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<nettime> second report for the 'no one is illegal' camp
grenze {AT} ibu.de on Wed, 5 Aug 1998 14:49:43 +0200 (MET DST)


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<nettime> second report for the 'no one is illegal' camp


Second report from the camp of the campaign "no one is illegal"
on the german-polish border, july 24th till august 2nd

follow up from the first report on nettime (wednesday july 29, 1998)
http://www.factory.org/nettime/archive/1918.html

more info on the campaign: http://www.contrast.org/borders/camp

Hallo again,

the Camp 98 is over now. Last sunday morning the last hundred people
stroke their tents and packed their bags and returned home. An almost all
night party featured by "Boese Tanten", Katrin Achinger and the coming
punkrock stars "Eternal Rest" from Aurich, concluded a wonderful and
exhausting week full of action and activities. On saturday morning once
again we pulled some hundred policemen's legs. Announced was a final
regatta on the Neisse river, which borders Germany and Poland. While the
borderline police expected us in the city of Goerlitz and assembled their
forces there, we headed in three groups towards Bad Muskau, a small city
20 km down the river: a group with boats and banners entered the river 2
km before Bad Muskau, on the last meters they were accompanied by a dozens
of swimmers carrying wooden cases, each with one letter of our campaign's
slogan "no one is illegal". 

Precisely at 1 a.m. all activists gathered inside and around the river, on
and under the bridge of Bad Muskau. A sound system informed the
inhabitants and the local border crossers about the aims of this
extraordinary borderline occupation under the slogan "Schengen sprengen" 
(blasting the Schengen Treaty). In fact the borderline seemed to blast,
when several dozens of swimmers started an amazing water ballet dancing to
latin music from the sound system. The people on the bridge and in the
houses around applauded and finally the police arrived, brought by a
helicopter, 50 km away, from Goerlitz. They wanted to arrest the people
inside the river because of illegal borderline crossing. But after some
minutes of wrangling the police gave up. We finished the action without
any ID-control and went back to the camp, where the atmosphere was a bit
tense. We had just gotten the information, that on a phone hotline the
regional neo-nazi gangs called to attack the camp. After rumours all week
long it was the very first time, that some nazis really came together,
some hundred meters away from the camp, in front of the old school of
Rothenburg. Well informed about their doings by phone calls from
inhabitants of Rothenburg and our own guards, we kept calm and after two
hours some thirty frustrated neo-nazis left in their cars. 

On thursday and friday we had to change our program completely because of
very tragical reasons: Thursday morning we received the message that in
the night before the borderline patrol had chased to dead seven refugees
from Kosovo who were about to enter Germany. 16 people were injured and
brought to hospital. Around 4.30 a.m. border police made one of their
controls 16 km behind the borderline to the Chech Republic. The driver of
the bus with the refugees tried to escape, but after a short chase
he crashed against a tree. Shocked by the news, the participants of the
camp decided to go immediately to Freiberg, a town near the place of the
accident. Three persons went to the hospital and visited four of the
injured refugees, who were in custody of the police. After a short time it
became clear, that the authorities of Freiberg tried to foil the refugees
from apply for asylum. On Friday and Saturday some of us went to Freiberg
again to get in contact with the other refugees, who were brought to other
hospitals around Freiberg. Two persons we visited the day before in the
hospital were made "transportable" and are now in custody. In the
meantime, it was possible to get the UNHCR involved and the Chech
authorities seem to refuse to take the injured refugees back.

Thursday night a very special event took place in front of the prison of
Goerlitz, where a lot of refugees and Polish people are being kept.
Controlled by a time fuse, two sound systems, hidden in surrounding old
houses, suddenly started playing music, explaining about the camp and the
background of our activities to the people inside. At the same time an
antifascist video screening started on a main square of Goerlitz. In the
camp we discussed what we could do on the next day and how to get rid of
the garbage of the last days:  two groups prepared two separate actions,
both in front of hotels in the area. One of the hotels is owned by
"Sorat", a chain of luxury hotels which is also selling food to asylum
seekers for extremely high prices. The other hotel is the yearly
meeting point of the neo-fascist elite and advertizes conference rooms in
neo-nazi publications.

Friday afternoon we left the camp in two groups to bring our garbage to
their entrances. one group gathered in front of "Sorat-Hotel" in Goerlitz,
the other group went from the camp in a car-convoy followed by lots of
police. On a crossing the last car of our convoy tried to confuse some
police cars and just turned right instead of left like all the other cars
before. But the unexpected result was, that all policemen followed this
single, small car, until the driver stopped at a coffee-shop to have a
drink there. Without any police observation the campers dumped their
garbage in front of the hotel and turned back to Goerlitz to join the rest
of the activists.

We decided to demonstrate spontaneously through downtown to a house the
borderline police wants to rent in order to turn it into a prison for
refugees, which are caught at the borderline. As soon as the demonstration
arrived, the building turned out to be occupied by a small group of
campers, who fixed a huge banner on the roof saying "no bgs-prison!"
Immediately some people began to brighten up the facade of the
building with "no one is illegal" slogans. Probably this was too much for
the police and one girl at the side of the manifestation was arrested,
just because she wore a cap, one of the painters may have wore as well. We
tried to explain to the police, that people always change clothes after
such actions, but it made no sense: after all it seemed, that they have
had to make an example of somebody. In the night the arrested girl was
free again. 

Friday morning, the city of Rothenburg got a wonderful present. "Fit for
Flight Assistance!" was the title of a keep-fit trail with twelve
different exercises we opened around the city of Rothenburg and along
the Neisse river. Because the inventors of the project expected a lack of
sportmanship among the policemen, the re-opening of the keep-fit trail
in the internet will come soon.

Florian


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