The Lampedusa tent has been standing in Hamburg’s St. Georg district on the Steindamm there since 2013. But now it was dismantled on instructions from the authorities and initially stored. After the corona crisis ended, the promise was that the Africans could rebuild the tent. The information tent was built by African migrants who fled Libya in 2012/2013 as a result of the civil war and were initially stranded on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The authorities there wanted to get rid of them and sent them to Germany with a train ticket. Around 300 of them came to Hamburg in 2013. In the tent not far from Hamburg Central Station, refugees received legal and social advice and tips on health care.
The reason for the procedure seems rather poor. So far, the existence of the facility was covered by the right of assembly as a permanent rally. The competent authority has now announced that the “assembly” – meaning the tent and the users – should be interrupted until the end of the exemptions in the context of the corona crisis and should be dismantled. The police press office said: »Due to the end of the meeting, the tent is no longer covered by the protection of Article 8 of the Basic Law (freedom of assembly, i.e. editing) and cannot be used as a (former) part of a meeting at the previous location without a corresponding special use permit the Hamburg Roads Act. “It goes on to say:” The district office in Hamburg-Mitte is responsible for granting special use permits. It is not known here whether the applicant has requested such special use there. The applicant has been informed of the circumstances. «
A spokeswoman for the district of Hamburg-Mitte said in advance that one was not responsible for this case. It was a matter for the police assembly authority. In the opinion of the left-wing politician Martin Dolzer, this is misleading. The district office in Hamburg-Mitte has been trying for years to get rid of the tent and its operators in order to transform the Steindamm with its hustle and bustle into a clean showcase boulevard. The district has been governed by a “Germany coalition” of SPD, CDU and FDP since December 2019. Although a legal dispute is still pending between the assembly authority and the applicant Martin Dolzer, whether the assembly has ended or is only interrupted, the district of Hamburg-Mitte has taken responsibility and created facts. Dolzer said: “We will take legal action against the agency because we believe it is illegal.”
According to the Alliance of the Solidarity City of Hamburg, “the impression arises that the assembly authority had deliberately placed its order at this time (Friday afternoon, ed.), Because it could count on there being no effective resistance against it,” explained Christian Lehmann-Feddersen. Carola Ensslen, spokeswoman for refugee policy of the left in Hamburg’s citizenship, also criticizes the authorities’ actions: The Lampedusa tent was a contact point for the care and support of those affected. »It is needed especially in the difficult times of the crisis. I expect the agency not to simply sweep fundamental rights off the table in the slipstream of Corona. ”
According to the assembly authority, the assembly could continue with a tent after the corona crisis ended, he was assured in writing, explained Dolzer. The approach is inconsistent, says the left-wing politician. “The tent itself was not a danger to anyone.” So far, there had been good cooperation with the licensing authority and the local police and the current instructions on the corona crisis had been implemented. “On Thursday evening, after consulting the police, we sealed the tent, only two people stayed on site.” Friday afternoon, on the other hand, instructions were given to dismantle the tent.
The Lampedusa group had made headlines nationwide because the pastors of the St. Pauli Church had taken care of it in 2013 and many of them had to spend the night in the nave. There were demonstrations and support actions in favor of the group, the second division club FC St. Pauli also showed solidarity with the Africans. To underline their demand to be recognized as civil war refugees in accordance with Section 23 of the Residence Act, some of them founded the information tent in 2013, which was now known as an institution in the district.