This text is our contribution to a collection of texts on situation of refugees and the impact of coronavirus from corasol.

In an isolated refugee accommodation centre on the outskirts of Hennigsdorf in Brandenburg, its around 400 residents found themselves under indefinite quarantine. Instead of immediately isolating the infected residents after 68 people were declared Covid-19 positive, all five buildings were put under quarantine, with little information or consultation from the local authority who manage the accommodation. Faced with this double isolation, with no psychological support, little means to protect themselves from the virus’ spread, no access to local amenities, and no internet connection, residents fell into panic. Many were left without access to food and had to rely on mobilising resources through their few connections to the outside world.

Political self-organisation is doubly hard in a place like Ruppiner Chaussee 19. And their earlier attempts at self-advocating were ignored. Instead of listening to their demands for a WIFI connection, the authorities’ installed security cameras along the building’s corridors.

In the accommodation centre also live system-relevant workers such as carers and hospital workers, of whom at least two people have been tested positive. Instead of recognising the high risk of transmission between these workers and the home’s general population, the authorities have refused to heed to their demands to move particular at-risk residents to hotels or holiday homes, as Potsdam’s authorities have done. Residents have since organised a protest and written an open letter to the authorities, which we have published on our website.

This is not an Einzelfall – an isolated incident. As we have seen from the situations in Ellwangen reception center and Linderstr. in Bremen, where in both cases around half the inhabitants of the ca. 600 person camps were tested positive, and where non- infected and infected residents continued to share facilities afterwards, the authorities are not acting with the same urgency as in other areas of public (and private) life.

Again we are confronted with the reality of whose lives matter, and whose are seen as expendable. Again we are confronted with the failings of a government and its federal states, who after Hanau, Celle, Mölln, and Halle pay lip service to ending murderous racist violence, but fail to recognise the continuity between the NSU, Hanau, and their own racist border regime.

It is up to us to bear witness to the continuum between the many BPOC care workers’ lives lost on the frontlines in the UK and the USA, at the hands of their governments who choose to act too little too late, and those of us who die in Moria, or who fall critically ill in Ellwangen. Because this crisis doesn’t happen in a vacuum; white supremacy, neocolonialism and capitalist patriarchy are still the prism through which decision-makers and the political establishment refract our lives and worths. As we teeter on the brink of an unprecedented global financial and humanitarian crisis, while countries close borders & implement mass surveillance measures, while the rate of domestic violence increases exponentially, we migrant and BPOC women know who will suffer the fallout. Which makes our self-organisation all the more necessary.

IWS, 8.5.20