German punk band Die Toten Hosen are currently speaking up for refugees. Together with human rights group Pro Asyl, they delivered a petition to the federal government in Berlin demanding a more humane refugee policy.
Die Toten Hosen's lead singer Campino accompanied the delivery of the petition with a few cutting words: "We can't treat news about refugees drowning in the Mediterranean as if it were a traffic update," he said to Claudia Roth, one of the vice presidents of the German Bundestag who accepted the petition. Together with band colleague Breiti and Pro Asyl's managing director Günter Burkhardt, Campino called for a stop to the deportation of refugees at European borders. "Germany has to stop once and for all burdening neighboring countries with the responsibility for these refugees," said Burkhardt in a statement.
Motivating crowds on tour
Die Toten Hosen gathered the signatures for the petition during their recent "Der Krach der Republik" (Noise of the Republic) tour. The band, together with the 30,000 signatories, is supporting Pro Asyl’s initiative "Escape isn't a Crime." Campino pointed out in his speech that according to current statistics since 1988 around 190,000 people have lost their lives seeking asylum in Europe via the Mediterranean region.
A political soul
Die Toten Hosen have long since used their high profile to make political statements; they appeared at the Anti-WAAhnsinn-Festival in 1986 to speak out against nuclear power, are vocal opponents of right wing extremism and have supported animal rights group PETA. The band’s links to Pro Asyl go back to 2005 when they financed the release of the "On the Run" compilation CD.
The timing of the delivery of the petition was significant, coming just before the United Nations' Human Rights Day, observed globally on December 10.