Refugee Camp Berlin: Police Tried to Evict But Did Not Succeed

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The refugeee protest camp at the Oranienplatz in Berlin is under immediate threat of eviction. Earlier tonight German police tried to evict the camp but activists succeeded in defending the camp. After the police operation there was an unauthorized spontanious demonstration which was attacked by police forces.

Activists defending the refugee protst camp in Berlin against eviction earlier tonight.

Activists defending the refugee protst camp in Berlin against eviction earlier tonight.

In the earyl evening hours police tried to evict the refugee protest camp at the Oranienplatz, a square in the Kreuzberg neighbourhood in Berlin. In the  afternoon district mayo Miss Herrmann of the Green party declared the end of the tolerance of the camp and asked the police to evict the square. Because of a fast and massive mobilisation activists managed to prevent the eviction tonight. After negotiations with high ranked officers the district city office and the police said they won’t evict the camp during the night or in the early morning hours. But activsts stated that they are not sure the district office and police will keep their word.

Footage of the spontanious demonstration after police forces tried to evict the refugeecamp on Sunday night:

Its clear that the city of Berlin wants to get rid of the refugee protest camp which was occupied last year. So even if the district office decides not to evict the camp, the mayor of Berlin still can order an eviction.

Activists and police forces in a standoff earlier toniight.

Activists and police forces in a standoff earlier tonight.

District mayor Herrmann was in the camp in the afternoon and spoke with refugees and their supporters. She was informed about the fact that the building where refugees could stay if they would leave the camp has a capacity of 80 people so at least 30 refugees had to return to the camp.because there was no place for them in the building. Furthermore there were refugees who made clear from the beginning of the negotiations about an alternative place to stay for the refugees that they will not even consider to leave the protest camp as long as their demands are not met. They demand an end of the so called “Residenzpflicht” which restricts their freedom of movement, an end to their placement in isolated camps and a stop of all deportations. Although Miss Herrmann knew that a big group of refugees had to and/or wanted to stay at the Oranienplatz she ordered the police operation.

Shield demanding freedom of movement at the refugee camp in Berlin.

Shield demanding freedom of movement at the refugee camp in Berlin.

Refugees stated tonight: “Since the negotiations started we valued the limited access to an alternative place as an attempt to divide us.” From the beginning of the talks responsible authorities were informed by refugees that leaving the camp is not an option for many people at Oranienplatz. Miss Herrmann reacted that the struggle of the refugees was being directed by leftwing radicals and that the refugees were exploited by them. With this kind of reaction she denies the ability of the refugees to act politically for themselves in a self-determined way. She is also participating in a media campaign to delegitimize the refugee protests. This media campaign aims to divide people in “good” refugees who will accept an alternative place for the winter and repress people who want to change the system and who are fighting for equal rights for all people and who are protesting at the Oranienplatz for mor than a year now.

Protests at the refugee camp in Berlin earlier tonight.

Protests at the refugee camp in Berlin earlier tonight.

 

Because of the fast mobilisation to prevent the eviction several hundred people arrived at the Oranienplatz in a very short time. Many of them are still there and protect the camp for the police. Several police units are still in the area. Miss Herrmann and all other politicians should understand that its the strenght of the movement that refugees and supporters are fighting together. Refugees and supporters stated: “Because of the protest camp we could break the silence and the isolation in the special camps for refugees in mostly rural areas.” The demand for open borders and the right for asylum are not the demands of a small minority. The authorities can not evict these demands of solidarity and these demands are international.

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Refugees and their supporters ask people to protest against a possible eviction and to speak to responsible politicians at district- and city level but also to organise creative protests to put pressure on those who are responsible. After the attempt to evict the camp, which failed because of the strong presence of many people there was an unauthorized spontanious demo in Berlin with about 700 people. Police forces attacked the demo and detained several activists.

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The camp needs support now and people are asking to come and help with nightshifts and to come to the daily meeting at 5pm local time. Speak with the refugees in the camp and be ready in case of an eviction to take action with your reference group. Tomorrow, November 25, there also will be a press conference at the camp at 2pm local time.

Footage of the spontanious demonstration after police forces tried to evict the refugeecamp on Sunday night:

The activists of the Oranienplatz will not give up and say:

Viva la revolucion! Viva el Orienplatz!!!

Freedom of Movement for Everybody!

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About Author

Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News revnewsmedia@gmail.com