, the people of Moria, in the EU, are left to die. This is the murderous logic of state, nation and capital. We demand: Get the people out! Open borders, safe escape routes and an unconditional right of residence for all.“
After the evacuation of all refugee camps people still need safe escape routes and a right of residence! Enough hotels are empty! Thats why we occupied an empty Ibis Hotel!
Support the call for strike against racism, for self-organization and a beautiful life for everyone by the germany-wide Day of Rage initiative!
Dear friends, dear comrades,
We migrant self-organisations call on our siblings to join us for a day of enragement and a general strike on 8 May 2020. We call on people with migration heritage, Jewish people, BIPoCs and all people in solidarity to strike with us.
Why the 08 May? The date is considered the day of liberation. But while the war and the Nazi dictatorship came to an end, the Nazi ideology and its representatives lived on and so racism and anti-semitism have a long tradition in Germany. After the end of the Second World War, Germany was at most only symbolically denazified. Former members and functionaries of the NSDAP and SA held political offices here and in Europe after 1945 or ran successful businesses.
Already in the 1950s, there were acts of racist violence. In 1979, Cuban contract workers Raúl García Paret and Delfin Guerra were killed in the GDR during resistance to racist violence. During this time, attacks on immigrants were poorly or not at all documented and so we do not know all the names of victims of racist violence. But the list of names of victims we know is long and apparently endless.
On Thursday, February 19, 2020, nine people with migration heritage were shot dead by a racist in Hanau, five others were injured.
Vili Viorel Păun
Said Nesar Hashemi
To this day, politics watches as our siblings, friends and our anti-fascist comrades are killed, even in the custody of state institutions, therefore we cannot rely on them. They do not protect us and at the very least since the NSU we know that in Germany, in all likelihood, protection of perpetrators continues.
We are not silent, we are not intimidated, we do not engage in racist discussions, we do not abandon the streets to Nazis. If Germany wants to continue to cosy up to Nazis, we will have no part in it!
Inspired by the Ramazan Avcı initiative, we take our fury and grief to the streets on May 8th. Get organized and call for a strike with us.
Day of Outrage, 08 May, Germany-wide
Call from Migrantifa Berlin
We cannot rely on the State – self-organize migrant protection and denazify all state apparatuses now!
We join our brothers* and sisters* in a call for all people with migration experience and inheritance, all Jewish persons, Sinti and Romani persons, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and all those who feel solidarity with us, to come together and express our rage, our grief, our remembrance, and our resistance.
May 8th is commemorated as “Tag der Befreiung” to celebrate our liberation from National Socialism – this year in Berlin it will be a legal public holiday for the very first time. Although the war and the national socialist dictatorship ended in Europe, the fascist, racist, and antisemitic ideology of National Socialism lives on. Not four years following the end of the Second World War, voices from the political and social spheres loudly demanded a stop to denazification. So it is not at all surprising that shortly after 1945 thousands of former members and officials of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) took over leading positions in politics, the justice system, national security, and the economy.
Seventy-five years after “liberation” we see a Germany where, once again, fascists and racists march on the streets and commit murder, where they insert right-wing ideology in parliaments, schools, and the police force under the guise of democracy and freedom of expression. Germany has once again become a leading player on the world stage, and it will ensure that its “interests” are enforced in order to secure its “prosperity” – no matter what the cost.
The pogroms in Rostock-Lichtenhagen, the attempted murder in Mölln, the National Socialist Underground affair (NSU-Komplex), the murders of Oury Jalloh in Dessau, Burak Bektaş in Berlin, and, most recently, Arkan Hussein K. in Celle, the attacks in Halle and in Hanau, as well as the daily murders at the European borders – all these are just a few of the thousands manifestations of the fight between an imaginary “inside” and “outside.”
It is not a poison that is responsible for this, but a State that fuels and legitimizes a racist and nationalist ideology by prioritizing national interests and by propagating a value system of “useful versus useless.” And at the same time, it is also the State that protects right-wing perpetrators with its bloody hands: relatives are blamed, files get shredded, deals are struck with dictators, and the right of asylum readily suspended. Evidently, racism and right-wing extermination ideology is not a matter of a few mentally unstable individuals. It is a structural problem within mainstream society, one that is inherent to the logic of the bourgeois State and its institutions.
So we call out and say: Enough! We will not let ourselves be divided and we refuse to tolerate more racism, more fascism, and more murders in Germany! Let us take up the torch of our parents and grandparents and continue the struggle! Let us bring our voices together loudly and express our rage, our grief, and our resolve – whether on our balconies or on the street, from a place of anger or remembrance, for the right to come, to stay and to leave, online or offline. We will exercise our rights, we will make others uncomfortable, we will organize ourselves – beyond borders, for social justice, and in solidarity and remembrance for all those affected by right-wing and racist violence! There will be no final stroke!
From Moria to Hanau, no forgiveness, no forgetting!
In remembrance – #saytheirnames #hanauWarKeinEinzelfall
How to protest:
All information regarding time, location, printing materials, etc. will be published on our website and on our social media channels!
Solidarity with the strike of the harvest workers in Bornheim (near Bonn)! Ultra low wages, mouldy food and no protection from Covid-19. German asparagus and strawberries taste like workers exploitation!
On the ground report by Severin Marten, Alice Claire and John Malamatinas
Hundreds of syndicalists and activists expressed on Monday solidarity with the wild strike of the Asparagus harvest workers in #Bornheim between Bonn and Cologne in Germany.
Last Friday hundreds of seasonal workers stopped work on the asparagus and strawberry fields, whereupon the management of the company called the police to intimidate them. Like thousands of other seasonal workers, the harvest workers in Bornheim live and work under catastrophic conditions: The wages of the now insolvent Spargelhof Ritter were kept, the accommodation is under inhumane conditions – an imminent homelessness could be averted. The workers complain not only about mouldy food, unheated mass accommodation next to a sewage plant and a complete lack of protection against corona – but also about not being paid. They had only been paid 100 to 250 Euros for a month of hard work.
The company belongs (or belonged until a few months ago) to the Ritter family, but has been in insolvency administration since the beginning of March. Andreas Schulte-Beckhausen’s lawyer’s office is responsible, and according to media reports it already has a new investor for the large company on hand. In the main season, the farm is said to have employed up to 500 harvest workers in the years before.
The protest began on Monday at the accommodation containers and continued at the company farm. Tough negotiations were held all day. Around 3 pm the situation comes to a critical point. Suddenly it is said that the payment of outstanding wages should take place on the farm. A police chain awaits them there, and two security men are also there, who were very aggressive towards union organisers. They say that money should only be given to people who are on an ominous list. The assumption was obvious that the strategy of the insolvency administrator was to set the employees against each other, in which some paid 600 Euros and others only 50 or 70. The lawyer from the insolvency administration came out and sat in the car. He drove away. People were yelling that they want their money. The police protected the car and partly took action against the field workers. Outrage reigns.
Where the isolation of the migrant workers from the rest of the world usually leads to that this over-exploitation being largely ignored, the joint organisation with FAU Bonn was able to cause a nationwide sensation. It was a difficult day as FAU Bonn tweets: “A bone-crushing day draws to a close. Even if we cannot be satisfied with the result: that wages of a few hundred euros were paid at all is a panic reaction of the class enemy. Tomorrow is round 2.”
German agriculture is largely based on low-wage work performed by migrant workers. About 300,000 seasonal migrant workers come every year to Germany to work in the fields. Shifts of 14 hours, seven days a week for unhealthy heavy work are not uncommon. They work and live under catastrophic conditions and are mostly isolated from the outside world from the time they are picked up and taken to their accommodation in order to maintain the over-exploitation of migrant labour.
Now it is important to continue to maintain solidarity with the workers and not to be satisfied with the payment of small amounts of money.
Therefore, come to Bonn (Oxfordstraße 2) tomorrow at 10 a.m. in front of the seat of the insolvency administration, which is in charge of paying out the wages.
Germany you lousy piece of asparagus!
For more than two weeks, young people from Fridays For Future in Germany have been on hunger strike. From the very beginning the protesters in Germany tried to establish a contact to youngsters at the Moria refugee camp. At a joint press conference on 19th of May, young people from the Moria slum camp prepared and read out very moving statements. Two youngsters from the small German town of Landau. Under the name “Colored Rain” they called on people to join their protest. Sooner said than done: Another hunger strike by a person from Dresden followed. Also in Trier two other activists joined the action. On May 19, the hunger strike in Landau was ended by a protest march to the state capital Mainz. There their demands were symbolically handed over to the state government. Earlier, the activist from Dresden had already ended his action, while the hunger strike in Trier continues.
The youths criticized above all the inactivity of the politicians in meeting the demand to evacuate the camps. Even if the hungerstrike is now partly done, the exchange between the young comrades from Germany and Moria is still active. This is an important thing to strengthen each other and create a common understanding of a joined fight against the border regime.
The situation has not improved. The European migration regime is too deeply inhumane, Moria is an example of this. So let us fight together to counter the policy of exclusion and dehumanisation. The words of the young people of Moria urge us not to give up this fight!
The statements in text form:
Moria Refugee Camp, Greece, 19th of May
Usually people describe happiness as improvement, or they say if you want to have a happy life you should live in the moment, but when I look at my situation in the camp, I realize I am going backward instead of improving and I am experiencing a bad period of life, I don’t know, maybe this is my punishment because of I was born as an immigrant.
Hussain ali (16)
Moria refugee camp, Greece, 19th of May
I’m Hussain Ali. I’m 16 years old and I live in section where they keep minors. Coming from illegal ways is like you accepted a challenge of life or death. When we decided to come from illegal ways I didn’t know this but slowly slowly I knew that coming from this ways is like a suicide but there was no way for us. For being alive we used to accept this challenge and we started as I was a teenager it was hard to come but I thought that I can pass this bad way and I will reach to Europe and the problems will be finish.After a lots of hard days and many problems I reached to Greece and I thought I finished my problems but that was just a dream. Moria is a small Afghanistan.insecure, not safe and a place where we get mental problems and many other problems.
We are the most bitter story of the world.
Moria refugee camp, Greece, 19th of May
When it comes the name of Moria, immediately all the thoughts go through the terrible available situations inside the camp such as overcrowding problems, horrible sanitation, lack of basic needs like water, electricity fuel and…
Definitely these can be the most important and problematic issues that are visible at a glance but if we pay attention deeply there are more hidden and unsaid things, let’s think about the mother who crossed the dangerous borders to make her child’s future but lost her in the fire, nothing left but burnt bones.
The father who lost his innocent boy during the crazy fights and no one asked why? How?
Or Someone who came here to find peace and safety but is living in a more dangerous, unsafe and stressful place even more than the land he has come from.
The child whose toy was changed to a fake knife and trying to do, talk and shout just what he saw in the adults.
The girl who tried to learn, be independent and stand on her own feet but is even more vulnerable than ever that should rely on someone else to take one step out of his living area.
The people who are losing their mind, patient, tolerance due to living in this awful situation and dealing with so many challenges.
Moria refugee camp, Greece, 19th of May
My name is Milad, 21 years old from Afghanistan. Before entering the European soil, I had some imaginations from Europe, for example, European countries respect a lot to human rights, so that Europe will be the best place to have a safe and comfortable life, but unfortunately, Moria refugee camp proved that it’s nothing but an imagination, I realized that in the first days in Moria. And I’ve been in this hell for five months.
In Moria, at days I’m facing to the danger which is treating people’s lives all around the world, COVID-19, which is treating my life as well because in this camp, unlike the rest of the world which people have the ability to protect themselves from this virus by washing their hands frequently, keeping their distance from each other or even having sufficient and suitable medical equipments and supplies to be far from getting infected by this virus, we don’t have enough medical supplies, we don’t have enough water to wash our hands, even we can’t keep our distance between each other because of long lines like food lines, shower lines, toilet lines, market lines, Doctor lines or even ATM line, and the reason is that because it is an overcrowded camp. And at nights I’m facing to the danger of being injured or killed in huge fights between refugees, which keeps me awake for hours at nights. I have to be awake in nights when fights are happening because of my safety.
Europe was a strong big hope for me like a narrow bright light in the deepest terrifying darkness days of my life, but Moria proved that it was nothing but an imagination and took that light from me and took me to another deepest terrifying darkness days of my life again in another place.
Moria refugee camp, Greece, 19th of May
Moria, hell of migrants, it’s a good place for criminals, murderers, rapists, thieves and fighters, a place where people have to stay in lines for hours, a place where there is only few clinics for 19000 of migrants, a place where there is no school for thousands of youngsters who came for a brighter future, a place where there is no water to wash our hands, a place full of trash, a place where police has no control over fights in there own homeland.
Three days ago a fight happened between volunteers of Movement and Team humanity, it was a huge fight more than five people were stabbed and police did nothing, later that day at night there was another fight between two Hazara and Panjshiri nations and I am pretty sure more than fifteen people were stabbed that night, in that morning I witnessed cut fingers on the ground.
Is that the how safe Europe is? Is this the humanity they are always talking about?
Please leave no one behind
The wildcat strike of Romanian agricultural workers in Bornheim shows that struggles are possible even under conditions of racist super-exploitation. Originally published on akweb.de.
On Friday, 15th of May, some of the 250 seasonal workers of the Spargel Ritter company in Bornheim (North Rhine-Westphalia) stopped working in the asparagus and strawberry fields and informed the local press. Management called the police, but the intimidation attempt failed. The strike was covered widely by the media.
The workers are angry because they received ridiculously low wages of 100 to 250 euros instead of the promised 1,500 to 2,000 euros, and because they are housed under inhuman conditions in a container warehouse, idyllically located between a cemetery and a sewage plant on a vacant building site. As a result of the strike, they were immediately threatened with early dismissal and expulsion from their accommodation. Spargel Ritter has been bankrupt since March 1st, according to other sources even since January, and is now managed by the law firm Andreas Schulte-Beckhausen in nearby Bonn. In April, the firm hired both foreign seasonal workers and labourers from Germany without informing them that the company is in a state of insolvency. Obviously the insolvency administrator is using all means necessary to make the company attractive to new investors.
The protest continued on Monday, 18th of May with a rally organised by the anarcho-syndicalist trade union FAU at the accommodation containers, which was attended by about a hundred external supporters. Women workers in particular protested against their exploitation, making impressive and angry speeches. Afterwards, all of them demonstrated together in front of the company’s nearby yard, where some of the outstanding wages were alleged to be paid. Instead, the workers were expected by a chain of police officers and aggressive security guards. It quickly became clear that the strategy of the insolvency administrator was to divide the workers and set them against each other: Some were paid 600 euros, others only 50 or 70 euros. The security guards opposed the presence of a FAU lawyer during the payments, until the police enforced the lawyer’s presence. While the isolation of migrant workers usually means that this type of super-exploitation is largely ignored, the Bornheim case caused a nationwide sensation. Monday was a difficult day, as FAU Bonn tweeted: “A hard day is coming to an end. Even though we cannot be satisfied with the result: The fact that the wages of a few hundred euros were paid at all is a panic reaction of the class enemy. Tomorrow we will enter round 2.”
On Tuesday, the seasonal workers and solidarity activists met for another rally, this time in downtown Bonn, outside the insolvency administrator’s office. From there they went to the Romanian Consulate General, where a delegation of ten workers was received. The consul admonished the workers to be calm and considerate. They should return to their accommodation and wait – because the Consul is in contact with the Romanian Minister of Labour Violeta Alexandru, who is in Berlin at the invitation of the German Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner. According to the Consul her second stop after Berlin happened to be Bonn anyway, where she would meet with the Farmers’ Union.
On Wednesday, the minister actually showed up at the lodgings. After a long conversation with the Romanian workers – in which no trade union representatives were allowed – she announced that “everything was settled”: the insolvency administrator had assured her that she would push ahead with the payments, and her ministry would organize a free return to Romania or, in agreement with the German Farmers’ Union, the transfer to another company. After their departure, buses picked up groups of ten workers each for payment at an unknown location. The supporters together with the workers were able to make sure that a lawyer and interpreters were present for all payments, but they had to hand in their mobile phones first.
Since this dubious payment procedure could not be trusted, supporters followed the buses to “unknown places”, which a visibly disoriented police officer tried to prevent them from doing. It came to absurd wild-west-style chases across the strawberry fields, until the busses stopped at a field, where the payments were made in the burning sun. The lawyer made sure that the workers didn’t sign any termination agreements, and many gave him the power of attorney to check their wage claims in court. The FAU announced on Wednesday evening that the minimum target had been reached.
The fact that not all the workers from Romania and a few from Poland took part in the strike is due to the division caused by different contracts. Those workers with contracts running until September instead of only until June who were also promised higher wages saw their contracts of employment endangered by the strike and criticised the unrest that had arisen. In addition to the foreign seasonal workers, about 200 labourers from Germany have been hired since the end of April. As one worker from this group told us, they are called the “German team”, even though they come from all kinds of countries, but are resident in Germany. It is a motley crew – young people who have responded to the call to help “our” farmers to protect the harvest, and people who simply need the money urgently because of short-time work or unemployment. Unlike the workers from Eastern Europe, they are not employed on a piecework basis, but on an hourly wage, and receive a few cents more than the minimum wage of 9.35 euros, to mark the racist differentiation. Another reason for this is that the untrained workers from Germany would not have been able to work at the same pace as the Eastern European workers, who have been doing this kind of work for longer.
At work, the “German” and “Romanian” columns – these are the divisive terms used by the bosses and their foremen – are kept strictly separate when working in the strawberry tunnels, but they run into each other when the full crates are handed over. However, communication usually fails because of the language barrier. On Friday it was noticed that the “Romanian column” was missing, but it seems that word of the strike didn’t get around to the “German column” until Saturday. After the “German column” had continued working on Saturday and Monday, they were sent home for a day on Tuesday because according to the bosses the situation was too heated.
In the past weeks there have been increasing reports on the miserable working and living conditions of agricultural and slaughterhouse workers in Germany. The main reasons for this are the inhumane living conditions to which the workers are exposed and which are even more threatening in the current corona situation due to the lack of protection against infections. While Germany celebrates its low number of cases, it is not surprising that infections break out in places where people live and work under particularly precarious conditions. The refugee accommodation in Sankt Augustin, the slaughterhouse in Dissen and a deceased Romanian field worker in Baden-Württemberg are examples of these scandalous conditions.
The Romanian field workers were initially left on their own. Their outcry was heard by left-wing supporters – above all the FAU. And what about the IG BAU, the mainstream construction union? And the DGB federation? Members of parliament? No chance! With little money and few resources, FAU Bonn managed to support the workers in every step, despite the language barrier – a prime example of concrete solidarity.
This struggle shows above all that even the precarious and unorganised can defend themselves. This experience gives courage for the future. And it remains to be seen whether those who have now been placed on other farms through the Farmers’ Union will carry the strike virus to other fields. In Romania, all major daily newspapers have reported on the strike in Bornheim. This, too, could strengthen the self-confidence and entitlement of the seasonal workers.
In the Corona crisis, in view of the danger of infection, numerous social grievances have become the subject of discussion, which were already disastrous before Corona, but remained hidden for years. In a situation of crisis, people might initially deal with the burdens and troubles on an individual level. But in various sectors, micro-processes of resistance are currently taking place that can easily develop into collective struggles. In some cases these struggles come together, in others the divisions and hierarchies need to be broken through.
Alice Claire is an activist from Cologne and member of Beyond Europe.
Christian Frings is an activist, author and translator (of David Harvey and others).
John Malamatinas is a freelance journalist from Berlin, Brussels and Thessaloniki.
Re-post from Its’s Going Down.
The streets of Minneapolis exploded on Tuesday evening, following the horrific murder of a 46 year-old African-American man, George Floyd, at the hands of white police officers on Monday. In a now viral video, Floyd’s grizzly murder was captured on film, as a white police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck while he lie on the ground for several minutes, as an angry crowd gathered and recorded the killing. In the video, Floyd can be heard saying that he was not able to breathe, echoing the words last spoken by Eric Garner, who was also killed by police in 2014 in a similar incident in New York.
"The more the social order loses credit, the more it arms its police." – The Invisible Committee pic.twitter.com/RcfBXnVycJ
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) May 27, 2020
As CBS Minnesota wrote:
Overnight, video of the attempted arrest circulated on social media. Posted by Darnella Frazier on Facebook,the nine-minute video shows a white officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck behind a squad car. While lying facedown on the road, Floyd repeatedly groans and says he can’t breathe.
“He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” one bystander tells the white officer and his partner, in the video. “You’re f—ing stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?”
After about five minutes, Floyd stops moving and appears unconscious. People in the gathering crowd plead for the officers to check Floyd’s pulse. The officer on Floyd’s neck does not lift his knee until medical personnel arrive and carry him to an ambulance.
Directly following the video of Floyd’s murder going viral, all four of the officers that were involved in the killing were fired, a rarity in cases involving police deadly use of force. Multiple media outlets also reported that the FBI is now investigating the killing “for possible civil-rights violations.” According to Mapping Police Violence, police are charged with a crime following deadly encounters only 1.7% of the time. Data from Killed By Police, a website which tracks police killings, shows that at least 400 people have been killed by law enforcement in 2020, making for an average of around 3 people per day.
— SOLLY THE BANKBOY.® (@SollyBandz_) May 26, 2020
Despite expected heavy rains and the firing of the four officers, the demonstration on Tuesday evening brought out thousands of people onto the streets; the vast majority of them wearing masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Arial shots of the demonstration show it stretching across several city blocks. According to folks on the ground, actions happened throughout the city. At the intersection where George Floyd was murdered, there was a continuous gathering and street blockade. Marches on Tuesday took off from various points; collectively converging on the 3rd precinct. During one of these marches, anti-police graffiti slogans were extensively painted. Upon converging at the precinct, the massive crowd surrounded the building and the front window of the precinct was busted out and people began to write slogans on police cars and building walls, while others pelted other windows with eggs and projectiles. People then began attempting to break out more windows before being repelled by police tear gas from officers inside the building.
It should also be noted that during this time, other demonstrations were also taking place – outside of the home of Derek Chauvin, the now fired police officer at the center of the video showing the murder of George Floyd. Posts to social media show large crowds outside of the home of the former officer with one person commenting that several attempts at food delivery had been turned away, “So he’s in there hungry. Hope he’s fucking scared.” Chauvin lives in Oakdale, a suburb of St. Paul, “joining the estimated 94 percent (in 2014) of Minneapolis police officers who live outside the city,” according to one local news report.
Police cruiser smashed up outside MPD 3rd Precinct pic.twitter.com/6Slb4dqcT7
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) May 27, 2020
Meanwhile, back at the 3rd precinct, during this chaos, various “peace police” attempted to contain the crowd, trying to get them to stop attacking police property, yet these cries fell almost completely on deaf ears. A group of police wearing gas masks were then successful in pushing the crowd away from the building and towards the police parking lot, where people began to tear open fences to vandalize and attack a variety of police vehicles; breaking out windows, mirrors, popping tires and spray painting slogans.
Battles raged for hours outside MPD's 3rd precinct. After the building was tagged, its windows smashed, and the parking lot gate broken open to allow people to sabotage their vehicles, police fired massive amounts of tear gas in a futile attempt to disperse the crowd. pic.twitter.com/9smcXenNE2
— The Minnesota Wild (@lets_go_wild) May 27, 2020
Enraged, police then began shooting massive amounts of projectile weapons and tear-gas into the parking lot, pushing people onto the adjacent street, and away from their vehicles. Unicorn Riot reported on the ground that these tear-gas canisters led to a series of small fires, which were quickly put out by demonstrators, who also threw the tear gas back towards the police. Officers also shot off large amounts of “marker rounds,” which left large blotches of paint behind when fired; marking an individual for possible later arrest.
Over the next several hours, running street battles took place between protesters and law enforcement, much of it within the parking lot of the nearby Target store. Rioters built barricades with shopping cars while police attacked the crowd indiscriminately. Those on the streets, many very young, acted bravely in the face of intense police violence, protecting each other, treating tear-gas, and throwing back smoke canisters. As the evening wore on, people also looted the nearby liquor store and smaller clashes continued to break out with police until the early morning of Wednesday.
A Minneapolis City Council member described the police violence on Twitter, writing:
This is a disgusting display. I’m here on the southside, helping people as I can with milk, water, and towels. So far, I have been unable to prevent the police from firing indiscriminately into the crowd. Moments ago, I held a towel to a teenage girls head as blood poured from it.
The uprising comes after several months of rising unemployment and massive State failure in the face of the coronavirus, which so-far has led to the deaths of over 100,000 people. People in the so-called US have also watched over the past month as both elite interests and neo-fascist groups have pushed jointly for the economy to “ReOpen,” which has only solidified poor and working-people, often of color, being placed onto the front lines of the pandemic. The fact that police have shown heavily armed far-Right protesters nothing but kid gloves for the past month at various “ReOpen” rallies was also not lost on anyone, and many on social media pointed out the vast difference in police response. Ironically, several far-Right “Boogaloo” protesters did try and intervene in support of the demonstrations in Minneapolis, only to be quickly shown the door.
Ongoing back and forth exchange of police munitions w fireworks and other projectiles from protesters. Crowds angry about George Floyd’s killing have had this area saturated and mostly shut down for quite a few hours now pic.twitter.com/o9JgODeWR0
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) May 27, 2020
As the gates to the 3rd precinct's parking lot were being opened, many of the building's windows & doors were showing obvious signs of damage.
Graffiti in the second photo: "George Floyd! Remember it!"
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) May 27, 2020
On Wednesday, May 27th, the City of Minneapolis began construction of a metal fence around the 3rd precinct, as new protests began in the streets.
The city of Minneapolis is literally BUILDING AN ENTIRE WALL around the 3rd Police Precinct on Minnehaha Avenue. They are more concerned about protecting a building than they are with the sanctity or Black life. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/xTcscHgH17
— untilfreedom (@untilfreedom) May 27, 2020
“Marx said that revolutions are the locomotive of world history. But perhaps things are very different. It may be that revolutions are the act by which the human race traveling in the train applies the emergency brake.” (Walter Benjamin)
The world is in flames and they continue to play with fire. Every day they dig up coal and burn it in their power plants, even though they know that this is the biggest source of CO2. Even though they know that in the next few years we are heading for tipping points that will make the climate catastrophe irreversible.
They, that is RWE AG, the energy-dependent industry, that is investors who are relying on everything going on as before. They are the federal and state government and the German-dominated European Commission. All those involved know what’s happening, and coal is still being produced.
Angela Merkel and other politicians looked at the appeals and mass demonstrations with a slight nod, but they weren’t really impressed. The coal phase-out should continue to come only when the last piece of coal has actually been burned. Because as someone once said: The modern state power is only a committee that manages the common business of the whole capitalist class. But we cannot expect anything else, because fossil capital provides the energy for the entire class. And the unity of property and the existing order is vehemently defended. As much as some may wish for a green capitalism: it will never be, because there is no decoupling of growth and resource consumption – these are just fantasies. The ruling class is the idealist, dreamer, unworldly.
It has broken its own announcements, self-commitments, etc., all by itself. All it has managed, since it has known about climate change, is to export environmental destruction itself. Even if coal is no longer burned in the Federal Republic and the industry is otherwise conserving resources here, environmental destruction will continue to be outsourced under capitalism if necessary. As always those people worldwide, who cannot afford to protect themselves, are most affected by capitalism and its environmental destruction.
Those responsible are the saboteurs of any effective climate policy and any humane coexistence, because the latter stand in the way of their business model and growth compulsion. They threaten to sue the states if their operating license is revoked. They threaten to leave workers in poverty and to worsen working conditions. They take away people’s time, our health and the resources we need to live. They will not stop their sabotage by themselves, they must be stopped. And if no one else can stop them, we must. If we stop their machines, we drive up the costs. Until it no longer pays off. We will stop the madness where it takes place. That is why we are joining the actions of Ende Gelände in the Rhineland from September 23 – 27, 2020.
Let us sabotage the saboteurs.
See you in the pit!
…ums Ganze! – September 2020
A Beyond Europe call to keep up the pressure and fight for solidarity.
After the fire that destroyed the misery camp of Moria, those who have nothing are not only left in the ashes of the monster of European foreign policy, but are now also being trampled on.
The refugees who did not manage to flee from the camp and escape to the city were not provided with blankets, tents and water, but with tear gas and the sticks of the Greek police. The cops tried with all their might not to let the refugees leave the camp, while what little they left behind remains was burned the next night. Trapped on the island’s streets around the camp, they were surrounded by riot police, left alone, without sufficient food, water and medical care. Helpers, NGOs and journalists were largely kept away, leaving the people defenceless against the heat of the day, the cold of the night, the arbitrariness and violence of the police and the attacks of local fascists.
For the verdict of the ultra-conservative Greek government under Nea Demokratia had already been passed. The guilty ones were those who had been locked up for years in the hell of Moria in disregard of human rights, and those who tried to alleviate the greatest suffering or to make the conditions public. Their guilt was investigated where there was nothing left to investigate, in the remains of Moria, already pushed together by bulldozers. But the Greek propaganda must be confirmed, on the one hand to distract from their own guilt and on the other hand to curb the biggest fear of the European Union. The fear that the fire that destroyed Moria will spread to the countless other places in the EU, based on the same inhuman policy. Whether in Lampedusa, Cyprus, Spain or along the entire Balkan route, the border regime has created places that are not far behind Moria. Where people are imprisoned without dignity, without opportunities and without any perspective. Moria is not the only powder keg that the EU has created in recent years.
While the people of Lesvos are suffering, the European politicians responsible for this catastrophe are extremely concerned. However, lip service is still paid without insight and concrete measures to help. Under the leadership of Germany there is a diligent haggling about responsibility and ridiculous contingents, legitimized with excuses and the search for common European solutions.
Despite their situation and the repression, many people are still demonstrating. They demand freedom and do not want to be resettled in a new closed camp under any circumstances. They are disappointed and tired of the promises of European politicians. Many understand all too well by now that they have become a plaything and are being used as a warning to break the idea of the Summer of Migration 2015, the idea of a Europe of human rights, whose ashes are carried away by the wind, sinking into the Mediterranean.
The Greek state is trying to blackmail the refugees into the new closed camps through lack of supplies, the continuing great danger of Covid-19, the threat that their asylum procedure will be suspended and permanent police arbitrariness and violence. How long their resistance can hold under this pressure is uncertain and therefore it is up to us to support their struggle and make it ours.
The refugees clearly show that they do not want to be numbers anymore and that dehumanization has come to an end. They want to fight for their rights, their future, their security and their lives. A fight for the foundation of our society that shows whether human rights are universal or remain a privilege. Because in this world of exploitation and competition, on the last islands of wealth, there is not enough space for those who seem superfluous.
Moria is a magnifying glass for the mistakes of the capitalist society we live in, and an example of how the smoking remnants will only be preserved by increasingly authoritarian measures of the state. A foul and dirty deal with despot Erdogan was made and inhumane camps were created with no concept at all. No wonder, since a bunch of European states are led by far right or right-populist governments, who hijack international decision making to impose their idea of society: authoritarian on the inside, locked up for the outside.
From 2015 till now, the EU did not even come close to find a common strategy to deal with refugees arriving at European borders. Those refugees, the people, who have to flee their own countries from war, ecological, social and economic catastrophes. The effects of global capitalist businesses, which make many parts of Europe rich.
Throughout Europe, there have been various solidarity actions in favour of evacuating the camps, not only in Moria, but on the whole external borders of the EU. But neither the pressure in the streets nor the public discourse was enough to make the rulers act effectively, which they simply do not want.
This Sunday on 20.09. people will again take to the streets in countless cities. We must not try to keep up the appearance of the European values, which were burnt in Moria, but to stand up for something completely different. A society that is based on solidarity and equality and that creates livable spaces everywhere without destroying the basis of life of the people.
After all, Solidarity is the key. Today, it is vital to stand up for solidarity and freedom of movement for everyone. These buzzwords used to be our own labels for assuring ourselves of our own radical views. In these times, solidarity and freedom of movement are still radical. They are ideas from which we can advance a radical critique of capitalism. The difference is that many more people are open to these demands, because after years and years of tens of thousands killed at borders such as in the Meditarranean, the critique of the status quo goes far beyond the usual suspects. When we take solidarity and freedom of movement to the streets today, after the disaster of Moria, it is not to be a small and hopefully radical voice in the discourse, but it is to change something politically: Evacuate now. End the camps. Fight the Fortress.
See you on the streets!