t byfield on Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:07:32 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Re: urgent action.../ The status of E-mail allerts

----- Forwarded message from florian schneider <fls@ibu.de> -----

Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 20:12:48 +0100
From: florian schneider <fls@ibu.de>
To: t byfield <tbyfield@panix.com>
Subject: fwd urgent...

     [some background: when the action call against
      deportations was sent to nettime, i inserted
      a 'time stamp' and a sloppily phrased clarifi-
      cation that it wasn't a request to transform
      it into yet another feel-good sign-your-name
      and send-it-on viral message. but this clari-
      fication wasn't clear to at least one person,
      maybe more, who thought it was inappropriate.
      what resulted was an offlist conversation that
      brought up some interesting issues (i think).
      see what you think. cheers, t byfield]

hi you all,

we received this "urgent action" from a berlin anti-racist initiative and
the local refugee council. 

we decided to edit it slightly and forward it to some mailinglists,
because these days the situation here in Germany is getting more and more

political activity -- some years ago it was a reason to get asylum or at
least a toleration -- now means the opposite: faced with the kurdish
protests against the abduction of pkk leader the german authorities
started a serie of immediate deportations of kurdish activists. a lot of
people, who had to stay here without papers joined the actions in front of
consulats and on the streets, as everywhere in europe. some of them got
arrested on the way to the demonstrations, some were caught, when the
police cleared the various occupations. 

whatever we might think about the pkk-politics in detail, we consider the
deportations as serious human rights violations. even if people might be
under suspect of a violation against german laws, they are not accused
infront of a german trial, but given up to their torturers. 

internet-activism and e-mail-campaigns obviously do still not belong to
the everyday communications of german political groups. in that field most
of the groups don't differ from the authorities. but in the context of the
no one is illegal campaign and the caravan for the rights of refugees and
migrants we made a lot of good experiences with calling on the net to send
protest faxes to the responsable ministers. if such campaigns are related
to an individual case, and as soon as a lot of people join the action and
send faxes from all over the world, it can force the authorities, to
change the usual procedure. 

in most of the cases, after a certain pressure and in combination with
some international attention the arrested people were set free or at least
they got a chance to disappear again (like Recep Öz in last summer).
Furthermore, we realized that the authorities answer to every single
letter. Apparently the romantic fax channel offers some possibilities,
which wouldn't work 'net only' -- either because the governmental servers
are even to boring to block them or noone checks the e-mail or because
technically or politically it is much easier to ignore electronic postings
than faxes. 

we completely agree with ted's warning against chain letters, which just
call for signing an appeal and forwarding it to some more people. this is
completely self-referential and makes no sense for the people, who are,
when the call was initiated, hungerstriking in prison. To be sure that a
leaflet will still circulate on the net, long since they are already
carried off to the cellar of a turkish prison, doesn't serve anybody. it
shouldn't even calm down the bad conscience of the forwarders, because it
starts more confusion and affects the next campaign's chances. 

this is why we called to send faxes to the responsables. of course it
would be helpful to forward this call to reach more people, but better
first to activate yourself. it simply means to prove that the one, who is
arrested is not let alone in his or her struggle, it might open chances
for a following asylum case, it might just be inconveniant for the

we put the call on our websites to give a reference
<http://www.contrast.org/borders> and we will report there about how the
things are going on. unfortunately we forgot to make a time-stamp on the
top of the message. this won't happen again and we are working on a
checklist for further campaigns and some general explications about the
sense of such campaigns. 

thanks a lot!

-------------cross the border--
--ueber die grenze ------------
--phone: ++49/89/172/8910825---
-----mar 12-14 n5m3 amsterdam--
-mar 26-28 conference munich---
---aug 7-15 camp borderline----

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