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Defend Rote Flora – Saturday 21st December 2013: International demonstration

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Saturday 21st December 2013: International demonstration
Start: 2pm – Rote Flora Hamburg

Defend Rote Flora – enforce Esso Houses!
Against racist conditions – right of residence for all!

With an international demonstration in Hamburg on 21st December, we want to make clear that any attempt to evict the Rote Flora will lead to massive resistance. We focus on the current struggles for the Esso Houses, the right of residence for refugees and the radical criticism on repression and so-called danger zones (areas where the police have extended rights to arbitrarily control and arrest people).
In October of this year, the 24 year old squat Rote Flora has announced a campaign for its defence. Formal owner Kretschmer and investor Gert Baer intend to end the squatting state of the former municipal building and to file a lawsuit against the current land development plan for the area. They have announced to develop the Flora into a 6-storey building including a concert hall for 2500 visitors, an integrated district cultural centre, commercial and office premises as well as a day-care centre and a 3-storey basement garage. For realisation, it is intended to found a limited company with international investors.

Remain incompatible!
Baer and Kretschmer are criticising publicly that the Hamburger Hafenstrasse was not evicted in the eighties and declaring the Rote Flora a contrary political model. According to their press release, the objective is demoralisation of the squatting scene and, by smashing the Flora, not to offer a perspective for new squats any longer. Ideologically, their attack does not only target the Rote Flora as a single local project, but they understand their commitment as a political statement against squatting in general. In the meantime, Baer calls the multiple hundred users of the house a „criminal and terrorist organisation“.

Due to the concrete threat, in a plenary assembly it was called for countrywide and international solidarity action. Even before any money sources develop hope for profit maximisation, inter-regional headlines and deterrence shall create a negative image of the investor project and make clear that such a plan leads to damage rather than gain.

The Rote Flora will not rely on appeasement by policy or public institutions. Redevelopment as well as land development plans can change as well as positions of politicians and media. In addition, the Senate’s approach primarily seems to aim at moving away from the line of fire. Inconvenient decisions are handled via the private economy through privatisation, while politicians wash their hands of responsibility. Not only does this remind of the Esso Houses at the Reeperbahn threatened by demolition, but also of the conflict regarding the Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen.

It was always pointed out by the Rote Flora that the actual conflict primarily is one about city and society itself. The argument is not only about the building at the Schulterblatt, but is part of and refers to the conditions surrounding it. We are fighting not only for the preservation of the house, but for the Flora as a political project and political idea. We are aware that we probably can prevent a potential eviction politically and in advance only – through broad solidarity and strong movements, moving not only from a defensive position, but originating from the change of circumstances.

Shut down fortress Europe!
The refugees’ countrywide fight for a right of residence marked the last months and weeks. For weeks, spontaneous demonstrations and protests were taken to the streets of Hamburg, in order to stop racial controls preparing the deportation of the Lampedusa refugees. Through various forms of protest and action, in motion independently and uncontrolled, it was possible to temporarily push the state government on the defensive. In the meantime, an attempt is being made to split up the group of Lampedusa refugees by using the Church leadership as a lever for Senate politics.

Therefore it is even more important that the entire protest range speaks out clearly and determined. Permanent stop of the racial controls is no object of negotiation in the conflict for a right of residence of the Lampedusa refugees. The right of residence is not a question of the country of origin or a case-by-case review representing a deportation on instalments. Permanent, unrestricted right of residence and freedom of movement for everybody – abolish Dublin II!

While a lot of people showed their solidarity in Hamburg, Berlin and other cities, the last weeks saw a steady increase in racist mobilisations of residents and a series of arson attacks on accommodation facilities of refugees on the outskirts of cities as well as in rural areas. Racism still originates from the middle of society and state-run attacks on refugees support populist sentiments. Therefore an anti-fascist practice is and remains as essential as an anti-racist reference in urban political struggles.

Capitalist city development
Another example of how struggles in the city can refer to each other and connect are St. Pauli’s Esso Houses. Over a hundred tenants are to be displaced to make way for a huge new building with luxury apartments. Existing clubs and shops shall close and be replaced with high-priced business. An attempt is being made to play off tenants’ interests against those of the residents. Policy has dropped every thinkable urban development alternative, in order to clear the way for the investor Bayrische Hausbau. First notices have been given for spring 2014.

All options for a preservation of the building or a redevelopment on behalf of the tenants and residents were blocked, all doors shut. Only broad protest and a resistance that’s becoming radicalised seem to be able to overturn the allegedly hopeless situation. Although the composition of the resistance in St. Pauli is much more heterogeneous, the Rote Flora and the Esso Houses face an amazingly similar problem. The city is passing the conflict into private hands and acts as if uninvolved. As a result, massive protest and escalation seem to be the only perspective against a policy that is trying to enforce its political targets as capitalist practical necessities.

For expansion of the struggles
Worldwide, cities are places of political struggles which frequently refer to each other and connect. When people are demonstrating against gentrification, eviction and increasing rents in Istanbul, Athens, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Berlin, Amsterdam or Copenhagen, not only the issues and architectures of investors overlap but more and more often the experiences of protest and political goals as well.

Political movements are newly created and evolve from the cities’ social basis. The fight for Rote Flora’s preservation is intersecting with struggles of other squats and urban district projects worldwide. There is tenants’ resistance against revaluation and displacement, protest against privatisation of urban life, self-organisation and sabotage against repression and the inhuman system of deportation and sealing off borders.

The Rote Flora is only one of many places currently reflecting these conflicts in protest. For us, this is not about a single project, not only about the Rote Flora, the Esso Houses, the Centro Sociale or other contested spaces. It’s about a radically different understanding of city and society. About trans-boundary solidarity, a practice of appropriation and socialisation of the existing, an attack against capitalist constraints and patriarchal norms.

Right to the city – fight capitalism! No border – no nation!

Contact: flora-bleibt@nadir.org
Information: http://florableibt.blogsport.de/english/

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Pictures of Ultramarines Bordeaux Alerta Action Day “Refugees Welcome”

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Here a second picture of the action
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And here the last picture:
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On sunday 15/12, while Bordeaux was playing against Valenciennes for the french league, the Ultramarines have invited 8 kids asylum- seekers to the game. We offer them scarves and they have spend a great day with us. For this action, we have work in partnership with the AFEV, a student association which help asylum seekers and refugees. They are always looking for support so here’s their website: http://www.afev.fr/

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Pictures of Sankt Pauli Alerta Action Day “Refugees Welcome”

At this year’s Antira Tournament in Winterthur (2013), the Alerta Groups present agreed that in the coming season, two Action Days to be carried out would be in relation to the topics Refugees and Crisis. As with last year, it was intended that this Action Day would not just be a choreo on a certain matchday, but talks and demonstrations related to the subject too. In order to allow a degree of flexibility, only the month in which the Action Day should take place was provided as a framework. This allowed each group more freedom to plan, so that, for example, a choreo at an away match would not be necessary. The topic Crisis was planned for November, but as the issue of refugees is/was very much in the foreground in Hamburg and throughout Europe at the time, it was decided to strategically swap the two topics. FC St. Pauli only had two home matches in November, and a choreo had already been planned for the game against Cologne. As a result the only remaining option was the match against Cottbus. Unfortunately though, this game was then rescheduled for a Monday evening. Monday night games are obviously a load of old shite (just think back to Munich away on a Monday night) so we decided to restrict our activity relating to the Action Day topic to just banners. Paper banners relating to the topic have appeared frequently, and that refugees are welcome at Sankt Pauli, or that that our current mayor an arsehole, should now be clear to anyone who has been in the ground. We wanted to address the subject in a more detailed form though, to look at the root of the problem, in our opinion the walling off of Europe for refugees and the laws by which they are treated here. Both the sealing off of Europe as well as the deportation of refugees are influenced by the so-called Dublin 2 Agreement. Our mayor likes to claim in the press that he is only following the law. And of course the law is always right, and fair to all! Or perhaps not. With this in mind, we agreed on one slogan with regards to this matter: DESTROY THE FORTRESS EUROPE ABOLISH DUBLIN II Alongside this slogan, we also wished to work with the refugees from the Hamburg Lampedusa group. As we had already formed strong links with the group, we were able to do this relatively swiftly. Rasmus Gerlach is a film director who has been following the group pretty much since its inception. As part of this he has also been making a film on the subject. We were able to invite him to the Fanräume at Sankt Pauli and show his film to all those in attendance. In addition, we invited Hotte (who has worked as a doorman at the St Pauli Church for almost half a year now) and a handful of refugees to take part in a podium discussion following the film, where they explained more about their own personal experiences and answered questions. On reflection, we are happy with the Action Day. A larger choreo would’ve been nice, nevertheless it was great to see so many other groups heeding our call, and preparing and displaying banners for the second half of the Cottbus game. We would like to thank all those involved! Also thanks to the Fanräume, and all those who attended the related film and discussion evening. In the event that anyone has missed the film, you can still catch it in a number of Hamburg’s smaller cinemas. We would definitely recommend watching it! The Dublin II-System must must be abolished! No to deportations back into the social crisis areas on the edge of Europe!! Asylumseekers must be allowed to seek protection in the place of their choice!
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Auf dem diesjährigen Antira Turnier in Winterthur wurde von den anwesenden Alerta Gruppen besprochen, in der kommenden Saison zwei Actiondays zu machen mit den Thematiken Flüchtlingen und Krise. Wie die Jahre zuvor sollte es sich dabei nicht nur an einem Spieltag um eine Choreo handeln, sondern auch um Vorträge, Demos etc.. Um zeitlich etwas flexibler sein zu können, einigte man sich auf einen Monat, indem der Actionday stattfinden sollte. So hat jede Gruppe etwas Spielraum und muß z.B. Auswärts keine Choreo machen. Für den November war das Thema Krise geplant, da die Flüchtlingsthematik aber in Hamburg und ganz Europa sehr aktuell war/ist, tauschten wir kurzerhand die Themen. Da der FC St. Pauli im November nur zwei Heimspiele hatte und für Köln schon eine Choreo geplant war(wird fett!!), blieb uns nur das Spiel gegen Cottbus über, welches dann blöderweise auch noch auf einen Montag gelegt war. Da Spiele am Montag noch immer kacke sind oder wer von euch fährt alles nach München, beschränkten wir uns im Stadion auf Spruchbänder. Tapeten gab es ja schon viele zu dem Thema und das Flüchtlinge auf St. Pauli willkommen sind und unser aktueller Bürgermeister ein Arschloch, sollte inzwischen jede_r Stadiongänger_in mitbekommen haben. Wir wollten das Thema etwas tiefer anpacken, mehr an der Wurzel und das ist für uns die Abschottung Europas vor Flüchtlingen und die Gesetzte mit denen sie hier behandelt werden. Die Abschottung und die Abschiebungen innerhalb der EU beruhen beide auf dem sogenannten Dublin 2 Abkommen. In der Presse behauptet unser Bürgermeister ja immer gerne er handle nur nach Gesetzen. Gesetze sind natürlich von Grund auf immer richtig und für alle Menschen voll gut, oder auch nicht!! Um es dann einfach zu halten und für alle verständlich, einigten wir uns auf den Spruch: DESTROY THE FORTRESS EUROPE ABOLISH DUBLIN II Neben dem Spruch wollten wir auch noch etwas mit den Flüchtlingen aus der Hamburger Lampedusagruppe machen. Da es zu ihnen inzwischen ziemlich gute Kontakte gibt, war hier recht schnell etwas gefunden. Rasmus Gerlach ist Regisseur und begleitet die Gruppe fast von Anfang an mit seiner Kamera, hieraus ist ein Film entstanden bzw. noch am entstehen. Wir konnten Rasmus dazu bewegen zu uns in die Fanräume zu kommen und uns sowie allen Interessierten seinen Film zu zeigen. Weiter konnten wir Hotte, welcher seit fast einem halben Jahr vor der St. Pauli Kirche jede Nacht Wache schiebt, und eine Handvoll Flüchtlinge für eine anschließende Podiumsdiskussion gewinnen, in der sie mit Rasmus zusammen den Zuschauern ihre Geschichten schildern und Fragen beantworten konnten. Im Nachgang sind wir recht zufrieden mit dem Actionday. Eine größere Choreo wäre sicherlich schön gewesen, so war es aber super zu sehen, wieviele Gruppen im Stadion dem Aufruf gefolgt sind und zur zweiten Halbzeit Tapeten gemalt und hochgehalten haben. Dickes Danke dafür an alle beteiligten Person!! Auch noch ein dickes Danke an die Fanräume und alle Personen die beim Film und der anschließenden Diskussion waren. Falls ihr den Film verpasst habt, er läuft immer mal in HHs kleineren Kinos. Lohnt sich anzuschauen. Das Dublin II-System muss umgehend abgeschafft werden! Keine Abschiebungen ins soziale Elend an den Rändern Europas! Asylsuchende müssen dort Schutz suchen dürfen, wo sie möchten! Für ein Europa, das Willkommen heißt.

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Hamburg – the Gate to the World, not the Fortress Europe

Deeply concerned, a lot of us see several hundred African refugees being left behind by the City of Hamburg for weeks. We, a group of supportes of the FC St. Pauli, are willing to gather our powers to help these refugees with their struggle for a save stay in Hamburg and a better life.
For a long time the Hamburg Senate fails in its responsibility of being the government of one of the richest cities in Europe and support those people who fled from a civil war with little more than their own lives.

That is not our Hamburg!

Whatever we can do, we will help. Therefore we urge all Hamburg citizens to get up and join us. At the moment, we are networking with the refugees themselves, with antiracist initiatives, with the churches, and with other important institutions to build up a proper plan. All you people who don’t turn a blind eye to the fate of the refugees should follow these wires. We will shortly name the possibilities how you can show your solidarity and support.
We also ask the intitutions and comittees of the FC St. Pauli itself to help where the people concerned and the supporters need it.

No one is illegal!

More information:
www.magischerfc.de

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Information about Istanbul riots and football fans unite!

Dear comrades,

As you may know, Istanbul has been on fire since last monday. Since government-supporter media(„assholes“ as Kurt Vonnegut said) has been ignoring the riot, it would be so helpful if you spread our word among footbal fans over Europe.

It all started as defending a little park in Taksim called Gezi Parki (they are trying to shopping mall and residence here for big companies). After police and the prime minister Erdogan’s dictatorship-like speech, with all colours of people started a riot in Taksim and then it spread to Kadikoy and other cities.

We are minority but we still have a dream about country.

Good news, all rival football teams‘ supporters united and took the leadership with political movements along the riots. VamosBien called all Fenerbahce fans to barricades and thousands of fans came.

We came from barricades for a little rest and we are turning to barricades again soon.

So please spread our word ampng your newtwork using these tags and website:

#occupygezi #direngeziparki
www.occupygezipics.tumblr.com

PS: GOVERNMENT IS CUTTING INTERNET CONNECTION AND SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS AROUND TAKSIM. SO IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO USE OUR VOICE AS MEDIA.

United we stand, divided we fall,

Salute from Istanbul,

VamosBien

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