zondag 24 januari 2010

Tanking through a bed of flowers

COA, the Dutch bureau that is appointed to shelter asylum seekers, is taking the acrobats and musicians of Afrisinia to court for the second time. It is an appeal against the decision of the judge in Breda. She decided that Afrisinia could not be forced to leave the asylum center in Dongen, last August. She decided COA did a bad job...

Now, January 2010, the youngsters already left Dongen and the place has been broken down. Why did they leave voluntarily? Look at the film on this blog: Afrisinia, the fence project. The other reason: it wasn't Afrisinia's goal to give COA a hard time. They just did not want to be separated (half of the group being sent to Bellingwolde, 41/2 hours travel from the rest)

COA refused any dialogue
Therefore Afrisinia offered an alternative in the form of temporarily shelter in the house of one of the board members of the foundation. A perfect solution: giving COA time to arrange housing for the youngsters in the neighborhood of each other.
COA refused to consider the option. COA refused any dialogue. It just kept rolling like a tank through a bed of flowers.

Extra punishment for not obeying the states institute is that COA stopped paying the € 50,- living money. In contradiction thus of what the judge decided...

Basic human needs
For Afrisinia the Dongen episode is long gone. For COA it is a matter of principles. This shows the difference in interest. COA employees do not have to worry about their own housing or salary. For the young artists it is an existential matter. They need a roof. They need a little bit money to survive. Working is not allowed.

Power play
The crack down of COA in the name of principles, is power play and a luxury only large organizations can afford. It shows the lack of interest in real people, with real feelings. It is absurd and destructive.

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