Welcome2Stay – Call

We are many, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions. When, back in September, the first refugees arrived in trains in Erfurt, München, Frankfurt and so many more cities, we clapped, handed out presents and all-in-all did what we could to make them feel welcome.
We gave them rides in our cars – sometimes across borders. We opened our homes, organised accommodations, brewed tons of tea, and gave out food and as well as warm clothes for everyone.
We are the ones giving advice and help in case of contact with authorities and institutions. We are constantly trying to find safe ways for those still on their journey to reach their destination. When people are stranded behind the fences and borders along the Balkan route, in refugee camps or at train stations we try our best to compensate the extent of governmental failures and avert this humanitarian catastrophe.

We are many and we are different. We’re teachers giving German courses for free. We are doctors and nurses treating people without papers, lawyers fighting for the refugees’ rights, we are recipients of social benefit and pensioners who can invest more time to organise, help and act.
We are migrants, speaking the language of those arriving here every day, translating and listening to the stories of war, destruction, the life-threatening escape, the mistreatment and fear.
We’ve only been active for a couple of months, or have been engaging for years and decades in the anti-racist movement or the refugees’ or supporters’ self-organised initiatives.
We are refugees ourselves, and although we’ve only come to Germany a short while ago we are here to support those who have only now reached their destination in getting their rights and reaching their goals.

We are many and we have different reasons to do what we do. We do what has to be done, because we are human and we want to live in a humane society. We’re doing it because we are against a fortress Europe, its walls being the last thing people see before they drown, having come here looking for help and safety. We’re doing it because we do not want to live in a country that shuts out, scares and plans on getting rid of people searching for refuge as soon as possible. We’re doing it because this country needs a change and it’s positive when things start moving.
We’re doing it because solidarity is a relationship between human beings where everyone is equal: Equal in dignity and rights.

With our solidarity work we often reach limits. Not only regarding our own efficiency, but also concerning outer limitations: house rules, regulations, laws, fences. While organising our practical solidarity we are completely stunned we have to watch Germany and all of Europe tightening their asylum laws and step-by-step closing the borders that were so wonderfully open in September.

We witness that fear, defence and propaganda are ruling the discussion in the media and politics. We are appalled that alleged “concerned citizens” are rallying against refugee accommodations in their neighbourhoods and that almost every single day houses are set on fire, all the while the police and judiciary seem to neither be able nor want to protect the refugees.

We are many, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions. But we are too quiet, too busy doing what is immediately necessary. Why are we not able to collectively raise our voices? Locally we are mostly well connected and organised but nationwide we seem almost invisible. We want to and have to change that.