The group Lampedusa in Hamburg calls for a demonstration on the 1. March 2014. The demonstration will be held on the occasion of the first anniversary of the end of the “Emergency North Africa” program for the reception of war refugees from Libya in Italy which was terminated on the 28. February 2013. The Italian authorities had at that time closed down the reception centers and had turned the refugees out onto the streets, they had given them residence permits and urged them to leave Italy towards northern Europe. With this action the Italian authorities clearly stated what many assessments and reports from human rights organizations also verify – that there is no perspective for a humane life for refugees in Italy.
Some affected persons formed the group Lampedusa in Hamburg and have since been fighting for a residence permit on humanitarian grounds. After one year of this hard struggle the senate of Hamburg still opposes our demand for a collective residence permit and tries to wait out the humanitarian crisis on the roads of Hamburg.
The senate had offered a Duldung for the time of process in October 2013 to those who would register at the foreigners office and who would officially apply for a residence permit. This offer had been negotiated between the senator of interior and the Nordkirche without involving representatives of the group and has been rejected by the majority of the group. Only individuals chose under this strong pressure to make applications.
Through the intensive exchange with fighting refugees from the German Lagersystem we are aware of the inhumane consequences of the Duldung. We mainly see the offer of the Senate as an attempt to depoliticize the struggle of the group and to cede the solution to the courts in the form of hundreds of individual cases.
In reality the foreigners authority has not yet decided upon any application. There has also been no decision about a model application which was already made by a member of the group in September 2013. This supports the analysis of our group that the aim of the offer of the senate is to stall us in the uncertainty of the Duldung, to weaken the political struggle and to wait until the topic has disappeared from the agenda.
The speaker of the Department of Interior has announced in the MOPO that the refugees of the group have all been cared for and that they had either made applications or have disappeared from Hamburg.
This is a lie and a strike in the face of the group and all its supporters.
While the St. Pauli Church still remains in the center of the media coverage, although only a small number of group members stay there, private supporters have long since set up a „Solidarity Winterprogram“ which enabled us to survive the winter without the help of the state. The Infotent at Steindamm also still serves as a meeting point and has been occupied night and day since May last year.
We are and we will stay in Hamburg and we demand the senate to take a political decision for a right to stay for the group Lamepdusa in Hamburg.