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Treetop asylum: Refugee vows to ‘stay up’ against the Berlin ‘colonial’ system

Published time: April 11, 2014 22:27
Still from Ruptly video

Still from Ruptly video

A Sudanese asylum seeker has moved to the treetops in central Berlin after local authorities evicted her refugee camp. Police forbid residents bringing her food or water, but Napuli Langa vows to stay aloft till death in a fight for her dignity.

Wrapped in an anorak and a blanket, Langa, 25, has already spent three days on branches atop a tree in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood, just walking distance from main tourist landmarks.

Hoping that weak and exhausted she will sooner or later jump down, police have spread out cushions on the ground. But Langa does not seem to be giving up.

“I am happy protesting for my rights and as long my energy can take me, I will stay here,” Langa shouted to RUPTLY’s crew under the tree.

She has vowed to expose what she says are the “colonial” methods Germany uses in treating refugees and asylum seekers from outside Europe and, particularly, Africa.

“In German constitution, paragraph one says 'the dignity of human being is untouchable,' so now, is it? Mine is untouchable or touchable now? It's a question,” she told RUPTLY.

On Friday she expressed a need for medical attention for her foot, but still does plan to come down.

From 2012 until Tuesday, the day when Langa climbed into the tree, she lived in an encampment, occupied by over 200 refugees and asylum seekers. Langa along with others like herself launched their movement "Enough". Living in tents on Oranienplatz, for 18 months they demonstrated against the German asylum system, deportations, provision of residential care and so on.

On Tuesday authorities agreed to evict the encampment and clear Oranienplatz from crowds of migrants.

“They are travelling all over Africa, but the Africans cannot come to Europe, they are taking community to there, but the African cannot have community here. They only suck Africa,” Langa says.

Despite the eviction, there are still her fellow refugees on the street from the former Oranienplatz refugee camp. They are holding a hunger-strike in solidarity with Langa.

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