» International Statement of Solidarity

Leggi l’appello online in italiano
Declaración de solidaridad internacional, español

All our support and solidarity to the protest of migrants and asylum seekers in Vienna!

The protest camp set up by asylumseekers in Vienna has been brutally evicted last night. It is part of a growing European movement of migrant struggles, that has recently seen similar protests in Berlin, Amsterdam and Calais, as well as Lesvos, Budapest and other places. They contest authoriatrian border regimes and the migration policies of the EU and its member states.

Please spread this call via your lists and blogs, and email refugeeprotestvienna-solidarity@riseup.net to sign the statement (Subject: Solidarity Vienna)!

The protest camp

On the 24th of November 2012, hundreds of migrants seeking asylum in Austria marched from the isolated and overcrowded government camp storing them to set up a protest camp in Vienna along with Austrian supporters. Their demands are: the right to work and stay in this prosperous European country, as qualified legal support and translation. Building their own and self-sustained protest camp, the protesters have created a vibrant space of participatory democracy, solidarity and mutual aid; an inspiring constituent process. They have shown what a truly open and cosmopolitan Europe might look like.

The church occupation

On the 18th of December, after weeks of building a strong movement and camp, and after weeks of being ignored by the government, they decided to move into the church that borders on the protest camp. When the asylumseekers sought refuge in the church the government could no longer ignore them. However, while the government has acknowledged the legitimacy of their demands, the talks have been fruitless as the government refused to take the necessary action to improve the situation.

The hunger strike

The days of Christmas, which so festively celebrate that Joseph and Maria found asylum in Bethlehem, have been a cold and inhospitable time for the protesters. As politicians joined their families, leaving the refugees with little more than vague promises of more talks, the refugees saw little other option but to enter into hunger strike.

Meanwhile, migrants have come to Vienna from all over the country, to join this protest and affirm the importance of another kind of politics of migration and asylum. Their demands have been echoed and supported: we have heard the director of Caritas as well of different union leaders affirm the importance of giving migrants the right to work as they seek refuge.

The eviction

Today, on the 28th of December, in the dark of the night, a large number of police violently evicted the camp. The frame of the democracy and community that has been built up in the cold winter month running up to Christmas was razed to the ground within few hours.

The politicians in charge have not only broken the talks, but chosen to penalize the act of protesting against the inhuman conditions that asylum seekers have to tolerate in Austria. Police registered the identity of everyone at the camp; people who were inside tents had to stand up in front of the tents, were photographed and filmed from all sides in most humiliating ways. The police now presses charges against 24, and two are said to be arrested because of lack of residence permit.

But people are determined to continue the struggle, with the church filling with ever more refugees and transmigrants every day – even if the support of the church and Caritas is very reluctant, at times blocking access to the church. Freedom of movement and protest are human rights – we support the important cause of migrant struggles and the brave acts of civil disobedience in Vienna and everywhere in Europe!

We demand that the Austrian Government
  • guarantees the right to protest, also for non-Austrian citizens;
  • stops any ongoing legal actions against people exercising their right to protest;
  • stops all racist policing;
  • resumes the negotiations with the asylumseekers, which this violent eviction was so clearly designed to interrupt.
We repeat and stand fully behind the asylumseekers’ demands:
  1. Grundversorgung (basic support) for all asylumseekers, as long as they reside in Austria, irrespective of their legal status;
  2. Free choice of their location of residence in Austria, and access to public housing for all asylum seekers residing in Austria – no transfers against the wishes of the people concerned;
  3. Access to employment, educational institutions and social security for all migrants residing in Austria;
  4. Stop all deportations to Hungary – stop all deportations associated with the Dublin Regulation 2;
  5. Establishment of an independent authority for substantive review and appeal of all negative replies to asylum applications;
  6. Recognition of socio-economic motives in addition to the previously recognized escape reasons

For the full list of demands, see: https://refugeecampvienna.noblogs.org/post/2012/11/25/bewegungsfreiheit-fur-alle-fluchtlinge-we-will-rise/

Initial signatories:

1. März – transnationaler Migrant_innenstreik, Austria – www.1maerz-streik.net
Vera Wriedt
Afrique Europe Interact Berlin, Germany – www.afrique-europe-interact.net
Antonio Negri, Italy
Arianna Bove, UK
Boats for People Berlin, Germany – Boats for People Berlin
Calais Migrant Solidarity – calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com
Coordinamento Migranti, Italy – www.coordinamentomigranti.org
Eipcp – european institute for progressive cultural policies – www.eipcp.net
Etienne Balibar, Frankreich
Franco Bifo Berardi, Italy
Fundacion de los Comunes, Spain – www.fundaciondeloscomunes.net
Judith Revel, France
kein mensch ist illegal Hanau, Germany – kmii-hanau.antira.info
NoLager Bremen, Germany
Precarious Workers Brigade, UK – precariousworkersbrigade.tumblr.com
PrekärCafé, Austria – www.prekaer.at
Sandro Mezzadra, Italy
The VOICE Refugee Forum, Germany – www.thevoiceforum.org
transact! – transact.noblogs.org
Universidad Nomada, Spain – www.universidadnomada.net
Welcome to Europe Network – www.w2eu.net
x:talk, UK – www.xtalkproject.net

Further signatories

Arbeitskreis Undokumentierte Arbeit von ver.di Berlin
PINAY Filipino Women’s Organization, Quebec, Canada
Passauer Bündnis für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge
Angelo Baracca, Professor of Physics, University of Florence
Jutta Gsoels-Lorensen, Associate Professor of German, English and
Comparative Literature, Penn State University, Altoona College
Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR)
International Migrants Alliance (IMA)
Grace Punongbayan, Gen. Secretary, International Migrants Alliance-
European chapter
Leaders of Migrant Organizations in Latin America MOVIMIENTO MIGRANTE
Nepal Labor Organization (Progressive Migrant Labor Forum PMLF),
International Migrant Alliance Nepal (IMAN)
Resource Center for Migrant Concerns (RCMC)
KAFIN Migrant Center
Philippines-Japan Peace and Solidarity Network (PJPSN)
Anisur Rahman Khan, Executive Director, IMA Research Foundation Bangladesh
MIGRANTE-International, Philippines
Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairperson, Migrante Sectoral Party of
Overseas Filipinos and their Families
MIGRANTE-Europe, Nederlands
Paola Torricini, Firenza, Italia
Alberto Brunetti, Firenza, Italia
Francesca Corsi, Firenza, Italia
Giovanni Brunetti, Firenza, Italia
Shauna Blackmon- American living in Berlin
Europäisches BürgerInnen Forum / Österreich
Bleiberechtsgruppe Salzburg
Grüne Jugend Dresden
Daniel Daedlow, Stäbelow, Germany
Hanna Bergfors, Berlin
Aktion mot deportation (Action against deportation Sweden)
Daniel Pérez, Dakar, Senegal ONGD AFRICANDO
NoBorder Marburg, nobordermr.de
Joachim Rollhaeuser, Lawyer, Athens
Riccardo Torregiani, Rete antirazzista Firenze/Italy
Manuela Giugni, Rete Antirazzista di Firenze/Italy
Alfonso Di Stefano- Rete Antirazzista Catanese
Asylgruppen i Malmö, Sweden (The Asylum Group in Malmö, Sweden)
Akis Gavriilidis, translator, Brussels
Martin Mäusezahl, Düsseldorf
Andrea Ciannavei from inter occupy, global noise
Theda Ohling, Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg
Daniela Unger
Marko, Netzwerk Asyl Migration Flucht Dresden
Free movement -network Finland
Aktionsbündnis gegen Abschiebung Rhein-Main (Germany)
Karawane München. Für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen! carava.net/
Spatiul Do-It-Yourself Craiova, Romania
Mr. Valery Novoselsky, Executive Editor, Roma Virtual Network.
Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong www.pressenza.com
the committee of striking asylum seekers
Eva Weber, Forschungsgesellschaft Flucht und Migration e.V. Berlin
sergio falcone, rome italy
Evi Kefala, Patras, Grecia
Sarah Abel
ja’n winter
Jacob K. Langford, Berlin, Germany
Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, Mexico
Catherine Haoua
Mohammad Afshary, Canterbury, UK
Antoine Cassar, Passaport Project, passaport.info
David Gerald Caudwell Landau, London, UK
antirassistische perspektive mülheim/ruhr, germany h
Sarah Diehl, Berlin, Germany
The VOICE Refugee Forum thevoiceforum.org/node/3013
Caravan – for the rights of refugees and migrants
Florian Pumhösl
Minna Henriksson, Helsinki
regina kiwanuka (rena)
Conni Gunßer, Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg und Afrique-Europe-Interact
Maria Reichl, Begegnungszentrum für aktive Gewaltlosigkeit Bad Ischl
Roberto Savio, Rome, www.robertosavio.info
Gisela Reher, Hamburg
Daniel Stock
Agnes Harms
Haiko Pfost, artistic director brut Vienna
Naomi Hennig
Nonoi Hacbang, Director – International Office, Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Matthias Monroy
Claudio Lombardi, Firenze
Bettina Gerhardt, Berlin, Germany
Almut Wetzstein
Cristina David, Bucharest
ÖLGRF – Österreichische Lagergemeinschaft Ravensbrück und FreundInnen, Austria – www.ravensbrueck.at