Thursday, August 18, 2011

Resistance Against Deportations In Austria

The following is a report from Antira Wien (Anti-Racist Vienna) on political and social resistance to racist immigration and asylum laws and practices in Austria. Despite the growing electoral strength of the far-right in Austria, many Austrians, including municipal and provincial politicians, along with refugees and immigrants themselves are resisting. The text has been roughly translated from the original German.


August 4th 2011- A familiy from Franking, in Upper Austria,was first picked up and then placed in a detention center in Vienna. Neither the father’s attempted suicide nor an attempted escape nor protests could prevent the deportation, which was carried forth the next day. (
August 2nd 2011 – NGO’s and Green Party politicians critisised the planned deportation of five families, including 8 adults and 15 children from Carinthia to Chechenia, Armenia and Dagestan. As all remedies have been exhausted, the individual struggles for the right of residence shall be at least supported by public pressure. (
Family D. from Rohrbach have been supported by the local parish in their struggle for a residence permit. Hundreds of people were showed their solidarity by participating and signing petitions. An Upper Austrian plattform, including different initiatives which campaign for the right of residency, called an action for the22nd of July 2011 to show solidarity with the family by sending protest letters to politicians. (

After 15-year-old Z. left china, he arrived in Austria in 2009. The Protestant community took care of Z. in his new home in Styria. As the planned deportation was announced, a solidarity plattform was formed and a petition was initiated. (
On the 1st of July 2011 the law reform relating to aliens came into effect. Around 50 activists gathered in front of the Interior Ministry to protest against it.
The 27-year-old Y. has been imprisoned in the Hernalsergürtel detention centre for more than four months. Many protests and demonstrations took place infront of the prison. Y. was released by the end of june, officially because the Moroccan authorities hadn´t authorised the journey. His legal status is uncertain. (→ 7th march 2011, February, 5. Juli 2011)

June 15th 2011 – A demonstration took place in Innsbruck in solidarity with the released Y. and for the freedom of people threatened to be deported.
The deportation of the transexual Y. was planned for the 15th of June. Two demonstrations took place infront of the Hernalsergürtel detention centre during her imprisonment. Numerous support statements and protest emails, with some from as far as turkey too, were sent. Thanks to the mobilization to the streets and to the legal aid, Y. got released. She has temporary immunity from deportation. (
May 25th 2011 – According to Media sources, 6 out of 16 women in the women’s wing in the police detention facility are on hunger strike. According to one police officer, this appears to be “normal”. ( )
May 27th 2011 – Following a long struggle against his deportation and for the right to stay here with his family, and after many interventions and demonstrations,the 23 year old G. won his case. Now he possesses an unlimited residency permit allowing him a free entrance to the labour market. (
The deportation of L.J. was prevented on the night between May 9th and the 10th. Around 200 activists managed to block the entrances of the police building in Tirol. L.J. was released and then arrested again on the 27th of May and transported to Schwechat, where a protest took place.
Another action followed the next morning at the airport. Two activists managed to sneak up to the plane where L. was. In spite of the resistance, the deportation couln´t have been prevented.
About 200 people protested on May 3rd infront of the police adminstration in Salzburg against the deportation of the 18 year old ghanian W. Surprisingly, he was released on May 4th. Thus the planned Collective visit to the detention facility didn´t happen. Instead, an infoshop took place. W. was issued an Artists visa. (
April 27th 2011 – Around 2500-3000 people in vienna and 200 more in Salzbrug, demonstrated against further restrictions and for the abolishment of racist rules as the parliament would pass the foreigners’ law amendment 2011 two days later.
April 26th 2011 – After moths of effort an struggle with the authorities, C.A. from Linz recieved a permit to settle. Through recieving active support of many people as hundreds have supported his application for the right to stay with their signatures. (
April 25th 2011 – A protest march against the unethical foreigners´ package started in Bergenz. Other stops for the march were Innsbruck, Wörgel, Salzburg, Linz and finally Vienna on April 27th.
A deportation charter flight from Düsseldorf via Vienna to Pristina was operated on April 5th and 12th 2011. While many protests came about in Düsseldorf, nothing is known about any in Vienna. (
The Viennese youth welfare offices resistance. They refused to work together with the foreigners police in the deportation of a minor. All the parties of the local parliament in Steiermark have agreed that the youth welfare agencies are not allowed to support the deportation of families with minors. (
March 7th 2011 – Y.´s 19th day of a hunger strike. 130 people demonstrated in Vienna calling for his immediate release. (→ February, June
March 13th 2011 – F.R. could return to her family in Austria after she was forced to “voluntarily leave” on January 11th. Many people demanded through the months a permit to stay for F.R. and the possibility for her to come back accordingly.
March 11th 2011 – 250 people held a demonstration in Styria against the threatened deportation of G. The 23 year old man lived with a family that wanted to adopt him, but the authoroties wouldn´t allow it. He applied for residency on humanitarian grounds. Many people supported him with their signitaures, with a company garanteed him emplyment as well.
February 28th 2011 – “The black community in Upper Austria has made itself clear against the present deportation practices in Austria and for humane cooperation. We are of the opinion that people, who live and are well integrated in Austria, should also be given the chance to build their lifes up in here.” (
February 25th 2011 – A call for a demonstration in Linz: M. must stay! As a resault of the pressure and the circumstances of the asylum recognition process, M. has decided to “voluntarily” leave. He preferred a rally rather than a demonstration, as he wanted to address the people and share the reasons that led him to his decision. His frends collected money to help him out during upon his arrival to Nigeria. (
At the beginning of Februar, Y. was released because of his critical health situation after he’d been on a hunger strike for 8 days. But was arrested again a couple of days later. On thursday, Februar 17th, he went on a hunger strike as a protest against the threatend deportation. (→ March)
Februar 3th 2011 – A rally of one hundred people was held spontaneously in Innsbruck to protest against the forthcomming deportation of the K. family. Thanks to the multifarious support intiatives was the deportation prevented. (
January 19th 2011 – The information about a deportation charter from Vienna to Nigeria was divulged at short notice. 65 people held a sopntaneous rally in front of the Rossauer Lände police detention facility. The police announced that the rally would shortly disperesed because of the traffic. A demonstration was spontanously held which was kettled by the police for many hours. The participants had to pay fines of around 120 Euros.
The charter flight departed at 01:00 from Vienna airport with 49 passengers from different EU-states on board, for deportion. Among the 15 people being deported from Austria was a football player of FC Sans Papiers, a victim of human trafficking who trusted the police, and a man whose friend had jumped in the last moment out through the window of the police detention facility and therefore avoiding the deportation. (


December 28th 2010 – A family from Grünau, Gmuden Upper Austria, has rejected to “voluntarily leave” to Ukraine. The two adults have fled Armenia 8 years ago and accordingly Ukraine 5 years preior to that to Austria. both their children were born in Austria. inspite of the fact that the Family´s application for asylum in austria was rejected, many people, in Grünau, have supported their effort by collecting signatures and protesting so the family could get a permit to stay on humanitarian grounds.
The priest of Günau have spoken out on the “General Amnesty” for “Well Integrated Asylum Seekers”. >],
December 15th 2010 – The deportation of C. was prevented by a blockade action at the Rossauer Lände detention facility carried out at on the night between the 14th and the 15th. That was not enough to stop the transport of the prisoner. The protesters then moved on to the airport. The deportation was sucessfully stopped because of the resistance. C. was detained and released on a couple of days later. (
December 13th 2010 – Around 200 people rallied from the police detention facility in Rossauer Länder towards the Interior Ministry. They demonstrated against the imminent deportation of C. and supported his claim for his right to stay. (
December 10th 2010 – Hundreds of people participated in a demonstration in Innsbruck in which they called for, among other thigns, the “dignified right to reside”. (
December 7th 2010 – In a series of many charter deportation flights operated by Air Berlin en the route from Dusseldorf to Kosovo, a layover in Vienna took more people onboard the flight. While protests occured in Dusseldorf, none are known to have taken in Vienna. (
On the 30th of November 2010, the police tried to apprehend P. and her two sons out of the “Freunde-schützen-Haus” (Protection Centre) for deportation. P. suffered a nervous breakdown. There were about 100 people showing solidarity in and outside the house who supported the family´s claim for residency in Austria. The deportation had to be cancelled, at least for that day. (
November 24th 2010 – The family which has “voluntarily” left to Kosovo in June, has come back to Austria. The children have recieved Pupils´ Visas and the mother got a determinable work permit. (→ June + 26. + 28. + 30 September + 5. + 6. October 2007, 1. + 16. July 2010)
November 17th 2010 – C.E., a student in the Higher Technical school in Vienna, who was threatened with deportation, was unexpectedly released from the Rossauer Lände police detention facility after a series of protests. The deportation charter flight on the 18th of November, at 00:20, took place without him.
November 8th 2010 – Mr. B. and his three children (5-15 years old) have receieved unexpected support from Klagenfurt. The family has lived in Kärnten since 2004, The mother was killed in a car accident in 2005 and buried in Klagenfurt. After extensive protests and critics, had politicians and the governor outspoken against the deportation to Mongolia in the Media. An application for restarting the asylum process was filed. (
Self injury and suicide are common acts of resistance against racist ostracism but are often a result of this exclusion as well. In October 2007, after surviving stabbing himself in the stomach with a knife on the main square in Styria, D.M. protested again in Novemeber 2010 with same method against the threat of being deported. (
October 19th 2010 – A Day of Action against the introduction of the red-camp-card and the planned internment of refugees during the first week of their approval procedure. Because of the growing protest against deportations, especially those involving children,the government found itself forced to withdraw the asylum law amendment back. About 2000 school children marched through the streets of Vienna to the Rossauer Lände detention facility supporting A. and her mother’s right to stay.
October 17th 2010 – The intiative group, “Children Don´t belong In Prisons”, called for a silent candlelight demonstration with at Stephansplatz, Vienna, to draw attention through a symbolic action as an ORF TV program about asylum took place in Haas-House.
October 13th 2010- The police tried to apprehend 14-year-old A. from school for deportation. A. went into hiding, so that her mother, who had been already arrested, would not be deported. Pupils and teachers from her school, Borg 3 (high school), initiated protests in the school and received support by numerous schools in Austria.
The head of the immigration police, Stefan Stortecky, was forced to step down as a result of the protests against deportations.
October 11th 2010 – S.T., was pulled dead out of the Danube, after 2 suicide attempts following the rejection of his asylum application.(
September 4th 2010 – A demostration took place in Vienna as part of a European-wide protest in solidarity with Roma people threatened with deportation, especially from france.
August 20th 2010 – The G. family from Wolfau, Burgendland, has “voluntarily” departed back to Kosovo. Prior to that, they have receieved alot of support in their struggle for a permit to stay. The Platform “Fest für Freunde” (Celebration for frends) was therefore founded which organised a demonstration and a benifit concert in Oberwart to help the G.´s and two other families in their situation.
There was an attempt to help the frends get a visa which would make it possible for them to come back. (
July 23th 2010 – About 80 people demonstrated in Oberwart against the intended deportation of a family to Kosovo.
July 16th 2010 – So they won´t be deported, the Z. family has “voluntarily” gone to Kosovo. After years of protests, the mother and her three children, who lived in Upper Austria, have agreed to the deal with the interior ministry to be given a visa so they´d be allowed to come back to austria. The public authorities have disclaimed the regarded agreement. (→ June + 26. + 28. + 30 September + 5. + 6. October 2007, 1. July + 24. November 2010)
July 1st 2010 – A protest with about 10,000 participants took place in Vienna, against the racist deportation policy and for permiting A.Z. and her family to reside in Austria. 200 people marched spontaneously afterwards the detention facility in Rossauer Lände. (
June 1st-6th 2010 – A European-wide action-week against the deportation machine. A demonstration accured in Vienna on the 3rd and a street festival on the 4th. (
May 5th 2010 – Protests against the deportation of FC Sans Papiers football players took place in Vienna. Though the police prohibited one of the demonstrations, some hundreds gathered and marched from the Rossauer Lände police detention facility towards downtown.
May 4th 2010 – About 200-300 people gathered at the Rossauer Lände police detention facility to protest against a mass deportation planned for that day. Demonstrators marched towards the Vienna Asylum Court. 50 anti-racist protesters gathered at the airport that evening, as a deportation charter had been announced for 8 p.m.. The planned deportation, among which the trainer and a player of the FC Sans Papiers were included, could not be prevented. The demonstrators protested loudly in the airport´s halls against deportations.
April 29th 2010 – A couple of FC Sans Papiers` players were arrested when more than 100 policemen cracked down on the team while training and were released a while after. At least one of them was supposed to be deported that night. A blockade action took place at the detention facility, Hernalser Gürtel in Vienna, to try and prevent the deportation. The protest was violently despersed by the police and 42 people were arrested. The captives were brought to the detention facility in Rossauer Lände.
April 21st/22nd 2010 – Two deportation charter flights, due from Heathrow to Nigeria (stop over in Vienna), were cancelled because of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. (
April 8th 2010 – An Action Day, which included decentralized actions and a demonstration, occured at Vienna´s airport. (
February 25th 2010 – Some residents together with the mayor of the Röthis municipality successfully blocked and prevented the deportation of a family of four to Kosovo.
February 22th 2010 – A fortunate opportunity in Villach: A clerk had forgotten a key in the keyhole, allowing two detainees to break out.
January 14th 2010- A protest against the inhumane migration and asylum policy took place on the occassion of the Interior Minister´s appearance at WIFI, Salzburg. Two activists were arrested and had to spend almost 48 hours in prison. (Both appeared in court on the 22nd March.)


A mass deportation to Nigeria and Gambia was planned to take place on the 5th of November 2009. Around 100 people gathered in front of the police detention facility to protest against the deportation. A further demonstration and a colour-bombs-action took place that evening against the Hernalsergürtel police detention facility. (
The action day “Abschiebungen abschaffen” (“abolish deportations”) began on the 23rd of October 2009 with a bicyle Critical Mass demo that started in the city center and headed towards Vienna’s airport. A demonstration took place at the airport alongside a banner action, clowns and radical cheerleading. A play was also performed, presenting possibilities and methods for preventing deportations. (
October 20th 2009 – Around 2000 people demonstrated against the asylum and foreigners´ rights amendment. (
October 12th 2009 – A series of events concerning deportations began. Six days of actions were decided upon included movies, planning actions and presentations. The series concluded on the 23rd of October 2009 at Vienna airport with the main action day – “Abschiebungen abschaffen” (abolish deportations).
October 9th 2009- After a long wait, the two families living in Mettersill, Slzburg and who were threatened with deportation, recieved a positive verdict for their application for a permit to stay on humanitarian grounds. During the previous weeks, numerous protests, interventions and recounts took place in the media. On the district level, politicians spoke out against the deportation. (
October 8th 2009 – A rally was held in Friedensplatz in Linz a year after the actions day that took place at October 10th 2008. Empty chairs have symbolised the effecient place there is. ()
A deportation charter flight from Vienna to Nigeria and Gambia was carried out on the night between the 6th and 7th of October 2009. Protests, among other actions, took place at Vienna airport. (
October 1st 2009 – The P. family, who lives in Semriach in Steiermark, have applied for a permit to stay on humanitarian grounds as their asylum was rejected in May 2009. Support statements were collected in the municipality, however, a deportation was carried out in June before a decission was made regarding the family´s request for a permit to stay on humanitarian grounds. Now had the higher administrative court decided, that the deportation was illegal. (
Gaganpreet Singh K. has passed away after a month of a hunger strike. Though Gaganpreet Singh K.´s strike lasted for 38 days, the doctor certified him as fit enough to be arrested just a day before his death. A blockade took place on the 14th of September 2009, a demonstration with about 200 participants occured on the 15th infront of the police detention facility Hernalsergürtel and a protest action was carried out by some bikers of the critical mass, all in the memory of Gaganpreet Singh K. (
The H. family was arrested on the 29th of June 2009 and deported the next day to Kosovo on a charter flight . Pupils and teachers of the HLW Krieglach (high school) had previously protested against the planned deportation. They money that had been intended for the school trip was donated instead to the family and collected signatures for a petition. The family was also adopted. (
An EU deportation charter flight to Nigeria, coordinated by FRONTEX, was flown on the 3rd of June 2009. 9 people had to board the flight in Austria. Around 30 activists gathered at Vienna airport, where they distributed flyers, held banners and demanded the compliance with human rights. (
A 26 year old asylum seeker set himself on fire out of desperatation on 29th of May 2009 at the Wels train station. He could have been saved. (
May 14th 2009 – A family (two parents and their 4 children) was taking away from their flat in Kapfenberg, Steiermark, and brought to the police detention facility Roßauer Lände in Vienna. Their deportation was prevented on May 15th after the parents had cut themself. Some hours afterwards, the constitutional court has decided to accept their appeal and to cancel the deportation. Supporters in Kapfenberg have initiated a petition in which politicians and pupils participated amongst others. (
Demonstrations took place on the 9th and 13th of May 2009 in front of the Hernalsergürtel police detention facility in solidarity with M.Y.He has been detained for many weeks and had been on a hunger strike for at least 25 days. (
An action day was carried on in Vienna on May 1st 2009, 10 years after the death of Marcus Omofuma. Apart from a demonstration of around 2000 participants, some small banner actions found place alongside with others. (
On the 20th of March 2009, a call out addressed migrants and others to stand in solidarity, as well as to stage consume boycotts and strikes in Europe to protest against rasict policies.
A Chechenian family from Peggau, Styria was supposed to have been deported on the 24th of February 2009. The mother and her daughter suffered from a nervous breakdown. The father was arrested. The arrest was appealed against. The daughter´s classmates collected signatures for a petition and the case was publicised. The family was given another chance to apply for asylum. (,17595,18893.html)
February 9th 2009 – Numerous asylum seekers protested against an official hearing by not showing up collectively. Some activists interpretated this as a planned deportation and mobilized to the Rossauer Lände police detention facility, where a demonstration and a publicity action resulted. There were hardly any protests on the 2nd day of the hearing. (
January 16th 2009 – M.T., who was recognised as a refugee in Germany and Swizerland, was released from detention at regional court of Wels in Austria. Protests, campaigns and initiative groups have supported him in Germany, Switzerland and recently in Austria as well. (,17595,18014.html)


December 22nd 2008 – 16 Asylum seekers fled from the “special institution” for alleged “criminal” refugees on “Saualpe” in Carinthia/Koroska. Together they drove to Klagenfurt/Celovec, where they addressed their protest against the Refugee Department of Carinthia/Koroska and demanded un-isolated accomodation. Several youths involved in the anti-racist scene (among others showed their solidarity with these demands. (
October 2008 – Collection of signatures against the closing of the legal aid consultancy of the Caritas in Tyrol and for the continued existence of independent legal aid not subjected to government directives for asylum seekers and those that have been granted asylum. (
October 10th 2008 – Day of decentralised actions for the freedom of movement: So called “seas of seats” for the right to residence took place in numerous places around Austria. Apart from the seas of seats there were many other actions including demonstrations, exhibitions, debates, information stands and a right-of-residence football match. Several thousands of people participated all around. The organizers of the seas of seats declared the intention to initiate a discussion about a “humane and fair regulation for the right to residence” as a goal. On top of that, independent initiatives demanded freedom of movement and open borders for all people (information e.g. on
August 21st/22nd 2008 – Actions in Gallneukirchen against the deportation of a family of five to Kosovo. Two rallies with several hundred people attending took place. There was also a collection of signatures with an open letter to the responsible ministry, as well as the call to the inhabitants of Gallneukirchen to place posters on their windows and doors as a sign of solidarity. (
August 16th 2008 – Demonstration against racist asylum policy and for the freedom of movement in Celovec/Klagenfurt. Around 20 people participated. (
July 31st–September 2nd 2008 – Poster Action on diverse facades and shop windows of Vienna. There were posters on display with demands concerning the right to residence (as a reaction to the foreigners law package of 2005), as well about the day of October 10 decentral action,and do-it-yourself instructions for printing “right to residence for everyone” on clothing (
June 15th 2008 – Spontaneous demonstration in the Vienna district of Ottakring with several thousand participants. The main demand was the “right to residence for everyone”, at the same time being a protest against the prevailing residence regulations for people without a EU/EEA passport. (
May 7th/8th 2008 – Sit-ins in Wels and Linz (both in Upper Austria) on the occasion of the “Integration on Tour” campaign by the Interior Ministry. The activists wanted to draw attention to the inhumane situation of the foreigners and asylum laws. The sit-in was symbolically chosen to emphasise the endless waiting time of asylum seekers in the application procedures. (
April 23rd 2008 – Anniversary Demonstrationin Vienna organised by the initiative “Marriage "Without Borders”, to protest the foreigners laws and for the human right to family life. It took place in front of the Interior Ministry every wednesday between the 23rd of April 2006 to the 23rd of April 2008 (104 times in total).Being married to an Austrian citizen doesn’t automatically give you the right to legal residence in Austria. Since April 2008 the weekly demonstrations were discontinued and other forms of action were embraced. (
Email-Action by the “Poverty Network Vöcklabruck”: The call is to send emails to politicians on a weekly basis with the demand for a “deportation moratorium and humanization of the law”. (
March 11th 2008 – More than 10.334 signatures collected by the initiative “To search refuge is not a crime” were handed over to the presidents of the National Council (first chamber of the parliament) The petition was aimed against the practice of putting asylum seekers in pre-deportation detention. (
January 16th 2008 – Demonstration against pre-deportation detention and deprtations in Bludenz (Vorarlberg) with around one hundred people attending. The Vorarlberg Socialist Youth as well as the initiative “Asylum in Misery” issued the call. There was also an Anarchist block present at the demonstration. It began at the railway station and moved from there to the pre-deportation detention center in the inner city of Bludenz. (
January 19th 2008 – Silent vigil (a rather calm public assembly) against the deportation of 18 asylum seekers from Villach to the Traiskirchen detention center. (


December 14th 2007 – Mr. N. was released from detention after numerous protests (e.g. a demonstration). The detention wasn’t legally justified. Even after his release the N. couple fought with support of “Ehe ohne Grenzen” (“marriage without borders”) against N.’s deportation, e.g. by organising a Demonstration in front of the Hernalser Gürtel detention facility in Vienna.
December 1st 2007 – Family G. and supporters from Grein fight against their deportation. On 1 December 300 people demonstrated, among them the prominent Harald Grassnitzer. They marched from the city square to the family’s residence formed a human chain to prevent their deportation.
In Pabneukirchen in Upper Austria the M. family had fought since July 2006, together with numerous supporters, against their scheduled deportation. It’s been estimated that at least 80% of the village inhabitants were in solidarity with the family. In total around 8000 letters and e-mails were sent and the citizens’ initiative got repeatedly creative in order to gain media attention and to keep the responsible politicians and officials occupied. Their aim was not only that family M. could stay but to set a precedent that other “integrated” asylum seekers could refer to.
November 17th 2007 – Demonstration against racism, fascism, anti-semitism and patriarchy and for right of residence for everyone in Vienna.
November 14th 2007 – After hiding for seven weeks to prevent their deportation to Kosovo, family Z. from Wieselburg had abandoned their hideout. The Lower Austrian Green Party supported a news conference where the family demanded humanitarian right of residence. But the family was arrested right afterwards. The Foreigners Police had been informed by journalists about the secret press conference.
October 20th 2007 – D.M. knifed himself on the city square in Steyr, Upper Austria, to protest against his imminent deportation. He survived. On 20 October a rally against the inhuman deportation practice with 300 participants took place at the city square.
October 16th 2007 – School strikes and demonstrations in Vienna, Linz and Dornbirn. The pupils protest against the government’s racist law relating to aliens and asylum. Right of residence and equal rights for everyone were demanded, as well as an immediate stop to deportations. In Dornbirn 150, in Linz 500 and in Vienna 150-200 people attended the demonstration. In Vienna several students were hindered to participate because principals locked the school buildings or class rooms.
Youth organizations of the Social Democrats and Green Party and anarchist and autonomous groups called for the demonstrations.
October 9th 2007 – Demonstration for right of residence in Vienna with around 7000 participants. It was initiated by the Green Party and several other organizations supported the call for the demonstration. Independent participants criticised the Green Party for their “alien politics” as being primarily focused on economic interests. Around 200 people attended a spontaneous follow-up demonstration with more radical demands.
October 6th 2007 – In Frankenburg 500 demonstrated against the deportation practice in Austria, for a return of the deported and right of residence for the Z. family and numerous other families. The demonstration is one of many protests against the deportation of family Z.
October 5th 2007 – In a video to the public A.Z. announced suicide in case of deportation. The media published many reports and the solidarity movement grew broader. There was support for many people threated by deportation besides family Z., e.g. the family K. from Gallneukirchen, family G. from Perg and family M. from Pabneukirchen.
October 3rd 2007 – Good news from Eugendorf in Salzburg: A member of the People’s Party Landtag (provincial legislature) and the People’s Party provided a declaration of liability for 12.000 Euros. This provided temporary protection from deportation for a 27-year-old woman and her son. A humanitarian right of residence was aimed for.
September 30th 2007 – The Green Party called for an e-mail protest: E-mails were to be sent to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and the Minister of the Interior demanding a quick “humanitarian Solution” for A.Z. and her family, as wall as a halting of deportations including secure laws for “integrated” people. More than 1000 people supported the initiative within few days.
September 28th 2007 – A.Z. wrote a letter to her mother saying that she “won’t surrender alive to the police” until her family is back in Austria. Media reported on this topic the following days and politicians had to justify themselves.
September 27th 2007 – Students and teachers of the secondary school in Pabneukirchen present the results of the school main focus “Heimat-Los? Schule baut ein Haus für M.” (“Home-less? School builds a home for M.”) in front of the municipal office. The police observed the action which was supported by local policiticans and a disctrict school inspector.
( (1 October 2007))
September 26th 2007 – Police picked up the family Z.for deportation at their home in Frankenburg, Upper Austria. But 16-year-old A. went into hiding and her father and four siblings were deported on 27 September with a charter flight, while her mother could stay in Austria due to A.’s disappearance. With the help of numerous supporters A. subsequently fought for right of residence for her family and the comeback of her father and siblings.
September 26th 2007 – At 6 A.M. family P. (parents with six children) were picked up by the police at their home in Peggau, Styria after living in Austria for three years. On 2 October, they together with ten other people, were deported to Kosovo on a chartered flight. In the months prior to their deportation they fought against it with broad support in the district for a right of residence. In the local school 500 signatures for their stay were collected.
(Die Presse, 27. September 2007,, 02. Oktober 2007)
July 6th 2007 – A man without residence permit fled a police checkpoint in Villach into the reeds next to the road. The police caught him and immediately put him into detention.
(06.07.2007 09:09,
July 27th 2007 – The Interior Ministry overruled the eviction of the family M. from Mariazell because it was found not to be proportionate. The family obtained a humanitarian residence permit.
July 2007 – There was broad resistance against the deportation of the family G. from Graz, which included several signature lists, initiated by a teacher of the daughter, along with two priests. IAdditional support was given by a former mayor of Graz and the Premier of Styria showed support.
(08.07.2007 04:26, Kleine Zeitung)
June 29th 2007 – During the course of a global action day, a letter of protest was handed to the Spanish embassy. On 9 June, Osamuyia Aikpitanhi was shackled and gagged during his deportation from Madrid to Lagos, leading to his death. The protests demanded a full investigation into his death, the end of violence against migrants, an official apology and compensation for his relatives.
In Mariazell community members and the municipality supported the fight of the five-member family M. against their impeding deportation to Kosovo. The three children were born in Austria. The district authority of Bruck refused to evict the family because they were so “well integrated” and applied for a right of residence at the Interior Ministry.
(Kleine Zeitung, 27 July 2007,, 29 July 2007)
June 27th 2007 – “The sympathies regarding the fate of the refugee families in Pabneukirchen, Grein and Mauthausen, whose future in Austria is more than insecure despite good integration, doesn’t decline in the district. To the contrary: In addition to petitions and signature lists by neighbors and citizen’s initiatives, more and more mayors have publicly demanded that the persons concerned not be deported.”
In Hohenberg, Lower Austria the greater part of the village’s community support family T., while right-wing parties agitated in a racist way. Family T. filed a lawsuit against their eviction at the constitutional court, accusing the authorities of arbitrariness. The constitutional court declared itself not to be responsible.
(, 14. Juni 2007)
“Representatives of Upper Austrian citizen’s initiatives founded a platform to jointly fight for right of residence for well integrated refugee families. The aim is the establishment of a network to better support the families concerned.”
(, 13. Juni 2007)
June 11th 2007 – Forum Asyl (an association of Amnesty International, Asylkoordination, Caritas, Diakonie, Integrationshaus, Red Cross und Volkshilfe) started the campaign “Flucht ist kein Verbrechen” (“fleeing is not a crime”) demanding the abolishment of detention for deportation.
June 8th 2007 – During the course of a news conference in Linz representatives of Upper Austrian politics and NGOs demanded changes to the law related to aliens and amnesty for “integrated” families threatened by deportations. The legal representative of three families demanded humanitarian residence permit for “respectable” aliens and presented the cases of three families from Mauthausen, Wels and Linz as examples.
May 22nd 2007 – The Styrian Diet (provincial legistlatrue) voted unisonously in favour of right of residence for “integrated” asylum seekers threated by deportation in response to a negative asylum verdict.
May 17th 2007 – The proceedings of Ms. J. from Kirchberg resulted in a positive verdict: She attained a permanent residency permit. Ms. J. had been living in Austria for 20 years. Her residency was threated by a missed deadline. According to her lawyer, her permanent residency permit was possible because she fought against the order to leave Austria and didn’t comply with it.
May 15th 2007 – Family S. from Leoben attained a positive asylum decision after a six-year long struggle against their deportation. In almost all provinces signatures were collected.The daughter’s school as well as Styrian politicians lobbied for their right of residenccy. More than 7000 people signed the online petition “Dahamisdaham” (“at home is at home”).
April 18th 2007 – One year anniversary of the weekly gatherings of Ehe ohne Grenzen (marriage without borders) in front of the Interior Ministry in Vienna aginst the consequences of the new law related to aliens which came into effect on 1 January 2006. On 18 April a demonstration to the parliament took place in addition to the usual rally. The gatherings were characterized by creative forms of protest: There were wedding cakes, honeymoon vacations against deportations were arranged, bridal bouquets were thrown, pre-wedding parties were celebrated, hikes organised. They sang “into the heart of the minister of the interior”. Musical chairs was played. There was painting and chanting, information leaflets distributed, debates and much more. (
February 2007 – The intervention of passengers on a scheduled flight can stop a deportation. A passenger noticed the refugee who protested against his deportation. She then informed her neighbouring passenger and made objections to the personnel and the police escort on the plane. Due to vociferous protest and resistance to some of the passengers seated, the deportation was eventually aborted.
January 2007 – The inter-cultural counselling and therapy centre ZEBRA in Graz criticised deportations, especially in course of the Dublin Regulation. While the prospect of residence permit seemed good for a father and daughter from Leoben, the NGO knew of 70 to 80 similar cases in Austria. People often get deported to other EU member states after several years because another state is responsible according to the Dublin Regulation.
(, 24. Jänner 2007)


December 26th 2006 – Someone made a suicide attempt at a detention facility in Linz. Many people in custody hurt themselves or attempt suicide to protest against their detention. However it’s not common that information about this resistance surfaces to the general public.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home