[BERLIN, 26 June 2017] Nothing About Us, Without Us! Migrants and refugees from Europe and around the world will hold the SPEAK OUT STREET EVENT on Wednesday, 28 June, in Berlin, Germany, as a counter-action to the UN Global Forum on Migration and Development and as an activity of the 7th International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR7).
The 28th of June 2017 is the official opening of the 10th Summit Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). It will be attended by highlevel and senior government policy makers, and will talk about issues and policies on migration and social development. Those who are directly affected by these policies — the migrants and refugees – are not part of the GFMD. They and their allies are organizing a counter-event and will gather at the Brandenburg Gate at 9:00am for the SPEAK OUT STREET EVENT. At around noontime, they will march to the venue of the GFMD Summit at the German Federal Foreign Office.
The migrant and refugee communities will claim their space and assert their right to be seen and heard. It is important to give space to the voices that challenge the legitimacy and capacity of the GFMD to effectively address the problems and respond adequately to the challenges of migration and development. These grassroots and frontline communities will share their perspectives and solutions to the problems confronting them and engage with policymakers in the parliament of the streets, bearing witness to their effective exclusion from decisionmaking processes that affect them principally but which take place behind closed doors.
The 10th GFMD Summit is taking place amidst a global migration and refugee crisis that has witnessed the flight of millions of people fleeing extreme poverty, from countries destroyed by resource wars and wars of aggression, and devastated by the impacts of climate change.
Under the guise of creating “legal, orderly and safe migration pathways and channels”, discriminatory and racist policies of preselection allow only ‘highlyskilled and knowledge migrants’ to access and enter the territories of European Union member states. This right is denied to majority of those who are the most impoverished and who seek a better life, or those who are victims of various forms of persecution.
This policy also effectively discriminates and criminalizes the majority of migrants and refugees who have already entered and established their right of abode in the European Union. Taking place in Germany where its schizophrenic policy has received close to a million migrants and asylum-seekers in 2015, at the same time as it prepares to deport over 200,000 migrants, among them, the undocumented, the ‘economic migrants’ and rejected asylum‐seekers. Those profiled as ‘irregulars’ face arrest, detention and massive deportation.
The SPEAK OUT STREET EVENT will send a strong message to the high-level and senior government policy makers as well as the general public regarding the continued marginalization of refugees, migrants and immigrants affected by forced migration and human trafficking. Spearheading the event is the International Migrants Alliance (IMA), in cooperation with the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), GABRIELA Germany, IBON International, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, the International Women’s Alliance, MIGRANTE Europe, and supported by Churches Witnessing With Migrants (CWWM), COURAGE, Coalition Against Trump, Democracy in Europe Movement 25 – Berlin, Die Linke International, and Solidarity International. The SPEAK OUT STREET EVENT is an activity of the 7th International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR7).