Gambians in Germany protest

Gambians in Germany protest

Gambian and other African immigrants, well-wishers and sympathizers in Germany on Saturday staged a protest in Tübingen, Germany, against German politician Boris Palmer’s racist comments following the tragic death of 23-year-old Gambian Bassiru Jallow.

Bassirou was stabbed allegedly by a Croatian.

The demonstration was spearheaded, among others, by Gambian migration activist Yaya Sonko in Baden-Württemberg in Germany, who prior to the demonstration, called on all Gambians, friends of Gambia and migrants to come out in large numbers for the demonstration 

Following the death of Mr Jallow, Mr Boris Palmer, who doubles as the Mayor of  Tübingen city, said: “According to police report, the man killed with a knife yesterday was 23-year-old and Gambian. The perpetrator is on the loose. In the heart of the city. On the bright side of day.

“The crime scene is right where I took this picture. It is the site of the open drug scene mostly run by refugees from The Gambia. I have always urged the police to fight them as hard as possible. But it’s very difficult for refugees.

“This condition right next to a central playground in the park has always been a nuisance to me and never acceptable. Now apparently one of the dealers has been stabbed. This in itself is horrific. Nothing can justify the act. But it wasn’t inevitable. He just shouldn’t have been at this point and he probably would still be alive without a fight over drugs.

“There is a solution: Criminal asylum seekers should not be housed in our cities, but in the countries’ reception facilities.”

The insensitive remarks of the German politician sparked row, especially among the Gambian refugee communities in Germany and the rest of Europe. In response to the remarks, Yaya Sonko wrote:  It is very unfortunate that you made such a very discriminatory statement regarding my homeland The Gambia and Gambians. You didn’t only discriminate against Gambians but you went too far to even say they send drug money to their homes, which you have no proof of.

“According to police preliminary report, they didn’t say the boy who was stabbed to death was a drug dealer, but here you as mayor instead of waiting for full details from police, you are stating that he was a dealer.”

Sonko added that Gambians are very hardworking, talented and obedient. “In your city alone many Gambians are well integrated, many finished their Ausbildungs, working and paying their taxes. So people at higher authorities like you shouldn’t run with narratives that many Gambians are drug dealers, it is not the fact and I can debate anyone including yourself in any platform of your choice,” he pointed out.

Further Sonko added that such discriminatory statement might not be innate, but once learned, it can take on a destructive power of its own. “When Governments and other authorities use racism and discrimination for political ends, they are playing with fire,” he said, adding: “Official tolerance and a tacit green light for racial discrimination can fuel tensions.”

The Gambia Refugees Association Europe Branch (GRA Europe Branch), where Yaya was public relations officer, also released a press statement condemning Mr Boris Palmer’s remarks.

The German politician is said to be notorious for racist and discriminatory remarks. In late 2015, Palmer was widely criticized for his right-wing stance on refugee issues. In August 2017, some weeks before the German election, Palmer published the book ‘We Cannot Help Everyone’ (‘Wir Können Nicht Allen Helfen‘ in German).

During the demonstration, Yaya addressed the large gathering of demonstrators that included migrants and locals carrying banners with inscriptions such as “Black is Beauty”, “Boris Palmer is Racist” and “In the Loving Memory of Bassirou Jallow”.

“Gambian youths in Germany, we respect the law, we work, [and] we use that money to send to The Gambia but not drug money,” Sonko said, chanting as the large gathering repeated after him: “No to racism. Boris Palmer is a racist.”

Source: The Point

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