Anti-deportation protest in Göttingen, May 2018
Anti-deportation protest Göttingen, May 2018 | Photo: linksuntengoe | CC BY-SA 2.0

Protesting Deportations: On the Importance of Civil Disobedience

Deportations have always been a contested practice. Conservative and right-wing actors have insisted that carrying out deportations is essential for state sovereignty and application of authority. Simultaneously, by taking to the streets civil society, citizens and asylum seekers alike have practiced resistance against deportations in the form of demonstrations, petitions, blockages or hunger strikes. Their anti-deportation protests either claim the right to stay in general or focus exclusively on an acquainted person – like a neighbor or school mate – who is about to be deported. Protests against deportations are sometimes successful by stopping specific deportations; overall, they are also shaping the discourse.

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