by DIE LINKE Berlin Internationals
Die LINKE Berlin Internationals are appalled at the appearance of billboards in various Berlin U-Bahn stations. The posters – financed by the German Interior Ministry offer money to non-Germans to leave the country. They display flags from several countries – exclusively from Eastern Europe and the global South.
Refugees and other non-Germans have contacted us to say that they feel threatened by these posters. They ask – with justification – if they are now being asked to leave voluntarily, when will compulsory deportations come? It is a scandal that our taxes are being used to finance such posters.
At a time when AfD agitation against foreigners is gaining increasing support, when Nazis are allowed to riot on the streets of Chemnitz and attack people who look different, non-Germans are feeling fear. These posters are part of a cynical attempt to increase this fear.
There is another Germany, which welcomes diversity, that believes – as opposed to Interior Minister Seehofer – that migrants are not the mother of all problems, but people. In 2015 Germany was proud of its „Welcome culture“, when thousands welcomed refugees at stations and volunteered at refugee homes. This solidarity is still there.
On 13 October, 240,000 people demonstrated in Berlin to show that we are indivisible. In this sense we demand „tear down these billboards!“ Everyone is welcome, irrespective of homeland, skin colour or religion.
Judith Benda, Phil Butland (speakers)
On behalf of die LINKE Berlin LAG Internationals
This statement from die LINKE Berlin Internationals is also available in German