Refugees under the Rainbow – Meeting at Regenbogenfabrik

The refugee movement met at the cinema of Regenbogenfabrik. Yes, most participants were white, but the moderator told them to shut up right in the beginning. Those refugees who did attend were concentrated and stepped to the mic one by one. And the audience listened. No annoying (drunk) people.


What miracle! Maybe people start going crazy when there are meetings every day. Friends who’ve worked in official parliaments have told me that there alcoholism is not the sad exception, but the (very visible) norm.

Several refugees from smaller groups spoke: One from the church, one from the DGB occupation, one from the Eisen camp. They all repeated that we have to come together. And those with longer experience also said we have to do so in an organized, respectful manner.

The three moderators, sitting in front of the audience, were new faces. And they did not dominate the meeting. The air time belonged to the people at the microphone. The interpretation corners were also well organized.

A funny misunderstanding happened, when a communist refugee, speaking in German, said that the “bürgerliche Leute” have to continue the refugee struggle. “Aren’t we supposed to fight them?” Actually he meant “Bürger”, i.e. citizens, not bourgeois. But where’s the difference to a non-citizen?

He also said there are 11,000 homeless people in Berlin alone, who have very similar problems as the refugees. And he said: “The anticapitalist movement is not there to support us. We are here to support the anticapitalist movement.”

He did not mean all refugees have to start wearing dreadlocks, but that they have to think about capitalism – and sexism. To me it’s the most important statement of the evening. Without a political agenda, there are just personal agendas. Managers have personal agendas, and they are assholes.

And we should stop ignoring allies among the average population with their average problems. The politicians won’t do shit. To remix Marx: “Why should the German care for the liberation of the Refugee, if the Refugee does not care about the liberation of the German?”

Many activists have taken the time to think about our failures and our successes. The “veterans” start their speeches with: “We started the bus tour with one person, and returned with thirty...” or “We occupied union buildings, schools, churches, we even occupied trees!”

Another guy said: “We occupied the TV tower and achieved nothing, and I went to jail for 23 days.” Others told how the refugees in the lagers are angry at the activists, because the guards put pressure on them, when there are actions nearby.

These are all things we have to talk about. But we are talking about them. Don’t miss the big refugee conference at Mehringhof, Gneisenaustr. 2a, coming up from 14 to 16 November. I’m excited!