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<nettime> Deportation.Class Campaign: Lufthansa under pressure

May 28th, 2000

After two months of campaigning:


  The german airline is facing a wave protest organised by high-motivated
anti-deportation activists. With a decentralized online and offline
campaign the "no one is illegal" network is demanding from Lufthansa
finally to give up deportations. Two weeks before the stockholder meeting
in Berlin the campaign's succes is in reach. 

  Exactly one year ago, on 28 May 1999, Aamir Ageeb died on board the
Lufthansa aircraft LH 558 heading for Cairo. Three Federal Border Guards
(BGS) had abused the 30-year-old so brutally that he suffocated. The
Border Guards had forced a full-face helmet onto his head, bound his hands
and feet and forcefully pushed his head onto his knees during take off.
Ageeb was not the first victim of brutal deportation practice in a
Lufthansa plane. In August 1994, the Nigerian Kola Bankole was also killed
on a Lufthansa scheduled flight. Borders Guards had bound the
asylum-seeker who had a heart condition like a parcel, pushed a gag in his
mouth and a doctor sedated him. Kola Bankole died before take off on the
Rhein-Main airport. 

  But Lufthansa's board of directors will only give up their business with
deportations, when the image of the airline company is at stake.  This is
why "no one is illegal" has started an international campaign.  The aim is
to bring the airline company to change its policy: No deportations with
Lufthansa anymore! 

  This is hardly an inappropriate demand. And this is why we  since two
months - turn up at every place where the Lufthansa is present: on the
Internet, in front of check-ins, at airports, at Lufthansa branches
everywhere, in travel agents. We appeal to all employees of the company to
refuse the transportation of deportees and we will educate them as well as
the passengers about the possibilities to protest against the
deportations. Because it is not only the Federal Border Guards and the
airline companies' board of directors who have a responsibility towards

  Also pilots, stewardesses, board personnel and police officers are able
to refuse to function as willing executors of the State's deportation
praxis and thereby can possibly save refugees' lives.  Captains in charge
of an aircraft are not only responsible for the security, but for the life
and freedom from injury on board. It often does not take much to help the
refugees to succeed in their desperate protests. Sometimes, loud words or
the refusal to sit down during take off are enough to put an end to a


   From May 26th till May 28th the german wide network 'no one is illegal'
has started a new round of protest actions on airports and infront of
travel agencies remembering the death of Aamir Mohamed Ageeb.  In more
than a dozen german cities various actions took place: in airports, in
front of travel agencies, at the Lufthansa flight school.  On June 15th
our actions at the Lufthansa shareholders' meeting at the ICC Berlin will
be an unforgettable experience for the shareholders and the company
management. We, together with the "Critical Shareholders"  association,
intend to interfere gravely with the proceedings of the meeting. [In case
you own some Lufthansa stocks, we kindly ask you to get in touch with us
<mailto:webmaster@deportation-alliance.com> or the critical shareholders
association <http://www.kritischeaktionaere.de>] Then, on July 1st, a
jamming and a blockade of the Schoenefeld airport in Berlin is planned

After two months of campaign, a first actionday in the beginning of april,
a lot of different, very creative and imaginative actions, various fakes
and attacks the image of Lufthansa seems to be in danger.  The remarkable
response of the campaign in the mainstream media has put Lufthansa under
immense and visible pressure. According to certain sources even the
Ministry of the Interior is worried that Lufthansa might indeed abstain
from carrying out deportations. 

   To support and accelerate this process we do need your help! Every
action targeted at Lufthansa (http://www.lufthansa.com) and their socalled
"deportation.class", at their branches and at the airports outside of
Germany will greatly increase the pressure on Lufthansa. It would be
great, if you could do some kind of action in front of a Lufthansa branch. 


   For the german wide network 'no one is illegal' Aamir Ageeb's death was
the trigger for a campaign against deportations by Lufthansa. We protest
against the deportation of refugees out of Europe and the role of the
airlines in this practice. The experiences of groups in other European
countries have encouraged our campaign. 'No one is illegal' wants to reach
a wider public through its campaign and draw attention to the
responsibility of Lufthansa. This is not a classical boycott campaign.
Rather, the image of a 'clean airline' ist to be soiled; at the same time
we are appealing to passengers and flight personnel to stand up and not
accept the deportation practice. Finally we demand that Lufthansa abandons
this line of its business. 

   In recent years, many campaigns have shown that internationally
operating companies fear for a loss of image. In 1998, the Nigerian Semira
Adamu died on an aircraft of Sabena airlines in Brussels airport.  She was
suffocated with a pillow by the 'accompanying' police in an attempt to
deport her. A strong wave of protest resulted in the resignation of the
Minister of the Interior and forced Sabena to ask passengers for their
agreement to the flight before departure. Sabena pilots moreover declared
that they will not accept any deportation prisoners on their flights. 

   The concept of the campaign includes networking with other European
groups. International networking opens up new opportunities for joint
interventions. Our website and the co-operation with other European groups
have left an impression with the press as well as with Lufthansa.  Since
Lufthansa has been under public critique, spokespersons of the company
maintain that the the airline generally rejects deportations against the
will of the 'deportees' and since June 1999 does not transport them
anymore. In reality that is not true. On May 13th, 2000, there was a
violent incident on Lufthansa aircraft LH 4115 from Paris to Berlin. Two
French civil police maltreated and beat an African passenger who fought
against his deportation. Despite shouting and loud protests from
passengers, the crew of the airplane did not react at first. Only when the
Leipzig professor Klaus Gerd Giesen threatened the pilot with legal
consequences, the deportation was suspended. Since that time Prof.  Giesen
has been appealing to people in the academia to participate in a fax and
e-mail protest campaign. 

Read more: <http://www.deportation-alliance.com/lh/english.html>

   Support the campaign against deportations by Lufthansa.
   Stop the "DEPORTATION-CLASS" - end the business with deportations !

   no one is illegal!

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