The alliance “Wo Unrecht zu Recht wird …” was formed at the beginning of 2017 as a reaction to the increasing repression against rejected asylum seekers in the region of Zurich. Initially, the focus lied on so-called “containments”. Together with a number of other coercive measures and the status of “illegal residence”, they form a legally legitimised repressive regime that relies on harassment and exclusion and violates the basic rights of the persons concerned. Since then, the alliance has organised a series of actions and events to actively combat the silence and invisibility of this violent policy. An important part of these activities are the regular visits to Zurichs camp-like emergency shelters (Notunterkünfte, NUK). These visits try to break the isolation and open the “Black Box” of this system.
In March 2017, the Alliance organised a conference attended by over 500 people. From this conference, further forms of action have developed. Various action days were organised, a legal support network was set up, political work in the communities of emergency shelters (NUKs) was stepped up and a bicycle workshop was launched to help people become more mobile.
But the work and the resistance must continue. Political developments with the aim of increasingly transforming the rule of law into a violent and unjust state for certain groups of people, are multiplying throughout Europe. The revision of the asylum law that was implemented in Switzerland on 1 March 2019 also stands exemplarily for such a policy. Asylum seekers are locked up in camps, isolated from society. The possibility of networking with people and groups in solidarity is deliberately hindered. Further, rejected asylum seekers are increasingly becoming an easy target for the police, authorities and judiciary. What this means can currently be observed in the Region of Zurich. The Security Departement of Mario Fehr (SP) is literally hunting these people. At the same time, solidarity initiatives are increasingly defamed and intimidated and lawyers are treated by the authorities like annoying troublemakers.
This makes it all the more important to uncover the mechanisms of this policy, not to look away and to counter it with active civil society involvement from many sides and on the ground.
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.