On Tuesday, 8 April 2014, the refugees protest camp on the Oranienplatz, Berlin was evicted. After a long process of splitting the camp residents by the city politics this eviction was the planned and desired result:
Refugees destroy by force the tents and huts of other refugees to enter the genus hoped promises. Politicians and police were able to hold out for a whole day almost, a group of escapees completed this task for them. Being aware of defining a space out of law the officials even promoted this. The agreement of the negotiations states: "The refugees organize independently the dismantling of tents and accommodations" and it "is done after dismantling of tents at Orange location ... to request a comprehensive review of each individual case within the legal options." We know the method of colonial contexts: the individual groups among the refugees themselves are pitted against each other by promising them this or that. The last three tents, which could be rescued by its inhabitants against this aggressive approach, were later destroyed by the BSR.
Meanwhile, the political establishment celebrates itself: Both Monika Herrmann (Mayoress of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg) and Dilek Kolat (Berlin Senator for Integration, Women and Work and negotiator for the Senate in talks with the refugees from the Oranienplatz) cheer to the "successful" rebuilding of the camp supposedly by the residents themselves . The government statement on the Berlin refugee policy by Klaus Wowereit (Mayor of Berlin) on Thursday, 10th of April, encountered the same tune and made it clear that it was always the goal simply to suppress critical protests and never about implementing a decent policy: "Berlin will not tolerate in the future that public spaces are converted to tent camps."
Even at the press conference of the Senate on the results and even more in the context of eviction is clear that the agreement reached by the Senate is designed on one side: The procedure for rebuilding shows this clearly. The agreement states also: "The Oranienplatz remains as an information and protest platform for the rights of refugees." These commitments are already not defaulted. The Agreement also includes for the other points no warranties and consists largely of statements of intent.
For this reason, we have occupied a tree on the Oranienplatz - against the attempt of the police, to stop the occupation by not allowing food, water, medical care etc. Already on Wednesday, the occupiers were promised to have a discussion with Mrs. Kolat. This promise has not been kept. We address the following demands to the Senate:
- The completely inadequate container, which was presented as information point, must be replaced by an appropriately sized Info Point.
Just as it has always been part of the negotiations, the so-called circus tent must be restored.
For the refugees who have not found accommodation in the completely crowded buildings in the belt road, tents need to be rebuilt, not to be left homeless.
On Saturday, the 11th of April around 10:30 p.m. Napuli who continued the occupation alone since Wednesday evening, came down from the tree after an improved Info Point and the circus tent were agreed to in a writing by Dilek Kolat. We regard this as a success.
Dilek Kolat writes on Facebook: "I'm glad that a dialogue with Napuli is possible now and there is no longer a risk for her health." Over five days there was no dialogue with the tree squatters under the most extreme danger to Napulis life Napulis, although Mrs. Kolat was invited to talks since the fist day. We call for serious discussions, the observance of agreements and decent politics instead of pure intent and tactical manoeuvres!
Currently still a hunger strike on Oranienplatz takes place, which started on Wednesday, April 9, in solidarity with the tree occupation. The struggle for a decent refugee policy continues. Oranienplatz is dead? Long lives Oranienplatz!