[ 08. Sep 2013 ]

Rise together: Refugee Protest Demo 'No one is illegal'

Rise together: Demonstration on 20th of September 2013 in Vienna

Join the demonstration on the 20th of September 2013 at 4 p.m. at Marcus Omofuma Stone in front of the Museumsquartier in Vienna. Final manifestation 6.30 pm in front of the detention prison next to the metro station "Rossauer Lände".


17.000 dead at the borders of the EU since 1993 - and these are only the documented cases. The number of unreported cases is much higher. Greece and Hungary imprison refugees, even minors, for up to a year under inhuman conditions. Afterwards they face the threat of homelessness. In Greece, neo-nazi paramilitary organisations hunt down refugees.

The conditions in Austrian asylum centers are largely unbearable. The refugee's interviews on their reasons for flight are also held like criminal interrogations, the quality of translations is regularly critized by human rights organisations. As a result, in the fall of 2012, an array of self-organized initiatives developed, culminating in the march from Traiskirchen to Vienna. This marked the beginning of the refugee movement in Austria.
A long struggle ensued: After the march, a protest camp was set in the Sigmund-Freud-Park despite icy temperatures. Due to police repression, the refugees sought shelter in the Votivkirche. Shortly after Christmas, the camp was brutally evicted. The refugees started a hungerstrike to call attention to their situation. Due to multiple hostile acts by the police it was decided to move to the Serviten Monastery on the 3rd of March.

Even though the public authorities promised that the asylum processes of the refugees would be sent to retrial after the move, more than half of them were soon given double negative decisions. At the end of July, "Gelinderes Mittel" was imposed on 20 refugees. The people were forced to report to the police every morning. On 28 July, eight of the refugees were detained during those "routine checks" and deported in the following days. Even massive protests in front of the deportation prison, at the airport and inside planes, could not stop the deportations.

To distract the public interest from the deportations, three of the refugees registered in the Serviten Monastery were detained under the accusation of "trafficking". Moreover, the idea of further proceeding with §278a (the so-called "mafia-paragraph"), which has been used to criminalize protest movements in the past, was brought up.

Even thought he refugee protest has put a public spotlight on the living conditions of refugees, the responsible politicians remain inactive. Moreover, there are legal ways and means to improve the situation of the refugees and provide them with protection. But as long as the interior ministry and the government are not confronted with a united front of resistance against deportations, the racist border policy of Austria will not change. The efforts of so-called aid organisations do not result in broad public diaogue about the Refugees' demands either. Charity and victimizing cannot replace a assertive political protest.

So far we have not been able to make contact with all the deported refugee activists. One of them reported that his family was threatened by the Taliban directly after his deportation to Pakistan. Now the contact to him has broken off. Others refugees worry about surveillance through Pakistani security forces, because they publicly criticized the Pakistani government. During the last five years alone over 1,500 civilians have been killed in drone attacks and 300 have been seriously injured. At the same time, 352 people died in suicide attacks.

Between 2009 and 2013, 1,030 schools and colleges have been destroyed by terrorist groups. In the province Punjab - which is claimed to be secure by the Ministry of Interior - over 7,000 people have been kidnapped during the last six months, one of them the son of the last Head of Government - he is still missing. On the whole more than 50,000 people have been killed in the last decade by bomb attacks, target killings, and other forms of catastrophic violence. The vast majority of the victims are innocent civilians caught in the crossfire between the Taliban, Pakistani government and US government. Since the recent elections in Pakistan, the state of security has worsened. There is no possibility for persecuted people to take refuge inside Pakistan.

Against Racism! Solidarity with the Refugee Protest!

Join the demonstration on the 20th of September 2013 at 4 p.m. at Marcus Omofuma Stone, in front of the Museumsquartier / Mariahilfer Straße (metro station U2 Museumsquartier). Final manifestation 6.30 pm in front of the detention prison next to the metro station "Rossauer Lände".

The Refugees' demands are:
1. Legal residence status. We cannot go back to our countries of origin, because war, terror, persecution and famine forced us to flee.
2. If Austria is not able to grant us asylum, at least erase our finger prints from your database, so that we can take refuge in other countries.

!! NO FLAGS!! The demonstration's aim is not the political profiling of (N)GOs and parties but rather to support the Refugee Protest.