Report on Why we march to Berlin -"Instead of rotting in isolation we want to break free by walking" by Turgay Ulu
Text of Turgay Ulu, refugee protest march activist since 08.09.2012.
First publish in Deutsch
Well, on the 8th and 9th of September 2012 we will start marching from Würzburg to Berlin. They ask us why? We are marching, because we want freedom and respect. Thus we are taking the actions, boycotts and hunger strikes that we have been carrying out for months to a different level. We will march for about one month. As revolutionary refugees, we have long before the march organized actions in order to be heard from within the camps in which we are locked.
Now we go to Berlin because that’s where the government is. All freedom marches in history have lead to the centers representing the power that restricts the freedom. And so we walk to the center of their power. Our specific demands are known to all: The abolition of isolation, the closure of refugee camps, the suspension of the “Residenzpflicht” that is applied only in Germany, the abolition of vouchers that categorize us as the lowest class, the end of asylum procedures that last for years and aim at frustrating us. End the deaths of refugees through the hands of Frontex and end the deportations back to capitalist-imperialist war zones and dictatorships.
It is not us who started the wars that force people to flee. We have not produced the weapons that kill people and nature. We haven’t fled because we want to. We ran away because we didn’t have the right to live in the places we had to leave. And we still must fight the ones who deny us this very right in European countries. There is no other way for us to live in decent conditions.
Only yesterday I was tried to receive the permission to go to Berlin from the authorities. And because I questioned the fact that we don’t have the freedom to travel they threw me out of the office. Yes, they have occupied everywhere. There are people who want to keep on believing the lie that there is freedom of movement in the EU, let them! But we see through this lie. And no one can stop us. We will keep on walking and so we will abolish borders.
We walk to break the isolation to which they have condemned us. We appeal to all our working brothers and sisters who are oppressed, exploited and discriminated against. Capitalism wants to lock all of you up in the future. The ones who are left unemployed will be neutralized by being locked in camps. We walk now in order to denounce this plan in advance.
We’re not only marching. We are also trying to build solidarity among us and the basis for a collective, alternative lifestyle. We try to keep our human side alive that they try to destroy through isolation and loneliness. We are trying to develop our skills and build a new life by setting up a collective life in camps. Here we support each other in theory and practice and in self-development. Each of us tries to make a contribution so that the others develop their weak sides.
Only yesterday 60 refugees drowned in the waters of Turkey. We have seen that the border river Meric is full of corpses. We have seen people begging for money in the streets of Athens. We have witnessed that young women had to sell their bodies on the run. We had to watch that pregnant women were beaten and refugees have been humiliated by the police. We do not want to be part of this crime by saying nothing.
So they threaten us with arrest or deportation to shut our mouths. Only yesterday they took one of our friends in custody because of violation of Residenzpflicht. They want to condemn us to silence, to rot us in the cages which they have set for us.
Instead of rotting in isolation we want to break free by walking. Walking sets free. Let us then walk and let us see what will happen.
Turgay Ulu, 7.9.12
Die Karawane – The Caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants