Since October 2014, the Sleeping Place Organization Group has been organizing accommodation and shelter, offered by individuals or groups for refugees.
Two events led to the start of the political initiative: firstly, the forced eviction of GHS School in Ohlauer Straße / Berlin-Kreuzberg in June, 2014; secondly the eviction of more than hundred former inhabitants of the Oplatz camp out of their shelters in October of the same year, that were sent to into homelessness by the Berlin senate. For many people, after two years of self-organization at Oplatz and in the school, the new living community they had built together was destroyed.
Politicians wanted the refugee activists to return to the camps that they are fighting against. Once again, people became isolated, when they had just started to build their own structures.
Many had organized themselves politically and tried, together with political activists from leftist & people-of-Colour communities, to find creative forms of actions to enforce the demands: Freedom of movement / Right to stay / Right to Work.
But when people were separated from each other, much of this was torn apart again. Many people from the refugee community became cut off from the movement, had to struggle to survive on their own, and more and more people were “illegalized” by asylum laws – a process that still continues.
The courage of activists in self-organization shows that they are not simply defenceless in the face of ongoing racist policies. They develop alternative solutions together with people who act in solidarity, with people who resist the system; they keep on creating their own political structures.
However, in order to be able to tackle racist policies, to organize everyday life better, and to build a self-determined life, people need places where they rest, their own accommodation and private sphere! They need space for their own personal development – spaces that offer some protection against everyday racism, sexism and homophobia!
Solidarity means getting connected with other people to fight for a more just society – on the basis of our own racism-critical perspective. This also consist of a critical approach towards our own privileges, and to strategically make us of them in order to create open spaces and shelters for those who are disenfranchised and fight for their rights.
That is why the Sleeping Place Organization was set up. The group tries to link up homeless, sometimes undocumented, refugees with people offering accommodation in communities, flat shares, or in temporarily vacant flats. Also, we aim at helping people in solving their renting situation or to provide support in arranging longer-lasting flat solutions, in organisational, as well as in financial terms.
To be able to establish a continuous supporting structure, it is our goal to be part of a solidarity network of political initiatives striving for a systematic change in society and politics regarding asylum, migration and social policies, among others. Thus, we constantly look for new people and groups that look for cooperation and mutual support, e.g. to make life easier for people in lagers, in confrontation with asylum bureaucracy, or to mediate people to counseling services.
So, if you can offer or share space for some days, weeks, months, you are very welcome to get in touch with us. The same goes for financial donations or if you want to be part of our group. Are you searching for a place to stay for a short-term or long-term, feel welcome to get in contact with us, as well.
For refugees’ self-organization! For solidarity among each other!