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!