Statement Concerning The Attack On The Refugee Administration Centre In Boblingen
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 shelves.
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
In the evening you go to your favourite bar. A poster there
reads : "International Awareness festival with Foreign Food and
African Drum Music."
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
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 officials represent.
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 to be.
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. - Brecht
On 22.8.91, we detonated an explosive device at the Refugee
Administration Centre in the Steinbeisstrasse in Boblingen.
The Attack On De Facto Refugees
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 from EC-nations.
This was the foundation for the decision on 3.5.91 at the
conference of interior ministers to begin excluding de facto
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 on 15.7.91.
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
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 another country.
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 war."
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 them much.
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 Spain.
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
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
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 controlled.
It’s important that their potential uses be discovered as
quickly as possible - the European selection-experts are standing
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
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,
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
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
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.