The April 28 Coalition [for Migrants’ and Refugees’ Rights and Welfare]* staged its 3rd Online Forum – Protest focusing on Refugees and Refugees Situation on June 6. This protest is a continuation of the series of actions as the Coalitions continue to call for the granting of full citizenship rights for all migrants, refugees and displaced peoples among other things.
The program included series of speeches from an invited speaker and two reactors, interspersed with chanting of the Coalition’s calls and cultural presentations. Majed Abusalama, a member of the Palestine Speaks Coalition-Berlin was the Speaker. Being born in a refugee camp in Gaza open air prison, he later become and still is, a staunch human rights defender and an award winning journalist. As a refugee himself, he narrated his long and continuing journey of being with grassroots organisations of mainly POCs and Palestinians in advancing the fight for basic human rights, and their enduring call for a free Palestine. He reiterated the need for a radical change, to push the boundaries and mobilise for more grassroots movements to attain our basic rights.
Abusalama’s inspiring at the same time challenging speech was followed by a heartfelt poetry reading by Nora Rajab, also a member of the Palestine Speaks Coalition Berlin. The poems she read were written by Mahmoud Darwish, a famous Palestinian poet and intellectual. They captured the persistent longing of many displaced Palestinians to return to their homeland and lead a simple normal life, as well as their spirit and determination to fight for it.
Phil Butland from Die Linke Berlin Internationals, in his reaction, agreed that many Refugees in Germany are from Palestine. In fact, he says many are already displaced more than once. According to him, there have been a rise of anti-racism demonstrations in Berlin. He was in a huge Black Lives Matter demonstration in Berlin as he delivered his statement, and noted that it is highly multi-racial and the biggest he had seen so far. He is hopeful that people will continue to see where the world is really going and the need to get together to change this course.
The second reactor is George Porgetto from Free African Movement. Porgetto drew a lot from his own long experience of a decade long struggle be it in the parliament or in the streets. He criticized that the very institutions that legislate policies and laws fail to heed the rights and welfare of migrants and refugees. He likewise emphasized the importance of uniting together in order to win the struggle.
As a synthesis, Yasmin Ahmed of Revolutionaire Einheit echoed that most people who migrate are forced to do so or displaced not on their will. She furthered elaborated the sorry state of Refugees in different European Countries and the need to work together to change these.
The Forum Protest ended with a reverberating chanting of the demands of the Coalition: Full Citizenship Rights for ALL Migrants and Refugees, GRANT NOW! Bail Out Migrants, Not Corporate Giants, and Long live International Solidarity!
*The April 28 Coalition [for Migrants’ and Refugees’ Rights and Welfare] is a broad Europe-wide formation composed of mainly grassroots organizations with a migration background, together with religious and non-governmental organizations, civil society formations, institutions, political parties, influencers, academics and concerned individuals.
It is united by the common objective to advance the rights and welfare of migrants (regular and irregular), immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced peoples, and that all people have the right for equal protection in the continent. It was launched online on April 28 itself, and to date it has grown into 72 Organizations and 18 Individuals. The official Facebook page is : https://www.facebook.com/April28Coalition/