"We are here because you Destroy our Countries"
Fortress Europe, Border Regimes and the International Organisation of Refugees
Social Exclusion, State Racism and Fascism
Women and Flight / Migration
Unite against Deportation
Programme of the Congress
Mail to the Congress
karawane Podium Birra Stop deportation of Tidiane Sow Stop deportation of Alabi Adebayo
hosted on www.nadir.org
and www.humanrights.de
Webjournal on the Refugee Congress from 21 April to 1 May 2000 in Jena, Germany
organised by The Voice Africa Forum e.V. , Schillergässchen 5, 07745 Jena

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The caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants

The `Caravan' movement started in 1998 just before the German elections. With the slogan `we have no vote but we have a voice' we travelled to 44 German cities in 35 days and enabled tens of thousands of refugees to express themselves politically. It laid the basis for refugees and migrants originating from Africa, Asia, Middle East, South America and German anti-racist groups to come together in a principled unity. It was not only the common threat of deportation and commonly felt racism that brought us together.

The Caravan Hunger Strike in Köln with the slogan `we are here because you destroy our countries' expressed another important aspect of our politics. With this hunger-strike refugees from all over the world accused the representatives of the richest countries in the world who met in Germany during the European Union and the G7 summits in 1999, that in order to maximise their profits they are supporting dictators and fascist regimes in the lands of our origin thus laying the basis for our suffering and our flight.

When we came forward to fight for our rights we faced extra repression. But in the past year and a half the Caravan movement has been successful in defending those who endangered themselves by joining the struggle. Further, the caravan movement has started to operate successfully as a network connecting different cities and nationalities together and laying the initial foundation stones for a serious movement.

Yet the struggle is being continuously moved on to higher planes by the industrialised nations, with increasingly advanced technology being added to the arsenal of repression for the exclusion and removal of `foreign criminals'. While more and more sophisticated propaganda is mobilised to justify and cover up the pillage of the countries of origin and the brutal repression of any resistance which permits them to do so.

It is now time we feel for reflection as well of action. We must on the one hand consolidate and build on our achievements but also consider new strategies of survival and resistance. As the Kafkaesque fortress Europe becomes an all too real nightmare for foreigners and when `ordinary' European Citizens are encouraged to become spies and special militias to combat the supposed enemy from without; more than ever before the fate of the struggle of our brothers and sisters in our countries of origin will be determined by our effective solidarity and the strategies we develop. But deportation and isolation destroy the possibility of such solidarity being built. It is in this context that the caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants will organise a ten day congress aimed at gathering forces to build an effective unity against deportations and social exclusion.

Deportation is a gross violation of human rights not only because it means that refugees fleeing persecution torture and death are cynically handed over to their executioners but also because it is the violation of the freedom of movement from poor to rich countries which has come to symbolise the creation of a world-wide system of apartheid between the few entitled to enjoy the fruits of neo-liberalism and the many, who in the words of a Tamil poet, `bear our destiny seared on our foreheads like a mark of Cain'. The small number of us who manage the come into the fortress Europe are now facing increasing pressure and such humiliation, to make our lives so difficult that we leave `voluntarily'.

Social exclusion has two dimension, on the one hand it prevents any human contact between the refugees and migrants and the local population, to say nothing of integration. But it is also an attempt to lock foreigners in a political vacuum and make it impossible for us to counter the vicious propaganda spread by the industrialised powers of the reality in our countries of origin or of effectively expressing their solidarity with the resistance of their brothers and sisters.

We feel that the theme of fighting against deportation and social exclusion brings together all the strands of our struggle. When we fight deportations we fight not only for our human rights to be treated as equals but we also tear asunder painted veil of lies and corruption with which industrialised nations attempt to obscure their pillage of our lands and the resistance of our brothers and sisters and legitimise the brutal regimes whose only legitimacy is that of being partners in this crime.

When we fight against social exclusion we fight not only for our right to be part of human society and not be herded into the ghettos of our times but also to be able to be truly in solidarity with those who resist and fight in the lands we left behind.

This unforgiving onslaught on our rights has not broken our spirit. From the isolated prisons called refugee camps we will come out fighting. This massive conference, co-ordinated by the Voice Africa Forum - which is the core of the Caravan group in Jena, will show the seriousness in which we will `Unite Against Deportation and Social Exclusion'

Although this is called a refugee congress and is organised fundamentally by the refugees, all serious anti-racists are encouraged to prepare themselves now so that you have the 21 April to the 1st May in the year 2000 free to participate in this important event. Your contribution will be a necessary part to the building of a successful fight-back. Further we call on all refugees, migrants and anti-racists at this early stage to contribute your ideas to the content of the congress as the program is still fairly open.

An open letter to the German Federal Parliament concerning Residenzpflicht
A letter to the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung concerning Residenzpflicht
Struggle for the defense of the rights of the political refugees worldwide
Report about the situation of the refugees in Irland
Residenzpflicht - First meeting of the Committee
Residenzpflicht - results of the working group, 28.04.00
Ogoni: Bound to agony
Ogoni killings: Police indicted as residents flee
Campuses in turmoil
Reps allege $30m fraud on plane request
The south-south declaration
Peasant Womens Struggle for Land and Emancipation in Bangladesh
Resistance against deportation
Conditions in Ansbach Refugee Camp
Stop the Deportation of Tidiane Sow to Guinea-Bissau
Action against the deportation of Alabi Adebayo
Workshop about free trade zones: the example of the Maquilladores in Mexico
"Residenzpflicht": A part of the adminstrative system of deterrance - and what to do against it
Residenzpflicht: results of the working group, 25.4.2000
Domestic Workers Charter of Rights
Hidden refugee falls to her death
results of the working group campaign against the residenz-law, supporters side, 26th April
Declaration of the Committee for the Civil Disobedience of the Residence Obligation Law, Jena, 26th April 2000
Declaration against the deportation of Alabi Adebayo
The Implications of Neo Colonialism and Neo Liberalsm in Africa on the Refugee Question
Human Rights Violations in Turkish Prisons
A suggestion of a resolution from Iranian groups
The restrictive harmonisation of Europes immigration and and asylum politics
Where is Imperialism today?
Manifesto of the Two Sides (Of the Meditarannean)
Is El Ejido Europes New Apartheid?
Moroccan Voices from El Ejido
El Ejido - A Human Rights Emergency
Speech - "We are here because you destroy out countries"