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Gambian Migrants, Others Hold Protest Against Mayor Boris Palmer

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Protest Scenes in Germany 

By Buba Gagigo

Thousands of Gambians and other people have held a massive protest in Germany after Mayor Boris Palmer of the city of Tübingen accused Gambians of being drug dealers in an area where a 23-Year-old Gambian was killed.

After the death the 23year old Gambian, Basiru Jallow, the Mayor through his Facebook page said the location where Basiru was killed is an open drug scene, mostly run by refugees from The Gambia. 

“I have always urged the police to fight them as hard as possible. But it’s very difficult for refugees. Petty crime is not enough for deportation. The financial gain is so great that arrests and a few days in jail have been calculated. And often the young men have to send the money home. They got sent off for this. The police mostly succeeded when they took out drug depots or apprehended the suppliers. Against the dealers themselves, our rule of law is almost powerless. New ones keep coming in.

“This condition right next to a central playground in the park has always been a nuisance to me and never acceptable. Now apparently one of the dealers has been stabbed. This in itself is horrific. Nothing can justify the act. But it wasn’t inevitable. He just shouldn’t have been at this point and he probably would still be alive without a fight over drugs. Therefore, this death is also a reason to discuss crime prevention. Open drug scenes are a danger and asylum must not be a cover for drug trafficking,” the mayor said.

Most of the Gambians residing in the city did not take his statement lightly thus they took to the streets on 1st April to express their anger against the mayor.

“It is very unfortunate that you make such a very discriminated statement regarding my homeland, The Gambia, and Gambians. You didn’t only discriminate against Gambians, but you go too far to even said they send drug money to their homes which you have no proof of. According to the police preliminary report, they didn’t say the boy who was Stabbed to death was a drug dealer, but here, you as mayor, instead of waiting for full details from the police, are stating that he was a dealer.

“Gambians are very hardworking, talented, and obedient. In your city alone many Gambians are well integrated, many finished their Ausbildungs, working and paying their taxes. So, people at higher authorities like you shouldn’t run with narratives that many Gambians are drug dealers, it is not the fact, and I can debate anyone including yourself in any platform of your choice,” Yahya Sonko, a migration and Human rights Activist based in Germany read at the protest.

The figures from the Federal Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit) are very enlightening in this regard:

Mr. Sonko said In June 2022, there were 8,900 Gambians in employment in Germany. He said the vast majority of them were employed with compulsory social insurance and only 240 were registered in marginal employment. 

He said If one adds the job seekers (1,590), those registered as unemployed (800), and the applicants for vocational training (160).

He also highlighted that In June 2022, 2,380 Gambian employees, and thus a remarkable 27 percent of all employed Gambians, had a profession that is recognized in Germany.

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