2011 involved a variety of actions, talks and events for No Borders North East…
Actions included some of the group travelling to Dale Farm, a site home to travellers who were threatened with eviction. Residents and visitors worked hard to resist eviction together, including building barricades, securing people’s homes and mounting challenges in the law courts. The Traveller Solidarity Network, a network of Travelling and settled people, working together to promote and effect equality, challenge discrimination and work against evictions has emerged from the resistance.
Some people from No Borders NE went to the No Borders camp in Bulgaria, spending a week in an area key to the expansion of the EU border regime. Discussions, film showings and protests were arranged in towns and villages locally and in nearby sites in Greece which raised awareness and provided information about detention centres, border controls, economic migration and what people can do. One outcome of the camp was to show people who lived in the region and are affected by border controls, that there was transnational support for freedom of movement.
In November people joined protests against dawn raids snatching people from their homes in Glasgow. The protest stopped any vans going out that day, keeping the gates shut for a marathon 10 hours!
In December No Borders NE held a protest against deportations, at North Shields UKBA reporting centre, supported by Tyneside Community Action Against Racism and others.
Films Without Borders Film Festival at the Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle, with local invited speakers, helped build links with other groups. Issues covered in the film series included journeys, destitution, living conditions and resistance.
The group ran a busy workshop at the Free Hetherington Glasgow University Student Occupation, linking border control regimes to an unequal economic system, exploitation and creation of cheap labour markets and reinforcing privilege. The workshop was also run by No Borders NE in a series of seminars as part of a module at Newcastle University.
Some people were invited to contribute to a handbook for ‘radical teenagers’ and created a graphic novel zine, showing individuals journeys being compared and linked in terms of nationality and privilege.
People involved in No Borders North East also went to Beyond Borders Day School in Bristol, Bridget Anderson (Justice For Domestic Migrant Workers, Oxford University), spoke on “Why No Borders?”, Clara Osagiede (RMT Cleaners Rep, Living Wage Campaign) spoke on “Migrant Worker Struggle” and Ann Singleton (Statewatch) discussed “The Changing Meaning of Borders in the EU”.
Newcastle Conversation Group continued to be lively and busy every week offering friendship and mutual aid, as well as putting on events, fundraising, supporting the campaign against ESOL cuts and more.
Onward to solidarity and resistance in 2012!
To get involved, contact nobordersnortheast[@]ucrony[.]net