Archive | November, 2009

BNP Stall Disrupted in Newcastle Centre by Large Protest

29 Nov

Story taken from Indymedia;

“The BNP is a sight rarely seen on the streets of Newcastle, but today they slithered out from their sewers and attempted to hold a stall in the city centre.

Anti-fascist activists were quickly alerted, and by one o clock a sizeable crowd had gathered. They surrounded the fash, who were stood on the monument, and started a protest. The fash numbers were small, maybe 15 at the most at one time, whereas up to 150 anti-fascists gathered, chanting and mocking the so-called master race. Police turned up and tried to split the protesters, with fash on one side of the road and activists on the other. Although for a while they stated they would arrest people for obstructing the highway, after a while they gave up and the fash were once again surrounded and taunted.

They started packing up at 2ish, at which point activists reclaimed the monument and in no uncertain terms told the remaining dregs to fuck off.
A group of the fash had a bottle of ribena threw over them, next time expect eggs.

There was a number of activist groups within the protest; socialists, anarchists, refugee/asylum rights campaigners, no borders, and a large number of local people who came to show their disgust at the BNP.

Newcastle has a proud working class, anti-fascist history. This was a warning to the BNP today, come back and you’ll be dealt with again.”

Jump the Channel!

24 Nov

from Calais Migrant Solidarity:

Transnational protest against the border regime! Whatever side of the channel you live on, join us on Saturday! Protest outside the ‘Joint Centre for Intelligence’ Bouverie House, (Folkstone police station) Bouverie Road West, 3pm..

On Saturday 28th November 2009, French and British solidarity activists will stage a cross-channel protest from Calais to Folkstone. They will protest against the tightening of border controls and collaboration between the French and the British authorities, which is creating a heightened humanitarian crisis in Calais where hundreds of migrants now sleep rough and suffer constant police abuse, after being stopped from entering Britain, and having their homes in Calais bulldozed in September of this year

The protest will start at 10:00 local time in Calais, where both migrants and activists will gather at the town hall before boarding ferries in Calais and travelling on to Folkstone. While on the ferry, workshops will be held discussing the UK Border Regime and its impacts on migrants in Calais, and in Folkstone the final protest will be held outside the newly built Joint Intelligence Unit, which is a centre for both the British and French services who specialise in trying to combat international ‘illegal’ immigration networks. Join us at 1500 to demonstrate! Bring banners, and make some noise!

What they call ‘illegal’ immigration is in fact the visible human cost of war, which they don’t dare face. Everyday increasing numbers of UK troops are sent to Afghanistan, but when the human stories emerge and people inevitably migrate, we respond with further violence and hardships against these individuals.

Phil Woolas has announced that the United Kingdom will immediately contribute £15 million to the introduction of improved security mechanisms, such as developing high tech monitoring equipment, and building increasingly large detention centers, such as the biggest ever planned at Bullingdon house… all the while failing to acknowledge the reasons why people migrate. When Besson cleared the “jungle”, he did not stop migration. Attempts to make the borders ‘impermeable’ by 2010 will not stop people trying to cross, but only force them to take more life threatening measures.

France and England are tightening their grip on the border, but on both sides of the channel, resistance is spreading in solidarity with all those without papers. The demonstration today began and will end in Calais, with activists from across Europe travelling back together to Calais in order to continue the work with those migrants could not cross today. We will continue to resist police oppression in Calais and demand an end to these racist border controls, freedom of movement for all, and the right to stay without fear of persecution, invasion or natural disasters.

For more information,
Phone number (live from Friday 07535319119)
calaisolidarity@gmail.com
calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com
Twitter: calaisolidarity

WATCHING THE CORPORATIONS: Flying people to torture and death

20 Nov

Good corporate watch article from february this year about the involvement of airlines in deortaions.

‘Airlines such as British Airways and Air Algérie, which are happy to carry deportees to their possible death and torture as long as they sell tickets, have repeatedly been the subject of complaints and protests from anti-deportation campaigners.

Full article at: http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=3208

Another Migrant Camp Destroyed in France

18 Nov

Following the barbaric destruction of migrant camps in Calais this September, it has emerged that another camp was today destroyed, this time in Dunkerque.

The PAF (Police Aux Frontieres), entered the camp occupied by the 60-70 Afghans and Iraqis. The eviction was known about in advance, and according to the mainstream press, a number of people escaped the previous day. The remaining 30-odd occupants were handcuffed and taken to a police station, while the bulldozers razed their homes.

The camp in Dunkerque was one of a number in Northern France home to migrants flushed out of Calais since the first large scale eviction in September.

In an attempt to ‘disappear’ the migrants, the smaller squats in Calais continue to be attacked (and sometimes burnt down) everyday, with essential belongings such as blankets being ‘confiscated’ from them. The cops have even fenced off areas like bridges where people tried to huddle to get away from the rain & cold.

More people are needed in Calais and the surrounding areas right now to document and try to stop such abuses. No Borders has had a constant presence in the area, but help is always needed and muchly appreciated!
Check http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/ for information on what you can do.

On another note, French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently gave these remarks at the recent celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall;

“…the fall of the Berlin Wall serves for us all today as a call to fight oppression and to tear down all the walls that still separate the world, that divide cities, regions and nations.
This is the message that a unified Europe proudly embodies and delivers to the world. We are brothers, we are Berliners….”

The irony is almost too much to stomach…

Update to the last post

18 Nov

It looks like the British Airways numbers are different.

should be

customer relations 0844 493 0 787 / Fax: +44 (0) 17 8788 3195 – lines opn untill 6.30

general enquiries 0844 493 0 787 – lines open untill 8 pm

URGENT!!! STOP MEDHI BEING DEPORTED TOMORROW MORNING

18 Nov

Mehdi (home office number M1401348) is being forcibly deported tomorrow morning on British Airways flight number 572. Medhi’s full story is at the bottom of this email, but in summary Mehdi (prefers no second name, home office number M1401348) has lived in the North East for 5 years. He came to the UK from Iran in 2003 because he faced persecution from the Iranian Police for known anti-government views. At first he lived in Hendon, Sunderland during which time he met Claire, a British Citizen, who is now his wife. After his first claim was refused he was denied support, was made destitute and became homeless as he was not allowed to work and did not want to return to Iran. Because of this Claire invited him to live with her and her sister in Benwell in 2004. Then, in January 2006 he and Claire moved into a house in Gateshead and on the 24th, February 2008 they were married in a mosque on Westgate Road. They were very happy. This forced removal by the Home Office aserts that the last 6 years of his life, including his happy marriage is ‘illegal’ and in doing so breaks article 8 of the human rights act, ‘respect for private and family life’.

Mehdi and Claire are being forcibly separated from each other by the Home office for these reasons. 1.Mehdi had a driving fine of £120 which he paid 2.Mehdi and Caire are not rich enough. 3.Mehdi has had his Iranian Passport confiscated and this, according to the Home Office makes him an ‘illegal’ person. 4.Their marriage is not sufficiently ‘legal’, because it is Islamic.

Responses: 1. To forcibly remove Mehdi and to continue keeping him and Claire apart breaks Article 8 of the human rights act on ‘respect for private and family life’. Additionally, it is an inhumane and action and is essentially violent in character. It should not go ahead. 2. To continue to penalise Mehdi for a driving offence for which he has already been punished is unjust and petty when compared to the importance of family life. 3. Through treating Mehdi as ‘illegal’ for having no papers the Home Office is effectively cooperating with the discredited Iranian Regime in forcing Mehdi into the condition of being destitute and outside of the protection of the Law. 4. If Mehdi were regularised then he would be allowed to work and their income would double. Mehdi has actually been offered full time work upon his regularisation and this offer will stand until he can take it up. 5. Refusing to accept their marriage because it is not Christian and consequently annulling their 5 year long relationship is an offense to the multi-ethnic society in which we live.

WE NEED TO ACT QUICKLY RING THE AIRLINE DEMANDING TO KNOW WHY THEY ARE FORCIBLY DEPORTING A VULNERABLE MAN > British Airways – UK > General Enquires Tel:0870 850 9 850 > Customer Relations Tel:0870 850 9 850 > Customer Relations Fax:+44 (0)20 8759 4314 > You could also contact Heathrow directly – fax 0208 7454700, phone 0208 7454705 > > Phone Duty Immigration Officer at Heathrow on 02087456941 and ask to log your concerns about the removal. They may pass you back to North Shields > immigration reporting centre. Different departments tend to pass the buck to each other. As many departments that are aware of this the better. > > Please send urgent faxes/Emails immediately to Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for the Home Office asking that Medhi (M1401348)) be granted protection in the UK. Fax: 020 7035 4745 (+44 20 7035 4745 if you are faxing from outside UK) > > Email: indpublicenquiries@ind.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk and enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk > > and Lin Homer, chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency. > Lin Homer Tel 020 7035 1678 Fax 0870 3369050 > lin.homer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk We are worried about his mental health and for his safety and the safety of other passengers should he be forced onto the flight.

MEDHI’S STORY Mehdi (prefers no second name, home office number M1401348) has lived in the North East for 5 years. He came to the UK from Iran in 2003 because he faced persecution from the Iranian Police for known anti-government views. At first he lived in Hendon, Sunderland during which time he met Claire, a British Citizen, who is now his wife. After his first claim was refused he was denied support, was made destitute and became homeless as he was not allowed to work and did not want to return to Iran. Because of this Claire invited him to live with her and her sister in Benwell in 2004. Then, in January 2006 he and Claire moved into a house in Gateshead and on the 24th, February 2008 they were married in a mosque on Westgate Road. They were very happy. This forced removal by the Home Office aserts that the last 6 years of his life, including his happy marriage is ‘illegal’ and in doing so breaks article 8 of the human rights act, ‘respect for private and family life’. In difficult circumstances and under pressure from both the UK Home Office and the Iranian Government, Claire and Mehdi have done everything they can to regularize their marriage. In May 2008, on advice from their solicitor, they went together to the British embassy in Iran as they were told this was the only way that Mehdi could get a visa. Upon arrival, Mehdi had his passport confiscated. The Iranian authorities said someone had been using his identity to travel in and out of the country. He was told he cold not leave Iran until they had finished the investigation. Claire had to return to the UK after a month and in June the Home Office decide that Mehdi did not qualify for a visa for two reasons. A) Because of a £120 driving fine which Mehdi had paid off in one instalment. B) Because Claire does not earn enough money. These are not just reasons for declaring that a happy marriage and a 5 year relationship as ‘illegal’. During the Iranian elections of 2009, Mehdi faced more persecution and was called a spy. Claire was not able to contact him for 3 weeks and they were both worried for his safety. As he had no passport to use he decided that the best way he could be safely reunited with his wife would be to travel without papers to the UK. He has travelled through Turkey, Greece, Italy and France, having to sleep rough and being detained along the way. He eventually arrived back in the UK in late September 2009 where he called Claire from Oakington removals centre. The Home Office has since detained him for neary 60 days despite Claire positively identifying him and attempting to provide papers to show his entire case history from 2003 including their trip to Iran. However under the much criticised Dublin II convention the Home office say they are obliged to remove him to Italy without considering his new claim. Yesterday he was taken from Lindholme Immigration Removal Centre in Doncaster to Heathrow where the home office intends to deport him on Thursday morning. The flight is British Airways flight number 0572 from Terminal Number 5 to Milan at 07.30. He is now in a room with no windows in Heathrow Airport which he describes as being ‘like a police cell’. The reasons the Home Office have given for deportation are as follows. A) Because he has no passport. B) Because they assert that Islamic marriages are not accepted in UK law. Claire has provided a statement as to his history, his previous file, their marriage certificate, her birth certificate and also her passport with the visa she used to enter Iran to back up their story. However, their sollicitor has not forwarded the papers and states that she cannot appeal the forced return of Mehdi to Italy under the Dublin II convention. The Home Office is apparently conducting this violence ‘legally’. Claire also says that when Mehdi tried to send her the deportation letter, the guards at Lindholme Removals Centre would not let him use the fax machine. ‘They are just being horrible at the moment’, she said. Claire states that Mehdi is ‘in no fit state’ to be forcibly returned to Italy. He will be detained further upon arrival; he does not speak Italian, has no money or clothes and most importantly will be even further separated from his wife. There is no reason to assume that he will be justly treated by the Italian Immigration system as he remains without a passport. In addition to this Mehdi should be given the right to choose where he applies for asylum and the right to a family life should be respected.

Newcastle Mum and Son face deportation to Congo

17 Nov

6 year old Adrian Atkinson and his mother Anna are being faced with deportation back to Congo, after Anna’s divorce and subsequent visa expiration. Anna, who currently lives in Byker with her son, fled the Congo after her sister was killed in the war.

Although Adrian was born in the UK and thus does not legally have to leave, he has said that he will not leave his mother and go wherever she is forced to go.

The situation in Congo remains dangerous, and Anna has said that Adrian will face further difficulties due to him being of mixed race.

Friends from Adrians primary school at Welbeck have started a petition to allow him and his mum to stay, but more pressure is needed to be put on the UK Border Agency, who have stated that if the Atkinsons do not leave before the 25th November then they will be arrested and forcibly deported.

Get in touch with the UKBA and register your anger;

they can be contacted by phone on 0114 207 2966 or by email at NEYHCustomers@ukba.gsi.gov.uk

A tale of migration to the “free world”

16 Nov

Lesvos

Activist blog about Calais and the wider immigration context.

http://newleftglobaljustice.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/a-tale-of-migration-to-the-free-world/

Calais Info Night in Newcastle

15 Nov

On the 3rd of December, from 6-8pm, we will be hosting an info night based on the situation for migrants in Calais. It will take place in Lecture Theatre 1 of the Armstrong Building, which is one of the main buildings on the Newcastle University campus.

Further info;
‘A night about the desperate situation for stranded migrants in Calais hosted by No Borders North East – There will be an informative talk about the past and present situation there, and actions that are being taken to help improve the situation for the future. Over the summer No Borders activists from Newcastle travelled to Calais to show solidarity with the migrants and their experiences will be shared on the night. There will also be film showings and lots of opportunity for discussion.’

All welcome!

Simm cards contact

13 Nov

When you get the simm cards e mail calaisolidarity@gmail.com

Calais: Actions you can do from home

12 Nov

1. There is now a ‘Calais Migrant Solidarity’ Unity Trust bank account, sort code: 086001 account number: 20233983.

2.Sim Cards

Hello everyone,

Something you can do to help the migrants in Calais, that does not take any effort or money, is to order your 4 free 02 sim cards. Get them sent to your house, then message me to tell me you have some, and then i will send you the adress to forward them on to into either UK or Calais, depending on where you live.

http://freesim.o2.co.uk/textandweb/clean

Latest No Borders Newsletter MOVEMENT #1

11 Nov

MOVEMENT #1 – No Borders Newsletter

The first issue of the re-named and re-launched No Borders Newsletter “MOVEMENT” is now available for download:
advert

You can join the mailing list here: https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/movement

For full details of the contents of issue one check out:
http://noborderswales.org.uk/2009/11/07/new-newsletter-movement-1/