Germany 2015. The extreme right groups “Concerned citizens”, Nazis, Pegida and AfD stir up public opinion against refugees, demonstrate in front of refugee domiciles and almost every day accommodation for refugees is attacked, so far mostly uninhabited, but buildings, where already people lived in, have been attacked too. Representatives of the governing parties CDU and SPD refer to these people as “rabble” and condemn their movements verbally, while they on the one hand hardly ensure the protection of the refugees (in Heidenau they sent only 136 cops to protect the refugees against more than 1,000 right-wingers) and on the other hand they even meet the demands of these right movements by worsening the lives of refugees massively (re-tightening of the residence obligation, food parcels instead of cash payments), by declaring more and more countries “safe third countries” (primarily Balkan countries where Roma are exposed to even more massive discrimination than anywhere else) and now by closing the borders with Austria and Denmark again and reintroducing border controls.
What has all this to do with the Hambach Forest and the environmental movement?
On one hand, everyone who feels committed in any manner to the values of solidarity and freedom, should oppose this racist sentiment.
On the other hand, we also want to point out that the reasons why people in the Middle East, in many African countries and in other parts of the world, must leave their homes, are produced in large part here with us, concretely also here in the Rhenish lignite mining area, the largest source of CO2 in Europe. Because the climate change destroys massively their livelihood, especially in the global South, where people have contributed the least to it. In Syria, where at present particularly many people are fleeing from, the raging civil war was preceded by a severe drought that has fostered the conditions for this civil war.
Therefore, the countries that have caused (and still cause) climate change, i.e. mainly EU and US, have a special obligation to take refugees. Or, in the words of the refugees movement: “We are here because you destroy our countries” – by climate change, arms trade and imperialist foreign policy.
But regardless, every person should have the right to choose freely where to live. Therefore both the causes of their flight must be combated, as well as global freedom of movement has to be fought. Anyone, who wants to stay, should be enabled to – who wants to come, should be allowed to!
The slogan “Refugees are Welcome!” expresses itself by numerous civil society initiatives that support refugees by collecting donations, offering German courses and organizing “welcome cafés”. But solidarity should not stop at humanitarian aid. Solidarity with refugees also means that the policy that creates causes for flight and at the same time closes the borders and worsens the living conditions of refugees, must be fought!
Some things that could be very useful:
- Visit the party headquarters of the CDU and SPD, to express there in what manner whatsoever, what you think of their racist policies (Demonstration, picket, occupation, damage of property, the creativity knows no bounds).
- Organize antifascist protection for refugees against racist attacks, fight Nazis. Support your local Antifa!
- Afford escape aid or any otherwise practical solidarity.
- During the deforesting season (from October 1) come into the Hambach Forest and fight here the cause for flight climate change. For example, join the Skills Sharing Camp and the blockade party of the Hambach railway (both are announced at this site).
This list is incomplete. Power your own thoughts and you will be creative.