Tag Archives: System Change

Call for solidarity and equal treatment of all refugees of the Ukraine war

Hamburg, March 9, 2022

Call for solidarity and equal treatment of all refugees of the Ukraine war

The war in Ukraine has forced millions of people to flee war-torn areas, and many more are currently either unable to escape the hostilities or are still on the run.

Unfortunately, people of African Descent have experienced racial discrimination, horrific treatment, and violence at the EU’s external and internal borders, and exclusion from public transportation as they have fled. In particular, people of African descent were excluded from intra-Ukrainian train and bus travel and were forced to trek for days with children and in freezing temperatures. Families and circles of friends were sometimes separated or torn apart. At Ukrainian borders, Blacks were prevented from leaving the country for days at a time and were left to fend for themselves without shelter from the cold and wet. Once again Black people face a double-sided sword of war and racism.

Due to this unbearable situation for people of African Descent in war-torn Ukraine, our Black Community Coalition for Justice & Self-Defense joined the rescue action #EvacuateAfricansFromUA, initiated by Asmaras – World e.V.  and the Association of Mandate Bearers of African Descent [VMA] e.V., in collaboration with The African Network of Germany [TANG] e.V..

Within the framework of this rescue operation, we participated logistically and organizationally in the rescue operation by traveling with the bus convoys to the Polish-Ukrainian border and bringing back refugees. In the last three weeks, we have self-organized accommodation, medical consultations, legal advice, crisis intervention, psychological counselling and for African refugees, as well as care for Ukraine war refugees of other origins.

Since the European states offered immediate, unconditional assistance to war refugees from Ukraine right from the beginning only to people with Ukrainian citizenship and people with permanent residence permits in Ukraine, all other war refugees like students or temporary residence permit holders were unequivocally signalled by the border authorities of neighboring states that they were not welcome, would not receive official assistance, and must leave the EU-Schengen area as soon as possible.

The Black Community Coalition for Justice & Self-Defence condemns the unequal treatment of vulnerable people who have all been equally affected by the war in Ukraine and we demand that unconditional and equal protection be distributed regardless of nationality or residence status at the time of the start of the war on February 24, 2022.

Dividing war refugees into groups of those worthy of protection and those groups not worthy of protection is a painful double standard that is neither acceptable nor consistent with universal human rights. The affected and marginalized people have found themselves in this war situation through no fault of their own, and they were all driven out of what they thought was a safe home in Ukraine where they had legalized residency conditions.

The consensual and immediate offer of protection for war refugees with Ukrainian citizenship must be followed by comparable offers of protection for ALL other victims of this European war if the much-invoked European values and principles of humanity and equal treatment are to be taken seriously, especially when war and hardship make it particularly necessary.

Against this backdrop, we take note of the transitional regulation issued by the German government on March 7, 2022, according to which Ukrainian war refugees from third countries are to be temporarily exempted from the requirement of a residence permit until May 23, 2022, although the arbitrary setting of a deadline without reference to the end of the Ukrainian war seems neither appropriate nor comprehensible. What happens after May 23, 2022?

We point out that a temporary exemption is no guarantee for a residence permit – after the deadline expires, there is a risk that registered persons will be obliged to leave the country again or will be forcibly deported. This is not acceptable. It is a shame if the German authorities fail to challenge the violence of migration policy and choose to use citizenship as a racializing weapon.

We draw particular attention to the plight of pregnant women and also children. Children and their families, regardless of their nationality and especially when fleeing war, should be given priority and equal treatment and urgently receive humanitarian assistance, protection and child-friendly housing and education.

We demand

– Residence permits for ALL people affected and displaced by the war in Ukraine

– immediate right to stay for pregnant women, children and families

– immediate and unconditional access to medical and psychological care

– possibilities to receive BAföG or scholarships for ALL students affected by the Ukraine war

– issuance of work and student permits to complete or continue studies

as to enable all people affected by this extraordinary war situation to live a largely self-determined life in Germany.

Students among the non-Ukrainian nationals who had to flee from the war already had to bear and traumatic experiences and financial burdens for their respective studies in Ukraine. We demand the exploration of all possibilities to avoid financial double burdens for normative study access here in Germany and to create regulations for the transitional continuation of their courses of study interrupted by war as well as for the acquisition of the necessary language skills.

The registration of African students and nationals of third countries other than Ukraine who were legally in Ukraine at the time of the outbreak of war should be carried out without forcing them to apply for asylum.

We would like to appeal to all people of African origin and the Afro-diasporic communities national associations, churches, mosques, etc. to join the demands formulated here to the federal and state politicians and to organise together. Refugee work for the most neglected groups needs all of our commitment and networking so that the available resources can be optimally used and coordinated.

We thank Hamburg’s civil society, anti-racist organisations, labour unions, student organisations for the extraordinary solidarity and concrete willingness to help, especially those people who have been racially marginalised alongside the unspeakable traumas of war.

The German government has a responsibility to ensure that ALL refugees not only have safety but also equal access to rebuild their life and heal in dignity. Majority of „Africans Fleeing Ukraine“ can barely survive in Hamburg without self-organised civil society solidarity measures.

The refugee crisis in Ukraine is not only an important opportunity for Germany and Europe to demonstrate its humanitarian values and commitment to the global refugee protection regime, but also a critical moment of reflection. It is a question of political and humanitarian decision-making at the federal and state level as to how the effective and equal protection of all Ukrainian war refugees can be concretely designed and implemented.

This is not the time for legal restrictions and false demarcations. We call for a wholesome ethic of care and responsibility.

Grant full protection to ALL refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Action must be taken NOW!                                                                                    

Touch One -Touch All!

Individuals and organizations who would like to support this appeal, please let us know by mail info@blackcommunitycoalition.de.


1st Signatories:

Black Community Coalition for Justice & Self-Defense

Black Community Hamburg

ARRiVATi – Community Care for BPoC

AKONDA – Eine Welt Café Hamburg

Alafia Afrika Festival Hamburg

African Community Organizers

ASUIHA – African Survival in Hamburg

ARCA – Afrikanisches Bildungszentrum Hamburg

Asmara’s World

Black Media Group

Tschoobé For Freedom


2nd Signatories

Park Fiction Komitee


Repressive prosecution of Sista Oloruntoyin for the #BlackLivesMatter protest in front of the U.S. Consulate on June 5, 2020

Greetings Dear All,

This is to inform that there will be a criminal court case against Sista Oloruntoyin of the Black Community Coalition of Justice & Self-Defence

on 03. February 2022, at 09:00 am,

at courtroom 176

Amtsgericht Hamburg

(Strafjustizgebäude/Criminal Justice Building, Sievekingplatz 3)

Sista Oloruntoyin (LaToya Manly-Spain) faces criminal charges for allegedly “holding a prohibited or unregistered manifestation and rally in spite of ban or police order to disperse in accordance with Paragraph 26 of the law on assemblies”. About 5000 protesters joined in solidarity to send a strong signal across the globe. We are seeing this juridical criminalisation of Sista Oloruntoyin as an attack on the Black Community in Hamburg and all protesters. We call on all civil society groups and organisations to come out in active support and solidarity.

Continue reading Repressive prosecution of Sista Oloruntoyin for the #BlackLivesMatter protest in front of the U.S. Consulate on June 5, 2020



The failure to protect basic human rights of adults and children has not only started to fail with the outburst of the CoVid-19-pandemia – it moreover was an expectable consequence of systemic failure:

Politics of global warfare, predatory exploitation of natural resources and deterrence of subsequent refugees are re-created in a vicious circle of Western White supremacy and privilege ever since the never ending days of slavery and colonialism.

The emergency measures taken to combat the CoVid-19-pandemia are characterized by aggressive authoritarism in general and highly selective neglect against segregated communities specifically. Protective orders are subjected to the privileges of those who have the freedom to #keepdistance or even a home to #stayhome. Refugees in coercive mass accommodations and lagers or undocumented „illegalized“ refugees have by order of state no safe space of place to protect themselves, their families or others. They are once again systematically excluded from their human rights to protection.

Be it in German mass accommodations, the streets of Hamburg, Berlin, Paris or London or in Italy’s agricultural slums or in the lagers of Moria or Libya – the crucial access to hygiene and medical care is impared or suspended. Human made refugees are again deterred, excluded and segregated by the very same „human“ societies – the colonial continuities of systemic racism are stronger then ever when it comes to pandemic emergency protection.  

We neither need to wait nor to expect a treatment on eye level – we need to organize ourselves and build sustainable autonomous structures of self-care and solidarity. Social and medical care cannot be a matter of profit but only a shared responsibility by all of us. If we allow human lives to be devalued again, we reproduce the inhumanity and cruelties of colonialism and fascism under modern neoliberal labels.

The Corona pandemic is a challenge not only on humanitarian grounds but on a systemic level. Do we really want to continue as before? Do we really want to proceed on the track that brought us up to this point? Can we again stand aside and look when human lives are neglected and endangered, when human and civil rights are ignored and suspended, when financial risks are socialized and financial aids are privatized to secure profits and shareholder values? 

The self-organized refugee struggles of the 1990ies and the beginning of the 21st century have managed to repeal so called „Residenzpflicht“ and the lager system to a great extent. A decade later these struggles had been trans nationalized and allies started to set up international rescue teams in the Mediterranean Sea and supporter networks along the Balkan route of the neglected refugees from Middle East, Asia and Africa. The turning point came with the so called “Refugee Crisis” in 2015. All the achievements of the refugee self-defence have been turned back to even lower standards than before their struggles. The Reception centres (AnkER-Zentren) and camps (ZASt) have grown even larger and into prison industrial complex. The residential obligations have been tightened up and extended. Asylum procedures are now shortened and restricted – deportation procedures escalate – legal interventions are habitually excluded. On the other hand the states obligations have been socialized into a so called “Welcome Culture” reducing state spending to a deterring minimum. 

What is to expect from the ongoing “management of crisis” should be of no surprise to no one anymore after the “bankster crisis” of 2008. Billions of tax payers’ money will be poured into those big profit companies that just yesterday payed out millions to their boards of directors and shareholders while precarious businesses and working class people are left behind in debts. Not to talk of those who have been structurally “forgotten”, neglected, segregated and discriminated against – the blind eye for them still feels better than the violent abuse that for sure will crush down on them after lockdown Corona-Police will be fenced back into business as usual. 

It’s high time for change – to sincerely try substantial and solidary solutions. Arundhati Roy suggests seeing pandemics as portals or gateways for transition from this world to another possible one:

“We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

Black Community Coalition for Justice & Self-Defense

Der mangelnde Schutz der grundlegenden Menschenrechte von Erwachsenen und Kindern hat nicht erst mit dem Ausbruch der CoVid-19-Pandemie zu scheitern begonnen und war darüber hinaus erwartbare Folge eines Systemversagens:
Die Politik der globalen Kriegsführung, der räuberischen Ausbeutung natürlicher Ressourcen und der Abschreckung hierdurch hervorgebrachten Flüchtlinge wird seit den nicht enden wollenden Tagen der Sklaverei und des Kolonialismus in einem Teufelskreis aus westlich-weißer Vorherrschaft und Privilegien immer wieder neu befeuert.  

Die zur Bekämpfung der CoVid-19-Pandemie ergriffenen Notfallmaßnahmen sind durch einen aggressiven Autoritarismus im Allgemeinen und eine gleichzeitig hochselektive Vernachlässigung segregierter Gemeinschaften im Besonderen gekennzeichnet. Dabei sind die Schutzmaßnahmen den Privilegien derjenigen orientiert, die überhaupt über die Freiheit verfügen, #Abstand zu halten oder sogar in einem eigenen #Zuhause zu bleiben. Flüchtlinge in Zwangsunterkünften und Lagern oder undokumentierte "illegalisierte" Flüchtlinge haben per staatlicher Anordnung eben keinen sicheren Ort, um sich selbst, ihre Familien oder eben andere schützen zu können. Sie werden wieder einmal systematisch von ihrem Menschenrecht auf Schutz ihrer Gesundheit ausgeschlossen.

Ob in deutschen Massenunterkünften, in den Straßen Hamburgs, Berlins, Paris oder Londons, ob in den landwirtschaftlichen Slums Italiens oder in den Lagern auf griechischen Insel oder in Libyen - der entscheidende Zugang zu Hygiene und medizinischer Versorgung ist massiv eeingeschränkt oder gar gänzlich aufgehoben. Von privilegierten Menschen gemachte Flüchtlinge werden von denselben "menschlichen" Gesellschaften abgewehrt, ausgeschlossen und vernachlässigt - die kolonialen Kontinuitäten des systemischen Rassismus sind heute dort stärker sichtbar denn je, wo es um den Pandemie-Notfallschutz geht.  

Wir können jetzt weder länger zusehen, noch eine Behandlung auf Augenhöhe erwarten - wir müssen uns neu organisieren und nachhaltige autonome Strukturen zur solidarischen Selbstversorgung aufbauen. Soziale und medizinische Versorgung darf nicht mehr länger nur eine Frage der Profitabilität sein, sondern muss als gemeinsame Verantwortung von uns allen wahrgenommen werden. Wenn wir es in der aktuellen Situation zulassen, dass Menschenleben erneut und wiederholt entwertet werden, reproduzieren wir die Unmenschlichkeiten und Grausamkeiten des Kolonialismus und Faschismus unter dem Deckmantel moderner neoliberaler Etiketten.

Die Corona-Pandemie ist nicht nur aus humanitären Gründen eine Herausforderung, sondern insgesamt auf systemischer Ebene. Wollen wir wirklich so weitermachen wie bisher? 
Wollen wir wirklich auf diesem Weg fortfahren, der uns bis an diesem Punkt gebracht hat? 
Können wir wieder nur daneben stehen und einfach zuschauen, wenn Menschenleben geopfert und gefährdet werden, wenn Menschen- und Bürgerrechte geknebelt und außer Kraft gesetzt werden, wenn finanzielle Risiken sozialisiert und staatliche Finanzhilfen privatisiert werden, um die Gewinne und Shareholder Values zu sichern? 

Die selbstorganisierten Flüchtlingskämpfe der 1990er Jahre und zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts haben es geschafft, die so genannte Residenzpflicht und das Lagersystem weitgehend auszuhebeln. Ein Jahrzehnt später waren diese Kämpfe transnationalisiert und zivilgesellschaftliche Allianzen haben internationale Rettungsteams im Mittelmeer und Unterstützernetzwerke entlang der Balkanroute der vernachlässigten Flüchtlinge aus dem Nahen Osten, Asien und Afrika aufgebaut. Der Wendepunkt und Backlash kam mit der so genannten "Flüchtlingskrise" im Jahr 2015. Alle Errungenschaften der Flüchtlingsselbstverteidigung wurden auf noch niedrigere Standards zurückgeworfen als noch vor ihren Kämpfen. Die Aufnahmezentren (AnkER-Zentren) und Lager (ZASt / LEA) sind seitdem noch größer geworden und haben sich zu einem Gefängnis-Industriekomplex entwickelt. Die Residenzpflicht wurde erneut verschärft und sogar noch erweitert. Asylverfahren sind nun verkürzt und wesentlich eingeschränkt - Abschiebeverfahren werden eskaliert - rechtliche Interventionsmöglichkeiten gewohnheitsmäßig ausgeschlossen. Auf der anderen Seite wurden die staatlichen Verpflichtungen zu einer so genannten "Willkommenskultur" sozialisiert, die die Staatsausgaben auf das notwendig abschreckende Minimum reduziert. 

Was von der laufenden "Krisenbewältigung" zu erwarten ist, dürfte nach der "Bankster-Krise" von 2008 nun niemanden mehr überraschen. Milliarden von Steuergeldern werden an genau jene großen Profit-Unternehmen fließen, die erst gestern noch Millionen an ihre Vorstände und Aktionäre ausbezahlt haben, während prekäre Unternehmen und Menschen aus der Arbeiterklasse verschuldet zurückbleiben. Ganz zu schweigen von denjenigen, die strukturell "vergessen", vernachlässigt, ausgesondert und diskriminiert werden – ihre „Unsichtbarkeit“ dürfte sich für sie immer noch „besser anfühlen“ als der gewalttätige Missbrauch, der nach der aktuellen Abschottung durch die Corona-Polizei mit Sicherheit über sie hereinbrechen wird, wenn wieder zur rassistischen Tagesordnung übergegangen und „Versäumtes“ nachgeholt werden muss. 

Es ist allerhöchste Zeit für Veränderungen - um wirklich nachhaltige und solidarische Lösungen zu suchen. 
Arundhati Roy hat vorgeschlagen, Pandemien als Portale oder Gateways für den Übergang von dieser Welt in eine andere mögliche Welt zu sehen:
"Wir können uns dafür entscheiden, hindurchzugehen und die Kadaver unserer Vorurteile und unseres Hasses, unserer Habgier, unserer Datenbanken und toten Ideen, unserer toten Flüsse und des rauchigen Himmels hinter uns her zu schleifen. Oder wir können leicht und mit wenig Gepäck durch sie hindurchgehen, bereit, uns eine andere Welt vorzustellen. Und bereit, dafür zu kämpfen.”

Black Community Coalition for Justice & Self-Defense