Here we are! w2wtal-speech at 1st May

Deutsche Version des Artikels

At the «Ölbergfest 2014», many of the neighbours and visitors of the «Ölbergfest» took part in a small series of photographs and pleaded for a «Refugee Welcome Area Ölberg». (See video) One year later, some Refugees and activists of „Welcome to Wuppertal» (w2wtal) accepted the offer and participated in the «Schusterplatzfest» following the Autonomous labourday-demonstration in Wuppertal.

During an Arabian and African meal many discussions have been held and new contacts were made. We hope this has been a good start for all. See you again!

We document the speech, which was held at the Autonomous «Schusterplatzfest» on May 1 in Wuppertal by two w2wtal activists.

Dear friends!

Europe is waging a war against refugees. We see the current situation of refugees and the current asylum policy unbearable and we will not accept this anymore!

Fortress Europe produces dead bodies daily – especially in the Mediterranean and at the external borders. Even though Italy started «Mare Nostrum» last year, the largest rescue-program in the Mediterranean ever, 3.400 people died in 2014. But because the EU was not willing to share the costs of «Mare Nostrum», even this mission was discontinued and replaced by «Triton». Unlike «Mare Nostrum», «Triton» is not a rescue-program, but a Frontex-led operation for border patrols. »Triton» covers only a much smaller area at sea and is not designed to save lives.

In the week before last the bitter consequences of this miserable policy and the dissolution of «Mare Nostrum» became too clearly. Within a week, more than 1.000 fugitives drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe.

But those in power do not think of anything better than increasing the funds for border management, so for Frontex, and to destroy fishing boats in Libya that could perhaps be smuggling boats. Europe’s main goal still seems to keep the plight of the world out of its borders. Instead, they prefer dying refugees and asylum seekers in their war-torn countries of origin and in the transit countries. Regrettably a large part of the population in Germany bears with these inhuman cynicism and closes its eyes to the reasons of fleeing.

Most of the refugees are dependent on the smugglers and owe them their survival. They take the high risk to themselves to arrive by sea to Europe, because any further staying in the source and transit countries would cause death or would mean great misery for them. To arrive in Europe by land-routes is even more difficult, especially for families with children. They have no alternatives. Outside Europe there are no possibilities of applying for a humanitarian visa and to enter legally and safely. Even war refugees have no chances to come to Europe via secure channels.

There is an obvious solution: We demand to open escape routes and to opportunities to apply for a humanitarian visa outside Europe!

Ferries instead of Frontex!

In the face of humanitarian disasters and total political failure of the European asylum policy, the only response of European governments is „business as usual“. This is exasperating. But this is not a new experience. It’s their usual response for twenty years. Our conclusion of this repeated ignorance is: Just appealing isn’t enough any longer! We and everybody must show initiative now and tackle the murderous war regime! We ask ourselves: How can this be done?

Over 200 years ago the „Underground Railroad“ was created in the USA. This initiative established escape routes from the south to the north which slaves took advantage of on their way to a free and safe living. Freed slaves but also white American slavery opponents were involved building the «Underground Railroad». About 100,000 people were freed from slavery via this «illegal» travel route. The goal of building an autonomous smuggling network today is certainly ambitious, but we want to go in a similar direction and there are already a number of approaches within Europe.

On the one hand there is «Welcome2Europe», a network that supports refugees and fights for their rights. Secondly, there are the ship «MS Sea-Watch». It’s a private ship that wants to act very practical in this untenable situation in the sea area between Malta and the Libyan coast. From next week on the «MS Sea-Watch» will offer first aid and rescue-callings for refugee boats in distress. There is also the «Watch the Med»-alarm Phone. This also is a private initiative of political activists. The «Watch the Med»-AlarmPhone can be called by refugees who are in distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After receiving an alarm-call, the activists call the Coast Guard, the UNHCR and the media and ensure that rescue measures can be initiated.

The Europe-wide network «Welcome2Europe» supports refugees on their way through Europe and offers important information or contacts. Bur there are also local initiatives in various cities such as «Welcome2Wuppertal».

We are no sailors, and therefore we can not save refugees from distress. But this won’t stop us from acting in our cities! We want to welcome people who are arriving in Wuppertal and we want to open our networks and circles of friends to them. Also we want to support them to make a good living in Wuppertal, for example by helping them to find an appartment or learning German. For this we installed a self-organized German-course with Café ADA. Last but not least we do not tolerate Nazis in our city and we act against them whereever it is neccessary. If it’s required, we are are also prepared to prevent deportations.

Once a month – on each third sunday – we have breakfast together with newly arrived refugees and acivists in Café ADA. (Next breakfast is on sunday, 5/17) The decision to participate at the Schusterplatzfest on labourday today was made during one of those meetings. Some of our group were willing to cook for our neighbours and to make some music. Thank you!

We are very pleased about eyeryone who comes to our information desk and talks with us.

welcome2wuppertal (w2wtal)

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  • Das nächste w2wtal-Plenum findet am Freitag, den 30.8.2019 um 15 Uhr statt.
    Ort: Robertstr. 5 a, Wuppertal-Elberfeld

    Zeit und Ort der nächsten AG-Treffen erfahrt ihr am besten über unseren telegram-Kanal.

  • Wir rufen zu Gründung eines Wuppertaler Bürger*innen-Asyls auf. In vielen Städten haben sich bereits Initiativen gebildet, die von Abschiebung bedrohten Menschen konkret helfen möchten.

    In Kürze werden wir zu einer Informations-Veranstaltung zum Bürger*innen-Asyl einladen. Ort und Zeit erfahrt ihr an dieser Stelle und über unsere anderen Kanäle.

    Bis dahin lassen sich viele Infos bereits hier finden:

  • refugeeswelcomepad

  • no person is illegal
  • .
    welcome2wuppertal (w2wtal) ist eine Initiative von Menschen die schon lange in der Stadt leben und neu Zugezogenen. Gemeinsam wollen wir selbstorganiserte und konkret solidarische Strukturen schaffen, die allen hier Lebenden eine Partizipation und das Recht über unser Leben mitzubestimmen ermöglichen. Beteiligt euch, kommt vorbei, macht mit! Wenn ihr Fragen habt, schreibt uns einfach eine E-Mail (nutzt bei sensiblen Inhalten das verschlüsselte Formular), und wenn ihr über w2wtal-Treffen informiert werden möchtet, nutzt einen unserer Kanäle bei Facebook, Twitter oder telegram.

    welcome2wuppertal (w2wtal) is an initiative of people who have been living in the city for a long time and newcomers. Together we want to create self-organized and concrete solidarity structures, which enable all people living here to participate and have the right to have a voice in our community. Participate, come along, join in! If you have any questions, just write us an e-mail (use the encrypted form for sensitive content), and if you want to be informed about w2wtal meetings, use one of our channels on Facebook, Twitter or telegram.