The resistance of a group of refugees against the eviction of an occupied school building in Berlin is exemplary of migrant struggles across Europe.
Originally Posted in ROAR Magazine
For eight days, a small group of about forty refugees from different but mostly African countries have been occupying the roof of a vacant school building in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood. The former Gerhart Hauptmann School on Ohlauer Strasse had been home to more than two hundred people since October last year, ever since a nationwide wave of refugee protests culminated in a six-hundred kilometer long protest march from the Bavarian town of Würzburg to the center of the country’s capital, Berlin. The refugees first set up camp at the central Oranienplatz, and later moved on to occupy the vacant school building where they were holding up, awaiting the slow processing of their asylum applications.
Last Tuesday, June 24, the police evicted the majority of the two hundred refugees who had sought shelter in the occupied school, but a group of between forty and eighty refugees and fellow-activists refused to leave the building, instead moving onto to the roof to resist their forced eviction. Some of the refugees have threatened to jump if the police moves in on the building. In the words of 32-year old Adam from Sudan: “There are some people here who have been waiting in centres around Europe for years only to have their asylum request rejected. They stand to lose everything – they’d rather jump off the building than get caught.” Continue reading