Approximately 20 members of No Borders North East are in Calais as part of the first transnational camp aimed at highlighting the situation of migrants stranded in Calais, most of whom are trying to reach the UK and claim asylum. The camp is made up of about 1000 people, some of them activists, some of them migrants, whilst others are simply local people concerned with the escalating humanitarian situation. Members of No Borders North East have been distributing food to local migrants, as well as protecting a squat used by a number of Eritrean migrants against police eviction. Although the squat eviction was successfully resisted, the police later tear gassed the premises preventing the migrants from getting back in.
Some of the migrants in Calais are as young as thirteen years old, and come from places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Africa. We have witnessed extensive police harassment of both migrants and activists, and have heard numerous reports of migrants being emotionally and physically abused and brutalized by the local police. The police response to the camp has been huge, with over 2000 officers drafted in to the city. The attitude of the police is quite intrusive and is often one of confrontation and intimidation. Last night the police unsuccessfully attempted to gain access to the site of the camp in order to make further arrests of migrants but they were prevented as people woke up. It appears that the police are trying to find ways to distort the message of the camp through stimulating aggression and confrontation.
In contrast to this, the response of many locals has been positive and supportive. This is especially true of the younger generation who helped with the construction of the camp and who have been a constant presence throughout the week, joining in with migrants and activists. Everyone is gathering momentum for the planned march tomorrow. Up to 2000 people are expected to attend to protest racist border controls, show solidarity with all migrants and to call for an end to the system that denies dignity to people who are fleeing some of the world’s worst violence and criminalises the whole process of migration.
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR ALL! NO BORDERS. NO NATIONS. NOBODY IS ILLEGAL!
Racist oil workers? – Blame Nationalism! (not the people). Lindsey Farm, Total and the Media. A comment.3 Feb
People are angry about working in an exploitative capitalist system. Fair enough. They were trained to work to produce oil for companies who sell the oil to the consumers and other industries. Much of the functioning in our society is based upon the need for oil. We heat, move, produce energy with oil and the oil pollutes our mother earth. Self-destruction is the principle of capitalism and it is often represented by our way of life.
British workers are angry because, in recent years, many have been sacked and very often only been employed on a contract basis.
The Italian company Irem won the Lindsey contract, because “Irem could supply its own permanent workforce” as Total officials state. The fact that trade union officials now support Gordon Brown’s nationalistic rhetoric and at the same time accuse the spontaneously striking workers of xenophobia does little more than demonstrate the missed actions in recent years and a lack of unions commitment to solidarity. Solidarity that is not transborder, is no solidarity.
Instead of accusing the protestors to be xenophobic (although, some individuals might be racists as a matter of fact), or even misusing the wildcat strikes for nationalistic and racist propaganda as the BNP and the tabloid press has done (Even the BBC misquotes workers to spread the impression of an uneducated nationalistic workforce VIDEO). The anger should much rather be directed towards the very conditions people are made to work and live in.
It is to be feared that the demand for “British jobs for British workers” will promote the demand of similar action throughout Europe as the slogan was published around the continent as well as in other parts of the world.
There are two million British citizens living and working in Europe, the highest number of expatriates of any EU state. Millions more Britons live and work throughout the world.
And what will happen to the hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals in Britain and millions of British citizens of overseas descent? Will they be the next target in the campaign to secure “British jobs for British workers?” Unfortunately, in times of economic recession, nationalistic propaganda (and the acceptance of it) is rising higher and higher. As an example, right-wing Labour MP Frank Field thinks loudly in the Daiy Star that the government made a mistake and should apologize for “being so negligent in protecting our borders”. Well….
The mistake might have been to establish borders in the first place……. But to apologize for all the hate and violence that has been brought to humankind by borders and “border maintenance” might not be enough.
No borders! No nations! – literally.
There will be an emergency demo THIS MORNING at 10am outside the government offices at the gallowgate (opposite st james park metro)
Tina Moses and her two daughters were taken from the West End on Monday morning and Tina (Home Office Reference M1345911) and the girls are due to be deported to Nigeria at 22:15 on Thursday BA Flight BA83.
If you cannot make the demo you can still complain by faxing British Airlines on 02087454705 or calling them on 08444930787 – ask to speak to the duty officer. You could also contact Heathrow directly – fax 0208 7454700, phone 0208 7454705.
You could also fax/email Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith, Secretary of State for the Home
and Lin Homer, chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency.
Lin Homer Tel 020 7035 1678 Fax 0870 3369050 Lin.email@example.com
a sample fax sheet for BA and some recent information on Nigeria are pasted below.
we will update this as we find out more information.
Re: TINA MOSES HO ref: ASC1483317 who is scheduled to be deported on flight BA83 to NIGERIA on 11th December at 22:15
Dear Sir/ Madam
I am writing to you in relation to Tina Moses and her children, who is scheduled to be deported on flight BA0083 of your airline, to Abuja, NIGERIA.
I am extremely worried about her situation and urge you to refuse to carry her on your flight.
Tina Moses and her two young children, Anita (8) and Jessica (2) have been taken into detention by Immigration and they are due to be deported on flight BA83 to NIGERIA on 11TH December at 22:15.
Tina fled Nigeria after she had been subjected to traditions she was against by the Ogboni Society and her child’s life was in danger.
Tina’s life would be in grave danger if she is forcibly returned to Nigeria as would that of her children. Anita is flourishing at Moorside Community Primary School where she has an excellent attendance record and gets on well with her classmates. For both Jessica and Anita, Newcastle is where they call home. The stress of being in detention has stopped them eating properly. Tina has established roots in the community, taking part in literacy education and attending the Deeper Life Bible Church in Arthurs’ Hill.
On the grounds of respecting Tina and her family’s human rights as well as her health and safety, I ask that exercise your right to refuse to carry Tina and her family on your flight.
BRITISH AIRWAYS should not be involved in the forced removal of a vulnerable individual to a country in which they will face certain persecution.
Please intervene now.
News from CrisisWatch N°64, 1 December 2008
Nigeria: At least 200 killed, some 7,000 displaced in Muslim-Christian riots 28-30 Nov in Jos city, Plateau State, triggered by victory of mainly Christian-backed ruling PDP party in state local elections -bloodiest religious clashes for 4 years. Militancy in Niger Delta rose after relative lull in Oct, with signs of potential for future escalation. At least 5 killed in 7 attacks on 11 Nov on military and oil sites in Bayelsa and Rivers States; 6 militants killed 11 Nov by military Joint Task Force (JTF) forces. High Court 11 Nov invalidated April 2007 election of ruling PDP party governor in Edo State, instating opposition AC candidate Oshiomhole and raising hopes for resolution of outstanding cases elsewhere. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission 3 Nov announced new cases into 10 former governors, 11 others ready for prosecution, but with no high level convictions since President Yar’Adua’s election public confidence in anti-corruption drive continues to wane.