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Films without borders, crossing Arizona.

14 Mar

During the film season we screened Crossing Arizona, as the second night of the films without borders season. The discussion which followed the film brought up many issues and points which people might like to explore further.
Here is a list of things which came up in discussion and links to further information:
The journey people take before they reach the US (with many border points before the US and Mexico border). Here is a report by Amnesty International on abuse of migrants travelling through Mexico. There is also a book called Enriques Journey which follows the journey of someone travelling from Honduras to the US , which talks about communities providing food to help people ridinf the trains north.
-What happens to people once they have crossed the border? Here is a CNN report on a former border point worker English version
Spanish version
The current situation in Arizona:
Here is a link to the NoMoreDeaths group who are constantly working here and updating their site with news and reports.

Wider issues/struggles glimpsed in the film. Here is a link to the filmaker’s site which has more info than the film could cover including recommended reading, news stories, cross-border alliances.

Parallel situations throughout Europe : “According to the following press review at least 14,921 people have died since 1988 along the european borders.” Fortress Europe‘s website.

A site dedicated to the situation in Greece.  This site is frequently updated too.

Someone mentioned this is a good film to watch about the Spanish border with Africa called 14 kilometers.

And more close to the UK, is Calais.

 

North East Solidarity with People in Calais

9 Feb

People from the North East are organising solidarity trips to Calais to support people without papers and their supporters who are facing increasing repression. No Borders and other groups have been working with people migrating through Calais to resist police violence and state oppression that has tried to systematically “disappear” them. The police eviction of a self-organised migrant centre on Sunday 7th February (see press release below) is the latest strike against people challenging the border regime.

Requests from Calais include solidarity actions, visits to Calais, donations of cash… see http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/ for more info and updates.

MIGRANT CENTRE EVICTED BY FRENCH RIOT POLICE IN CALAIS

Under instruction from the town authorities, the elite French CRS riot police today forcibly evicted the new Calais migrant centre – called Kronstadt Hangar – by smashing down the front doors, less than 24
hours after migrants and No Borders activists pushed through police lines to occupy the building, which has been legally rented by No Borders [1] and SoS Soutien aux Sans Papiers. [2]

Marie Chautemps said: “The Kronstadt Hangar was opened as a direct intervention into a winter of repression that the migrants in Calais have faced since their ‘jungle’ communities were destroyed in a cruel PR stunt, back in September.”

She continued that: “With the authorities blocking any attempts to create a place for migrants to shelter from constant police harassment or from the bitterly cold winter, the Kronstadt Hangar intervention was
made in the name of common human respect as well as resistance to an increasingly fascist EU border policy.”

On Saturday evening, about 100 migrants came to the warehouse with the intention of entering. They were met by two separate lines of French police on either side of the hangar. Shouting “freedom! freedom!”, the
migrants and No Borders activists pushed through the police lines and successfully occupied the hangar. donations of blankets, extra-clothes, basic mattresses and hot tea were provided for the migrants.

However, after a safe and secure night, 75 CRS police arrived on Sunday afternoon and forcibly evicted the new space by smashing down the front glass doors. 12 activists were arrested, but later released, while one was taken to hospital.

The police proceeded to trash the hangar and all the possessions inside, and have welded the entrance shut, so that it is now currently impossible for anyone to re-enter the warehouse.

In a press release issued earlier today, SoS Soutien aux Sans Papiers highlighted the joint agency between the French and UK governements, in operations such as these. [3] Just as there is increased collaboration between the governments on both sides of the channel, so there is an increase in resistance to the repressive policies of Szarkozy, implemented with the approval of the British government. Alex Parks said “The
authorities in Calais have been trying to remove migrants from Calais for years without success, because they are in denial about the terminal reality of the un-equal world we live in. This is not over, solidarity and resistance for the right to freedom of movement will continue in Calais.” [4]

http://www.calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

ENDS

Notes to editors

[1] The No Borders network is a global movement of individuals and groups fighting for the right to freedom of movement for people, not just for the Lorries that make sections of European society rich. Since the No Border Camp held in Calais in June 2009, No Borders activists have had a constant presence in Calais under the banner of
Calais Migrant Solidarity. We have monitored and documented police
abuse and violent, collectively resisted evictions, organised
humanitarian aid distribution, and made direct interventions for the
rights of migrants.

[2] SoS Soutien aux Sans Papiers is a French organisation that fights for
freedom of movement for all and migrants rights. The 2 networks have
collaborated
since the No Borders Camp in June 2009.

[3] For example the joint charter flight that returned migrants to
Kabul at the end of last year.

[4] London No Borders are organising a protest at the French Consulate
Tuesday 9th February 12.30 in solidarity with those in Calais.

Police Repression Escalates in Calais

21 Jan

reposted from Calais Migrant Solidarity;

On January 19th tents were distributed to migrants because the cold weather plan was suspended and the BCMO gymnasium closed. migrants launched a movement protest on the morning of the closure by burning a few blankets and banners, so the evening after the distribution of tents they decided to sleep next to BCMO. half an hour later fifty uniformed police riot made a line outside the camp, saying that if migrants do not leave they would destroy everything .After negotiation they agreed that migrants could leave with tents in the direction of the old jungle and they would not stop anyone and destroy any tents … migrants and activists were going to install the new camp escorted by the Police who showed us the place where they would not intervene… Yet they arrested 6 people at 2 am and came back at 7am.

At midday 20 vans of CRS surrounded the jungle and destroyed the whole camp.

We recovered a few tents and a few bags at the dump and the migrants returned and settled again before the BCMO ..

The Police came and removed all the tents near the BCMO and they have orders to prevent any gatherings and destroy them forthwith anything that resembles a shelter on a public way throughout the parks and in all the “jungles”

just after removing the tents they followed the migrants and destroy their shelters soon as they decided to set up somewhere … A whole company of CRS followed the migrants over much of the night in their every move,

a group formed hunting parks in parks and street to street …

Police asked to speak with us by saying that any way they would continue harassing migrants, we were stopped outside the town hall stopping us from going any further … we told them that we did not want to go in the park in front but to our place, we assume that the offense of Delit de solidarité that they just have come to arrest us but we would stay with migrants whatever, we would wait for them with nothing to fear …

but we must meet quickly to decide what to do in the future, an emergency meeting will take place tomorrow between activists and migrants, we must position ourselves to fight and we must assume it or we look for an alternative solution

No border! No nation! Stop deportation!

A Harsh Winter in Calais and Beyond

13 Jan

Like the UK, France is currently facing a wave of extremely cold weather, with snow and constant freezing temperatures in numerous northern areas. With migrants being offered no shelter or support of any kind from the Government, and with those trying to help migrants being persecuted and harrased, large numbers of people are in danger of dying on the streets.

In Paris hundreds of migrants try to escape the cold through sleeping under bridges or abandoned warehouses. In the woods of Vincennes and Versailles new camps have been set up, with migrants huddled around campfires all day and night in an attempt to escape the freezing conditions.
The same situation is present in Calais, where the temperatures have dropped to significantly low levels.

A coalition of political groups, aid organisations and charities is demanding the government to provide some form of shelter for these destitute migrants. The opening of gymnasiums or other lage halls at nighttime is vital if people are to survive the winter temperatures. A demonstration has been called for the 21st of January in Calais to put pressure on local authorities.

On a more positive note however, a group of Afghans from Roissy, who were due to be deported the other day, have managed to escape deportation and have been released. They may be safe to some extent for now, but help must be ensured if the migrants are to survive the freezing conditions.

No to Deportations! Respect the right of asylum!

EUROPE’S MURDEROUS BORDERS: Report 2009 on the violation of human rights at borders published by Migreurop network

14 Dec

For its first Annual report on the violation of human rights at borders, Migreurop has chosen to maintain the four symbolic poles of the misdeeds of the policy enacted by the European Union in the field of immigration and asylum.

The Greek-Turkish border,

the Calais region in north-western France,

that of Oujda in eastern Morocco

and the island of Lampedusa in the far south of Italy,

These are as many stops, more or less lengthy, sometimes definitive, in the odyssey of thousands of people who, every year, by trying to reach Europe, seek to escape the fate that they have been dealt through chosen or forced exile.

Download at http://www.migreurop.org/article1574.html

Update from Calais

8 Dec
Hello everyone

The situation in Calais is generally getting worse. The police are now almost relentless, coming to some squares three times in the nights, refusing to let anyone sleep. There is really no where for people to go – we went to the park with some migrants who had had their house raided, but the police then started driving their snatch vans through the park forcing us to hide in bushes.

The weather is getting bitterly cold and it is raining…a lot.

However, some things are getting more encouraging. The local associations in Calais are becoming more militant – seeing the desperation of the situation, the lack of progress, they are interested in self-organising and sorting this situation out for ourselves.

watch this space….

but for any actions to be implemented we need people…please come to calais. we have a nice office where people can stay.

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

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…

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

Coming to Calais (urgent help needed!)

30 Sep

As we are low in numbers from today – a few people left yesterday and more tomorrow… more people are needed!

Calais is turning into a hell with all the jungles being destroyed – the Hazara and Iranian jungles were destroyed, this moring the Eritrean squat was evicted and a fence put around it; security with dogs are preventing people to retrurn and collect their few belongings!

As a result some migrants have initiated a hunger strike and they need support.

There are some people coming to Calais on Friday from London and from the Netherlands: if you need a lift from London there is possibility of a minibus, call the communication phone 0033 6348 10710, or to take stuff from London to Calais