Hamburg, 18 May 2018
Grand Coalition Against Racism: 200 groups and initiatives call for a parade against racism and deportations in Hamburg
Also in 2018 people still die in the Mediterranean, live under inhuman conditions in camps and are increasingly confronted with racist violence. Against this, and for a policy of solidarity, the countrywide network We’ll Come United stands up. Under the slogan “United Against Racism” the network is positioning itself with today’s call for a statewide parade in Hamburg on 29 September 2018, against racist madness on the streets and in parliaments, against a society walling itself in and against the politics of exclusion.
200 organisations, initiatives, cafés and clubs, associations, cultural institutions, self-organised migrant groups, welcome initiatives, artists’ collectives and NGOs are among the first signatories. These include ‘Lampedusa in Hamburg’ and ‘Youth Without Borders’, the ‘Auschwitz Committee in the Federal Republic of Germany’, several refugee councils, the tribunal ‘NSU-Komplex auflösen’, the sea rescue organisations ‘Sea-Watch’ and ‘Jugend rettet’, the NGO ‘medico international’, the football clubs ‘FC St. Pauli’ and ‘SV Babelsberg 03’ and the Hamburg Theater ‘Kampnagel – Zentrum für schönen Künste / center for finer arts’.
“The problem throughout Europe is not migration, the problem is racism,” said Newroz Duman, spokeswoman for the We’ll Come United network. “In the last few weeks alone, a thread of racism has been running through the public, ranging from the AfD to Christian Lindner, from the media spectacle about Ellwangen to the new regulation of family reunification. We will not participate in this right-wing discourse. We do not let ourselves be divided into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ migrants. We stand on the side of all those who are exposed to the daily agitation, the border regime and the deprivation of rights and who are defending themselves against it. The more deportations are prevented, the better.”
The parade in Hamburg is intended to show the strength and diversity of the anti-racist movement, which too often remains invisible. “Whether in the Mediterranean, in the fight against deportations or in the welcome initiative: the solidarity of countless people is the practical answer to the old and new racism,” said Duman. Activists have been on a “Swarming”-tour for months. They visit camps and secluded shelters of fugitives to strengthen the people in their daily struggles. Last weekend, from 10-13 May in Göttingen, several networks of movement and science came together to form a “grand coalition of anti-racism”.
“We are many – and even much more than we think. It is time for an anti-racist offensive,” Duman concluded.
We’ll Come United is a network of groups and individuals involved in social, anti-racist, cultural and political activities. It is a coalition of refugees and supporters, scientists, teachers, neighbors, people of all ages and from the most diverse ranges of the society. The first We’ll Come United Parade took place in Berlin in September 2017: Diverse, loud and colourful, this anti-racist gathering set an example on Berlin’s streets shortly before the federal elections. Since then, the network has expanded to include many groups and people in order to make anti-racism and solidarity visible – as a demonstration, a carnival, a parade with music and performance this year in Hamburg.
Swarming Tour: https://www.welcome-united.org/de/swarming-material/
Voices of first signatories:
“The Mediterranean is still the world’s deadliest frontier, the humanitarian crisis is by no means over. Europe’s attempt to stop migration by all means must finally come to an end. Instead of inflicting immense suffering to people on the run, denying them their fundamental rights and criminalising civil sea rescue, we must finally create decent entry routes!”
Johannes Bayer, Member of the Board of ‘Sea-Watch e.V.’
“Collective deportations to Afghanistan have been taking place for 1.5 years now, although everyone knows that this is a crime against humanity. We need a strong bond from the camps to the population in order to fight resolutely against deportations to Afghanistan and all other countries”.
Nabi Ghorbani, ‘Afghan outcry Düsseldorf’
“The current anti-racist struggles also include the Roma right to stay – whose history is deeply linked to Germany. Germany under National Socialism: that meant deportation and persecution of the Roma in North-West and South-East Europe. Racism affects Roma in the past and present. Today, Roma continue to flee racism and exclusion, sometimes repeatedly. Therefore, solidarity with Roma is a fight against political and social exclusion – everywhere.”
Kenan Emini, ‘everybody stay!’
“In the fight against racism we are not talking about a temporary expulsion ritual, but about a centuries-old phenomenon. At present, it is again gaining ground in the center of society. As humanists, we cannot and will not allow this!”
Diana Henniges, ‘Moabit Helps e.V.’
“I support the ‘We’ll Come United Network’ because it is a strong sign of the power of solidarity.”
Cornelia Kerth, Federal Chairwoman ‘VVN-BdA’ (‘Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes – Bund der Antifaschistinnen’, ‘Union of Victims of Persecution by the Nazi Regime – Association of Antifascists’)
“Racism must no longer become socially acceptable, especially in Germany. That’s why it must be uncovered, named and vigorously debated. The parade is a great initiative of the ‘We’ll Come United network’. Let us all go and celebrate a society without exclusion!”
Amelie Deuflhard, Director ‘Kampnagel – Centre for Fine Arts’
“In view of increasingly intense racist discourses, the solidarity of anti-racist groups, initiatives and individuals is becoming more and more urgent. The experiences of people who are directly negatively affected by these discourses must be placed at the centre of attention. The ‘We’ll Come United’ campaign does that – that’s why it is supported by the ISD.”
Tahir Della, board ‘Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V.’ (ISD)
“In the current times, it is important to go forward and not only preach values such as tolerance and openness, but also to actively push them. That is what the ‘We’ll Come United’ alliance is doing and that is why FC St. Pauli is, with all its strength, supporting the call for the anti-racist parade in Hamburg on 29 September.“
Christiane Hollander, Vice-President FC St. Pauli