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Solidarity with M after anti-Roma knife attack

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The short story:
M was attacked by someone with a knife shouting racist slurs. This happened at her local train station, and one of her family who was present was also injured. She narrowly avoided much graver injuries by bravely fighting back. She is healing from her wounds, traumatised, fears being on transport alone,  has caring responsibilities for gravely ill and young family members, and is in need of money for the rent. M is a valued feminist and antiracist activist and now she needs our solidarity. 

Infos auf Deutsch:

The long story:
Our friend M* was brutally attacked in the subway. The weapon was a large knife in the hands of a German woman whom M* and her family had never seen before.

M* is Romni, the head of a large family. She is the mother of 6 children and grandmother of many more. On March 30, 2019, M* was on the subway in Reinickendorf with her very ill husband and her brother-in-law. A woman came from the other end of the train, insulted them with racist /anti-Roma slurs and tried to stab the husband in the stomach. M* and her brother-in-law were able to wrestle the knife wielding woman to the ground with their bare hands. Other passengers on the subway could not bring themselves to help, or only did so very late. The racist anti-Roma attack happened suddenly and led to severe injuries for the family. They spent days in the hospital and are still suffering from fear and anxiety as well as pain.

M* is an activist from the Oranienplatz migrant movement. She and her family had also participated in the Gerhart-Hauptmann school occupation. After the school was evacuated they landed in emergency shelters, holiday apartments or hostels in Kreuzberg/Friedrichshain. The housing was unsuitable but at least they were among friends and could participate in political demonstrations etc. This winter, after almost five years and a short period of homelessness on Oranienplatz, the family (with the help of other activists) was able to get a normal rental contract through the Job Center, but could only get accepted for a place far away, in Reinickendorf. They got off the streets, and finally the extended family could live together.

The joy of having their own apartment was destroyed by the racist anti-Roma attack in the U-Bahn (subway) station closest to their home, leaving them in pain, traumatized and in debt. The family no longer feels safe in the new neighborhood. They are afraid to go into the U-Bahn, but there is no other way to get to the medical appointments which are extremely necessary especially for M*s husband who was already very ill even before the attack. Due to racism, finding a new apartment is an extreme challenge for this and many other Roma families.

We, friends of M* and her family, want to act by:
- Drawing attention to this anti-Roma attack to help ensure effective investigation and prosecution of this case. 
- Organizing a Solidarity Party and using fundraising to raise emergency money for M and the family.
- Searching for a decent apartment in Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain, so that our friend doesn’t have to live in Reinickendorf where she feels threatened. We want to make it clear to the public that Roma families have it extremely difficult to find a decent place to live.


Sian Bradley

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