FRIENDSHIP OVERCOMES BORDERS

Demonstration on October 16, 4pm, Cottbus, main station

Last Friday many people in the district Sachsendorf have joined an unannounced gathering against the new refugee processing point in Poznaner Straße. Originally advertised as an event to be held because of worries and fears, rascism and xenophobia became dominant quickly. The only people having fear were presumably those standing up against this illegal gathering. The situation resembled too much the one from August 1992: Over a duration of several days hundreds of neo-Nazis had attacked apartment blocks which had been used as refugee-centers. Molotov cocktails, bottles and stones have been thrown. This history must not repeated. The civil society of Cottbus is required here.

Sachsendorf is a district that is characterized by immigration and diversity. For years refugees have been housed here in a collective center. Many of them stay in Sachsendorf, once their application for asylum has been approved. They move into own apartments, their children go to school or kindergarten here; their family physician is located here. In many cases close friendships and acquaintances with “old” residents exist. Sachsendorf, which had been ill-reputed as social flashpoint, had found a good route: Away from the atmosphere of the 90s to a district, where migration is seen as an opportunity.

The current situation that refugees are housed in the gymnasiums in the Poznaner Straße is new for all and not desired by any. Different right-wing parties try to capitalize on this and get citizens on their side. Organised neo-Nazis from the sphere of NPD agitate on the internet, initiate and organize racist gatherings. The housing of the refugees in the gymnasiums serves as opportunity to revive the atmosphere of the 1990s.

Our new neighbours have to be protected. At the same time it is important to get rid of prejudice, fear and uncertainty, to enter a conversation together and maintain that exchange. It can not be the aim to project internal political problems onto refugees or displaced people. We are convinced that it is always the better solution to meet each other in amity and with a friendly intention.

We invite the whole city to openly demonstrate this attitude this Friday. With a multi-facetted demonstration we want to send a visible signal of solidarity. We want to support the refugees during the courtyard party in front of the refugee processing point. We must not be divided in our willingness to help and our humaneness—whether volunteer, employee, citizen from the city center or from Sachsendorf, newly arrived or long established resident.

Since friendship overcomes borders.

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