Bern. Switzerland. Yesterday, Tuesday, September 22, 2020, several hundred refugees, among them, us, refugee activists of the Left PoC, took the street in Bern in a self-determined way. We gathered at Reitschule to carry our protest against the isolation in asylum camps, for a right to stay, against racist police controls and against deportations to Federal Parliament.
Originally published by Barrikade Info. Translated by Enough 14.
We protested against a system, against a state, which is deeply racist, deeply inhuman. We demand to stop the practised isolation of rejected asylum seekers and the unconditional right to stay for all!
The demonstration was attacked by the Bern police shortly after it started. Tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets were used against the peaceful demonstration. The police injured several people, some of them were taken to hospital. We strongly condemn this behavior of the police.
We have resisted the police violence and have not given up the demonstration. After the police tried to block our route several times by force, the climate activists on the Bundesplatz showed their solidarity by forming a spontaneous demonstration in support with us. Together we formed a joint demonstration and could go to the Bundeshaus. This shows that solidarity and resistance are stronger than state and police violence!
The police violence makes us angry because the demonstration was peaceful and nobody used even the smallest amount of violence. It was the police who met our demands for more dignity and rights with violence. Responsible for this were those who are responsible for racism and deprivation of rights – the parliament – which in a letter explicitly called for tough action against protesters.
The state maintains a violent racist system with deportation prisons, police controls, detention centers and return centers, which is intended to defend the privileges of Switzerland and Swiss citizens; with massive violation of the basic dignity of refugees.
While this system is one facet of the racist system “Switzerland”, police repression is the other: But we have shown that we can resist, we can defend, and we will continue to fight for our rights!
Like the draconian judgement of Monday, when an antifascist was sentenced to 8 months unconditional imprisonment for taking part in a demonstration, shows that the state reacts to resistance against increasing racism with blatant repression. The attack against our self-determined demonstration in Bern yesterday, which we organized as refugees, also shows clearly: the state is afraid when those masses, which the state systematically and violently excludes from society, institutions and rights, organize and resist.
When we fight against racism – the oppression and exploitation of refugees, BIPOC and migrants – we also fight against climate change – caused by the exploitation of nature. When we fight against imperialism, we also fight against patriarchy. The struggle against transphobia stands side by side with the struggle against colonialism. The fight against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is part of the same fight as the fight against abortion bans and homophobia. And the fight against the exploitation of migrants is always a fight against capitalism. By defending those who suffer oppression, the system of oppression will be shaken. The revolution is intersectional!
We will continue to fight for our rights and against every form of oppression!
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