Schlagwort-Archive: Lampedusa

A visit to FC Lampedusa St. Pauli’s central midfielder in deportation detention

FC Lampedusa St. Pauli trilogy, part 2

“I know who YOU are, I know who HE is and I know that HE plays football for your team – which I find such a great project”

(Officer in charge at the “Departure Custody Facility” at Hamburg Airport)

 

A visit to FC Lampedusa St. Pauli’s central midfielder in deportation detention.

Since 2016, the Hamburg foreigners’ registration office has been operating its own detention facility.

In this compound, only clerks of Hamburg’s foreigners’ registration office and employees of a private security service work. These clerks detain people inside the registration office; have them committed to their self-operated jail by their own co-workers; and, then, guarded until the detainees are deported by plane – a process that is completed in just four days.

But what does it look like, and how does it feel to be inside the Detention Facility?

After our, FC Lampedusa St. Pauli’s, landing at Hamburg Airport from Barcelona on 30 November 2016 (see part 1 of our trilogy), we immediately called the Detention Facility asking if one of us could come to visit our detained Habibi right away, since we were calling from the Airport. The guy at the other end of the line informed us that the visiting hours ended at 18h00, so there’d be a chance if we make tracks. Who exactly would be visiting? he asked.

“A friend”, I replied. We’ve just landed ­– returning from Barcelona – and were appalled to learn that our bro had been detained. “Yes, I do have an ID with me and would leave the team at the airport, ask them to look after my luggage and take the next taxi” I added.

“But you know that it takes a while to get to the facility as it’s not at the directly accessible from the airport but on the far side of it”, the voice at the other end of the line informed me.
“I do know. Yes, I’ll surely make it before six, though”.

After five minutes driving in the taxi, I received a call back and am told by a male voice that it would be no longer possible to come. “Come again? I’m in the taxi already and on my way”, I replied. He was sorry, he said, but a visit would be – for organisational reasons he wasn’t authorised to explain – not going to happen today. I tried to persuade him to bring our midfielder to one of the gates or a fence – at least – so that I could see and talk to him from the other side. I even promised not to touch him. However, the guy just said that he wasn’t authorised to permit this and that I could come the next day at 10h00. Totally upset, I asked the driver to return to the airport, where I got out again. Alone, in the rain, I was back at the airport.

Thursday morning: I was off to Niendorf, a district in the north of the city, where the deportation facility is located. Through the rain, I passed detached houses and a fence, cross the ground of the local sports club and enter a wood. From this club’s parking lot, I called the number on the washed-out paper, which was covered in a transparent film and taped to the gate: “Deportation Detention Facility Hamburg. Visitors register here” (followed by phone numbers). The man on the line answered: “We’re coming”. Coming to where, I asked myself.

Through trees and underbrush, behind another fence wrapped in barbed wire you can see white-blue containers. Alright, this is what they mean with “where”: the massive iron-gate, through which you can only just guess the silhouettes of three or four people in the drizzle. Behind a fence “secured” with barbed wire.

“I have an appointment for 10 o’clock”, I explained clumsily. “Okay, come in. First go through the gate, then through the entrance door”. The gate opened, closed, the door opened, closed.

Holy shit, what a terrible place they have brought our FCLSP player to. All alone – on top of that!

On the one hand, it is actually a sort of relief to know that this place doesn’t have even more people forced to be waiting for their deportation. In the middle of a wood, behind barbed wire, in a jail made of stacked containers. But an entire jail for just one player of FC Lampedusa St. Pauli? Hard to take, all alone in the middle of nowhere.

He is only the fifth detainee in the “departure custody” that the Hamburg foreigners’ registration office erected near the airport only recently, after “two Azerbaijani, one Armenian and one Egyptian”, according to a local newspaper. For only four days, the registration office is permitted to detain refugees in their own jail.

Then I’m let in with my trolley bag which I – after the return from Barcelona – emptied quickly in order to repack it for our Habibi, so that he has at least his stuff. Into jail, for the plane, to deportation!

There’s not much that he can call his belongings: in about 2 years after having left his home country, looking for, as he said, “for a place where he can just be what he is and where he can live in peace.” Approximately two years of incomprehension, container camps, summons, harassment, rejection, escape, loneliness, speechlessness and the constant fear of getting detained and deported. Back, back to… back to where?

Back to where he, for good reasons, jumped at the first opportunity offered to get away from? Back to where there was and still awaits only incomprehension, harassment, rejection, loneliness and things being even worse? Back to a country and a society that has been broken, torn apart, destroyed, brutalised and traumatised by war and the legacy of it? Back to where there is misery, displacement, corruption, intolerance and hopelessness? Cooped-up and barred at a place where there’s nothing?

The place where he was actually born but doesn’t have to live his whole life. What sort of person is entitled to decide upon where other people may live and where they may not? And who are the people assuming they have the power to decide upon it?

In the office, I’m greeted by two female and three male officers from the foreigners’ registration office. At the door, through which I entered, stands a female employee from the security company, with her male colleague at the other. One of the female registrations office clerks introduces her to me and requests my ID. A phone call is made asking if I’m permitted to enter at all.

“Negative!” – “I’m sorry? Oh, stop it, you sent me away yesterday already. I’m bringing his belongings.” – “But, be happy, ‘negative’ at us means ‘positive’!”

It is, for sure, another world.

She assigns me a shelf in a locker where I have to put everything I’m not permitted to take in with me: my jacket, bag, money etc. Then, all men left the office and a second female security person entered, taking position at the other door. Now, exactly four women are in the room with me. First, I have to remove my shoes, pull down my knee socks, take off my jumper, open my trousers, then I have to stand against the wall. There is a particular piece of carpet you have to stand on. Spread eagled and facing the wall I am roughly frisked at first, like at any FCSP home game, before things turn into a real body search: putting hands down and lifting t-shirt and tank top, showing bare back, turn around, showing bare breast, turn around, hands back against the wall. “It is for his own safety”, the lady did claim.

Without words! In the end, I’m allowed to put my hands down, turn my face away from the wall and to put my clothes back on. But I’m not permitted to sit on her chair again while putting my shoes back on.

Then, the men come back in. They search the trolley case.

All pieces of clothing are unfold one by one, touched and searched and the empty case is checked thoroughly. When I said that it was checked only the day before at Barcelona Airport, someone snapped at me that, “This is Schengen area. Nothing is checked in this.” Well, I do hope it’s not right!

Half an hour later, the (mostly sports) clothing is unpacked, searched and at least somewhat acceptably repacked. Meanwhile, the “suitcase search officer” tried to start a chatting about football – FC St. Pauli, Altona 93 and FC Barcelona. He’d be a football fan himself, he said, and would be familiar with it. “How was Barcelona?” he asked. “You’ve certainly been in Camp Nou, right?” When he told me that I could not take the freshly searched Barça gift bag into the jail, we – after all, we’re “football fans” – agreed on that I could take the Barcelona gifts in their original package into the jail, showing him them, bringing them back outside where he could check them once again and then put them into the suitcase.

So things go – apparently – among “football fans” only!

Then I’m finally allowed in. However, I don’t know where to go as I’m, fortunately, not familiar with this place. Then, they bring me to our Habibi who waited for me inside an unbelievably ugly, uncomfortable, bare and cold visitors’ room. He looked pale, skinny and overtired. No surprise, given this terrible and lonely place. But still he was being brave. We hug and talk about the situation “in there”. He asked about our time in Barcelona and that he didn’t want to spoil our great trip. Which is also why he insisted to us not to tell anyone about his terrible situation. He’d been so sorry, he said.

And how we were sorry. After all, it’s not us being put into jail without warning and facing deportation the next morning. A situation terrible to imagine. However, impossible to be stopped, despite all endeavours of his barrister. What a shame!

And, in midst of all horrors, we also did have an occasional laugh.

Brave young FC Lampedusa St. Pauli player!

But now we really would have to come to an end, as it was past 12 o’clock already, the security person in the corner watching the visit, informed us. I went back to the office, returning the Barcelona gifts and then, to the foreigners’ registration office clerk, who’s authority operates a jail where they detain people for the only purpose of deporting them. Unexpectedly, the clerk tells me that he knows who I am, that he – pointing to the hall, where our dear brother and FCLSP player is standing and looking at me for the last time through the open door, knows who HE is, that he knows what WE do and that HE plays for our team. He’s interested in football as well and finds FCLSP such a great project.

If this is the case, then he should release our central midfielder right now, I say.

“Well”, THIS he, of course, couldn’t do – but why can’t he?

The next morning, on Friday, 2 December 2016 at 7 pm the FC Lampedusa St. Pauli player, our Habibi, our bro and friend, was deported by plane from Hamburg Airport.

On a home game day of FC St. Pauli!

(Original version(s) available on http://fclampedusa-hh.de/?cat=2; English version: Thomas, Nick)

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FC St. Pauli now has a refugees’ football team: the FC Lampedusa Hamburg!

Photo by Peter Boehmer
Kick-off for “St. Paulinge”*
FC St. Pauli now has a refugees’ football team: the FC Lampedusa Hamburg!
The connection that has existed for a long time on an informal basis is now official!
After two and a half years of cordial cooperation, the Hamburg based football clubs FC St. Pauli and FC Lampedusa have decided to amalgamate on both a sporting and socio-political footing. This has just been mutually agreed between the Coaching Crew of FC Lampedusa Hamburg and the board of the German second division club, FC St. Pauli. The agreement brings together what belongs together anyway. For a very long time, the framework, in which long-term and sustainable support for refugees could be realised, had been the subject of cross-party discussions within FC St. Pauli. For FC Lampedusa Hamburg, it is fortunate that a club like FCSP holds its shielding hands over the refugees’ team, not only supporting them in sporting terms by, among other things, the permission to use FCSP-pitches and the provision equipment, but also by standing behind the political work of the refugees’ club.
The FCL Coaching Crew – all of them women – have long-standing connections with FCSP. As a result, the ‘amalgamation’ of both clubs was regarded natural by fans, activists and the public. Over the last 25 years, nearly the entire FCL Coaching Crew has worked in building up and developing the FCSPs women’s and girls’ football department. For these ladies, persevering to create and establish ‘honest’ football for all from most simple structures and conditions – against the odds – is all nothing new: in fact, they achieved it before! 
This amalgamation further confirms FC St. Pauli’s position as an anti-racist club and shows that it stands for much more than just professional football. Together, both clubs want to give refugees and migrants living in Hamburg the opportunity to play football regardless of passports, documents, origins, religion, residence permits or duration or stay or even footballing ability – everyone is welcome! Furthermore, FC Lampedusa Hamburg demands a general right to stay – for all! Football shall be open for all people.
With this partnership, a clear sign against “fortress Europe” is sent out. However, despite now being a part of FC St. Pauli, FC Lampedusa Hamburg will remain a self-organised football club. It will be supported by FCSP through the provision of facilities and equipment and considers itself as the official FC St. Pauli ‘refugee-team’. To underline this, FC Lampedusa has now been renamed “FC Lampedusa St. Pauli”.
St. Pauli, the district where it all began, with the FC St. Pauli as the heart of it, is now not just the sporting home of the FCL Coaching Crew, it is also the new home for all current and future players of FC Lampedusa St. Pauli.
Refugees become “St. Paulinge”*! Here to Play – Here to Stay!
Refugees Welcome!
Playing Football is Everybody’s Right!
 
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The term St. Paulinge” is a pun in German. It is a synthesis of “St. Pauli” and “Flüchtlinge”, the German word for refugees.
It’s nice because it shows on one hand that the refugees arrived at St. Pauli and on the other hand it’s uniting people because even the home-growns are “St. Paulinge”.
 
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FC Lampedusa St.Pauli
fc.lampedusa@gmx.de
Facebook: FCLampedusa
Twitter: @FCLampedusaHH

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Der FC St. Pauli hat jetzt ein Refugee-Fußballteam: Den FC Lampedusa Hamburg!

PRESSEERKLÄRUNG


Kick-off für St. Paulinge

Der FC St. Pauli hat jetzt ein Refugee-Fußballteam: Den FC Lampedusa Hamburg!

Was schon lange auf freundschaftlicher Basis Bestand hatte, wird nun offiziell.
Der FC Lampedusa Hamburg und der FC St. Pauli haben sich entschieden, nach zweieinhalbjährigem freundschaftlichem Miteinander eine sportliche und gesellschaftspolitische Einheit zu werden. Das haben die Coaching Crew des FC Lampedusa Hamburg und die Geschäftsführung des FCSP einvernehmlich vereinbart. Damit wächst zusammen, was ohnehin zusammen gehört. Schon seit längerem wird im Kiezclub Gremien übergreifend diskutiert, wie eine langfristige und nachhaltige Flüchtlingsarbeit aussehen kann. Für den FC Lampedusa Hamburg nur gut, dass ein Verein wie der FCSP öffentlich seine schützenden Hände über ihn hält, den Club nicht nur was die sportlichen Belange angeht, mit Fußballplatz und Equipment unterstützt, sondern auch politisch hinter der Arbeit des FCL steht.

Die Coaching Crew des FC Lampedusa Hamburg – allesamt Frauen – kommen aus dem FCSP bzw. dessen Umfeld, sodass diese ‘Fusion’ in der Öffentlichkeit ohnehin schon lange als gegeben betrachtet wurde. Fast die gesamte Coaching Crew des FCL war im letzten Vierteljahrhundert am Aufbau der Frauen- und Mädchenfußballabteilung des FC St. Pauli beteiligt. Aus einfachsten Strukturen und Bedingungen und gegen Widrigkeiten aller Art beharrlich “ehrlichen” Fußball für alle durchzusetzen und aufzubauen, ist für diese Ladies kein Fremdwort, sondern schon positiv in der Praxis erprobt.
Der FCSP setzt mit diesem Zusammenschluss ein klares Zeichen gegen Rassismus und zeigt, dass es diesem Verein um weitaus mehr als nur um professionellen Fußball geht. Gemeinsam möchten beide Clubs Geflüchteten und Migrierten in der Hansestadt die Möglichkeit geben, Fußball zu spielen, unabhängig von Pässen, Dokumenten aller Art, Herkunft, Religion, Aufenthaltsdauer oder fußballerischen Fähigkeiten. Zudem fordert der FC Lampedusa Hamburg ein generelles Bleiberecht für alle. Fußball soll allen Menschen offen stehen.
Mit dieser Partnerschaft soll ein deutliches Zeichen gegen die Festung Europa gesetzt werden. Der FC Lampedusa Hamburg bleibt weiterhin ein selbstorganiserter Fußballclub, wird vom FCSP bei der Bereitstellung von Sportanlagen und Ausrüstung unterstützt, und versteht sich als das offizielle ‘Refugee-Team’ des FCSP. Um den Zusammenschluss noch deutlicher zu machen, heißt der FC Lampedusa Hamburg ab sofort FC Lampedusa St. Pauli.
St. Pauli, der Stadtteil in dem alles begann, mit dem Herz von St. Pauli, dem FC St. Pauli, der nun nicht mehr nur die sportliche “Heimat” der Coaching Crew ist, sondern auch das neue “Zuhause” der jetzigen und zukünftigen Spieler des FC Lampedusa St. Pauli werden wird.
Aus Flüchtlingen werden Sankt Paulinge!
Kick Off
Refugees Welcome!
Playing football is everybody’s right!
Here to Play – Here to Stay!


FC Lampedusa St.Pauli
fc.lampedusa@gmx.de

Facebook: FCLampedusa
Twitter: @FCLampedusaHH

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