Five eventful years:Seebrücke looks back

Nini Delamond

May - December 2023:STOP GEAS

The EU Parliament is discussing how to enforce the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and abolish the right to asylum. With actions throughout Germany and Austria, we demonstrated with thousands of people and over 100 civil society organizations against CEAS and for a migration policy based on solidarity!

May 2023:Signposts

Places of Isolation: In cities across Germany, we have set up signposts pointing to places of European isolation and have made the related human rights violations visible in everyday life.

August 2021 - October 2022:Don't Forget Afghanistan

The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has neither led to an immediate stop to deportations by the German government nor to the rapid reception of all people at risk. In a large nationwide demonstration and with conferences, demonstrations and forms of protest, we have been on the streets for a federal admission program that allows all people admission and the right to stay, Don't Forget Afghanistan!

February 2022:#MakeItPossible

The reactions to Putin's war in Ukraine have shown that a lot is possible! In order to stand up for the protection and support of all refugees, we have called for numerous actions: The immediate and humane reception of ALL refugees #MakeItPossible! Our solidarity is indivisible.

May & October 2022:Iuventa action days

For years, the EU has been blocking its own sea rescue mission and criminalizing people for rescue operations and migration.

On 21 May 2022, 21 sea rescuers from the Iuventa crew and other organizations were taken to court on charges of "aiding and abetting illegal migration". Most of the people on trial are refugees themselves. We have demonstrated in more than 30 locations at various events across Germany and Europe: We fight for Solidarity! Stop the criminalization of flight and sea rescue!

December 2021:Green Light for Reception!

For months, people seeking protection are still being detained in the sealed-off border area between Poland and Belarus. They are being pushed back from Poland, suffer from hunger and have been exposed to wet and bitter cold in winter. Under the hashtag #GrünesLichtFürAufnahme (#GreenLightForReception), numerous actions took place in which green lights shone as a sign of solidarity. Together, we presented our demands to the German government: create humanitarian corridors, take responsibility and accept people immediately!

Hami Roshan

Oktober 2021:Moving Cities

Across Europe, our online platform Moving Cities shows that over 700 cities from the EU support solidarity-based migration policies. We get an insight into 28 progressive solidarity cities from ten countries and their strategies for welcoming migrants and refugees.
We have known for a long time: Another migration policy is possible!

September 2021:48,000 times foreclosure!

In front of the German Bundestag we put a huge mosaic of pictures of politicians and decision makers.

The many small photos of the people who, for example through statements or their voting behavior over the last few years, have contributed significantly to the isolation of Germany and Europe, make a large picture that is representative of the inhumane consequences of these years of isolationist policies. Just like the individual pieces of the mosaic, every decision and every vote of the individual MPs in recent years has led to human rights being violated every day at Europe's external borders.

Berlin, September 2021, © Hami Roshan

Juli und August 2021:Non-negotiable!

In over 70 actions with thousands of people we have shown that we stand united for safe escape routes and the evacuation of all camps at the EU external borders. We demand the end of German participation in all Frontex and EUNAVFOR MED operations and the decriminalization of sea rescue with the development of a sea rescue program.

After a bicycle demonstration to the Interior Ministers' Conference in Rust, a list of people drowned in the Mediterranean was handed over together with our alliance partners to show:  Human rights and sea rescue are non-negotiable!

January 2021:Accommodation instead of isolation #NoPushBackIstLegal

Under the slogan “Accomodation instead of isolation", a joint day of action with the Balkanbrücke took place on 30.01.2021. All over Germany, people took to the streets and demanded an immediate stop to the violent and illegal pushbacks at the European outer borders and demanded the evacuation of the camps at the Bosnian-Croatian border. Despite the Corona pandemic, we were able to bring the issue into the media and put it on the political agenda.

September 2020:No More Morias!

When the Moria camp burned down in the summer of 2020, tens of thousands of people all over Germany took to the streets that same day and asserted forcefully: We have space! We have space! Everywhere in Germany and Europe people become active, set up demos within a very short time, painted banners, and raised their voices against the inhumane policies of the European Union.

Evacuate Moria! © Nora Börding

September 2020:13.000 Chairs for Moria

On 07.09.2020, in collaboration with #LeaveNoOneBehind, Sea-Watch, and Campact, we made an impressive action possible: 13,000 empty chairs lined up on the lawn in front of the Bundestag. Each chair represented every person living in Moria. Our local groups in countless towns and villages also brought images of the action to the public: empty chairs as a symbol of the willingness to take in refugees were placed in front of town halls, churches, and on large squares.

A chair for Moria, Berlin, September 2020 © Nora Börding

March 2020:#LeaveNoOneBehind – Protect those seeking protection!

The Corona pandemic intensified the urgency of an immediate evacuation of the Greek camps. Under the slogan "Leave No One Behind” Seebrücke and numerous other civil society organisations called for the immediate evacuation of the camps on the Greek islands and the acceptance of those people in Germany. Quarantining, social distancing, and hand washing are not possible in Moria. With actions, in which we distributed old shoes in small and large cities, we drew attention throughout Germany to the indefensible conditions in Greek camps.

Cologne, September 2020 © Nick Jaussi

March 2020:We have Space

Protests took place nationwide within the context of the massive human rights violations at the Turkish-Greek border and the violent escalations on the Greek islands. Under the slogan "Open the Border, Save Lives" Grenzen öffnen, Leben retten” tens of thousands of people took to the streets in over 60 cities across Germany in more than 90 actions, sending a clear signal for the right to asylum and against the massive violence against refugees in Greece.

February 2020:Seebrücke in Lesbos

At the end of February 2020, we travelled to Athens and Lesbos together with the mayor of Potsdam, Mike Schubert, the mayor of Rottenburg am Neckar, Thomas Weigel, and prelate of the Evangelical Church of Germany, Dr. Martin Dutzmann, to get insights into the situation on the ground and to talk about concrete relief measures for the people on the Greek islands.

#RightForAsylum, Heidelberg, Juli 2019

July 2019:Day of Action 06.07. For the rights of refugees: #FreeCarola!

Another highlight was July 6, 2019: On this day, we once again showed how many people are fighting for a society based on solidarity. More than 50,000 people were on the streets in over 100 cities and villages across Europe and created a huge orange beacon of solidarity.

June 2019:Founding of the city alliance “Safe Harbour Cities”

At the Safe Harbour Congress, the city alliance “Safe Harbour Cities” was founded, which for almost two years now has been campaigning for additional municipal intake, thereby exerting pressure on the federal government.

June 2019:Safe Harbour Congress

Also in June, we organised the congress “Cast off for municipal reception” at the Rotes Rathaus in Berlin. On this occasion, 13 municipalities founded the city alliance “Safe Harbour Cities”—among them Berlin, Potsdam, Freiburg, Rostock. With the Alliance, we organised the independent protest of political actors: Today, mayors and local politicians are loudly and publicly criticizing the isolationist policy of the German government. They are demanding new pathways to make it possible to show solidarity and independently receive people in their cities. Meanwhile, the Alliance consists of more than 88 cities, municipalities, and communities.

Cologne, Dezember 2019 © Stefan Rahmann

June 2019:“Every Human has a Name”

At the Evangelical Church Assembly in June 2019, we protested against murder in the Mediterranean Sea with the action “Every Human has a Name” and rolled out a huge orange banner with the names of deceased people on the steeple of St. Reinoldi Church, Dortmund. At the same Church Assembly, the Evangelical Church in Germany decided to purchase its own ship for sea rescue in the Mediterranean.

Spring 2019:Protest-Relay

In spring 2019, we drew attention to the suffering in the central Mediterranean Sea with a protest relay that travelled from city to city. With a rubber dinghy that was discovered in 2017 by the civilian rescue organisation Sea-Eye drifting in the water on route to Europe, activists moved through city centres and confronted people directly with the dying in the Mediterranean Sea—looking away is impossible!

Kassel, Juli 2018, © Thomas Aleschewsky

August 2018:Europe-wide Actions

In June 2018, the sea rescue ships “Aquarius” and “Lifeline” were not given safe harbour, at which time we joined forces and founded Seebrücke. We started with a first demo in Berlin on July 7 with over 12,000 people. In the weeks that followed, hundreds of demos took place all over Germany, as well as in Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Every weekend, people from Wetzlar to Hanover to Munich stood in the streets and loudly demanded: Rescuing people in the Mediterranean is a duty!

July 2018:The Start!

At the end of August 2018, we launched our first Europe-wide protest week under the slogan "Build Bridges, Not Walls". More than 40 actions took place in 10 different European countries and set an example of solidarity with refugees.