Organisations: BerLUN,My Brain My Choice
- There were photo sessions with people and supporters along with workshops that also discussed the support of the Global Day of Action.
- The community of people who use drugs, BerLUN organized an action as part of the global campaign “Support. Don’t Punish” in Berlin, Germany. The activists also used the action to celebrate the birthday of their community in Berlin. Twelve people gathered in the office of the Berliner Aids Hilfe, invited by Sergio Grimalsky, exactly a year ago. Sergio introduced Larisa Solovieva to everyone and proposed to join the campaign “Support. Don’t Punish”. The activists gladly accepted the idea, put on with the t-shirts with campaign logos and organized a small action. Then they discussed Larisa’s proposal to create a local community of drug users who had relocated to Berlin from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. No one knew then what would come out of it. The participants simply shared their ideas about the organization, which could help them get a better life and protect their rights. Thus, BerLUN was born on June 26, 2017 in Berlin.
- A year had passed, and everyone gathered together again on June 26, 2018 to participate in the campaign “Support. Don’t Punish”. German law allows to hold rallies, pickets and other public events by giving a notice. Therefore, BerLUN announced a week before the event that they were going to hold a rally on Cottbusser Thor – a popular location among drug users in Berlin. The colleagues from PaSuMi, Nuremberg, were invited to join the action. During their three-day visit they got introduced to BerLUN, Deutsche Aids Hilfe and Berliner Aids Hilfe, got training at FixPunkt, as well as participated in the action on June 26.
- Berbel Knor, an employee of Deutsche Aids Hilfe, offered to organize a meeting with journalist Markus Berhardt to cover this event during a joint meeting at JES (German organization of people who use drugs). As a result, we met not only Markus Berhardt, but also Bundestag Deputy Achim Kessler, who is involved in the treatment and prevention of HIV. Achim Kessler promised to take part in the action by BerLUN and kept his word!
- Colleagues from the organization FixPunkt helped with a sound generator, so we could use the microphones. We printed a banner which had been specially ordered by BerLUN for this event. All members of the community took part in preparation of the event!
- Sergio Grimaleski addressed the participants and guests of the action at 17:00. Then Dirk Schoeffer took the floor. Then BerLUN members one by one delivered their speeches: coordinator Ilya Rivkin, organizer Larisa Solovieva and community member Mikhail Khor.
- All participants called to end the” war on drugs”, which had led to a war on people all over the world, unite against cruel drug policies, discrimination and harassment. Give people support, opportunities and rights and completely abolish any punishment associated with drug use!!!
- After that the activists of BerLUN took photos with the guests and awarded diplomas with gratitude to those who had helped BerLUN that memorable year.
- Everyone went to the nearest café after the action to discuss it over a cup of coffee. It was a good evening of a difficult and very important day. The action showed that the BerLUN community had gained necessary knowledge, experience and skills that year.
“Solidarität statt Prohibition.” June 28, 2018. https://blogs.taz.de/bewegung/2018/06/28/engagement-solidaritaet-statt-prohibition/.