15 May [EN/FR] „There was a lot of talk about us, now we’re speaking!” – Ellwangen refugees’ press conference 9.5.2018
On May 3, 2018 a massive police attack took place in the Ellwangen state reception center in Baden-Württenberg, Germany.
May 9, 2018
A statement by the inhabitants of the asylum reception camp in Ellwangen on the events of the last week
„There was a lot of talk about us, now we’re speaking!”
“We, inhabitants of the Ellwangen state reception center invite you to a press conference on Wednesday 9 May 2018 at 5 p.m. and call for a demonstration from 6 p.m. on. From 12 to 6 p.m. a vigil takes place on the market place in Ellwangen. The press conference will take place directly in front of the Ellwangen camp. The demonstration will also begin there. We call on all democratically-minded people to take part in and protect the demonstration. Support our just protest and listen to what we have to say about the police operation. Many of us are deeply unsettled by the civil war-like police operation.
On Monday 30 April around 2.30 a.m., a Togolese man was to be picked up by the police from the camp. There was a spontaneous protest. We have already experienced some deportations where the police was loud and aggressive. Our protest was determined, but peaceful at all times. Allegations of taking violent action against the police are false and have not been confirmed. It is also not true that the person to be deported would have already been in the police car. The Togolese was standing apart, near us, handcuffed. During the protest, the police left the camp and gave the keys for the handcuffs to a security guard working there. The Togolese was still about an hour and a half in handcuffs until the security took them off.
That is essentially what happened on Monday. The person concerned also didn’t go into hiding, as has been claimed. No one was harmed by the spontaneous political protest.
On Thursday, May 3, 2018, a police operation took place at night between 3am and 4am with several hundred police officers involved. Even a police helicopter was in action. Three buildings were targeted, affecting 292 people. In the buildings the police positioned themselves in front of all doors and smashed all doors at the same time. Yet the doors in the facility cannot be locked. We were all in bed. The police were flashing with flashlights. No one was allowed to get dressed. Everyone had to keep their hands in the air and their hands were tied to the back. The rooms were searched. Many were injured in the police operation.
We thought it was a large-scale deportation operation. As we learned later, the residents in the neighbouring buildings were also not allowed to leave the buildings. The police reported in a press release that we had weapons and dangerous objects. None of this is true, nothing was found in the searches. You will find out more about this at the press conference on Wednesday.
Whoever may be responsible for this police operation, it was politically motivated and staged. The nationwide reporting and discussions about a nocturnal spontaneous, peaceful political action shows how strongly this country is charged with xenophobic resentments. There was a lot of talk about us in the last few days. Nobody asked us for our opinion. On Wednesday we wish to talk about the police operation and our situation in the camp. We hope many will listen to us.”
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