Press release by the group “Lampedusa in Hamburg” concerning the ban of containers on church property in St. Pauli:
Senate escalates situation and relies on inhuman blackmail
Hamburg, 01.10.2013. Exactly five months ago the group “Lampedusa in Hamburg” publicly stepped into action for the first time. Since then a wave of humanity and solidarity has spread through Hamburg and thousands of people are actively supporting the refugees of war from Libya in their struggle for a residence permit, which in contrast to the claims made by the Senate and Department of Interior would always be legally possible.
For months now the members of the group, all recognized refugees of war in Italy, are publicly only demanding the recognition of their basic rights: free access to the labour market, to housing, to medical and social care, to education and the right to freely choose their residence within the EU.
This struggle for basic human rights has reached a new level of escalation and the Senate of Hamburg is alone responsible for this. It has evaded its responsibility for months with unfounded arguments and now wants to use the cold of the coming winter to inhumanely blackmail the fighters of the group “Lampedusa in Hamburg”.
According to latest media reports, the Senate headed by Olaf Scholz forbids the St. Pauli Church to set up fully self-financed heatable containers for the refugees of the group sleeping on the cold church floor. The senate is thus actively threatening the life of the people accommodated in the church. The members of the group are also banned from the “winter emergency program” and the city is only ready to provide saving accommodation if the refugees hand over their papers and agree to be deported.
“We don’t ask for much in Germany, two years after the NATO-war in Libya we just want to be able to lead a normal life again. But instead we are again chased away like dogs. The senate is planning to blackmail us in cold blood and is risking our lives!
In case anyone forgot, we are the innocent civilians that Germany pretended to protect when it participated in the war in Libya. We never had intention to come to Europe. Before the NATO-bombs forced us to leave we had a good life in Libya. Do the European governments think they can bomb any country on our continent Africa at will, that they can destroy our lives and then hide from their responsibility? We are here to demand our basic human rights and don’t understand, why we are faced with such wickedness. Or don’t these human rights exist for black people in Germany?”