At least since the recent events in Ellwangen, the conditions in German deportation camps have once again been back in the public eye. But Ellwangen is not an isolated case. A series of police violence that is even more massive than usual is spreading across Bavaria. The further expansion of the competences of the state administration in May 2017, as well as the recent tightening of the PAG (Police Tasks Act) in 2017 and 2018 also mean more violence. People have always been isolated, degraded, deprived of their rights, harassed by police and injured in deportations in so-called ‘community accommodations’. Violence and raids in these camps are therefore not new. At the same time, the excesses of violence and repression are not onlyh increasing, but are even made easier in legal terms. The number of police attacks has grown precisely in the months in which the discussions about the PAG have become louder, and the AnkER centres have been on the wish list of the CDU, CSU and SPD.
Not an isolated case – Donauwörth
Pictures: Donauwörth police operation
In Donauwörth, a deportation was prevented in the morning hours of March 14, 2018. The person in question could not be found, and people from the Donauwörth camp verbally demanded in solidarity that deportation be stopped. In the afternoon of the same day, the police returned. At least 29 residents were arrested and accused of trespassing. In addition, about 300 residents inside were attacked with pepper spray and tear gas, despite the fact that they were locked in their rooms with locked windows. However, this assault was not attributed to the 300 actively and passively armed police officers, but to the camp’s inhabitants. Just as in the case of Ellwangen, where the accusations of armed violence and assaults on police officers were refuted in their entirety, all accusations were also be refuted here.
Where are the Donauwörth 32?
One point is certain: five of them were deported to Italy and Gambia in a fast-tracked procedure. Some were released in the last days. Until now there is no trace of the rest. Friends and supporters*innen cannot reach the arrested since the incident, the procurement of suitable legal aid was not possible so far. It is impossible to find the detainees. One affected person reports: He was put in the Augsburg-Gablingen detention centre straight from the Augsburg police station, and then transferred to another prison before being deported to Italy without any money or other private properties. The search requests by laywers run into the void, requests for visits are rejected after weeks of waiting.
Not an isolated case – Deggendorf, Memmingen, Regensburg and Hengersberg
On May 14, 2018 deportations were also carried out in Deggendorf and Hengersberg – again with the massive presence of police forces. On May 17, 2018 police again entered the deportation camp in Deggendorf. Here in Bavaria, tying up a pregnant woman, taking her into deportation detention and separating her from her four-year-old son is regarded as a preventive measure against violence conducted by refugees. This, at least, is the official justification that is given when armed police troops storm into camps, control and intimidate people, deprive them of their freedom and destroy them mentally and physically. Is this all “collateral damage” for the benefit of deportation?
Already in January, as part of the revision of the PAG, the authorities responded with a massive search in the deportation camp Deggendorf to the protests of the refugees that took place at that time under the slogan “No Job – No Food – No School”. In Regensburg, too, people organised themselves in the deportation camp at the beginning of 2018. And here, too, a raid followed.
Not an isolated case – unfounded accusations of trespassing to silence protest
The method of condemning people for trespassing was not only used in Donauwörth and Ellwangen. It is often used to delegitimize protests. This was also the case in Memmingen in spring 2017 and in the deportation camp Manching, when people protested at the so-called pocket money issue in winter 2017.
The list could be continued indefinitely…
Repression always serves as a means of breaking resistance. And it is always the same fairy tale that is told about violent refugees who dare to come to Germany and then complain. When the accusations of violence that were levelled at the refugees in Ellwangen and Donauwörth were completely dismissed, the media response was low. The police and the conservative majority retained the sovereignty of interpretation. They succeed in doing so only because the resentment of the violent black immigrants stays in place, and that way, the fairy tales of the police remain unquestioned, if not gratefully believed. Thus, necessary protest is reinterpreted as a fairy tale of the “violent refugee”, and used to legitimize the AnkER centers and the extension of the police task law. All this not only made the new PAG possible, but will also make the AnkER centres a reality everywhere soon – as long as we do not organize and become audible across linguistic and national borders, because we are already many!
Therefore we join the protesters from Donauwörth:
“The demands of our past protests were and remain the recognition of our asylum applications, the closure of the transit camps or the transfer to private homes, and the right to social participation. We also demand the release of the detainees.”
We say #NoPAG #NoAnkER #FreeDW32 #RighttoStayForAll #againstPoliceViolence #NoOneIsIllegal!