Friday, October 27, 2006

Desinformation by chef of ZAAB Oldenburg Mr Lüttgau | The Caravan

Since the beginning of the strike of the refugees in the ZAAB Blankenburg the chef of the lager, Mr. Lüttgau, has made several assertions to the press in order to make the legitimate protest of the refugees appear illegitimate. We want to confront his statements with our view. His publicely made statements are well intended desinformation. But the public has a right to get answers from the side of the refugees concerned.

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The first assertion which Lüttgau is repeating again and again is that it is only a minority of 50 people who takes part in the strike. We want to make clear that the first big demonstration in the lager, on Monday the 4th of october was supported by the absolute majority of the refugees present in the camp. About 200 people participated in it. After this it was decided to go on strike and this was also supported by the vast majority of the refugees. It was only as a result of the massive presence of the police and the intimidation by transfering refugees to other camps and having people to have to go to their embassies that refugees became afraid to appear in public. Pictures were taken on demonstrations by people working in the lager and then these were compared with the passports in the camp. The passive boycott of the cantine in the lager and the strike against the one-euro-jobs is still supported by the majority of refugees.

The chef of the camp Mr. Lüttgau and the minister of the interior of Niedersachsen assert again and again that the protests are run from outside the lager, by the antiracist plenum in Oldenburg and the NoLager-network. We want to make it clear: The anti-lager-days at the end of september offered a platform for the refugees to talk about the living conditions in the camp and to get information about their rights. This offer was used by the refugees. The rumor, that “aggressive chaotic people who were dangerous would linger before the camp” did not stop the refugees from participating in large numbers in the anti-lager days. On the Anti-Lager-days strike as a form of protest was not discussed. “The decision to strike was taken by the refugees alone”, said Ronald Sperling, a speaker of the antiracist plenary in Oldenburg. “They were glad to have allies in their struggle for their rights”. The strike and the demonstration on the 4th october in the lager was decided only by refugees. The acitivists of the antiracist plenary and the NoLager-network were not involved. They are supporting the refugees in their protest and in their struggle for their rights. “The demands were put together by the refugees themselves. We only transport them to the public”, said Olaf Bernau from the strike alliance.

One further assertion in order to difame the strike is that pressure is put on other refugees to take part in the strike. This argument shall make the suggestion that the strike can only be implemented with the use of violence against the majority of camp inhabitants. “Is is obvious that this is done in order to defer the interest from the fact, that the demands of the striking refugees correspond with what not only human rights organizations and representatives of voluntary welfare work but also Bündnis 90/Die Grünen have been demanding for years.”

At the same time Mr. Lüttgau claims in press articles again and again the image of the allegedly violent and criminal wheelings and dealings of the refugees. In an interview in the NWZ on the 13.10. he said that “mainly Blacks” come here, in order “to earn a lot of money in a short time in order to pay their tugs (Schlepper)”. By doing this the chef of the ZAAB Oldenburg is stiring up open racism. This goes along with not accepting refugees as equal partners for conversation, but defaming their demands as being over the top and inaceptable. It is the right of the refugees to practice their right of freedom to assemble and freedom to their opinion and to fight for the amelioration of their situation. Acting in a democratic way would mean to listen to the demands of the refugees and be able to stop the defects. “Instead of criminalizing the protest, there should be a political debate about the camp politics in Niedersachsen”, said Ronald Sperling from the antiracist plenary Oldenburg. “It is the crucial point that Niedersachsen explicitly counts on the camp politicis.” They claim that only by this the needed pressure in order to force refugees to ‘voluntary return’ can be put on them, if they are not deported immediately or driven into illegality. This would be the reason why Niedersachsen belongs to the minority of Bundesländer, which does not pay cash to refugees.

Desinformation by chef of ZAAB Oldenburg Mr Lüttgau | The Caravan
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