Solidarity call: Berlin activist faces charges
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
(this statement has been translated from Rote Hilfe)
Solidarity with Adam Baher
5 years after the violent eviction of the protest camp at Berlin's Oranienplatz, the Berlin public prosecutor's office is opening a trial against the well-known refugee activist Adam Baher. Since the beginning of the self-organized protest movement, Adam has been committed to the rights of refugees, against racism and police violence. Now he has to
defend himself in court against police arbitrariness under the accusation of resistance against enforcement officers.
The charge against Adam comes more than five years late. This is hardly a coincidence, as he had recently applied for German citizenship. This was apparently taken as an opportunity by the Berlin public prosecutor's office to bring order to their mountains of files and to make an example of a well-known political activist. As long as the criminal proceedings are open, Adam's path to citizenship is blocked for the time being.
Between 2012 and 2014, the protest camp at Oranienplatz became well known far beyond Berlin and Germany, and to this day symbolises a central place of protest by self-organised refugees against the German and European asylum regime. The movement began in 2012, when refugees from different countries set out on a protest march from Würzburg to Berlin and set up a protest camp in the middle of Kreuzberg. They demanded the abolition of the refugee camp system, a stop to deportations and the abolition of the residence obligation. The camp was a central place from which daily resistance actions were planned and political pressure exerted.
The camp soon became a thorn in the side of political leaders and state authorities. In April 2014, the Berlin police, under the supervision of the Green District Mayor Monika Herrmann and the then Social Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD), began clearing the entire square. Previously, the Senate had reached an "agreement" with some of the refugees with the help of a "divide and rule" strategy. Even the information point, for which an unlimited permit was available, which had been confirmed again in the negotiations, was cleared: Adam insisted on his right to inform at this information point about the protest and the political demands of the refugees. The Berlin police officers took him into custody using physical force. One year later, in 2015, he was again arbitrarily and apparently violently arrested and handcuffed at Oranienplatz.
As with so many arrests of People of Color, the police used disproportionate force against him and did not inform him of the reasons for his arrest. As in so many cases of police violence, he is also subsequently criminalized to justify the police attacks against him. As in so many cases, attempts are made to discourage migrants from defending their rights.
The current charge against Adam is another symptom of a racist system in which the protest and political demands of refugees in Germany are criminalized. Criminal law is systematically abused to cover up racist police violence, silence migrants and deprive them of opportunities for residence security.
Adam: "It is difficult to integrate into German society if the state itself repeatedly blocks the ways to do so. Black people in Germany have to fight daily against racial profiling and literally for survival. But our struggle will continue."
We stand side by side with Adam and all those affected by racist police violence and criminalisation. Come to the trial at the District Court Tiergarten, Turmstraße 91, 10559 Berlin, 19 November at 13:45 in Room 672! We meet half an hour earlier, at 13:15, in front of the building.
We are dependent on your solidarity to pay the costs of the proceedings.
Please donate to the bank account below:
Verwendungszweck: Adam Rote Hilfe e.V. IBAN: DE55 4306 0967 4007 2383 17 BIC: GENODEM1GLS
Against racist police violence!
Stop racist criminalisation!
Solidarity with Adam Baher!