Deportation-Alliance on 21 Oct 2000 23:29:35 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] 'no one is illegal' network under corporate attack



Lufthansa AG wants to ban an online exhibition. But the
activists from the "no one is illegal" network will not be
intimidated. They will continue to exhibit the posters
online and offline. Internet providers from all over the
world have offered to mirror the exhibition with the title
"Deportation.Class" <>.

The German activists from the "no one is illegal" network
will not yield to corporate pressure. Last Monday an
ultimatum issued by the aviation company Lufthansa expired.
The corporation's lawyers demanded that one activist of "no
one is illegal" and the Cologne newspaper "Kölner
Stadtrevue" sign a "declaration of compliance" in which they
agree to remove the poster exhibition from the web by 16

The incriminated graphical works have been on exhibit since
May of this year both on the World Wide Web
<>, and as part
of a travelling exhibition. Artists from all over Germany
took part in a poster contest at the beginning of this year.
"Kein Mensch ist illegal" had invited artists to design
posters criticising the role of Lufthansa AG in deportations
(see <>). The
exhibition with the printed works is on tour in Europe and
can be currently seen in the art gallery Exnergasse in

In a letter received on 9 October, the lawyers of Lufthansa
AG claim that the use of colours identical to those used by
their client and of its registered trademark is illegal.
Additionally they state that some of the posters insinuate
that Lufthansa is directly linked with right-wing
extremists. Should the actions be repeated, Lufthansa
threatens recidivists with fines of 10,100 marks each. For
Jan Hoffmann, speaker of the "Kein Mensch ist illegal"
network, this threat can only been seen as an attempt at
intimidation. Hoffmann has called Lufthansa's lawsuit a
"bold attack on the freedom of art".

Since March of this year, "Kein Mensch ist illegal" has been
giving the company a hard time with its numerous actions in
airports, travel agencies and on the Internet. Under the
provocative slogan "Deportation.Class - against the
deportation business" the activists demand that Lufthansa
give up this part of their business activity and refuse to
transport forcibly boarded passengers. The slogan refers to
the fact that besides the conventional First or Business
Class there is a "Deportation.Class" in the last rows of
many flights, although Lufthansa goes to great lengths to
deny this.

The catalyst for the actions, which have been getting a lot
of public attention, was the death of the Sudanese Aamir
Ageeb, who died a violent death by suffocation in May 1999
on board a Lufthansa aircraft.
<> The
annual shareholders meeting of Lufthansa AG in June 2000 was
overshadowed by protests as a result.

"We are convinced that the discussions between Lufthansa and
the Federal Government were in no way concerned with
Lufthansa giving up the 'Deportation.Class', as Lufthansa
chief executive officer Weber had announced during the
shareholders meeting in June. Instead they have probably
decided to silence our campaign", says Jan Hoffman from
"Kein Mensch ist illegal". He has received confidential
information according to which so-called "problematic
deportations" have become increasingly difficult over the
last months, so that deportations have repeatedly been

"Kein Mensch ist illegal" announced that they would be
monitoring deportations carried out by the company with
increased attention on an international level. In addition,
spectacular actions will be used to increase public pressure
on Lufthansa. At the same time refugees will be informed
about their possibilities for resisting their deportation.

In the meantime, an international alliance has been launched
to support the exhibition threatened by censorship. Only a
few hours after the letter of Lufthansa lawyers was received
on the 9th of October 2000, dozens of Internet providers
spontaneously declared that they would grant "political
asylum" to the exhibition (see

"The only consequence of the company's taking legal action
will be the further spreading of critical views on the
company", says Jan Hoffmann. Lufthansa AG would be better
advised to take care of its damaged public image - not least
of all abroad - instead of threatening critics of their
deportation practices with horrendous compensation claims.
"The company has to stop deporting people in its
Deportation.Class - not the exhibition!"

Further information:
or through the telephone number:

-- Please write to Lufthansa AG to tell them what you think
of making business with deportations

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