unfortunately, we have to cancel our upcoming event on the 15th of October “Here to stay – migration, labour, housing struggles” due to the new developments in the Corona pandemic. Some of the speakers are part of risk groups, others are affected by new regulations, so that we are not able to hold the event as planned. We are very sad about that, since in the preparations we have learnt so much about the topic and met so many interesting people, scientists, activists of that time and of course were looking forward to sharing and discussing with you on Thursday. But of course, our all health and safety come first, and we are optimistic to find another date.
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We would like to thank all speakers, participants and supporters, we will soon meet again! All the best for you!
Whether during the housing struggles in Frankfurt in the seventies or in current rent struggles — migrant workers played and still play a central role.
What are their perspectives? And why do migrant workers rarely appear in the narratives? Where do different struggles separate and connect? What does all this mean today?
The event can be translated into english on request. Please contact us in advance:
Dr. Serhat Karakayli
On the night of 19 September 1970, Eppsteiner Strasse 47 in Frankfurt’s West End was occupied. The first occupation in the history of the German Federal Republic was successful. It was the prelude to a wave of occupations and rent strikes that lasted until 1974 and was to go down in the annals of the city’s history as the ‚Frankfurt House-Fight‘. From the very first minute, migrant contract workers were part of the action: they combined their struggle for affordable housing with the fight against racism in the majority society and exploitation at work.
Migrant workers were just as active in the struggles over Frankfurt’s Westend as they were at Opel in Rüsselsheim or at the Farbwerke in Hoechst. They organised themselves into groups like ‚Lotta Continua‘ or the ‚Unione Inquilini‘, occupied houses, refused to pay rent and defended themselves against the paternalism of left-wing, mostly German groups. But migrants did not only resist in Frankfurt. There were also strikes at Karmann in Osnabrück, Ford in Cologne or Pierburg in Neuss. In 1973 alone, it is estimated that around 335 companies went on wildcat strikes in which migrants, without the support of German trade unions, stopped working. Nevertheless, these ’struggles of migration‘ were hardly received. In many places they fell into oblivion. The memory of the Frankfurt housing struggle was also to be shaped by the ‚Spontis‘.
That is why we want to use the 50th anniversary of the Frankfurt Häuserkampf as an opportunity to deal with the history of migrant struggles in Frankfurt and beyond. We will talk about all this with: Dr. Serhat Karakayali, who is a researcher on migration politics and history at the Humboldt University; Aurelia Flora-Göppner, who was organised by the ‚Unione Inquilini‘ and lived with her family in a squatted house in Frankfurt’s Westend; and Christoph Kremer, who was part of the so-called ‚Häuserrat‘ (house committee) and, as a budding lawyer, supported Italian workers.