Occupation of an Air France agency in Paris

Activists demand that Air France stops carrying out deportations on its flights (translation of a communiqué issued by the activists occupying the agency)

31.Jan.03 - On January 30th the Air France agency at invalides in Paris has been occupied by more than 20 sans papiers, members of the unions SUD aerien and ALTER (the French pilots union) the action group 'droits devant!!' and members of a homeless collective.

This occupation is a response to the violent deaths of Mr Barrentes and Mr Getu Hagos, two sans papiers who where to be deported on Air France flights and who died during these deportations. At least 11 more such fatalities have occurred during the last couple of years in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland, and in France. (for more information see this report from the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns in the UK)

These tragic deaths highlight the barbaric methods that are used by police officers during the deportations of foreigners, who have either been refused entry into the European territory, are subject to expulsions after a conviction for a crime or have been arrested for being within the territory without the required papers. These deaths first of all shred light on the responsibility of the minister of interior affairs who in order to 'come up with figures' by all means provokes violent behavior that is unworthy of any democracy.

They also highlight the unacceptable collaboration of Air France in these practices which collide with its status of a company serving the 'national interest'

We are occupying this Air France agency in order to demand:

- That the direction of Air France immediately ceases to carry out all upcoming deportations on its flights as it did in 1998 on the flights to Bamako.

- A real and profound inquiry into these deaths which are not 'natural' so that the persons reasonable can be judged and punished. The suspension of the three involved police officers risks to become, as usual, a measure without any consequences.

- The regularization of all sans papiers as this is the single act that can make an end to these tragedies