*Three day in August . . . and many more years* - Call for the "forenoon"-manifestation on the 4th of June

*Three day in August . . . and many more years* August 1992, Rostock-Lichtenhagen: Neonazis, applauded by thousands of bystanders, attack the Central Refugee Reception Facility as well as a hostel of vietnamese migrant workers with stones and molotv cocktails. The pogrom lasts for several days. Police forces don't provide protection to the inhabitants of the attacked buildings. Short time later, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) abandons its resistance against the modification of Article 16 of the german constitution, which grants political asylum as a fundamental right. By factual cooperation between nazis, "ordinary" racists and the german state, the right to asylum is abolished and deportations, exclusion and disfranchisement of refugees becomes a permanent state. "/The events of the past years cleary show that an addition to the right to asylum is urgently necessary, since the population is overburdened by the undamped influx of asylum seekers/", said the then prime minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bernd Seite (CDU, conservative party) at a press conference few hours after the attacks had reached their climax. The victims were thus made the culprits. But what happened before this unbelievable statement, what was its object? In spring 1992, the Central Refugee Reception Facility (ZAST in german) was hopelessly overcrowded. Newly arriving refugees were forced to camp in front of ZAST for days in order to be able to make an asylum application. There were not even make-shift toilets, since "/this would have meant to legalize a state that we do not desire/", said the then mayor of Rostock, Klaus Kilimann (SPD). On Tuesday, 18^th of August, an anonymous caller rang the editorial staff of "Norddeutsche Nachrichten" and threatened: "If the city of Rostock will not establish order until the end of the week, we will do so. In the fashion we believe right". Similar announcements were made to other newspapers and were published. Despite these clear threats, the politicians and police officers in charge claimed not to see any endangerment, since no demonstrations had been registered for the weekend. *Saturday, 22^nd of August 1992* During the course of the day, up to 2.000 people gathered in front of ZAST. In the early evening, people inside the crowd started launching stones and molotov cocktails against the building. A mere ridiculous 30 ordinary police of the total of 1.100 police officers in Rostock were supposed to stop the riot. Due to the imbalance in numbers, they couldn't even attempt to protect the inhabitants of ZAST, since they were busy looking after themselves. Strangely, the water cannons usually stationed in Rostock, had been relocated recently to Schwerin and thus only arrived in Rostock-Lichtenhagen at two o'clock in the night. They sprayed their water aimlessly and were again relocated back to Schwerin. This "victory" against the water cannons only fuelled spirits. Only in the early morning, the situation calmed down. *Sunday, 23^rd of August 1992* The crowd gathered again, now supported by the germanwide known nazi Christian Worch. Again, ZAST and the adjoining hostel of the vietnamese migrant workers was attacked. An antifascist demonstration was dispersed by the police. *Monday, 24^th of August 1992* The inhabitants of ZAST were evacuated under the protection of the police. The vietnamese workers however were left alone. In the evening, the situation came to a head, attackers entered the building. The lower levels of the building were set ablaze. There were over 120 people in the building. Only by breaking through several locked escape doors to the adjacent buildings, they managed to escape and avoid any casualities. Fact is, that at any point in time, there were no adequate police forces on the ground to guarantee the protection of the inhabitants of ZAST or hostel. Was this a mere malfunction of police strategy? There are clear indications that this is not the truth. Despite the situation in front of ZAST being known for some time, there were never any attempts to improve the conditions. The projected relocation of ZAST to a bigger building was delayed time and again. The police operation was directed by the head of the ordinary Rostock police, Jürgen Deckert. He had no experience whatsoever with such kind of situations. His superior, Siegfried Kordus, as well as the regional head of police, Hans-Heinrich Heinsen, internally known as the "victor of Brokdorf" (a large demonstration against the construction of a nuclear power plant in Brokdorf was violently dispersed by the police in the 80s), neither assumed control nor did they support Deckert. The assumption is that Deckert was a pawn to be sacrificed. He himself told the head of a team of Hamburg riot police: "/I believe I am being abandoned politically/". Despite the endangerment of the vietnamese was known, they were not evacuated together with the inhabitants of ZAST. On Monday afternoon, there was a meeting at the head office of the Rostock police. Federal minister of the interior Seiters (CDU), head of border police (BGS) Hitz, regional prime minister Seite (CDU), regional minister of the interior Kupfer, Schwerin head of public security von Breven and Rostock head of police Kordus participated. Content and result of the meeting were not disclosed publically. It does however seem no coincidence that the next day, with the above quoted statement of regional prime minister Seite, the beginning of the end of the right to asylum was initiated. During the progrom, there were close to no arrests. Solely participants of the antifascist demonstration were arrested. The last attackers were convicted after ten years, they received short prison terms. They get let off with probation since it was argued that the events happened long time ago. These are only a few facts, researched after the progrom. An overall view is provided in book "Politische Brandstiftung -- Warum 1992 in Rostock das Ausländerwohnheim in Flammen aufging" by Jochen Schmidt, who had witnessed the events personally and who afterwards spent several years researching the background. The events of Rostock-Lichtenhagen were no doubt part of a strategic concept of the conservative parties. The aim was to abolish the unrestricted right to asylum, granted in the german constitution. A change of the constitution however was only possible with a two-thirds majority, which was not on the horizon since social democrats and green party opposed it. Public opinion was also split. Therefore, the conservative parties created a climate in which not only the public opinion changed, but also socials democrats and greens got under massive pressure. The manouevre was very successful. SPD, afraid of losing the attachment of the population, buckled and agreed to a change of the constituion. On the first of Juli 1993, the new Article 16a of the german constitution became effective. The limitations to the right to asylum laid down in it were adopted by the other european countries and became the corner stone of the walling-off of europe. As a consequence, only few refugees have a realistic chance of obtaining asylum in Germany today. Only a limited number manage to reach europe legally at all. Forced to reside in refugee camps, affected by social exclusion, in permanent fear of deportation and no perspective for a right to stay are the elements that dominate the day to day life of refugees. The progrom of Rostock-Lichtenhagen thus is the historical embodification of statal migration policy, guided by institutional racism. The unique aspect of Rostock-Lichtenhagen were not the violent attacks against migrants. This had often happened before and afterwards. Unique was that the population showed open solidarity with the attackers and that the politicians instrumentalised the progrom. With our manifestation, we not only want to recall the events of Rostock-Lichtenhagen, but also want to commemorate all victims of racist violence and statal politcs of walling-off europe. Manifestation on Monday, 4^th of June 2007, 10 o'clock in front of the Sonnenblumenhaus (sun flower house), S-Bahn Station Lichtenhagen (train stop).