Statement of the refugees, relating to the article in Stuttgarter Zeitung from the 9th of August

As well known, since the 17. of July, we have been protesting peacefully in front of the Integration Ministry in Stuttgart, for our basic right to live in dignity. We came here, because 8 months of negotiation within the Main-Tauber-District – which is where we are assigned to live – did not bring any results.

Yesterday, the 9th of August, the Stuttgarter Zeitung (StZ) published an article with the sensational title „Escalation in front of the Integration Ministry?“ The article claims that we were incited and lead by a „radical activist“ and questions, whether we are still „in charge of [our] decisions“

Since the beginning of our protest, we stay in touch with reugees from other lagers in Baden-Württemberg and Germany, since we basically live under similarly bad conditions.
Arash, who was mentioned by the StZ, came to declare his solidarity like many other refugees.

But already one week ago, Arash left the camp. A simple fact, which Tanja Kurz, author of the article, could have easily found out by researching more carefully. Even though it should be self-evident, we want to point out, that we don´t need any leader, and Arash never had that role at any time. The only ones, that have asked for a leader so far, are the police and the press. We are the ones who know our specific problems best, we discuss our further steps as a group and we take decisions together.

For this reason we request the StZ to publish this correction and to ensure that in the future its claim of being „the independent Newspaper for Baden-Württemberg“ is actually put into practice.

Trying to divide protest movements into good and bad parts isn’t new. The hunger-strike in Munich was portrayed by the press in a very similar way: singular „radical leaders“ would use the protest for their own goals. (see also http://www.taz.de/!119082). The fact, that we, the refugees, organize ourselves, that we ourselves step in for our rights still seems something unimaginable for many people.

Furthermore, the wish for escalation from the StZ simply doesn’t match with real situation in front of the ministry. We are constantly talking to the city of Stuttgart, we are demonstrating peacefully and we are going to continue our protest that way. While Thursday night the StZ was fantasizing about escalation, we were cheerfully celebrating the end of Ramadan together with many friends from Stuttgart.

This afternoon (Saturday) we want to inform people about our situation while celebrating a street festival with music and food on Saturday. Everybody is cordially invited!

Our demands:

1) Abolition of “Sachleistungsprinzip”
2) Work permission for Asylum seekers
3) Abolition of “Lagerpflicht”
4) Unlimited medical care
5) Possibility to learn the German language
6) Stop deportations
7) Residence right for all
8) No more discrimination
9) Abolition of “Residenzpflicht”

Kontakt: refugeesmaintauber@riseup.net
Tel.: 015212252097 (Mian), 015216256902 (Imran)
facebook.com/RefugeeProtestStuttgart
refugeeproteststuttgart.wordpress.com/

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