Protests Commemorating Hanau Massacres in Berlin
by Deren Ertas
On February 20, 2021, Berliners came together in one of the busiest streets of Neukölln, which is home to a community of migrants hailing from all over the world, but especially migrants from the Middle East and North Africa. Organized by several leftist, anti-fascist, and anti-racist syndicates, people from a range of positionalities came together to publicly remember the nine victims of a far-right extremist attack on two shisha bars in the city of Hanau that took place one year ago on February 19. Long forgotten by mainstream German media, demonstrators marched through the district repeating the names of those killed—Hamza Kurtović, Kaloyan Velkov, Mercedes Kierpacz, Fatih Saraçoğlu, Sedat Gürbüz, Vili Viorel Păun, Ferhat Unvar, Gökhan Gültekin, Said Nesar Hashemi—with righteous anger and intention. In a beautiful speech read in German, English, Arabic, and Turkish, they pronounced the structural nature of the violence against those identified as refugees, migrants, and immigrants in Europe against a dominant narrative that dismisses the Hanau massacre as an Einzelfall, or an isolated incident.
“Widerstand überall! Hanau war kein Einzelfall!”
“Resistance everywhere! Hanau was not an isolated incident!”