Migration, No Borders

Worldwide Protests Against Migration Controls

 

from Benin
from Benin


October 7 saw many decentralised, coordinated migration-related actions and events across the world. From Warsaw to London, from Hamburg to Nouakchott, thousands of migrants and their supporters protested against the denial of their rights, against the criminalisation and scapegoating of refugees and, above all, against all immigration controls. They were demanding a European unconditional legalisation and equal rights for all migrants; the closure of all detention centres in Europe and everywhere and an end to all deportations and the 'externalisation' of borders.

Links: October7 Campaign | No Border | MakeBordersHistory | UK NoBorders groups and communication channels | UK Indymedia's Migration topic page | Dutch: All Included | French: pajol | German: no-racism.net | fluechtlingsrat-hamburg | deutschland-lagerland | Greek: socialcenter | Italian: GlobalProject | Melting Pot Radio | Polish: pl.indymedia | cia.bzzz.net | Spanish: Indymedia Estrecho

Background

The call for the Transnational Day of Action was made by a broad network of migration-related initiatives during the European Social Forum in Athens earlier this year, following an initial call at the World Social Forum in Bamako, Mali, in January 2006. Over 250 groups from 23 countries signed the call.

The day was the 3rd of its kind. The first, which took place on 31 January, 2004, demanded the closure of detention centres, the regularisation of all immigrants in Europe and the recognition of the right of exile. Some 50 different protests around the world took place. The theme for the second, which was held on 2 April, 2005, was the "freedom of movement and the right to stay". This year, it was agreed to focus on migration controls and the border regime.

This seems to have stemmed from the increasing militarisation of EU migration policies, as with the European Border Agency, Frontex, which was set up to intensify controls, using ships and air planes, to prevent more so-called African Boatpeople from reaching Europe; from the 'externalisation' of European borders, with the EU 'commissioning' North African and East European countries to block migrants on their way to Europe and help to deport them to the desert or Sub-Saharan countries; and, least but not last, increasing the pressure on African countries to implement more visa restrictions, to establish detention-camps and adopt 'repatriation programmes'.

Transnational Actions

In a clear example of what the day was all about, a bus carrying Chechen refugees from Lublin to a demonstration against immigration policies in Warsaw was stopped by the Polish police around 15:00 (Polish time) on Friday, October 6 [full report]. The passengers, with their children, were held for over 7 hours, and 3 of them, of whom two were not carrying ID cards, were facing deportation. In response, the demonstrators decided to block the Bureau of Deportation Affairs and Foreigners in Warsaw, where the demo was being held, and then the Prime Minister's Chancellory. Eventually, the bus of refugees was returned to Lublin escorted by the police. On Saturday, one of the refugees was formally arrested.

In Bologna, Italy, a 'delegation' of anti-racist and autonomous activists from the TPO and Crash social centers waited several hours outside the city's detention centre (CPT) for the Ministerial Commision, which is led by UN ambassador De Mistura and made up of representative of various Italian NGOs and associations that are working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs to study and report on the conditions of the detention centres [report]. The activists confronted the commission, stopped the convoy and asked for a face-to-face discussion to criticise what the commission was doing. They demanded the immediate conclusion of the Commission's work and the immediate closure of the detention centres.

The actual day saw many protests in tens of cities throughout Europe and beyond. In London, over 500 people marched in a loud, colourful and diverse march that had a festive atmosphere [timeline | pics]. At one point, they stopped at Becket House, an immigration reporting centre, where asylum seekers have to 'sign on' regularly. A letter was handed in to the reporting centre. Speeches described what was happening there and a manifesto was read out and translated into Spanish, as the Latin American group was one of the biggest on the march.

Elsewhere in the UK, members of Birmingham's Anti-Racist Campaign, supported by Birmingham NoBorders, gathered in Victoria Square in Birmingham to lay wreaths to commemorate asylum seekers who have died as a result of the government's immigration policies [report and pics]. In Glasgow, several hundred people converged on George Square, having set off from points north, west and south of the city centre, for a march and rally organised by Unity the Union of Asylum Seekers (UNITY). The rally finished with a performance by local/international hip-hop crew Fugees United [report].

In Vienna, 2 small actions took place in the city centre, followed by a relatively big demonstration. The Aliens Law was symbolically exploded in Kärtnerstraße [report (de) | pics]. At Stock im Eisen Platz, a "bouncy castle" symbolised Fortress Europe for a couple of hours: No one was allowed to jump! [report (de) | pics]. Some 350 people then marched from the Hernalser Guertel immigration detention centre to the Rossauer Laende police holding centre, which is party used as a detention centre as well. Among other stops, they called at the court building in Wickenburggasse, where people are detained while awaiting trial. A speech told of the situation of one detainee who had been on hungerstrike for 38 days, and the new law against foreigners whereby officials can use forced feeding to break hungerstrikes [report | timeline].

In Brussels, the day was celebrated with several demos, one of them a Reclaim the Streets party, another by sans-papiers from Congo (Congolese Against Borders) [report]. About 300 people danced in the sunshine to the sounds of a Samba band and some trumpets, as well as a solar-powered sound system. 300-400 policemen then blocked everyone in from all sides, and teargas was used, while demonstrators kept playing their music [report (nl) | timeline (fr)]. A new squat was opened and banners were hanged out of the windows.

In Germany, some 400 people joined an anti-racist demonstration in Cologne to protest against Fortress Europe [pics]. Another 700 marched in Hamburg, where many refugees took part and a woman from Afghanistan talked about her experience and the deportations policies of the Hamburg City Council [report | de1 | de2 | pics1 | pics2]. In Lindau, activists performed a 'lake theatre', where a group arrived on a raft on the shore of Lindau and were picked up by cost guards and put into detention [report]. In Freiburg, a march through the inner city, with some 250 to 300 participants, started at the town hall square, where an exhibition called "the moving of the world" by the Libertad collective (Frankfurt, Germany) about refugee camps was on display. The manifestation also left many paper traces in the town: about hundreds of foot prints were left on the ground, with texts like: "A human being remains a human being, nevermind where it is", "Every person has the right to have rights", "legalisation for Sans-Papiers" etc. [report (de) | pics]. In Potsdam, activists did a street theatre in the pedestrian area of the city center, where they brought the daily happenings at the borders to the people. On several bus stops, posters informed people about the impacts of papers on the freeedom of movement and criticised that refugees have to live in asylum accommodation [report and pics (de)].

In Berlin, the first action had taken place on Oct 5, where activists visited the public authority responsible for refugees in Berlin-Lichtenberg and awarded the employees with a "bloody stylograph" (blutiger Füllfederhalter). During the action the activists were arrested for two hours and the police suspected them with violation of the public peace [report and pics (de)]. On Oct 7, the first a manifestation was supposed to take place in front of Dussmann 'cultural store', which is a company serving bad food in Spandau refugee camp, but police didn't allow the the action to take place in front of the store, so the activists had to move with their street theatre. Later, a manifestation was supposed to take place in front of the refugee home on Motardstrasse, with the participation of the people living there, but the police didn't allow tem to use tables, so the crowd of 50 people had to meet on the sidewalk [report (de) | further info].

In Switzerland, around 500 people marched through the streets of Lausanne [call-out]. Many sans-papiers (immigrants without documents) took part in the protest and a global village was errected, where people played music and danced.

In the Netherlands, there was an action in the shopping centre of Zaandam (near Amsterdam) to inform and mobilise the public on 2 newly built detention boats in the Zaandam harbour [pics]. The day before, activists had, once again, occupied 'detention ships' in Rotterdam [report | nl and pics]. At around 6am, they climbed the ships and blockaded the entrances by lock-ons. They were met with very violent reaction from the guards and eight activists were arrested.

In Athens, several hundred people marched through the city to raise the issue of the citizenship for migrants' children born in Greece [pics | report (de)]. The march was called by the African Women's League and the Network of Migrant Women in Greece, with the support of many migrant, feminist and social groups.

In Italy, several migrants' groups, some autonomous unions and other political groups demonstrated in front of the local government building in Bologna [report and pics (it) | video]. A similar manifestation took pleace in Gorizia [report (it)]. In Venice, people demonstrated against a regional bill in parliament, initiated and promoted by the Movement for Life, a reactionary fundamentalist Catholic movement [report (it)]. There was also a sit-in in Palermo [report (it)] and other demonstrations in Milan and Rome.

In Spain, some 600 people demonstrated in Málaga to demand a change in the current migration policies and the closure of the local detention centre [report and pics (es)]. In Barcelona, more than 1000 people demonstrated to denounce the externalisatin of Europe's borders, detentions and deportations, and demanading the permanent regularisation of refugees, equality at work and equal social and political rights for all immigrants [reports and pics: es | ca]. Similar demonstrations took place in Valencia [report (es)], Madrid, Almería, Sévilla, Bilbao, Las Palmas, Motril and Ténérife.

In Russia, the local No Borders group in Moscow decided to celebrate the day by picketing the Federal Migrattion Service, which directly carries out deportations. A cheerful demonstration of some 25 participants, with drums and clowns, left the silent street of Sadovo-Chernogrjazskuju, onto the underground, to the Migration Service building, where a banner was dropped bearing the words: "No One Is Illegal". There were 3 groups of activists: one symbolising refugees, with surgery masks on their faces, crosses on their mouths and brief life histories written on paper attached to their clothes; a samba band beating a tattoo of execution; and the ACAB clown army, with lashes beating the 'refuges' [ report | ru | pics].

In Benin, in western Africa, a conference was organised on October 6, followed by a praying session on October 7. An assembly was supposed to take place on Monday, October 9, in front of the European Union headquarters, but the organisation has unfortunately lost "a member with much influence, because of not enough care of the UNHCR in Benin." So a spontaneous assembly is planned in front of the UNHCR to protest against this 'mistake'.

There have been, of course, many more protests across Europe, Africa and North America, but we haven't received reports on them yet (see this list of planned actions and No Border's round-up).

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Further reprots from Oct 7, 2006

noborder 09.Oct.2006 10:11


On Chios island (Aegean sea, Greece, near the Turkish shores) the Chios Refugee Solidarity Committee participated in the Action Day for Refugees and Immigrants. In our action, we focused on the so-called "safe prevention" applied by the port authorities of the Mediterranean countries in the name of border control, which systematically puts in danger the life of those refugees who attempt with minimal means to pass from the shores opposite ( e.g. turkey) to European ground. We were all wearing black clothes and had our hands tied, trying to show the sore condition of the refugees, while we were handing out leaflets to inform the local society.
PS. "Safe prevention" refers to the order given to the port authorities to discourage and prevent by any means the refugees from entering the greek territory. [report (el)]

In the 7 October meeting, the Migrants Forum in Thessaloniki has moved one step ahead towards its organisation and consolidation. The participation of migrants was smaller (about 25 -30 migrants from Albania, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Georgia) than that expected by the persons of the forum who worked hard to organise it and involve communities, while the heavy rain didn't allow outdoor activities, both discussion and cultural happening. The meeting and discussion took place inside the Labor Center and the participating migrants confirmed their will to work together and agreed that «their voices, if united, will be heard farther». The participants from antiracist organisations stated their decision to support this effort. Eventually, a party took place in the Migrants' place with music from Afghanistan, Iran and Albania.

In Gothenburg, Sweden there was a small (30-35 people) but nice manifestation in Gothenburg/Sweden on the 7th of october dedicated to the memory of the people who have died, either trying to enter EU/schengen or because of the racist system (in camps etc).

And here a short english report from Bologna (action already mentioned above): 200 migrants of the Coordinamento Migranti from all the African but also east European countries, with the support of several activists of the local movement, among them social unionists, students and militants of the social centres, demonstrated in front of the local Government site saying loudly: WE WANT RESPECT! The demonstration started at 10.30 am, and until 1.30 pm migrants were really protagonists: many of them took the microphone denouncing their conditions of life and work under the Bossi-Fini law regime and its administration by the local institutions. A group of migrant women took the initiative of blocking the traffic in front of the Prefettura, and faced the local police clearly saying that "now this one is our space and our moment". The newsletter, "Crossing Borders!", was distributed in several languages. [see coordinamentomigranti.splinder.com]

New action against CPT

TPO Bologna 09.Oct.2006 15:18

Action against CPT in Bologna, 09 Oct 2006 - main office of Giudici di Pace
Action against CPT in Bologna, 09 Oct 2006 - main office of Giudici di Pace

Bologna - Occupied the Head Office of Giudici di Pace: closing detention centres NOW!

Pictures:  http://www.globalproject.info/gal-9478.html
Article:  http://www.globalproject.info/art-9478.html [it]
Audio:  http://www.globalproject.info/IMG/mp3/bologna-12.mp3 [MP3 - 1.8 Mb - it]

On Monday 9th of October 2006, following the Transnational Day of Action for the freedom of circulation, we occupied the siege of the main office of Giudici di Pace as an act of protest. Giudici di Pace are those Judges who sign the order of expulsion of paperless migrants and allow their detention in a CPT for 60 days.
We believe that their role is against our Costituzione as they are not “ordinary” judges but a sort of lawyers taking care of minor trivialities such as quarrels, fines and so on. After the reformation of the Bossi-Fini law in 2004 they’ve become responsible of the personal freedom of migrants, while italian citizens' personal freedom carry on being judged by an Ordinary Judge (Giudice Togato) in an ordinary trial.
Like migrants' detention centres, Giudici di Pace are the symbol of the persistent discrimination of migrants: ethnic labour, ethnic prisons and ethnic laws.
During the action the activists of TPO handed in a letter to the President of Giudici di Pace to ask him to retrieve from this task and to discuss this important issue with representants of Ministero of Justice. During the demonstration many banners and posters were put on the Office walls, saying “Art. 3 Costituzione Italiana: tutti sono uguali davanti alla legge – Closing CPT – No alla riforma Amato” and remembering the stories of the detained migrants of Bologna CPT.
We believe this action was important to enpower the debate on the illegality of migrants' detention centres and to target an issue – that of the Judges called to decide on someone’s life and freeedom – that lies unmentioned.
This afternoon there is another rendez-vous for all whom dont want CPT: meeting point at 17h to go inside the Town Hall to take part to the usual mondays briefing of members of the Municipality.

Marseille (France) 6, 7 octobre

Migrant-e-s 10.Oct.2006 09:13

 http://marseille.indymedia.org/news/2006/10/7064.php

Journée relais...le 6 octobre et le 7 octobre....
------et tous les jours!!!

(extrait du Communiqué RESF et témoignages)

TOUS LIBRES !

M. AMIR, Mme Nouioua, Sid-Ahmed et Aimen ses deux enfants ont pu retrouver leurs proches.
Il y a des jours où la mobilisation paye plus que d’autres...Ce matin, quelque 60 personnes ont répondu présent (...)devant le centre de rétention du Canet à Marseille. 15 personnes ont pu assisté à l’audience devant le JLD. Finalement, après 17 jours passés en rétention, sans le suivi médical nécessaire, M. AMIR a été libéré. Certes assigné à résidence avec obligation de pointer tous les jours au CRA du Canet, certes M. AMIR doit quitter le territoire dans un délai de 5 jours... mais libre. Libre de pouvoir retrouver sa famille en particulier sa femme et ses 6 enfants. La bataille n’est donc pas fini. L’avocat tente d’obtenir que l’appel déposé auprès de la cour administrative soit examiné avant le délai octroyé de 5 jours.(...)La solidarité et la vigilance reste de mise afin que M. AMIR puisse rester en France et obtenir un titre de séjour.

Quand l’horreur frappe à votre porte...

La journée n’allait pour autant pas se terminer tranquillement...

A l’heure où nous apprenions la libération de M.AMIR, divers réseaux (dont le RESF 69) nous informait que Mme Nouioua et ses deux enfants de 8 et 10 ans, arrêtés la veille à 6h du matin à leur domicile de Vaux en Velin (gloups...) venaient d’être transférés vers l’aéroport de Marignane. La veille, leur expulsion à l’aéroport de Lyon Satolas avait été mis en echec grâce à une rapide et forte mobilisation de soutien dans le Rhône. Rapidement, des coups de fils pleuvent sur la Préfecture des Bouches du Rhône qui, si elle se cache derrière la décision du Préfet du Rhône, n’en constate pas moins la détermination extrème des interlocuteurs (élus, syndicats, associations, professeurs, citoyens...) à faire que ce crime d’arracher des enfants du seul pays qu’ils connaissent n’ait pas lieu depuis le département des Bouches du Rhône, avec la complicité des services préfectoraux.

En milieu d’après midi, Mme Nouioua et ses deux enfants, sont finalement relâchés de la PAF de Marignane et ramenés en voiture sur Lyon. Ils y retrouvent leur famille, leurs amis et l’ensemble du comité de soutien qui les attend.

Des activistes n'ont pas oubliés de rappelé que le tout nouveau centre de rétention du Canet appartient à la multinationale privé, Bouygues (qui détient aussi la principale chaine de télévision)....

Le 7 octobre ,dès le matin de l'information sur la journée transnationale des migrant-e-s a été réalisé sur le quartier multiculturel de Noailles, alors que le Ramadan anime le quartier...

Vers 14h à la Fac St Charles, le RESF a organisé sa première étape d’une nouvelle cérémonie de parrainage pour le mois de Novembre en faisant rencontrer les familles.

La journée s'est poursuivit avec la nuit du Festival du Film Militant à Aubagne par la diffusion de nombreux films jusqu'à dans la nuit....De nombreux films se rapportaient à la journée transnationale des migrant-e-s comme BAYEREMA’SHI, sur des forums qui ont eu lieu dans les principales villes du Mali, ou comme ARTICLE 13, documentaire sur la lutte des sans papiers à Marseille, ou encore des films sur la situation au TOGO, sur les communautés zapatistes, ou des clips de Rap, ou encore sur les manifestations à Bamako durant le Forum social Mondial. Un des films importants était "ASSOCIATION DE MIGRANTS" des témoignage sdes migrants qui ont traversé la frontière, réalisé en Autotproduction.

Alors que dans de nombreuses villes des évenements similaires se sont déroulés prenant plusieurs formes, il ne faut pas oublier de rappeller que les responsables des crimes commis par la police aux frontières doivent être condamner, notamment les autorités qui maintiennent la pression et qui financent la répression.

La force que nous a transmis les victimes de Ceuta et Melilla qui ont perdu la vie sur les barbelés aux portes de la forteresse européenne doit nous permettre de nous battre pour la liberté absolue de cirucler.

More Oct 7 actions

noborder 12.Oct.2006 19:44

Oct 7 demonstration in Vienna
Oct 7 demonstration in Vienna

About 50 people participated in Frankfurt in the transnational actionday against migration-control. An impressive installation of a borderfence (with barbed wire and cameras) was built up in the entrance area of the international bookfair (which took place in the same time and included also readings and debates about boat-refugees). We used bannners against frontex and for freedom of movement, we distributed leaflets, which also focussed to the current campaign for the right to stay in germany (as mentioned in an earlier mail on this list at 31.08.2006) with another bigger mobilisation for 16th of november to nuernberg...
pictures:  http://aktivgegenabschiebung.de/061007fotos.html
 http://de.indymedia.org/2006/10/158769.shtml


LINKS TO FURTHER REPORTS:


Austria:

Vienna:
summary (de):  http://at.indymedia.org/feature/display/53448
report (de) + pictures:  http://at.indymedia.org/newswire/display/55931
report (de):  http://no-racism.net/article/1837
pictures:  http://no-racism.net/image/1837


Germany:
Summary (de):  http://de.indymedia.org/2006/10/158585.shtml

Düsseldorf: report (de) + pictures
 http://de.indymedia.org/2006/10/158723.shtml

Freienbessingen im Kyffhäuserkreis (Thüringen): report (de) + pictures
 http://de.indymedia.org/2006/10/158760.shtml

Görlitz: report (de) + pictures
 http://de.indymedia.org/2006/10/158747.shtml

Köln: report (de)
 http://de.indymedia.org/2006/10/158896.shtml

Zittau: report (de) + pictures
 http://de.indymedia.org/2006/10/158784.shtml


Italy:

Bologna: NoBorderParade report (it) + pictures
 http://www.ecn.org/baz/migranti/nobord_rep.html

Gradisca: pictures
 http://italy.indymedia.org/news/2006/10/1162494.php


Scotland:

Glasgow: report (en) + pictures
 http://scotland.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3295


Spain:

Barcelona: report (es) + pictures
 http://www.endavant.org/groups/noticies/octubre06/mani-migr-7octbcn

Madrid: report (es) + pictures
 http://www.fferine.org/jornada-octubre-7-madrid.html

[part:fr] traduction partielle/ en cours

DoDO 13.Oct.2006 07:17

 http://translations.indymedia.org/Translations/1160484598/index_html

a day for truth

AJ 24.Oct.2006 08:39

SFIMC CAUGHT AGAIN BASHING MINORITIES

Once again San Francisco IMC was caught in the act of supporting the mistreatment of minorities. listing a free mime troop that is putting on racist skits featuring the depiction of native Americans as blood thirsty savages.
this portrayal if the native Americans culture is crude and offensive to all who are of native Americans ancestry. the insulting nature of this sidewalk skit is only rivaled by the insistence of sf editorial staff that they are just having fun and that the Indians need to loosen up.

when sf imc was contacted by Native-American-Online.Org demanding a formal apology and a retraction of inflammatory statements. Sf Imc declined to issue a statement

sf.indymedia.org/news/2004/09/1702578_comment.php#1702731

Partial agreement

Rich Travis 28.Oct.2006 07:54

Not everyone agrees with your agenda.
I'm a full supporter of legal immigration. I fully condemn and shake my head in total confusion at anyone who thinks a borderless society could result in anything but anarchy, some thing which, while it may be fun and all, is not survival oriented behavior.

Total Amnesty and open doors now!

Johnny Grey 06.Jan.2007 18:07

Greetings!
This is what we must do: 1. Demand total amnesty for all illegal immigrants everywhere! and 2. Open the gates wide to every 1st world country so that absolutely anybody who wishes to can come in and immediately be given citizenship in ANY European country or in the USA. Of course, the immigrants shall also be given welfare, free healthcare, insurance and any other thing they may wish. and 3. If they like to beat up their own women and children, pick fights with people and rape the local women - then, that's no problem. We have to be tolerant. Look how wonderful it is in Sweden which has a quite large immigrant population: only 20-30 rapes pr.day and ONLY 80% of the rapes are commited by immigrants! Wonderful. And the media is very considerate and avoids the issue completely. Anybody who objects to this situation... we just call them racists! A splendid example for the rest of Europe and the USA.
Johhny Grey