Since the European governments started to cooperate on deportations, protests against deportations have become international as well.
December 4th 1996, 10AM Schiphol Airport Amsterdam: Using fire-ladders and the roofs of neighboring buildings a small group of Dutch activists enters the roof of the corporate headquarters of Martin Air. While a large banner with protest slogans is unfolded from above a larger group of activists storms the main entrance. The activists occupy the building and begin to inform the employees about Martin Air's involvement in the deportation business, using leaflets and posters. Martin Air was - at that time - responsible for group-deportations to Zaire and other countries. So-called 'Euro-Charters', with the airliners and crews provided by Martin Air were used by German, Dutch, French and Belgian governments to deport refugees to mainly African countries. Although security-personnel kept the activists from personally briefing Martin Air's CEO on their demands, he was so impressed by the action that he offered a meeting by himself. When a delegation of the "Autonoom Centrum" announced a campaign directed against Martin Air should they continue with deportations he - surprisingly - surrendered to the demand. They wouldnt announce it in public, but Martin Air would stop deportations. Since then there have been no more group-deportations with Martin Air planes.
May 9th 1999, fuel stop of a Swissair flight in Cameroon: To be able to deport him Swiss police agents have hid a refugee from Congo behind a curtain in the rear of the craft. He is handcuffed, his feet are tied together and his mouth is taped. When the officers remove the tape for an instant he calls for help. About 20 passengers, mostly fellow countrymen of the deportee, come to his rescue and free him. The curtain was torn away and the Swiss police-agents where attacked so that they had to release their victim. The local authorities reacted by not allowing the plane to continue the flight, before it was guaranteed that the deportee would be returned to Zürich. There he was released because he could not be detained any longer for legal reasons. This positive incident has not been without consequences: This event and the death of a deportee during another Swissair flight a few weeks later made Swissair decide, not to accept deportees who are resisting their deportations as passengers anymore.
These examples show that protests against deportation-Airlines can be successful. Apart from Swissair and Martin Air the Belgian carrier Sabena and Air France have come under attack for their involvement in the deportation-business. In the Netherlands KLM, the countries flag-carrier and mayor player in the deportation business has come under attack by activists who have launced the 'outrageous returnflight' campaign. In Germany Lufthansa faces the 'deportation.class' campaign initiated by 'kein mensch ist illegal'.
The deportation alliance aims to coordinate these and other actions directed against the involvement of commercial Airlines in the deportation-business. Stop deportations now!