Archive | January, 2009

Hundreds of migrants escape from detention centre in Lampedusa, Italy

27 Jan

It has emerged that on Friday the 23rd over 700 migrants being incarcerated at a detention centre in Lampedusa, a small island south of Sicily, tore down the centre’s gates and escaped.

The centre, which is intended to hold no more than 850 people, had inside at the time over 2000 migrants. Video evidence clearly shows that the conditions inside were massively overcrowded and appaulingly unclean. Groups such as Amnesty International and Save the Children have also highlighted possible human rights violations inflicted upon detainees, and denounced the actions of the local authorities.

The situation was further heated the following day with mass protests by migrants and local citizens alike calling for the abolishment of the centre. Some 4000 people took part in the demonstration outside the islands’ Town Hall. Escaped detainees joined in with chants of ‘Freedom’ and ‘Help Us’.

In another incident, a crowd of protesting citizens stopped a bus of 110 migrants destined for the detention centre.

According to the blog Fortress Europe: ” At least 1,502 migrants have died at the gates of EU in 2008. The figures decreased by 23% compared to 2007, but not in Sicily, where the number of the victims rose from 556 in 2007 to 642 in 2008, coherently with an increase of 80% of the arrivals in Lampedusa.”

Thanks to Indymedia Rome for the info.

The video shows the conditions the migrants are forced to live in, and also has clips of the march from the centre.


19 Jan


No Borders North East will be holding a self education day at the Star and Shadow Cinema on Sunday 1st February from 10am – 4pm. The idea of the day is for us to take some time to look more deeply into a few of the issues surrounding the British immigration system and its effects. We will also have some sessions at the end of the day to focus on the No Borders North East group – what we have been doing so far and where we want to focus our energies in the coming months.

The day is open to anyone to attend, although the sessions at the end of the day are primarily intended for people who are currently members of the group, or who think they would like to join.

The event is free and lunch and snacks will be provided (we ask for a voluntary donation of £2 to cover costs). If you want any more info please email us.

The Agenda (subject to tweaking) looks like this-

10:00 – 10:15 cups of tea and hellos

10:15 – 11:00: Understanding the immigration system – information sharing on how the system works and what its different stages are.

11:00 – 11:40: Effects of trauma and torture on memory recall – a presentation on how the brain is affected by trauma and torture and why this affects many asylum seekers’ ability to recall traumatic events in their immigration interviews.

11:00 – 12:00: How to run a voucher exchange scheme – a session looking at how voucher exchange schemes are being run in other parts in the country and how we can find a model that works for us here.
12:45 – 1:20: Snatch squads – a look at what we have learnt about how and when snatches take place and ideas for how we can be more effective in preventing them and responding to them.

1:20 – 2:00: Anti deportation campaigns – a knowledge sharing session looking at what we have learnt from running anti-deportation campaigns with the idea of giving more people the tools to feel confident taking this on.
2:15 – 4:00 Internal sessions looking at the No Borders North East Group.

The Venue
The Star And Shadow Cinema is an entirely volunteer run space. It is in Battlefield, Newcastle Upon Tyne, on the corner of Stepney Bank and Crawhall Road, opposite the Tanners pub.

The nearest Metro station is Manors. Turn right out of the station, and turn right up New Bridge Street. You’ll see us on the right about 5 minutes walk up the road, next to the Tanners.
Buses 6B, 12, 22, 39, 40, 62, 63, 106, 301, 302 all stop just around the corner. Ask for the New Bridge Street stop, or mention the Tanners pub.
There is no car park at the cinema but if you arrive by bike you can park and lock it inside the building.

Disturbing video of conditions inside French Detention Centre

13 Jan


The French website ‘Liberation’ has been given a copy of a film made by a member of the French border police from inside of the detention centre at Mayotte just last month. The video, which you can watch online by clicking the link below, shows the horrific conditions inside the centre, which was built to house 60 people but which the members of the border police state regularly holds more than 100 and has held as many as 240. On the day this vidoe was shot there were 202 people inside the Centre.

It is revealing that it is members of the Border Police themselves who are coming out and denouncing the situation. One of them who spoke to Liberation called conditions
“unacceptable. […] There are only 60 mattresses… The showers are visible under the floor of men. There are no toilets for women and children. ”

Another officer who works at Mayotte goes further.
“The conditions of detention of undocumented migrants are appalling. People are treated like animals. And we, we have the pressure of the hierarchy to do our job without saying anything. The objective is to meet the expectations of the ministry.”

Inhuman conditions in detention centres are not limited to France. The conditions in UK detention centres are just as bad suffering not only overcrowding, but high levels of physical assaults on detainees and racist and sexist taunts by staff members. This has led to a series of hunger strikes by detainees.

The problem with detention centres, however, is not how badly they are run but that they exist in the first place. The detention system needs to be shut down and we need to stop the racist myths that exist in order to allow the government to justify this inhumane incarceration.

New No Borders Newsletter Jan 2009

11 Jan

Thanks to Bristol No Borders for putting together the latest edition of the No Borders Newsletter. It covers events and actions from across the UK and includes a report from the network wide gathering hosted by No Borders North East in November, as well as reports of actions done against the introduction of ID cards and in support of the AMEY workers . To download a copy click here:


7 Jan


Following on from the gathering hosted by No Borders North East in November. The Bristol No Borders group are hosting the next network-wide No Borders Gathering, on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd February at St. Werburgh’s Community Centre here in Bristol.

The Gathering will be a chance to discuss, network and plan, and to build on the discussions held at the last network-wide gathering in Newcastle. It’s is a collectively organised event with shared responsibility for content and organisation, being co ordinated this time by people in Bristol with help from South Wales. Although you don’t have to be active in an existing group to attend and the gathering is open, it is a working meeting rather than a place to necessarily find out more about the network in general. A better place to do this would be at our local meetings. The no borders north east group meets regularly in Newcastle. To find out more or get involved in what we are doing click on the link on this page and send us an email.

Accomodaton will be available in people’s houses. Please email with your email subject as GATHERING asap with details of how many people need accomodation for which nights, Friday to Sunday. If anyone has friends or contacts in the area they can stay with, and possible room for anyone else, this would be very much appreciated.

To suggest items for discussion please write to as they will be preparing draft agenda.

Anyone who is willing to help with faciliation please also let us know.

Cost will be kept as low as possible (donation of between £10 and £15 tbc to cover venue and vegan food) and free to asylum seekers.

Travel: nearest rail station to both Easton and St Werburgh’s is Stapleton Road. Connections from Temple Meads station. nearest coach stop Eastville Tescos on Mega Bus. More detailed travel info
will be provided nearer the time and maps will be available.

No Borders is a network of groups struggling for the freedom of movement for all and an end to all migration controls. We call for a radical movement against the system of control, dividing us into citizens and non-citizens. We demand the end of the border regime for everyone, including ourselves, to enable us to live another way, without fear, racism and nationalism.