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[Nettime-bold] Deportation.Class Campaign: Lufthansa under pressure


May 28th, 2000
webmaster@deportation-alliance.com
http://www.deportation-alliance.com

After two months of campaigning:

LUFTHANSA UNDER PRESSURE

  The german airline is facing a wave protest organised by
high-motivated anti-deportation activists. With a decentralized online
and offline campaign the "no one is illegal" network is demanding from
Lufthansa finally to give up deportations. Two weeks before the
stockholder meeting in Berlin the campaign's succes is in reach.


  Exactly one year ago, on 28 May 1999, Aamir Ageeb died on board the
Lufthansa aircraft LH 558 heading for Cairo. Three Federal Border Guards
(BGS) had abused the 30-year-old so brutally that he suffocated. The
Border Guards had forced a full-face helmet onto his head, bound his
hands and feet and forcefully pushed his head onto his knees during take
off. Ageeb was not the first victim of brutal deportation practice in a
Lufthansa plane. In August 1994, the Nigerian Kola Bankole was also
killed on a Lufthansa scheduled flight. Borders Guards had bound the
asylum-seeker who had a heart condition like a parcel, pushed a gag in
his mouth and a doctor sedated him. Kola Bankole died before take off on
the Rhein-Main airport.

  But Lufthansa's board of directors will only give up their business
with deportations, when the image of the airline company is at stake.
This is why "no one is illegal" has started an international campaign.
The aim is to bring the airline company to change its policy: No
deportations with Lufthansa anymore!

  This is hardly an inappropriate demand. And this is why we  since two
months - turn up at every place where the Lufthansa is present: on the
Internet, in front of check-ins, at airports, at Lufthansa branches
everywhere, in travel agents. We appeal to all employees of the company
to refuse the transportation of deportees and we will educate them as
well as the passengers about the possibilities to protest against the
deportations. Because it is not only the Federal Border Guards and the
airline companies' board of directors who have a responsibility towards
deportees.

  Also pilots, stewardesses, board personnel and police officers are
able to refuse to function as willing executors of the State's
deportation praxis and thereby can possibly save refugees' lives.
Captains in charge of an aircraft are not only responsible for the
security, but for the life and freedom from injury on board. It often
does not take much to help the refugees to succeed in their desperate
protests. Sometimes, loud words or the refusal to sit down during take
off are enough to put an end to a deportation.

   NOW YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!

   From May 26th till May 28th the german wide network 'no one is
illegal' has started a new round of protest actions on airports and
infront of travel agencies remembering the death of Aamir Mohamed Ageeb.
In more than a dozen german cities various actions took place: in
airports, in front of travel agencies, at the Lufthansa flight school.
On June 15th our actions at the Lufthansa shareholders' meeting at the
ICC Berlin will be an unforgettable experience for the shareholders and
the company management. We, together with the "Critical Shareholders"
association, intend to interfere gravely with the proceedings of the
meeting. [In case you own some Lufthansa stocks, we kindly ask you to
get in touch with us <mailto:webmaster@deportation-alliance.com> or the
critical shareholders association <http://www.kritischeaktionaere.de>]
Then, on July 1st, a jamming and a blockade of the Schoenefeld airport
in Berlin is planned <http://blockade.ods.org>

After two months of campaign, a first actionday in the beginning of
april, a lot of different, very creative and imaginative actions,
various fakes and attacks the image of Lufthansa seems to be in danger.
The remarkable response of the campaign in the mainstream media has put
Lufthansa under immense and visible pressure. According to certain
sources even the Ministry of the Interior is worried that Lufthansa
might indeed abstain from carrying out deportations.

   To support and accelerate this process we do need your help! Every
action targeted at Lufthansa (http://www.lufthansa.com) and their
socalled "deportation.class", at their branches and at the airports
outside of Germany will greatly increase the pressure on Lufthansa. It
would be great, if you could do some kind of action in front of a
Lufthansa branch.


   BACKGROUND

   For the german wide network 'no one is illegal' Aamir Ageeb's death
was the trigger for a campaign against deportations by Lufthansa. We
protest against the deportation of refugees out of Europe and the role
of the airlines in this practice. The experiences of groups in other
European countries have encouraged our campaign. 'No one is illegal'
wants to reach a wider public through its campaign and draw attention to
the responsibility of Lufthansa. This is not a classical boycott
campaign. Rather, the image of a 'clean airline' ist to be soiled; at
the same time we are appealing to passengers and flight personnel to
stand up and not accept the deportation practice. Finally we demand that
Lufthansa abandons this line of its business.

   In recent years, many campaigns have shown that internationally
operating companies fear for a loss of image. In 1998, the Nigerian
Semira Adamu died on an aircraft of Sabena airlines in Brussels airport.
She was suffocated with a pillow by the 'accompanying' police in an
attempt to deport her. A strong wave of protest resulted in the
resignation of the Minister of the Interior and forced Sabena to ask
passengers for their agreement to the flight before departure. Sabena
pilots moreover declared that they will not accept any deportation
prisoners on their flights.

   The concept of the campaign includes networking with other European
groups. International networking opens up new opportunities for joint
interventions. Our website and the co-operation with other European
groups have left an impression with the press as well as with Lufthansa.
Since Lufthansa has been under public critique, spokespersons of the
company maintain that the the airline generally rejects deportations
against the will of the 'deportees' and since June 1999 does not
transport them anymore. In reality that is not true. On May 13th, 2000,
there was a violent incident on Lufthansa aircraft LH 4115 from Paris to
Berlin. Two French civil police maltreated and beat an African passenger
who fought against his deportation. Despite shouting and loud protests
from passengers, the crew of the airplane did not react at first. Only
when the Leipzig professor Klaus Gerd Giesen threatened the pilot with
legal consequences, the deportation was suspended. Since that time Prof.
Giesen has been appealing to people in the academia to participate in a
fax and e-mail protest campaign.

Read more: <http://www.deportation-alliance.com/lh/english.html>

   Support the campaign against deportations by Lufthansa.
   Stop the "DEPORTATION-CLASS" - end the business with deportations !

   no one is illegal!
   <http://www.contrast.org/borders>




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