[ 22. Dec 2008 ]

Switzerland: Sans Papiers Occupy Church

occupation of the Prediger church, Zurich

On Friday, 19. Dec 2008 some 150 Sans-Papiers und and supporters squatted the Predigerkirche, a church in Zurich. Political declaration of the occupation.


Political declaration of the occupation of the Prediger church

Today, Friday the 19th of December 2008, around 150 Sans-Papiers (immigrants and refugees without residence authorisation) and Swiss activists occupied the Prediger Church in Zurich. Exactly one year ago we occupied symbolically the cathedral Grossmünster to protest against the tightening of the law of asylum and the aliens legislation (Asyl- und Ausländergesetz). One year later we are outraged that the agency for migration in Zurich still keeps its inhuman and unreasonable migration policies. We are no longer willing to accept this enforcment of the authorities. We - Sans-Papiers and Swiss activists - decided to occupy the Prediger church in order to call attention to our intolerable condition of living and to fight for our rights. In every other Swiss canton the majority of us would already have got the right to stay!

Obviously the canton of Zurich continous to disregard Swiss federal legislation obstinately refusing to realise hardship case control. We, the refugees, are forced by the authorities to commit illegal actions. For example, we are legally obliged to go the migration office once a week from our emergency accomodations. Being forbidden to take up any employment and our emergency assistence being nothing but supermarket vouchers. We cannot raise any money to buytickets for public transport. These are neither distributed nor refunded which forces us to ride without tickets.

The existing law regarding cases of hardship were an appropriate instrument to change the present dehumanising practice . All could benefit: The society as a whole, than people who have lived in Switzerland for years would be allowed to integrate and get legal employment as well as an appropriate and condigned livelihood. The employers would no longer have to employ us illegally, which submits us to disastrous conditions of exploitation and repression. After years of escape and request for asylum we would finally get the security, rest and respect that we need to live in and which we deserve to be granted as human beings, and if nothing else, in a country that deems itself to be a constitional state furnished with humanitarian tradition.

We, the 6-Campers, 7-Day-ers and the Zürcher Bleiberecht-Kollektiv decided to fight for our rights. We no longer accept the treatment we received so far. We are not what the "black sheep politicians" want us to be. We are human beings and we claim our rights. We are tired of the inhuman conditions. The time to stand up has come. We are here and are here to stay.

We call for:

  1. Human and unbureaucratic implementation of the legislation on hardship cases
  2. Documents for all! Drop the criminalization and imprisonment of Sans-Papiers.
  3. Abolishment of the ban on legal employment