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info night info!

14 Sep

The Free Movement For All fundraiser & infonight on Friday 10th September at the Star and Shadow Cinema was an ace night, there was a friendly atmosphere, the bands were all on great form and delectable food and cakes were provided.

The night was partly in aid of the No Border Camp in Brussels, and funds were also being raised for The English Language Conversation Group, an informal group held at the Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle, where volunteers to help people learn and practice their language skills are always welcome.

The night began with a screening of ‘Outside of EUrope’, a documentary by Wide Open Exposure. The film documents the harsh realities of the European border regime, and the impact of the exclusionary policies of the EU.

This was a great introduction to the issues which will be the focus of the upcoming Brussels No Border Camp, 25 September – 3 October. Preparations are now well underway for the Camp, with the latest programme and location information online here.

After the film, Milky Wimpshake played a brilliant set, with some good onstage banter from Pete Dale, tight garage punk-pop songs and amusingly undiluted lyrics.

ONSIND (One Night Stand in North Dakota), singing, guitar playing, spot-on lyric-writing, great guys from Durham had the audience demanding more of their lo-fi, anti-folk punk-pop gems. Their anti-capitalist, anti-consumerist, queer, anti-sexist etc melodic songs performed with humour and enthusiasm were shout-a–long political feelgood nuggets.

The Verbal Terrorists and DJ Jupiter provided top quality hip hop bursting with onstage energy, slick beats, amazing rhymes and songs ranging from criticising the financial system (in the most lyrically catchy way imaginable!) to praising people for taking a stand.  After a few more well known ones like ‘The Dance of the Money Men’ and ‘Risin Up’ they treated the audience to a new tune they’ve been working on which was every bit as satisfying as you would expect from them and the dancing didn’t stop. Thanks to the  quality line-up and committed acts the night managed to mix serious issues and proper fun.

With thanks to all who supported the night.

Free Movement For All – Fundraiser and Info Night 10 Sept

24 Aug


7.30pm film screening – Outside of EUrope 28 mins

A revealing exposé of the human consequences of UK and European border controls, with inspiring footage from campaigns for freedom of movement.

ONSIND – melodic folk-punk

Milky Wimpshake – witty, satirical folk-punk

Verbal Terrorists – political hip-hop

& DJs

With jumble sale & info-stalls (No Border Camp Brussels, Calais Migrant Solidarity, English Language Conversation Group)

4 pounds suggested donation

Raising funds for local and transnational migrant solidarity groups

The Star And Shadow Cinema (opposite the Tanners pub), Stepney Bank, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 2NP

10 SEPTEMBER 7.30pm


>>>>> Freedom of Movement OR NO ONE IS ILLEGAL night


>>>>> ONSIND – melodic folk-punk


>>>>> Verbal Terrorists – political hip-hop


>>>>> Danny – DJ




>>>>> 7.30pm film screening – Outside of EUrope 28 mins


>>>>> A revealing exposé of the human consequences of UK and European

>>>>> border

>>>>> controls, with inspiring footage from campaigns for freedom of

>>>>> movement.




>>>>> Plus jumble sale & info-stalls (No Border Camp Brussels, Calais

>>>>> Migrant

>>>>> Solidarity, English Language Conversation Group)




>>>>> 4 pounds suggested donation


>>>>> Raising funds for local and transnational action groups




>>>>> The Star And Shadow Cinema (opposite the Tanners pub), Stepney Bank,

>>>>> Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 2NP



>>>>> ———————————————————————







Benjamin Update- Flight Stopped and other news

4 Aug

Some good news – Benjamin’s flight has been stopped!

Thanks to everyone who called, faxed and emailed about his scheduled removal to Greece and about his medical care.

This afternoon, the courts in Scotland issued a court order to prevent the Home Office from forcibly sending him to Greece tomorrow (Wednesday 4 August). This is the second time his removal from the UK has been stopped. A judicial review of his case is now pending.

Lots of groups and individuals have been getting in touch with Benjamin to offer support and solidarity, and he sends his best wishes to everyone. He’s hoping to get out of detention and back to Glasgow soon.


Other news – in Campsfield immigration prison, there are currently 140+ people on hunger strike. See for the statement released by the detainees and how you can support them.

Call for a European Week of Action Against the Deportation Machine

26 Apr

1st – 6th June 2010

Deportation has become an integral part of the European immigration regime. Hundreds of refugees and migrants are forcibly deported everyday for doing what humans have done for thousands of years: moving in search of a better life, escaping poverty, abuse, discrimination, persecution, war and so on. The right of everyone to travel and live where they want is denied for those with the ‘wrong’ skin colour, passport or bank account. They are treated like ‘criminals’ and incarcerated in special prisons disguised under various euphemisms (removal centres, guest houses and so on). Racist and sexual abuse and physical violence at the hands of immigration officers and private security guards are institutionalised by legitimising the use of force in deportation operations. Even the more vulnerable among migrants facing detention and deportation, such as children and torture survivors, are treated with humiliation instead of being offered help and support.

Behind deportations lies a mixture of racism, nationalism and imperialism in a global capitalist context: whilst capital and the nationals of the EU and other ‘first world’ countries are free to travel wherever they want, those on the wrong side of artificially erected borders, whose countries are often torn apart by these very privileged Europeans and their capitalist and imperial conquests, are illegalised, criminalised and prevented from exercising their fundamental rights. They simply cease to be people; they become ‘illegal immigrants’, ‘over-stayers’ and ‘failed asylum seekers’ who can be dispensed with when their exploited labour is no longer needed or when they stand up for their rights. As a consequence, common struggles and communities are divided and a culture of suspicion and surveillance prevails.

When it comes to deportation orders, the causes of migration are also conveniently forgotten about. Western-manufactured weapons and armed conflicts, wars of aggression in pursuit of oil and other natural resources, repressive regimes backed by our democracy-loving governments, climate change and land grabs… they can all be traced back here, to our capitalist economies, consumerist lifestyles and imperial interests. Anti-deportation is not a ‘single issue campaign’ and people choose or are forced to migrate for a variety or reasons.

To operate a deportation flight, European governments contract a range of private and semi-private bodies to do the dirty work for them. Airlines are a key link in the deportation machine. Not only are they one of the major contributors to the progressive killing of the planet, many airline companies are also happy, in their pursuit of profit, to fly people to their possible death, both individually and en masse. Other profiteers include companies providing transport and escort services during forcible deportations and multinational security companies, such as Serco and G4S, that manage immigration prisons and carry out deportations on behalf of immigration authorities.

Then there are those shadowy, unaccountable, inter-governmental agencies, such as the EU external border agency (Frontex) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), whose role has become more and more prominent in recent years as European governments seek to carry out deportations through joint coordinated ‘operations’. This not only saves them money but also, by putting deportations in the hands of a regional or international body, pushes accountability to another level away from national governments and immigration authorities. Indeed, Frontex has recently assumed extra powers to charter mass deportation flights on behalf of European governments, buy equipment and explore satellite technology to monitor the ‘EU borders’. After all, a racist, imperial super-state like Fortress Europe needs a mercenary army like Frontex to protect its artificial borders.

Deportees, including families and children, are often handcuffed and accompanied by security guards as if they were ‘dangerous criminals’ (the label ‘criminal’, as used by those in power, is problematic anyway). There have been numerous reports of physical assaults and racial and sexual abuse suffered by deportees at the hands of immigration officers and private ‘escorts’ during individual and mass deportations. Proposals to have ‘human rights monitors’ on deportation flights, as recently recommended by a senior EU commissioner, may prevent some of these practices but will also legitimise the brutality of deportation itself.

We realise that resistance against deportation is continuous and not confined to days or weeks of action: people trying to cross the border in the most dangerous conditions everyday; hunger strikes and riots in immigration prisons; deportees and sympathetic passengers refusing to sit down quietly on board inconspicuous planes; communities coming together to defend their members; regular protests and actions against various parts of the deportation machine… Yet, more needs to be done as thousands of people continue to be forcibly deported everyday.

We are calling upon all concerned individuals and groups throughout Europe to join us in a decentralised, coordinated week of action against the deportation machine in the first week of June 2010. We are calling upon migrants and refugees and their supporters inside and outside Europe to organise their own actions and protests during this week in a united cry:

Solidarity with Yarl’s Wood women

8 Mar

On Saturday 6 March, a huge banner was dropped from the rooftops of the busy Eldon Square shopping centre, in the centre of Newcastle. A group of Newcastle residents, part of the No Borders network, went to great heights to show their solidarity with the women detainees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre, who have been on hunger strike since 5th February 2010. The hunger strike, which initially involved some 84 women, was sparked by detainees demanding the end of the humiliating and unjust detention of migrants who seek refuge in Britain. Since their strike began, the women have endured further violence and mistreatment.

The Newcastle protestors were demanding the immediate release of the Yarl’s Wood women and an end to the unjust, arbitrary detention regime. They began their protest on the roof of Eldon Square, creating a spectacular sight for passing shoppers, while leaflets were handed out in the square below. Members of the public were shocked to hear about the treatment of the women, which has had surprisingly little press coverage. However, the protestors were moved on by heavy-handed security. They continued their protest within the shopping centre, but until being forcibly moved by four security guards.

Similar protests have taken place around the country since the hunger strikes began, as people speak out against the abominable practices of Immigration officials, and private companies such as Serco which are making profits out of the misery of migrants. Every year, thousands of innocent people, including torture and rape survivors, people with serious illnesses and over 2,000 children, are detained arbitrarily and indefinitely in detention centers across the UK, for the sole reason that they do not have the correct papers. Without access to legal representation or automatic right to bail, migrants are criminalized, further traumatized and imprisoned though they have committed no crime and have been sentenced without trial.

Migration is not a crime!

The demands of the hungerstrikers are online at
More background on Yarl’s Wood at

Fast Tracking: Human Rights abusing detention system update

3 Mar

In relation to the ongoing situation at Yarl’s wood there have been some developments this month that are relevant. There is a post on the Blog about it last week under Detention, Human Rights: The government. This is to expand upon these important developments.

Firstly there was a Human Rights Watch report about the fast track process failing women who’ve subject to things like rape, slavery, the threat of ‘honor killings,’ and who are suffering trauma as a result. This report has lots of information in it about the brutal nature of fast tracking.

Secondly, the Council of Europe recently criticised detention practises in Europe as a whole, including the UK, citing the lack of real legal foundation for arbitrarily detaining people as they claim asylum.

Lastly, the UK is not participating in the upcoming amendment of the Eu Receptions Directive specifically because it would interfere with Fast Tracking people out of the UK.

There’s links to all of these on the previous blog entry: Human Rights, Detention: The Government.

The last point is really important because the reasons the Receptions Directive (laying down minimum standards for receiving asylum seekers) is being amended is because it is not binding enough and governments have too much discretion to miss it’s standards – leading exactly to things like fast tracking which abuse human rights.

Basically, this means that the government knows that Yarl’s Wood and the other Fast Track removal centres will not meet the amended human rights standards, and this is why they won’t enter into the more binding directive. Deciding cases quickly and deporting people to meet politically useful targets is more important to them than human rights standards for asylum seekers.

This is compounded by evidence in the Human Rights watch report saying that the fast track system fails the most vulnerable because they don’t have enough time to build trust and properly recount the traumatic events which form the most important part of their claims for asylum. This is because the treatment is too harsh, confusing, fast and they are traumatised. So essentially the Fast Track process prey’s upon the most vulnerable, the people who are the least able to represent themselves and who need protection the most in order to meet their removal targets! Essentially they are bullied and hustled out of the country and denied protection.

This is totally shocking behaviour. Perhaps it is what Home Office minister Lord West of Spithead means by ‘the sort of asylum claims that are capable of being decided quickly’.

The reason that the Receptions Directive Amendment Opt-out is so important is because it shows up the government’s hypocrisy in only entering the non-binding directive. It makes them look good and justifies their Immigration regime but it also means that the government can carry on operating the abusive Fast Track system, of which Yarl’s wood is a part.

Suggested actions: Protest to Phil Woolas and Contact your local MP ( ask what they intend to do as your representative. Demand that they enter the Amended Directive and stop running a target driven removals process which abuses human rights and puts the most vulnerable people in danger. Contact the press with the same. Tell your friends. Get involved in NoBorders: Next meeting is next Monday, the 8th @ the Star and Shadow Cinema, 7 pm.

Yarl’s Wood: Update

2 Mar

The struggle against the UK’s immigration detention system is gathering pace.

Read the full update at:

Update: Calais Court Case

27 Feb

Yesterday SoS Soutiens o Sans Papiers, who are the association (from paris) officially renting the hangar went to court to make a legal challenge on the hangar remaining shut and blockaded.

Unfortunately the judge dismissed the challenge, and said that only 1 man could enter the building (the man who is on the rent contact).

The legal challenge was based on the principal that the space was not a public space but a private space with migrants being members of the association.

The judge believed the hangar was not in the publics interest, highlighting security and public order concerns.

So here we see the old argument that persecuting migrants (making them sleep in the cold, denying them rest and shelter) is in some way in the interest of society. Is denying people the freedom to self organise is a sign of public order?

It looks like this court decision is informed by 2 things.

1. A desire to continue the aggressive 10 year long and obviously failing immigration policy in Calais.

2. A perspective which categorises migrants as dangerous and unwanted threats to society.

There is a second court case on the 9th of march.

Justice can only be achieved when people are treated as equals and decisions are informed by their rights, not by political policy or xenophobia. Designated people as dangerous, threatening, ‘illegal’ because they are from another country is an attitude which perpetuates the aggressive policing in Calais.

It is this aggressive policing, combined with the physical border (a border which exists to prevent asylum claims from being made), which creates the problem of destitute migrants living in and around the town.

No Borders believe that only actions can be illegal. Another court decision like this one will merely serve to reinforce the unjust and failing policy in Calais. This will inflict more hardship upon people who are trying to exercise their rights of free movement and asylum.

No Borders, No Nations. No one is illegal

Suggested actions: Go to Calais to provide support and to resist. Send SIM cards to Calais ( Protest to your local French Embassy or Consulate. Protest to Phil Woolas: UK immigration Policy drives the French response to migrants in Calais. Contact your local MP ( ask what they intend to do as your representative. Contact the press. Get involved in NoBorders

Detention, Human Rights: The Government

25 Feb

Probably everyone is aware of what is happening at Yarl’s Wood. This month there have been 3 other developments in the use of Detention in the UK which highlight our Governments attitude towards it.

Firstly, there was a Council of Europe resolution of 28th Jan this year which criticises the overpopulation of detention centres, and the deterioration of conditions and safeguards for asylum seekers and irregular migrants. It also criticised the lack of fair access to legal support created by detention

more at

Secondly, on the 2 days ago February 23rd, ‘Human Rights Watch’ issued a report under the heading UK: ‘Fast Track’ Asylum System Fails Women

‘The ‘detained fast track’ system doesn’t meet even the basic standards of fairness. It is simply not equipped to handle rape, slavery, the threat of ‘honor killings,’ or other complex claims, and yet such cases are handed to it regularly.’

read the report at:

In fact, as noted by Alasdair Mackenzie of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association: ‘The process rushes a person through the decision-making process without time to gather the necessary evidence’.

So here are 2 pretty mainstream organisations directly criticising the UKs detention programme. Specifically the fast track system and specifically it’s effect upon women.

In particular Human Rights Watch focuses upon the effect of detention upon the vulnerable and the traumatised (the last people we should be denying protection to). When people are fast-tracked they are not provided with the time or the conditions they need to build trust and discuss their major experiences of persecution. And so their claims are often missing the most important bit.

Essentially they are silenced by the violent nature of detention, rushed through a complicated legal process and ejected as quickly as possible from the country. And we are asked to believe that this is ‘firm but fair’ decision making.

So what is the UK government response? To these reports, to the many other criticisms, to the hunger strikers at Yarl’s wood who are resisting this violence by starving themselves until enough people decide that this is an outrage?


The Home Office is to opt out of a European directive which lays down minimum standards for the treatment of asylum seekers. A directive which exists ‘to ensure that the applicants have a dignified standard of living’.

And we will be opting out because…

‘That would stop us operating our existing detained fast-track system, which provides fast and fair decisions on the applicants who go through it. It is an excellent way of managing the sort of asylum claims that are capable of being decided quickly.’

Yarl’s Wood

23 Feb

What is really going on at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre? Why are 50 women detainees on hunger strike? The report the UK Border Agency does NOT want you to see.

Movement – the No Borders Newsletter

22 Feb

The February issue of ‘Movement – the No Borders Newsletter’ is out now. For full details of the contents of issue four check out:

Download the .pdf here:

You can find all the back issues and extensive links here:

Help us make this Movement by sharing these links online. Better still print, photocopy and distribute copies in your local area.

Damning judgment on removal of children

19 Feb

Mr Justice Collins has given a scathing judgment in a grant of permission to a judicial review challenge to the practice of the Home Office’s Third Country Unit (TCU) in detaining and removing children to supposedly safe third countries such as Greece and Italy

for more: follow this link: