Following a demonstration yesterday by No Borders activists, including migrants from places such as Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan, a hunger strike is being planned in protest about the situation here in Calais.
This action is one of migrant solidaity as they demand better treatment for all. Activists can help in 2 ways.
1. Go to calais – really easy, if you have a passport! Takes only 1/2 day and even short visits are useful see http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/ for the contact number and to keep up to date.
2. Through solidarity actions in the UK. Watch this space
Harare Jungle Clearance
10 No Borders activist have been arrested and interviewed at the commissionariat for having held a forbidden demonstration on Sunday. A summons has arrived at the No Border premises, as well as to an activist personnally. The complaint was deposited yesterday, by the Mayor UMP of Calais. They are now being released without charge.
It appears that the authorities in Calais are using the 4 hour detaining law to keep activists away from future large scale jungle clearances. This means that we are having an impact both through our resistance and also our protesting. The bad news is that this latest clearance reinforces that the police are targeting Afghans and it looks like they are being pushed further out of town where they are more out of reach of the humanitarian agencies and the noborders activists. 1 afghan reported late on sunday night that they have to sleep in places where there is no access to water now as the police are too big a problem otherwise. Once again, anybody reading this can be in calais within 1/2 a day max to resist, to help and to be in solidarity with the migrants. As the hunger strike action displays, the situation with the police harassment, the continuing destruction of already inadequate homes, the living conditions and the worrying targetting of Afghans is intollerable
More than 70 people including No Borders activists from Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle took a successful action against the Immigration prison at the Manchester airport.
Protest demanding the closure of Pennine house, an asylum prison located at Manchester airport started with a rally in Albert square, Manchester.
The protest continued to the airport. Half of the No Borders activists cycled to the airport and the others travelled by train.
A huge police presence accompanied the Critical mass all the way to the airport. GMP mobilised a helicopter and motorbikes.
When the both groups arrived to the Pennine house, the police officers and FIT team constructed a protest pen inside the detention prison car park. The protesters refused to enter the protest pen.
After the vibrant protest and speeches taken in front of the detention centre the group decided to move to the airport departure zone.
The way back to the train station was dramatic as additional TAU, Police dogs nd horses were called in but not deployed. During this period, Terminal 2 was closed.
For more information see the BBC report here
It has emerged that on Friday the 23rd over 700 migrants being incarcerated at a detention centre in Lampedusa, a small island south of Sicily, tore down the centre’s gates and escaped.
The centre, which is intended to hold no more than 850 people, had inside at the time over 2000 migrants. Video evidence clearly shows that the conditions inside were massively overcrowded and appaulingly unclean. Groups such as Amnesty International and Save the Children have also highlighted possible human rights violations inflicted upon detainees, and denounced the actions of the local authorities.
The situation was further heated the following day with mass protests by migrants and local citizens alike calling for the abolishment of the centre. Some 4000 people took part in the demonstration outside the islands’ Town Hall. Escaped detainees joined in with chants of ‘Freedom’ and ‘Help Us’.
In another incident, a crowd of protesting citizens stopped a bus of 110 migrants destined for the detention centre.
According to the blog Fortress Europe: ” At least 1,502 migrants have died at the gates of EU in 2008. The figures decreased by 23% compared to 2007, but not in Sicily, where the number of the victims rose from 556 in 2007 to 642 in 2008, coherently with an increase of 80% of the arrivals in Lampedusa.”
Thanks to Indymedia Rome for the info.
The video shows the conditions the migrants are forced to live in, and also has clips of the march from the centre.