Concerning The Attack On The Refugee Administration Centre In
Tomorrow morning you listen to the news: "Interior Minister
Schaeuble says that Western and Eastern European countries should get
together to draft a harmonized, all-encompassing defensive strategy to stop
the influx of refugees."
You walk by the bakery. Inside, you hear as the shopkeeper tells her
customer: "You have to watch out for them, they always steal."
She means a man with dark skin who is standing in front of one of the
In the afternoon, you open the newspaper and read the headline:
"Fire-bomb Attack on Refugee Centre." Some of those inside were
admitted to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
Then you travel into the city-centre. There you meet a Kurdish woman
friend. She tells you how her friend, who was deported a week ago, was
taken into custody back in Turkey and tortured for several days.
In the evening you go to your favourite bar. A poster there reads:
"International Awareness festival with Foreign Food and African Drum
This is just an out-take of what we hear, see, and read just about every
day. Examples of day-to-day racism and genocide, things which refugees and
immigrants in this country face on a daily basis.
These are situations which have also angered us and caused us to hate
those in power who are responsible.
Nonetheless, through our political work we know that consternation alone
is not sufficient reason for continuing political action. Rather, first you
have to analyze the way hierarchy is put together, to see, for example,
that racism is an integral part of imperialist exploitation, and that
through this racist socialization, everyone lives in their own little safe-
guarded society. But all of this makes it possible for us to find a
starting-point for revolutionary resistance. Being motivated by anger alone
can lead you to only see the refugees as victims, instead of seeing any
significance in their own forms of day-to-day resistance against repression
and the established powers.
It's necessary that we lay aside our own racist outlook and broaden
our perspective. Whether it's in crowded asylum-centres or villages in
the ex-DDR, whether it's in the administration buildings or on the
streets - everywhere the refugees are struggling against discrimination and
for the chance to lead decent human lives. They are organizing
demonstrations, occupations hungerstrikes, and other protests.
Safe-Guarding Power At The Lowest Level
Immigration officials play a central role for immigrants and refugees.
They are forever confronted with the institutionalized racism which these
Requests for entrance into the country are sorted into three categories:
those that may stay, those that may work here for a while, and those that
are to be deported.
Alongside this administrative racism, the refugees and immigrants also
have to cope with the racism of the typewriter- bastards, who subject them
to despotism, harassment, and humiliation. These bureaucrats often like to
play with their own sense of power by denying refugees the necessary right
to have family members abroad pay them a visit.
Immigrants and refugees continually feel as if they are not wanted here.
The prevalent norms in the metropoles do not speak to them, because they
can't fulfil certain criteria: they don't have the right
skin-colour, or they're not the right gender, they don't live the
right way or conform to the right political convictions, maybe it's
their false culture and religion, or maybe it's the useless labour they
perform, or the fact that their background is in the Three Continents.
The mechanisms that strengthen imperialist, racist, and patriarchical
hierarchy reach to the lowest levels:
The bureaucrats admit refugees according to how useful they can be made
The bureaucrats control the day-to-day political activities.
The bureaucrats deliver the deportation notices when the refugees and
immigrants are no longer serviceable.
Even the occasional, socially-minded bureaucrat can't change the
fact that he/she is enforcing an imperialist migration policy.
Thought Is Not Anonymous. It Has A Name And An Address. -
On 22.8.91, we detonated an explosive device at the Refugee
Administration Centre in the Steinbeisstrasse in Boblingen.
With the implementation of the new so-called foreigner regulations on
1.1.91, the ruling powers in Germany took another step against peoples not
This was the foundation for the decision on 3.5.91 at the conference of
interior ministers to begin excluding de facto refugees.
More than 50,000 people, who had been admitted to Germany "on
account of specific conditions in their nation of origin", are to be
deported, only to be hunted down and killed.
Christian and humanitarian groups protested the planned mass-
deportations, so much so, that a new interior ministers conference was held
The ruling powers changed the modality of the deportation and
concentrated on another strategy. The virtual prohibition against
deportations to certain countries was done away with.
The fact that this policy only applies to those de facto refugees who
came here after 1.1.89 does not in any way alter Germany's cynical
conduct of deporting refugees back to war zones and nations in crisis.
Those regulations are full of bureaucratic and organizational
possibilities for those who handle the deportation.
We see this as an attempt to pacify the reformist and Christian spectrum
and to split up and isolate any resistance to these policies.
The only hope left for those living under the threat of deportation is
their individual case study. Many realize that this is virtually hopeless,
and so they leave "willingly", usually to live illegally in
War Against The Selection And Division Of Immigrants And Refugees
As the Schengen Agreement creeps ever closer, life for refugees and
immigrants in EC-nations grows ever more difficult.
France, for example, wants to initiate raids to round up and deport more
than 70,000 legal and illegal immigrants. One spokesperson for the French
government termed this policy against illegals "an inevitable
There's a war going on in Italy at present as Albanian refugees fall
victim to brutal repression. The Italian officials didn't think twice
about herding thousands of Albanians into a football stadium in Bari. The
deaths and injuries which resulted from poor living conditions, a lack of
medical attention, and the police's use of weapons didn't upset
Refugees often find themselves in a war-like situation when they are
forced to flee life-threatening conditions in Mahgreb and cross the sea to
Pretty soon, the border between North and South will be a war- zone,
much the way it has been in the U.S., where for years shots have been fired
at immigrants trying to cross the Rio Grande.
In the meantime, it's plainly visible what this special war looks
like and how it's developing in the metropole-states.
The mainstream media are propagating the frightening view of the ruling
powers that we are facing a "flood of refugees", as if it
wasn't known that the majority of migrants (80% of whom are women and
children) are in flight within the Three Continents themselves. Only a
handful of people who are on the run make it to Europe. Just the same,
it's well known that the imperialist, patriarchal, and racist policies
of exploitation of the metropole- states leads to massive disruptions of
the subsistence economies of the countries on the Three Continents.
That is one of the major causes of world-wide migration.
The consequences of this exploitation affect both men and women. Women,
however, have less hope than men of finding paid work in another country,
or on another continent. They are less mobile, because usually they are
required to care for families. When they do flee, it's usually to a
neighbouring region or to a bordering nation, where they vegetate in a
refugee camp, or they try to survive in the slums of the big cities.
"At best" the youngest and healthiest of these are given work in
some corporation's factory. Many women have no other option but to
become prostitutes. Often they have to cater to white sex-tourists.
In the last few years, more women have reached the rich metropoles from
the Three Continents and Eastern Europe. Here they find a patriarchal
society which treats them as a mere appendage to a man with no individual
rights, and a sexist climate which forces them to prostitute their bodies
and minds to the sexist interests of white men.
Even in the metropoles, the women have the duty to "reproduce"
Women-specific grounds for flight are not recognized in present
asylum-regulations. As wives, they are not entitled to their own
guaranteed, individual right to asylum.
Very few men and women have the good luck to make it to the rich nations
of the North.
They are concrete results of imperialist plundering, ecological
devastation, and the resulting wars and national liberation struggles.
Of this, immigrants write:
"Today, as more than 20 million immigrants are presently
residing in European countries, no one can any longer ignore the reality
that poverty leads to migration; a migration towards wealth. The causes
of this migration are 500 years of colonial history, neo- colonialism,
and the present-day export and war-oriented economies. This
centuries-long history of colonialist and imperialist exploitation has
led to hunger and poverty throughout much of the world. It has also
allowed people in the metropoles to live in privileged
welfare-societies. Therefore, those people that live in poverty have
every right to migrate to places where there is wealth and to live
there. Period. It doesn't matter why they're there. This
migration can be seen as a type of war. It's a sort of manoeuvre
against those things which caused the poverty, and it helps ensure that
centuries of injustice become to some degree redressed." (from
Radikal No. 142)
This old 'new' world order, which is allowing the veneer of
the ruling power's treatment of refugees and immigrants to be
stripped away, points out, to anyone willing to look, just exactly how
the imperialist plan functions on a global scale.
The status quo in the rich and relatively pacified metropoles can
only be maintained if 3/4 of the world is made dependent. Systematic
destitution and extermination are a given. The fact that, meanwhile,
several nations and halves of continents just get written off hardly
bothers any citizens in the metropoles.
In Europe, Germany's politics sets the standards for the
deportation-war which the other European states have to try and
The ruling powers are preparing for this war: judicially,
politically, ideologically, and militarily.
They want to pick out those people from the Three Continents, and
soon from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, whose ideas, language,
and appearance make them possibly acceptable, and then exclude all the
rest, so far as they can't be made use of temporarily.
Reuter of Daimler-Benz [German multi-national], and Geibler, of the
CDU [Christian Democrats - ed.] agree on the German and European
restrictions: "letting in immigrants in the correct
proportions" is the way of the future. As to what proportions they
think are correct, we can only guess.
Immigrants and refugees wouldn't be any problem if they just
resign themselves to a "profit-making life-style".
Either as under-paid non-troublesome hamburger-producers at McDonalds
or as Czechoslovakian or Polish seasonal workers on farms or in the
construction or food industry or as forced-labourers working for $2.50
an hour in the forests near Bayer, or as erotic- exotic prostitutes
and/or house-wives, or as service workers catering to the needs of
tedious Germans - in these capacities they are more than welcome.
The selection criteria are nothing more than invisible parts of a
politics of selection and exclusion.
All across Europe, refugees and immigrants are being sorted out,
assigned to certain tasks, utilized in sex-specific ways, exchanged, and
It's important that their potential uses be discovered as quickly
as possible - the European selection-experts are standing by, ready.
Those that are sorted out, like the Roma, will hardly ever be able to
enter a rich European metropole-state again.
Roma are always the last to be brought here, they are the least
wanted and they are always the first to be deported.
That's how, along side sexism, a multi-cultural, but nonetheless
hard-hitting racism functions as an instrument of power.
The Helplessness Of The Left
The immigrants and refugees that come here have to worry about their
chances for survival, their health, and their dignity.
The ruling powers, unlike the metropolitan left, have known this for
some time now.
Of this, immigrants write:
"Unfortunately, most of the anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist
left in this country can't come to terms with this
anti-imperialist approach. This process of migration, which is the
result of the banishment and uprooting of millions of people, and
which must also be understood as an inherited rage and declaration of
war against capital, has left the German left in a state of
helplessness and paralysis". (from: Radikal No. 142)
When the left "only" concerns itself with the off-shoots
of this migration-politics and merely makes selective adoptions into
its post-modern life-style, then it's actually helping to
reinforce global exploitative relationships.
"Profit', which is always lacking, corrupts and throws a
smokescreen over our view of patriarchal, racist, and imperialist
It allows protests against deportations to be reduced to crocodile
tears, and it hinders the development of an authentic, radical
What To Do? What To Do!
The seeds of division which the ruling imperialists are sowing in
the refugee-policy resistance movement are the practical result of
our own anti-imperialist understanding.
Solidarity does not end with supporting national liberation
struggles, but rather it also manifests itself in our practical
solidarity with refugees and immigrants in this country. It finds its
natural expression in attacks against those responsible for
deportations, attacks on the typewriter-bastards, attacks on the
white-collar bastards who seek to exclude people.
Anti-imperialism has only with difficulty come to play a
fundamental role in leftist theory and praxis, but the patriarchal
and racist foundations of global, exploitative relationships have, in
the last few years, become part of the left-radical spectrum of
We are struggling for a non-hierarchical society.
To achieve this we must point out the different forms of
oppression and social contradictions which we seek to abolish. We
connect freedom to the abolition of the global exploitation of people
and the ending of violent patriarchal and racist conditions.
We are struggling as a white organization for an anti-racist
society, and we seek to develop this through our own discussions and
praxis. So we're more concerned with asking questions than
providing ready answers.
Therefore, our point of departure, our political goal, and our
daily political praxis must be continually discussed and reviewed.
Our credibility can't merely manifest itself in writings, but
must also be shown in our praxis.
We are in solidarity with the refugees and immigrants, and we see
our position accordingly. Mistakes and contradictions will always be
present, of course.
We aren't struggling on behalf of the refugees and immigrants.
Nonetheless, we hope that we can develop a political force along with
them, as well as with other social groups.
We see our autonomous organizing and praxis as the basis for this
perspective. Those that can work together and work in coalitions and
mixed groups will be victorious. The question for us is, how can we
add to this, and what initiatives should we take from our side?
As white leftists and white feminists, we profit from racist
oppression and we realize that it's simplistic to think that by
pushing back against the system we can automatically be on the other
side. As white men and women we have to be conscious that we are part
of a long history of colonialist and imperialist plunder and that we
are part of a diverse resistance of people against this.
We see the difficult, but unavoidable task ahead of us, in our
situation as a metropolitan left, of rooting out this history and
approaching it critically.
This is both a theoretical and a practical process, one which is
not individualized and easy, but one which will have to be developed
along with people from the anti-imperialist resistance and with the
refugees and immigrants themselves. In this way, international
solidarity can be given real life, and if it's practical, we can
direct this against those responsible for imperialist destruction,
without denying our own metropolitan history.
To bring about this internationalist understanding, we see the
need for, and we work toward, the abolition of racist control
mechanisms aimed at splitting up and exploiting people. This is part
of both our own liberation, and the liberation from all the power
structures. Sure, the road will be long and full of contradictions,
but we have no alternative.
That's why we have to break through our daily acceptance of
racist and sexist attacks, and be sensitive to and active on all
levels of political development. That means bringing those in charge
of refugee politics out of anonymity, to bring to light and attack
the daily forms of racism that refugees and immigrants are
continually confronted with. The work of the pigs seeking to deport
asylum-seekers must be practically hindered, wherever possible.
We must realize that few people in the metropoles, at present,
feel themselves to be in solidarity with the refugees and immigrants.
Nonetheless, our struggle has as its goal the development of such
solidarity, and to therewith confront the divisive and exploitative
devices of the ruling powers.