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!