Voters Without Borders Berlin

Join Our Online Citizens Forum

Migrants, refugees, and mobile Europeans need full political rights as they are not only asylum seekers, but also workers, taxpayers, housing renters, and last but not least citizens of a world in a deep crisis longing for democratic renewal. Although migrant communities are thus most often at the frontlines of political crises fighting for equality, justice and solidarity, they have to live with the fact that they often do not have the right to vote.

After the last regional elections and the housing rights referendum of “Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen” in Berlin the migrant voting rights question got broad media attention. Even if Berlin has for generations been a refuge for migrant and EU citizen communities – in the last decade especially diaspora communities from Eastern European countries grew a lot – all those people have not been allowed to vote on the referendum to expropriate big real estate corporations to regulate the housing market in Berlin. Ironically, it’s especially poorer working-class migrants who are disproportionately affected by high rents and gentrification. Lately, the new Berlin coalition agreement includes the prospect of extending the right to vote.

In this online citizens forum, an activist keynote address will argue for full political rights for all regardless of national citizenship and beyond the nation state before we learn together from campaigners and organizers about successes and failures of prior migrant voting rights and election campaigns. Finally, activists, NGO representatives and policy makers will talk about why and how we should fight for migrants' political rights at local, national and European levels.

Join us in this citizens forum to learn how to counteract the political marginalization and disenfranchisement of migrant communities and to discuss how we can fight for equal political rights, comprehensive citizenship reform, and true transnational democracy.

Schedule

17:00-17:45: Opening & Keynote Address – "The Right to Vote for All – The Berlin Case" by ...

  • Daniel Gutiérrez (Member of the Working Group Right to the City for All at Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen & Solidarity City Berlin)

17:45-18:00: Break

18:00-19:30: Workshop Session – Learning from Successes & Failures of Prior Migrant Voting Rights Campaigns

  • Sanaz Azimipour (Co-Founder of MigLoom & the campaign “Nicht ohne uns 14 Prozent”)
  • Lara Parizotto (Co-Manager of the the3million's Young Europeans Network)
  • Clemens Hauser (Co-Founder of Freiburger Wahlkreis 100 % & wir wählen)

19:30-20:00: Break

20:00-21:30: Panel Discussion – “Why We Fight for Full Political Rights for Migrants on the Local, National & European Level”

  • Tareq Alaows (#LeaveNoOneBehind, Seebrücke – Schafft sichere Häfen & Spokesperson of the Federal Working Group on Migration & Refugees Bündnis 90 / DIE GRÜNEN)
  • Sanaz Azimipour (Co-Founder of MigLoom & the campaign “Nicht ohne uns 14 Prozent”)
  • Canan Bayram (Member of the Bundestag (Bündnis '90/ DIE GRÜNEN) for the constituency Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg - Prenzlauer Berg Ost)
  • Daniel Gutiérrez (Member of the Working Group Right to the City for All at Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen & Solidarity City Berlin)
  • Catriona Mair (ECIT Foundation & Voters Without Borders Campaign)

The online citizens forum will be moderated by Kasia Wojcik (EA Berlin) and Ophélie Masson (EA Paris & Citizens Take Over Europe). Some parts of the event will be recorded on video.

Speakers & Hosts

Tareq Alaows
Advocate & Campaigner for #LeaveNoOneBehind, Seebrücke – Schafft sichere Häfen & Spokesperson of the Federal Working Group on Migration & Refugees Bündnis 90 / DIE GRÜNEN
Sanaz Azimipour
Co-Founder of MigLoom & the campaign “Nicht ohne uns 14 Prozent”
Canan Bayram
Member of the Bundestag (Bündnis '90/ DIE GRÜNEN) for the constituency Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg - Prenzlauer Berg Ost
Daniel Gutiérrez
Movement Research & Training Officer, European Alternatives

Daniel is a movement researcher and organizing trainer focused on the problem of workers’ organization, power, and strategy. He has participated in workplace, migrant, and housing struggles in the United States and Germany. Through the Werkstatt für Bewegungsbildung, he facilitates spaces where ordinary people can experiment with toolboxes that help them build rewarding, resilient, and politically effective organizations. As a co-host at Spadework podcast, he helps circulate organizing insight more broadly. He lives in Berlin.

Clemens Hauser
Co-Founder of Freiburger Wahlkreis 100 % & wir wählen
Catriona Mair
Intern, ECIT Foundation & Voters Without Borders
Lara Parizotto
Co-Manager of the the3million's Young Europeans Network
Kasia Wojcik
Project Coordinator, European Alternatives & Freelance Dramaturg, Institute of Political Murder (IIPM/Milo Rau)

Kasia Wojcik is project coordinator at European Alternatives since october 2021 as well as a dramaturg, curator and poet, working at the intersection of art and activism. She is part of the artists* collective "Staub zu Glitzer" and has worked with director Gesine Danckwart as well as for the Performing Arts Program of LAFT Berlin. She has been a progressive activist for transnational solidarity since 2016. Since 2017 she is part of International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) by Milo Rau. As a dramaturg and curator she took part in "General Assembly", "The New Gospel" as well as "School of Resistance".

Ophélie Masson
Project Coordinator of European Alternatives & "Citizens Take Over Europe"

When & Where?

Tuesday, 25.01.2022

17:00–21:30 (CET)

Zoom 

Ticket Registration via Eventbrite

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Are you a progressive activist, academic, or artist, part of a grassroots initiative, civil society organisation or social movement? Across borders, citizens in communities and cities build a new Europe of solidarity and justice.

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About Voters Without Borders

“Voters Without Borders” is a project run by a team of Erasmus students, supported by a wider coalition, campaigning for transnational democracy and full political rights for EU citizens who practise their rights to freedom of movement. As this would be consistent with the ban of any discrimination on the grounds of nationality under EU Law and the principles of “No Taxation Without Representation”, and “One Person, One Vote”.

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