The racist criminal behaviour of the attacker shocked and horrified residents to the core. Church groups and local politicians, headed by the town Mayor, protested against such acts holding placards reading “Refugees welcome, don’t harm strangers.”
A Gambian community leader, Safiong Touray visited the injured lady and provided community support until the woman was discharged from hospital.
Speaking at the protest rally against racism and violence against immigrants, the town’s Mayor said “we welcome immigrants in our town. We should weed out people who still want to give our society bad name.” He went further to call for people to report any such criminal attacks to the police and testify against attackers.
At the protest, two Germans were publicly commended for helping the two women and calling for help. Also commended at the mass rally was the president of the Gambian community in Stuttgart whose leader provided care and community support to the women. Safiong Touray spoke at the rally, urging Gambians to be vigilant and law abiding at all times.
“If we live in a foreign country, we need to do all we can not to break the law or give our community an unhealthy name. Right here, there are over 2,000 people who came to support our cause for respect and inclusiveness. Overwhelming majority are Germans. If we get support from the locals, let us also be good guest and citizens,” Mr. Touray advised, thanking Church groups and the Mayor for their kind support.
The 47-year-old Safiong Touray from the Gambian association in Tübingen thanked Rottenburg for showing “us that we are not alone.”
The rally was a response to the beating of the two Gambian women by neo-Nazis last Friday. Protesters of different groups and ages held candle lights and lanteens to express their support to the victims.
People came not only from the urban core, but also from the cities. Also gracing the protest rally were refugees from the outskirts of Rottenburg.
The organiser of the rally OB Neher was so elated, saying it was important to have an impressive turn out.
“I am impressed with the turn out,” the Mayor of the city said, describing the attack as nonsense. “Just because someone has a different skin color, or other disposition has does not warrant an attack.” Stephen Meher applauded two brave citizens for their immediate intervention to arrest the attackers who hit and kicked the women.
At the end the crowd sang the American civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcom”.
The younger sister of one of the victims was grateful for the support and solidarity. “£The Germans are nice people,” Mariama Baldeh said. “My sister is back home. We need help.”
A Gambian living in Rottenburg asylum accommodation, Mamadi, said “This rally is a beautiful thing. This gives me confidence that refugees here have nothing to fear. I will sleep in peace tonight.”