Gaston Ebua Speech from the Dock Postdam 16th January 2007

English version:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Members of the court,

On the 17th of April 2006 as news broke out about the brutal racist murderous attack on Mr Ermyas the water engineer in Potsdam, I convinced all black persons in this country were terrified including serveral whites.

The thinking of this incident like many others did expose just how anyone person can be killed for the doctrine of being black or white over black. We have experienced and seen this ourselves and many in Germany know it is happening to us black people and to those who solidarise themselves with us.

I am convinced that only one who finds themselves caused by such incidents would understand because this has happened to me aswell.

For example, many at times I have been harrassed on trains and on the streets. I have had to get off trains, abandoned the streets because person came towards me seemingly friendly just began throwing blows at me and shouting out calling me all sorts of names. It have had to save my life from these strange attacks after being faced with batons, knives and other instruments looking like hand guns. I have had hot coffee poured on me at stations as I stood. I have had one of my forum friends pushed off the platform onto an appraoching train by people who have been said to be white extremists.

To have one's skull crushed into bits in broad daylight while people pass and see without commenting are the ordeals we live under; an so on and so forth. If you would be in this situation then you would have the same feeling of general persecution because of the colour of your skin.I acknowledge here that this can be difficult

It will be someone in my shoes to understand what kind of sorrow transpired in our hearts that day in Potsdam. It had been a day of mourning to think about Mr Ermyas's family and other victims that will make an endless list of names.

Due to this generalised insecurity, calls came to me from all over to find out if I were safe because it had been announced that neo-nazis where on the rampage in Berlin Brandenburg. One man has just been badly beaten suffering extensive skull and rib injuries in Germany that Sunday morning. The question came out; who is going to be next. I had one colleague tell me the politicians are preparing are quick press conference. This increased our sense of generalised insecurity. There were already rumours that the politicians are discussing that this country will not tolerate that extremists chase, beat up or even murder people because of their skin colour, religion or political positions. This insecurity had been to get a pregnant woman on her feet to get off her bed to go and protest for her sense of security.

I thought of my situation of still being undocumented due to a failure by Berlin administration to register my Personal Travel Documents with the Federal Governments' Central Register-AZR-Ausländer Zentraleregister after extending it in August 2004. I had no where to flee to without coming into harms way.

With all tranquillity I accepted a proposal to do a speech in Potsdam in solidarity with the victim and family to calm tensions down and to make sure that the rally is cool and collected in a way to express the plight we face under a state of general insecurity because of the colour of our skin. Your have read and see this on television yourselves.

At Alexanderplatz as I arrived there was a lot of police on the ground floor level. As the train arrived at the platform we got onto the train, several of us creating a gap between a group inside and another group that was making it up to the train. Three policemen followed us in side and took stands behind me. There were at least two policemen outside the train who faced the direction towards the other group, that was coming to join us. They obstructed at least 2 participants of this coming group from joining us inside the waiting train. The two participants asked why and announced to the standing policemen they were with a pregnant woman that needed help climbing the stairs. No movement came from the police. One of the participants outside decided to join in other friends as to bring accompany to the woman. The other man decided to come into the standing train with open doors, the police stopped him. I heard him call confused in front of the police. Being inside the train I turned to see. It was just not understandable why they wouldn't let him inside the train with open doors. He was my friend. A so-called black African man. And just like the situation of the African pregnant woman it became clear to me the police did not want these black people to enter the train.

I moved to hear my friend speak and sudden I felt a pushing from my behind pushing outside the train. I held on a metal bar inside the train which protected me from falling outside on the platform. I was being pressed on the side door by some policemen inside behind me. They held me on the side door there for sometime and as I could fall out the train I received a pull from the inside back and believing it was from my colleagues. I gave my friend my hand in between the police who were stopping him. He held on it and we both stumbled into the train upon other fellow participants.

As we later got together seeing what was happening, we gathered around gathered each other to see how we could calm situations down, speaking in broken Pigeon dialects mixed with French and English and German. As we came together in a train corner in the form of a sanctuary the train began to move living our other friends behind.

Inside the train, the policemen seemed very electric. They tried to be at all ends I believe. They came demanding us that we should be interacting in German language instead of our languages we were speaking. We looked at each other and I saw the bigger policeman looking at me as I was talking to my friend who had just joint us from the outside. I moved inside were I got a set inside the train. He continued looking at me without taking away his eyes. A policeman at Wannsee walked up to one of my friends while he stood at the door finger weg as if he had something to do with the doors of the train. The police appeared scared of us and this made us perplexed since we know usually they really do not care much about us during demonstrations.

As we arrived Potsdam it was still a discussion and confusion in the train about the policemen who would come up to us requesting our not speaking in our tongue.

At arrival in Potsdam at our leaving of the train, the police were pushing away a group of persons and pointing towards my direction. It was at this point that the crowd at the platform or Gleis stopped the policemen from approaching my direction. As we all left in a crowd towards the general rally assembly in front of the Potsdam train station. Here I had to do the coordination of my proposed speech. As I moved towards coordinating police officers for the coordination of the rally while having my hands in my pocket, the former 3 policemen hunted me down. They forced their way on me around a pole. Everything thing went so fast. I still had my hands as it had been very cold. They married me on to the electric pole stand jamming me from behind and below my kidney area until I was forced to raise up my hands to be taken away. This has been to the amazement to the other police officers who could not say a word but rather surrounding the pole avoiding people to see what was actually happening.Because I know of friends and cases where people have been short by police and accussed for trying to grab a police gun, I was force to carry my hands up for them to be seen.

I was later pushed into a police bus where one of the police officers at Alexanderplatz came asking me for my papers. I couldn't speak as I had pain in my groin. I had been force into the bus hitting my groin onto the metal bus stair case on the outside of the bus before finding my self inside of it. He had with him already the file-bag I had been carrying where he found my Travel papers and other files. He called out my names on his radio and came back to me bring his mouth onto my mouth and face saying in English as I closed my eyes and held my breath So you are illegal!

I didn't say a word and I later heard he say something in German sounding Anschluss-Gewahrsam. Wir überprüfen alles.

I was later displaced to another bus were pictures were being taken of other people. No picture was taken of me then I was displace again to another jail. This seemed to be more of a maximum security prison. I recalled my old days of former detention against my considered political opinion. So I laid down and began to await the next ordeal of my detention.

Later after several hours - I believe at least 5 - I had an interview with 2 women of the criminal police department. One stated she was an interpreter. M y lawyer had called an insisted to speak with me which she did. They interviewed me about my status and read to me charges from the police which I had to write down in her office on a piece of paper to follow her properly. I declared my status of that being a human being. This brought about some misinterpretation so that I stayed quiet and decided I had not to justify it despite the questions from the police woman.

She decided she was going to release me and left. On receiving my items I later found out that one of my keys amongst my house items has been missing. A police woman who came to report that there were several people outside waiting for she believed had been called for an interpretation by the two policemen who have been responsible to return my complete items.

This police woman made a protocol on the situation which she said would lead into another investigation and possible bring about a civil offence trial in order to relocate the key.

Finally, at the end of the day, I could not do what I intended to do it is rather the other way around: the police achieved what they intended by arresting me.. I understand that through the act of these policemen many black people that could have participate on this rally were obstructed even after they knew the black people`s are asking only for their basic humanity and the respect for it in the front of what we all know to be white extremists.

If the court would now understand my perspective, I subsequently do not understand their need to further accuse my person.


Gaston Ebua.