German fan groups show support to refugees and asylum seekers29 August 2013

FootballfansfromGermanclubshavejoinedsupportersacrossthecountryofanewlyopenedrefugeecentreinBerlin.

Football fans from the German clubs, Werder Bremen, Fortuna Düsseldorf, St. Pauli, Goslar SC and Roter Stern Leipzig have joined supporters across the country of a newly opened refugee centre in Berlin. Through banners reading ‘welcome refugees’ and organised choreographies, a growing number of fan groups have been expressing their solidarity and support to 80 political asylum seekers, the first of 200 expected at the centre.

Fans of Goslar remember the victims of an attack on a refugees home in the 90s.
Fans of Goslar remember the victims of an attack on a refugees home in the 90s.
The refugees, mostly from war-torn Afghanistan and Syria, as well as Serbia, arrived at the new shelter in the eastern Berlin suburb of Hellersdorf on Monday 19th August under heavy police protection. They were greeted with a hostile environment, and signs which read ‘No to the home’ and ’Have a nice flight home’. Right-wing protests were recurrent in the German capital last week and there were reports of a number of confrontations with supporters of the centre that had come out in support of asylum seekers.
Fans of Roter Stern Leipzig welcome refugees
Fans of Roter Stern Leipzig welcome refugees
“It is shocking to see how right-wing activists are trying to sow fear,” said Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit condemning the anti-immigrant demonstrations. “Berlin is a city that is open to the world, and that’s why we must be vigilant against xenophobia”, he added.