In these weeks a new senate will be formed in Hamburg. We, the group Lampedusa in Hamburg, have been ignored by the last senate for nearly two years. But we are still here in this city and have become part of it. There still is no political solution for our problems.
We worked and lived a good life in Libya until the unjust NATO-war in 2011 forced us to flee. We lost everything and were forced to flee across the Mediterranean. The ones that survived were accommodated in camps in Italy. These camps were closed in early 2013 and we were pushed out into the streets. As a group we are united by this common fate. We were recognized as refugees of war and given Italian residence and working permits, but the authorities there told us to leave the country and try it somewhere else in Europe. Some even got the money for the tickets. They made us believe that we would be able to work in all of Europe with our papers. In Italy there is nothing for us, no work and no future. Only homelessness and misery awaits us and many other refugees in Italy. We don’t understand why our Italian papers are not recognized in Germany and why we are not even allowed to work.
Here in Hamburg we have fought nearly two years for our right to finally rebuild our life. We are not allowed to work, in order to survive we depend on the solidarity of Hamburg’s citizens. Many still live on the streets, over 100 have are provisionally accommodated by supporters. The “Duldung” that was offered to us by the authorities is no improvement of our situation. A “Duldung” is just a temporary suspension of a deportation, nothing more. They want to force us into individual asylum procedures again, although Italy as an European country has already recognized us as refugees of war. There never was a guarantee for the outcome of the procedures. On the contrary, government officials clearly stated to us, that a rejection of the individual cases and a deportation was very likely. This was not acceptable and not what we and thousands of Hamburg’s citizens had struggled for. The Duldung was rejected by the absolute majority of our group. Only a few accepted the Duldung and until today there is no decision about their cases, let alone the smallest signs for a positive outcome.
We just want the right to stay and work here in Hamburg so that we can sustain ourselves and our families. We demand the europe-wide recognition of our Italian residence and working permits. Is Italy not a member of the European Union? Or don’t the European rights apply for everyone?
Lampedusa in Hamburg, February 2015
supported by Recht auf Stadt – never mind the papers!
Members of the Green Party, Members of the Lampedusa in Hamburg group, the moderator, Ladies and gentlemen
With the pleasure of exception to be with you through this meeting. We are people with identity, we are Africans and we are fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who lived and worked in Lybia until the unjust NATO war that paved the way for mass exodus of migrants to the shores of Lampedusa and Europe as a whole.
After nearly 4 years we are still living under abnormal human conditions. While in Italy, we went through a procedure of recognition, which means we all have residence permits in a European country. We are in Hamburg for 2 years now, our children have already enrolled into kindergarden. For 2 years we have cried, shouted and demonstrated enough alongside the people of Hamburg to change the government’s stance towards refugees, but the government is too adamant and refuses to talk to us or grant our demands. What a conspiracy of silence.
In June 2013 the government of Hamburg offered us “Duldung” in order for us to hand over our Italian papers. The offer was rejected, though a few did accept it. This has made our living conditions considerably worse. Some refugees still sleep outside in the cold while others live in overcrowded rooms under subhuman conditions. No access to hospitals, while police brutality and racism is on the rise and still unchecked. Some members of Lampedusa in Hamburg are educated and some have professional skills, many already had job offers but no permit of work.
The citizens of Hamburg constantly show support and solidarity with refugees since we arrived here in 2013. Just over a week ago there were thousands of demonstrators out in the streets of Hamburg to show their support and solidarity with the Lampedusa group and refugees as a whole.
The senate and the mayor must see the handwriting on the wall, that they cannot change or go against the will of the people of Hamburg in their continuous support for refugees. Because we are here to stay and the Senate of Hamburg, the Bürgerschaft and the mayor should rather find a comprehensive solution and treatment for refugees in Hamburg by granting, accepting and recognising the Italian residence and work permit. Further we demand that:
- speakers of the Lampedusa group are granted invitations for negotiations about their issues into the Rathaus
- access to healthcare and education is provided for the group
- the government follows the example of the social engagement of its citizens concerning the support of refugees and starts acting in a responsible manner and
- creates signals of humanity and human dignity in order to stop the racist European refugee policies and the Dublin III treaty
Long live the Green Party, long live the citizens of Hamburg and long live Lampedusa in Hamburg, because we are here to stay!
+++Download the Open letter as printable PDF+++
BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN
z.H. Katharina Fegebank, Antje Möller, Jens Kerstan
Open letter to the Green Party in Hamburg and their candidates
Dear Green Party of Hamburg,
dear Katharina Fegebank, Jens Kerstan and Antje Möller!
We, the group Lampedusa in Hamburg , have known you as our strong supporters since 2013 when we started our struggle.
We recognize your support and solidarity as one of the few political parties, who showed support for our struggle for human rights as refugees.
Because of this we are very happy to see that you mention our specific cause in you election program for the upcoming elections in Hamburg.
We wish you success in this election and hope that you will join the government of Hamburg in future. We have heard that chances are high that you will form a coalition with the SPD.
However, we know, that the SPD has never acknowledged our rights as a group. So we would like to ask you:
What will be your reaction, if the SPD continues to say NO to what you demand in your election program, which is a political solution for Lampedusa in Hamburg?
We would be happy to invite you to a public discussion on exactly this point. It should take place before the election. Please contact us about time and place.
Group Lampedusa in Hamburg – 26.01.2015
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