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”)

- Catriona Mair (ECIT Foundation & Voters Without Borders Campaign)

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” (TBA)

- 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”)

- 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)

- Other panelists to be confirmed

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

When & Where?

Tuesday, 25.01.2022

17:00–21:30 (CET)

Zoom 

Ticket Registration via Eventbrite

Be Part of Our Transnational Community

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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