Page 1: Bamako-Dakar Caravan



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4. Exchange and revolt


As a migrant or a black person you're forced to be political. When I heard of Oury Jalloh, I was shocked, I let out my anger and then we organised ourselves. Our aim is to publicise what goes on here in Germany and what that means for the rest of the world.
What I like about the Caravan, is that we don’t want to stop anyone from coming to Europe and at the same time we don’t intend to invite them all. We just want to have an exchange with the hope that we will find other solutions. We want to create a communication network between migrants and their people back home. And we have to thank people who have been deported in the most terrible way who fought for their human rights back in their country. We are the invited ones.
Migration is an option, maybe we need to work to improve the routes - people to accompany them or position guards. Since I’ve had a German passport, I’m wondering whether I really am on the right side of the wall or if I should quickly jump back over.
From an African perspective not suffering any physical harm seems enough, but they have no way of knowing about the kind of mechanisms that are at work here and what this does to the psyche. We must tell people in Africa that someone who is deported empty-handed, is not a failure. And what happened to Oury Jalloh is a fact - we are not making up images to shock people.
In order to be credible it is important that we agree on who is speaking on which subject, Africans or Europeans, and which demands are made on whom. To me the Caravan is a hopeful move, a kind of rolling stone which will eventually reach the whole of Africa. To me the most authentic reaction people can give is a spontaneous one. Maybe a kind of revolt, with which the masses really bring their corrupt representatives to order.
It has to be something longterm because people in prison and people who want to leave are still there!

Abraham Habtemariam, Initiative in Memory of Oury Jalloh

Yellow box:
During the 1960s and 1970s many left-wing activists in the West were projecting their hopes onto the anticolonial movements in the South. Those days are long gone. In short interviews four migrant-activists are talking about their struggles in Europe and how their experiences can be referred to the struggles in Africa.


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