Mobile D.I.Y.-Kitchen 'Le Sabot' denied entry at border - witeness statement of a cook

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On 1st April, the mobile D.I.Y.-Kitchen Le Sabot protested on the Europe-bridge in Kehl on the french-german border against the departure refusal by holding a press conference on the bridge. The group was arrested and only released late in the evening after allegedly entering France illegally. Some of the people arrested who participated in the action were taken to the mass detention centre in Kehl. Le Sabot are now hoping for a judicial decision which is expected on Thursday morning... Le Sabot has cooking gear to provide food for several thousand people in the protest camp.

Audio | Transcript |Clip on StrasTV


We are still in Kehl. Today at 12pm, a public event will take place here to inform the public about our situation. We are not allowed to enter France, nor leave Germany. We were next to the Europe-bridge and left our cooking gear, which can cater for 3500-5000 people, behind. The three of us who were refused entry to France walked towards the bridge carrying a cooking pot to participate at the press conference.  

When we arrived there, the police stopped us and after some discussions we were told to get our car.

After a long wait, more people joined us who were also faced with entry refusals. After waiting around for four or five hours - the bridge was blocked by the police for the whole time - we were suddenly told that we are under arrest and were taken to the police station nearby.

After our personal details were checked and we were searched, we remained in police cells, some of us in single cells, for 3.5 hours without being given any reasons for the arrest. It is now alleged that we tried to leave Germany illegally even though we were not allowed to so. This is a lie! Every time the police asked us for our personal details, we said we did not intend to cross the border but simply wanted to participate at the press conference. This is a further example of police harassment.

Other people who were arrested were taken to the mass detention centre in Kehl. They, too, came to the border to participate in the public press conference to protest against the given refusals to leave Germany. They were arrested for allegedly trying to cross the border. These accusations are obviously ridiculous - but the people are now in jail.

We are now in Kehl and can't leave for France. A demonstration took place on the other side of bridge coming from the camp. We couldn't see the demonstration because the view was blocked by a massive police presence on the bridge, French cops on the French side and German cops on the German side. However, we heard that at least 150 people participated in this solidarity demonstration.

Again and again, people are stopped to participate in the protests in Strasbourg because of made-up stories. In my view, a real democracy just becomes a farce like that. If France calls itself such a great democracy and then ends up using these measures to make it impossible to express your opinion and make use of your freedom - where does this take us?

We will challenge the refusal this afternoon and are awaiting a decision of the court which should be made tomorrow morning.

It would be a tremendous problem, if we couldn't make it to the camp - the cooking gear and the cooks are obviously definitely needed!

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