The FC St. Pauli fan magazine ‘Der Uebersteiger’ inquired whether we could contribute a few written words regarding the G20. Settling for a few words on this topic is a hard act in itself, so as it turns out there are quite a few words more in reaction to the G20, this unspeakable, inhumane summit of those 20 supposedly ‘most important’ industrial nations and threshold countries.
G20 – This naturally being anything but a large gathering of random human beings representing those nations which may speak about problems, neglects and missed opportunities, injustices, proportions and forms of oppression, about war and exploitation, mass pollution and looting – but a meeting of heads of government, inflated delegations of state as well as trade and industrial associations accompanied by their own lobbyists. Topping off this sheer foolishness, it takes place in Hamburg, in our city, which fortunately can call its own large, diverse and grown scenes and cultures of multicoloured activity and creativity, partially radical alternative, leftist resistance.
The entire despotic insanity then was housed in the convention center bordering on the neighbourhood Karoviertel and sitting right in between those of Schanze and Gaengeviertel, on the corner of our and the FC St. Pauli’s Millerntorstadium. What an outrageous demonstration of power on part of the SPD, the governing party of Hamburg and the “northern edition of the CSU”, as well as their toady coalition partner, this being the Green party.
Was this the subsequent revenge of King Olaf in reaction to Hamburg’s failed Olympia 2024 bid which all of us had voted down? If so, he hopefully did enjoy this revenge to the fullest as the G20 was simply horrible!
Weeks ahead of time already, citizens’ rights (Well, let’s call them human rights…) had been violated, exemplified by flicks of the wrist such as closings of football fields and the cancellation of trainings as in the case of the SC Sternschanze.
Aboard our own FC St. Pauli, nevertheless, there were quite far-sighted football amateurs who already in early March had organized a registered tournament taking place at the field arena, this including concerts, food and drinks, and which – you guessed it- was slotted for the G20 weekend from July 7 -9, 2017. Good work, people!
Those of us belonging to FC Lampedusa St. Pauli, from coaching crew to players, had started talking about the summit months before. What are we going to do?
Are we going to start the search for a football tournament far away ad will we leave our city behind, united?
What should we recommend to players age 15 to 25 who surely and in large part already had experienced violence – experiences which us ‘Non-Refugees’ could and would not want to imagine?
What effect would the daily and nightly, the constant drone of helicopters have on them?
What would the constant presence of armed and running uniformed trigger in our players, and what about getting controlled, searched and bullied?
What would this trigger in tens and twens who have survived war, destruction, persecution, flight, forced migration, violence, abuse, internment, death and fear of death?
Did we not have to expect a re-traumatization when witnessing police looking like soldiers who chase people, chase them with water cannoned, armoured vehicles, beat up on them, shoot gas grenades at them, throw people to the ground, manhandle, abuse and remove them?
What will happen if and when players happen upon demonstrations and blockades, when and if they decide to partake in a protest?
Which consequences are there for unaccomponied minors, underaged refugees, human beings being processed as they seek asylum, young, migrated people who merely have a stay or suspension of deportation – or have even less, perhaps?
House arrest because of Trump?
Curfew because o Putin?
NoGo areas because of Erdogan?
Interned in a camp for asylum seekers because the self-declared ‘World’s Elite’ chose our city as the site to chow down on lobster and the ‘Elphi’ as the venue to best enjoy Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’?
Not a single citizen of any country the players belonging to FC Lampedusa St. Pauli originate from was invited to this G20 chitchat! But hey, they are not ‘important’. They are just … ‘broken’.
Yet – as we say around here, around the FC Lampedusa St. Pauli, ‘About 10% of our project is football. 90% are about politics’. And so we stay! Kindly!
We shall not be chased off by warmongers and moneybags, are we!? And : “Puke bag Olaf” as well as ‘Prohibition Grote’ won’t scare us off.
As many of you are aware the FC Lampedusa St. Pauli female coaching crew is quite active politically besides the football project, and so the four coaches had plans in place for the week surrounding the G20. Our training had been cancelled anyways, schools and kindergartens closed, commuting to work had made impossible for thousands.
Reduced as we are as privileged German citizens who are endowed with the commonly accepted registered address of residence, we shall not be denied exercising our supposed, ‘granted’ right to free opinion, assembly and demonstration.
Until Thursday evening – ‘Welcome to Hell’!
This being the demonstration’s motto, it was translated quite literally by ‘The State’s Monopoly of Force’, and for days ahead of the actual summit. All those holed up on the city’s outskirts were forced to look on as people were chased, beat up, pushed down high walls and injured, gassed and shot by rubber bullets and water cannons. We saw choppers land on the Heiligengeistfeld, spewing out special forces equipped with helmet lights and armed with weaponry, taking over and occupying the site. We were in fear and there was little sleep, this also due to the constant drone of the helicopters hovering, sitting and idling above our heads, for days,nearly weeks, making us feel within a war instead of an economic summit.
The FCLSP’s players kept to their quarters and didn’t pose many questions upon resuming training – until they realized the fact that youth, kids their age, most of whom were from far away, nearly all ‘foreigners’, had been taken into juvenile prison custody right here pending trial. In jail all alone, far away from home, the local language unknown to them. What a nightmare!
On the next home game day, on 22 of july at our info and merchandise stand fronting the FC St. Pauli Fanladen they shared with us their experiences of internment camps, told us about jails in Libya. “It was so bad you don’t wanna know’, they told us. No, we’d rather not imagine. They told of internment camps, border patrol and detention in garages and storage facilities, all packed to the hilt with people because all other structures were maxed out. Of detention centers, police stations where entire families had to strip down including a baby whose diapers were ripped off in the search for money hidden by it’s parents. They told of cops and border patrolmen chasing them, beating up on them. Told of police brutality in Hungary and elsewhere. of deportation prisons and beeing locked in where ever. Yes, all FC Lampedusa St. Pauli players all of them know things like this.
So we have decided togehter to support those young No G20 activists by sending them postcards and team photos, by paying some money into their jail account so they at least can call home, write letters and buy toothpaste and whatever else it is they can purchase withi
That is how we go about it right now. We collect donations from our own info/merch stand which is situated by the Fanladen on the ‘Gegengerade’ during home games and pass it onto them… and we demand their immediate release!
To quote Deniz Naki a bit freely, ‘Kids need to go to fooball instead of going to jail!’
Please join in and support the young G20 inmates at the juvenile prison JVA Hahnöfersand.
Two of them have birthdays coming up in September, by the way. Maybe we can send parcels, as we already inquired at the jail.
Yours, FC Lampedusa St. Pauli
One of the young birthday mates been sentenced in the meanwhilwile, the sentence is suspended for pre-probation, so he is out of prison now and in 6 month the court will decide about it finally.
We was allowed to send a bithday parcel to the other youngster, 2,5Kg vegan sweets, not easy, but nearly everything else is forbidden to put in. No cookies, no dry frueits, no whole nuts. Its a strange, slattering, different world in itself!