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#Seebruecke – Thousands Take the Streets Across Germany: Europe, Frontex and Police – Stop Killing Refugees!

Thousands of people took the streets across Germany to protest against mass drownings in the Mediterranean and the criminalization of life-savers. The next demonstration will be on July 13 in Cologne.

Published by Enough is Enough. Written by Riot Turtle. Images by Seebrücke – Schafft sichere Häfen‎ Facebook page

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

In approximately 10 days dozens of initiatives and organisations organized nearly 20 Seebruecke (See bridge) demonstrations across Germany against the mass drownings in the Mediterranean Sea and the criminalization of NGOs, working in the field. In Malta, where the captain of sea rescue organization Mission LIFELINE, Claus-Peter Reisch, is facing charges after having saved more than 230 lives there also was a demo.

More than 12.000 people marched in Berlin, more than 2000 in Hannover, more than 1000 in Bremen and hundreds in several other cities. More demonstrations are planned. The first one will take place on July 13 in Cologne (06.00pm – 18:00 – Bahnhofsvorplatz (square in front of the main tran station, Hbf) in Cologne).

In the call for yesterdays demonstrations Seebrücke – Schafft sichere Häfen‎  wrote on their Facebook event page:

To let people die in the Mediterranean sea, to advance the compartmentalization of Europe and to conduct political power struggles, is unbearable and speaks against any humanity. Migration is and has always been part of our society! Instead of closing the borders, we need an open Europe, solidary cities, and safe havens.

Seehofer, Salvini, and Kurz take advantage of the plight of people on the high seas to fight their own power struggles. They are trampling on international human rights. This is unbearable and disgusting.

Many critically ill people on the lifeline and on other ships previously had to endure for days on the high seas until the pressure of civil society became so big that Seehofer and his colleagues could not help but to let the lifeline disembark in a harbour. At that time, several cities and countries had already offered to take people from the Lifeline.

But instead of recognizing the solidarity within the population, Seehofer tries to continue to criminalize sea rescue. The crew of the Lifeline is now being brought to trial by Seehofer.

In these minutes, hours, and days, boats continue to sail out of Libya’s ports, and people will not be helped, because of the tense situation, not a single rescue ship is on the Mediterranean. That means: every day hundreds of people die on their way to Europe. This is an incredible humanitarian catastrophe that needs to be prevented.
Seehofer’s plan is that ships can no longer run out.
We want exactly the opposite: not less rescue, but much more!

Seebrücke – Schafft sichere Häfen, July 2018.

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Image: Yesterdays Seebruecke demo in Berlin.

The shift to extrem-right policies by German governing party CSU seem to alarm German civil society. German tv personalities Jan Böhmermann and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf started crowdfunding campaigns to finance the legal expenses of the Lifeline crew and to finace new rescue ships. 

Böhmermann wrote on his crowdfunding campaign: “As recently reported in the news, Lifeline (NGO rescue boat) resisted pressure to return refugees to Libya. After being accused of violating international rules the boat was stranded with 230 migrants at sea for days. Finally, it was taken by Malta however the Lifeline crew will have to face legal consequences for their actions taken while saving 230 lives at sea. This money pot has been set up to pay for Lifeline’s crew legal defense fees. Let’s all chip in and support them and their courageous handing of the situation!”

Klaas Heufer-Umlauf wants to charter new ships for sea rescue missions at the Mediterranean. On his crowdfunding campaign page he wrote: “Sea rescue is endangered and you can help: Now WE start rescuing! – #civilfleet – project.

Thousands of people die in the mediterrean sea each year, but a state-run sea rescue mission stays absent. Instead of rescuing, Europe seals itself off at the expense of humans in need and prevents rescue missions by private organisations. Currently, ships of three rescue mission organisations are held in Malta, leading to more and more people dying.What kind of world do we live in, in which actions against rescue are superior to actions against death?”

We will not accept that rescue ships are being blocked, while people die in the mediterrean sea. We want to charter at least one ship which rescues people or documents the situation on-site and we support the sea rescue NGOs, which are stuck in Malta. With this we show that we won’t accept the fact, that humans in need are not helped. Everyone who thinks that human rights are no longer to be respected, has not expected us. Now WE start rescuing!”

As an activist of the Cars of Hope collective I experienced the increasing repression against people who support refugees in Europe. In Serbia I was threatened with arrest for distributing food and on Lesvos I was followed and checked regurlarly by plain clothes cops. Of course we continued our work, but I am very aware that after the new law in Hungary, which makes supporting refugees to a criminal offense, and the increasing repression at sea, being arrested myself for supporting refugees could become reality any time. In the past years several EU member states adopted the Hungarian policies against refugees and there is no reason to believe this will change. 

Although many of my political believes are different of most people who are taking the streets now, I will join them. As anarchists we can write additional calls, spread flyers with our political views and organize addtional actions against the European border regime. But it would be a big mistake to isolate ourselves by ignoring the protests of civil society. Fascism is on the rise on many levels in Europe and we have to join forces to stop this development.


Support Enough is Enough and Cars of Hope at the Bosnian/Croatian border

On July 19 two people of the Enough is Enough team will join the Cars of Hope collective in Bosnia to work together with refugees and to produce independent border monitoring reports from the Bosnian/Croatian border. Read the reports of our last stay in Bosnia: here.

We urgently need financial support to maintain the supplies for refugees and to be able to keep on building emergency shelters.

Please donate for food, tents and other things for everyday life.

The Cars of Hope bank account details:

Bank: Volksbank in Bergisches Land

Account holder: Hopetal e.V.

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3 thoughts on “#Seebruecke – Thousands Take the Streets Across Germany: Europe, Frontex and Police – Stop Killing Refugees!

  1. […] the demo to march in Düsseldorf. So I was prepared for several scenarios. But since there were demonstrations against the European border regimes and the criminalization of life savers across Ger…, the cops didn’t seem to have enough state troopers in Düsseldorf. The resistance against […]

  2. […] the first wave of protests against drownings, border closures and criminalization of life-savers, there will be a second wave of protests in the coming days. The Seebruecke initiative is growing […]

  3. […] After the first wave of protests against drownings at the Mediterranean sea, border closures & …, another wave of protests took the streets across Germany last night. A report back from Cologne. […]

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