Tag Archives: freedom of movement

A tale of migration to the “free world”

16 Nov

Lesvos

Activist blog about Calais and the wider immigration context.

http://newleftglobaljustice.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/a-tale-of-migration-to-the-free-world/

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2. Updates from Calais. Callout for support in Calais for migrants on hunger strike. Also, 10 activists arrested and help whilst Harare jungle cleared

29 Sep

Hunger Strike

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

Update from the Calais Camp

26 Jun

cal
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!

*CALAIS NO BORDER CAMP 23-29 JUNE*

9 Apr

beneath_fence_bw

No Borders Northeast is currently co-preparing an activist camp in Northern France
in the upcoming June 2009. Calais might seem far away from the Northeast, but…

The Calais border is an important focal point for the struggle between
those who would see an end to all migration into the EU (by enforcing ever crueler
borders control regimes) and those trying
to break down the barriers between peoples, the borders that prevent the
freedom of movement for all, not just the privileged few.

The Calais No Border camp is an exciting joint venture between French
activists and migrant support groups and the UK No Borders Network. It
aims to highlight the realities of the situation in Calais and Northern
France; to build links with the migrant communities; to help build links
between migrants support groups and lastly, but not least, to challenge
the authorities on the ground, to protest against increased repression
of migrants and local activists alike.

This camp is not just about Calais: we are calling for the freedom of
movement for all, an end to borders and to all migration controls. We
call for a radical movement against the systems of control which divide us
into citizens and non-citizens, into the documented and the undocumented.

But why a protest camp in Calais?
While Europe is tightening its border controls to the outside of
Europe, and especially to Northern Africa, one of its internal borders
is often overseen. Many migrants who come to Europe aim to reach the
United Kingdom, but after the closing down of the centre in
Sangatte/Calais, people are forced to sleep rough in the woods around
the harbour, getting pushed around and often finally sent back to Paris
where they are forced to sleep rough in their hundreds.

Furthermore the UK Border serves as a mechanism of internal control and filtering in Europe. By pushing the UK border onto French territory, the British government has made it impossible for many people to claim asylum in the UK and forced those that do try into the hands of people smugglers. This situation can only be changed when we start a public discourse about the UK Border regime and the humanitarian situation of the people who try to reach the UK from France.

The Border regime can be only understood in its political and economic context, i.e. the exploitation of cheap work from migrants. Therefore we think that the struggle for equal rights for migrant workers and the struggle against the European detention and asylum system are closely connected. We also believe that we need to intensify the transnational cooperation between initiatives made by people on both sides of the border who find the current situation unbearable.

no one is illegal. freedom of movement for all!
act against british and european borders and inhuman border controls.
Come to the Calais protest camp 23-29 June.
There will also be a transnational demonstration on Saturday 27th of June in Calais.

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.

Demo in support of AMEY workers

6 Dec

amey-034No Borders North East have decided to answer the national call out for a demo outside the AMEY offices to support the sacked migrant workers. We will meet at 8.30am at the Central Station on Monday 8th December and go on to picket the Newcastle office.

National Call Out: SOLIDARITY WITH SACKED MIGRANT WORKERS

There will be a noisy demo outside Amey PLC’s Corporate HQ in Oxford called by the Campaign Against Immigration Controls, and the No Borders Network. In September this year 5 migrant cleaners were sacked by Amey Plc for “bringing the company into disrepute”.  How were they damaging the company image? By belonging to a Trade Union and telling other staff at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London where they work what was happening to them. Since them they have had their appeal against dismissal rejected.

Julio (one of the sacked cleaners) recently described how Amey were contracted by the National Physical Laboratory to do the cleaning work. Originally there were 36 Latin American cleaners. When Amey took over the contract at NPL the cleaners were paid £7.10 per hour. The company were surprised at this rate of pay and so attempted to get rid of those workers contracted at this rate of pay.

Their first act was to reduce the levels of staffing. When the workers resisted the company responded using intimidation. On one occasion the workers were invited to a health and safety training session. Once in the room 60 police and immigration officers entered. Some of the workers did not have the papers needed to work and have since been deported.  But this did not deter the other workers who knew their rights and continued to show a tremendous spirit of solidarity and courage.

No Borders Groups from Bristol, Oxford, London & South Wales are attending. It would be great see other groups and individuals there.