On June 18, the 2nd annual soccer tournament in memory of the German-Algerian worker Adel B. was held in the working-class district Altendorf in Essen, NRW. Below we would like to share a report with pictures that we received from comrades from the Initiative Justice for Adel and the Red League, who jointly organized the tournament this year.


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Like last year, this year the soccer tournament was also held as the main event on Ehrenzeller Platz, a quite busy place in the neighborhood where children and youths usually play soccer on their own aswell. In the tournament itself, the four-member teams played for about three hours for the winner's trophy and despite light rain now and then, the children and youths had a lot of fun and were very happy for the opportunity to participate in the tournament (again) this year. Throughout the event, revolutionary and progressive music in German, English, Turkish, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese  also accompanied the happenings and made for a good atmosphere, being heard throughout the court.


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The event opened with a short speech explaining the case of Adel and why the event is being held at all. Special emphasis was put on denouncing the division of the working class into different nationalities and origins and calling for closing the ranks and struggle against it through organization. In regards to this, the speech stated:

“We are gathered today on June 18 to, together, show our anger and sadness, because exactly four years ago today our friend and neighbor Adel B. was unjustly and brutally shot dead by the Essen police. We are also here to remember with determination and the courage to struggle who Adel really was and also, even four years after his killing by the police, to let all the tall tales and false suspicions told about him come to nothing.”


“We must not allow ourselves to be divided into Germans and migrants, Turks and Kurds, or Romanians and Roma. Because that is exactly what the state and its police want to achieve. We all have similar problems, we all suffer from the fact that prices are increasing, rents are getting higher, wages are not increasing, the police are harassing us, and racism and German chauvinism in this country are being used more and more to divide us. But in order to improve anything about our living conditions, we have to overcome this division that they are trying to force on us in every aspect of our lives. Whether through agitation in the bourgeois media or in our workplaces, we must fight the attempts to divide us. We need to tackle our problems together, as workers and neighbors, and unite and organize. It is not where we come from, the color of our skin or the religion of our neighbors that determines our lives, but the policies of this state and those in power in it that are to blame for our problems and the police are the henchmen there to nip our struggles in the bud and make us give up. As long as we fight among ourselves instead of against these grievances and the criminals who are to blame for them, we can't change our situation.”

This point was strongly discussed throughout the event with the participants, especially the parents and older youth, and met with much approval. The awareness and the attitude that you have to fight together and that you can't expect gifts “from above” has been present throughout the whole event.


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Unlike last year, this time, however, in addition to the soccer, there was also a stand where drinks, fresh waffles and ice pops were distributed free of charge to all who came. The construction and operation of the stand was actively and eagerly supported by the masses there and the entire event had the character of “from Altendorfers, for Altendorfers” and not a “service” by activists for the residents of the neighborhood, which was well understood by most participants.

While the children were busy playing soccer, the parents and older visitors had the opportunity to talk to each other and to the activists about the situation in Altendorf, on the occasion of Adel's 4-year murder especially about racism and police violence, but also about other issues that move the people in Altendorf, such as the still all too present price increases. Through conversations and filling out a contact form, people connected with each other, were invited to next events and discussed about the need to unite to struggle and resist together against the different problems at hand.


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In addition, an information stand of the Red League was set up next to the waffle stand, where its founding declaration and stickers as well as various issues of the Red Post were laid out. The information stand was a good opportunity to talk more deeply with those interested about politics and what it means to organize in the struggle for the interests of the working class. Especially the stickers of the Red League were a favorite with the children and while the event was still ongoing the children eagerly stuck them on the entire place (and themselves)  without hesitation.


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During the breaks and for the children who are not playing at the moment or have already dropped out of the tournament, a banner was painted by the children themselves – with a little guidance – and then hung up, with “Stop racism and police violence!” written on it. Additionally, the children signed the banner with their painted palms. During this activity, it was also possible to talk more with the children themselves about politics, and on using the topics of racism and police violence, progressive-revolutionary political stances were explained to the children in a simple and understandable way, and answers were given to their curious questions in this regard. Once again it was shown that children, as part of this society, also have a certain political consciousness and their own viewpoints


The 2nd Adel B. Commemorative Tournament a great success and left an impression on all visitors and participants. Residents and activists have become more connected and have planned and agreed on further meets and activities to jointly move forward in the struggle. In the end, one thing is certain: the struggle for justice for Adel and all the other victims of police and racist violence can only become victorious if done through organization.