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Speech by Jennifer Kamau from International Women* Space at the Demo Aktionstag 8. Mai with Aktionsbündnis Antira – ABA:

Today we are here to remember the 8th of May, the German liberation from the fascists. The victims in Hanau, of the NSU, the murder of Oury Jalloh, of Rita Awuor Ojunge and many other unsolved cases are here to show us that racism is a weapon of mass destruction.

Self-evident fascists, such as the extreme right organized in political parties and in groups in Germany or anywhere in the world are not our only or even main enemy. 

For too long the silent majority has been a powerful enemy. Because we have to be serious when we say that any social and political effort must seek the elimination of the historic debt for racism, misogyny, homophobia, machismo, and continue making a deep critique of capitalism. A system that works essentially to segregate to limit access to basic human rights for all that continuously gives more money to those who already have nowhere else to shove their fortunes. 

We must put an end to this brutal distance between rich and poor countries because that is essentially what brings us here. 

In the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, we migrants are caught in the middle of two or more worlds. The world in which we are living, in rich Germany, and what we are seeing happening in our countries of origin, how people in the so-called “global south” will die like flies because for centuries our countries have been plundered and to such an extent that our health system is either non-existent or collapsing, incapable of dealing with a virus of pandemic proportions leaving millions to their own devices. 

But here we are, in Germany and not in Africa, Latin America and certain areas of Asia where after centuries of colonialism and neocolonialism, endless wars and perpetual ransacking our structures, institutions, were completely destroyed forcing us to run away, to come to Europe, to die on the way, in a refugee camp in Libya, in Greece, in the middle of nowhere in Germany, you named it! 

So, we would like to stress that we must emerge stronger from this pandemic: not only in Germany or in Europe, but throughout the world and this can be achieved through an international movement that recognizes the rights of refugees, migrants, Black and people of colour as essential to block this worldwide racial and humanitarian tragedy now even more evident due to a pandemic.

And last but not least we want to repeat that we are fully aware that racism suits the establishment, that racism is an effective tool working to divide us. Because it keeps migrants away from the centres of decision making. Because it reduces the number of people who could make up the political force capable of addressing the problems of a diversity of human beings, being it the first, second or third-generation migrants or refugees, being it the non-white Germans.

Racism acts to depoliticize us, to prevent us from organizing, seeks control of our lives and political decisions. But today we are here to repeat, that we will never stop to organize, to protest, to demand justice for those killed by racists.

And we say and say it loud: we don’t need any invitation to participate politically. We are here and as long as we stay, we will be agents of the changes we need to be implemented. Not only in Germany, but throughout the world!

Hoch die internationale Solidarität!