The nationwide campaign „Hand in Hand Against Racism“ on June 18 and 19 was a big success in Bochum: According to the organiser, a total of 8.500 citizens participated and transformed the area between Bochum Central Station, “Kirmesplatz” and city hall into a 3.4 kilometre long human chain. The aim was to demonstrate against racism and stress the importance of an open-minded Germany.
The weather had calmed down and turned for the better when the bells began to ring – the signal for the participants to form for the chain. “Bochum has given a strong signal against racism. The chain was closed tightly”, said Nils Padberg, coordinator of the human chain in Bochum. While Padberg had already underlined the importance of the RUB as an institution which “displays how people can live and work together peacefully as well as learn from each other” beforehand, over a hundred institutions and associations – including the student representation’s (AStA) and rectorate’s initiative RUB bekennt Farbe – took part. Several social institutions, initiatives and unions have formed the Bochumer Bündnis für Arbeit und soziale Gerechtigkeit (Bochum alliance for labour and social justice).
Final rally on Dr.-Ruer-Platz
Frank Bsirske, federal chairman of service employees’ union Verdi proclaimed a common year of integration for the refugees and companies: “To retain social peace, it is elementary that people who are working in the low-wage labour market don’t get the feeling that refugees worsen their labour conditions”. Apart from Bsirske, Tareq Aussi from RefugeeStrike Bochum and several other speakers were part of the program. The band Chupacabras was responsible for the musical entertainment. Besides Bochum, several other cities have participated in the nationwide campaign, including Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich, Munster, Bonn, and many more.