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A farcical curtain of steel descended on Calais, and the massive campaign of demonisation of the camp by the local authorities continued in the press. The camp gradually grew to around 1000 people from all over Europe. Many local people visited the site, a group of around 100 mostly Kurdish and Afghani migrants participated at a daily basis and a lot of local kids and young adults hanged out in the Camp.

It run alongside the main motorway from the port out of town and it was just a few minutes from the “Jungle”, the makeshift camps where migrants are living. Migrants report that currently the controls at the border are very tight and that no one has been getting through for few weeks, consequently the number of migrants in Calais are at their highest in several years.

On Sunday 21st of July, people from the camp went to the festival in the town centre of Calais, with a sound system, to give out leaflets that explain the aim and nature of the camp, in an attempt to communicate directly with the locals beyond the media lies. After the prohibition to distribute any kind of literature that was issued the following Monday, giving out leaflets became an action in itself where people got arrested. Issues of the daily produced newspaper “Nomad” were also confiscated.

Assisting the migrants seems to be a criminal offence, which granted an arrest on Wednesday 24th June, but people have been thinking about some paractical ideas you can do this summer to help the hundreds of migrants stranded in Calais.

On Friday 26th morning, a man demanded showers for migrants when he glued himself to the entrance of La Mairie de Calais – one died trying to have one in the dangerous place where they are forced to wash themselves. In the afternoon, the local motorway was blocked to highlight the hypocrisy of allowing freedom of movement for goods and animals but not of people.

On Saturday 27th, the campers left the Camp at 10am to go to the transnational demonstration.

Back in the UK, a demonstration was called in solidariy with the detainees in hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

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 sarah-elihu-joseph-mary

…Unless Of Course You Are A Migrant!


It seems fitting that in the week leading up to Xmas, and against the backdrop of the global financial downturn, that a number of so-called Christian countries should be putting up the “no more room at the inn” signs.

In Spain the recession is beginning to bite and unemployment is starting to rise. And of course the easiest and most populist option for the government is to target migrants. To this end they are proposing new legislation to limit immigration, that also allows police to hold sans-papiers for longer prior to expulsion and that will make it harder for foreign-born residents to bring relatives into the country.

Currently 10% of the Spanish population are legally entitled residents and a fair portion of these were once so-called ‘illegal immigrants’, cornerstones of the building industry boom in the late 90’s and early ’00’s, together with the agricultural labourers that the Costa del Polythene depends upon, that were granted residency during the 2005 amnesty. These people have brought enormous wealth into the country but as times are getting hard they are going to be the first to suffer.

Further east, Italy has already seen widespread repression and attacks on the Roma and migrant populations (see the 1st & 5th October posts

), with the Army being sent onto the streets following a state of emergency being announced in the South of the country.
In Greece during the on-going civil uprising (which, if the BNP are to believed

, has been caused entirely by ‘asylum seekers’) there have been a series of savage attacks on migrants carried out by the police in concert with fascists from the Golden Dawn organisation. The police have also been carrying out mass arrests of migrants and an unknown number of these are currently remanded in custody, and can be held up to 18 months before they have to be tried or released. Many have also been tried in flagrante delicto [in a police or Magistrate’s court] and convicted in the absence of adequate interpreting facilities.
Greece has a long history of deaths of migrants at the hands of the police, many of whom are Golden Dawn members and sympathisers. [See] Just a week before Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot, a 29-year old Pakistani named Mohammed Ashraf was killed by the riot-police in Athens as they dispersed a group of migrants waiting to apply for green cards.

 

 

The current picture is confused but at least 50 migrants have received 18 month sentences (without the right to parole). There are also reports that there has been an increase in the number of migrants being rounded up and suffering forced illegal deportation.
The Southern hemisphere is also lacking in seasonal good cheer for migrants. In a rapid about turn, the Australian government have go back on their decision to end the so-called “Pacific Solution” of using remote Pacific islands to house detained asylum seeker (see the 1st July post

). Kevin Rudd’s government, one of whose members labeled it a “stalag”, have decided to open the £180M detention centre on Christmas Island, 1,000 miles from the Australian mainland.
Meanwhile, we have slightly better Xmas news here in Brighton. Kandazi and Harvey Sisya, 13 & 15 years old respectively, and their mother Gift Mubanga, have been bailed from Yarl’s Wood IRC and will spend Christmas back in Hove, which had been their home since 2001 until they were detained on 28th November. Their attempted deportation back to Zambia on 16th December was stopped following a last-minute court injunction, a full judicial review of which is due to take place on 9th January. In the meantime the campaign for them to remain in the country started by Kandazi and Harvey’s fellow pupils at Hove Park School continues. We wish them well.

Article taken from No Borders Brighton

http://nobordersbrighton.blogspot.com/2008/12/tis-season-of-good-will.html

 

 

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It is no crime to escape an illegal prison!

No Borders UK statement on the Campsfield detainees’ escape

On Tuesday night (July 31st) over 150 detainees in Campsfield immigration prison in Oxfordshire held a yard protest in protest at the appalling conditions inside the detention centre. This was followed by a hunger strike on Wednesday, which was put on hold pending a meeting with Home Office representatives on Friday. A further yard protest on Friday night was held as the meeting failed to meets the prisoners’ concerns. Around 10.30pm on Saturday, a riot broke out, leading to 26 prisoners escaping. 12 have since been recaptured, while the rest are still on the run.

The No Borders UK network is in full solidarity with the detainees who have managed to escape this racist prison and all those who are still subject to the regime at Campsfield and all immigration prisons everywhere.

We note that police have portrayed the escapees as criminals, urging members of the public to “contact us immediately should they see anyone they believe could be one of those involved.” Seeking asylum is not a crime and these people should not have been imprisoned. We call upon members of the public to assist these vulnerable people.

No Borders UK demands that such degrading and dehumanising immigration prisons, disguised under various names, are closed down immediately. We call for the freedom to move and the right to stay for all people.

No Borders UK Network

No Borders is a network of groups struggling for the freedom of movement for all and an end to all migration controls. We call for a radical movement against the system of control, dividing us into citizens and non-citizens.

We demand the end of the border regime for everyone, including ourselves, to enable us to live another way, without fear, racism and nationalism.

http://noborders.org.uk/

 oxfordnoborders@lists.riseup.net

bristolnoborders@riseup.net

 

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