european day of migrants struggles - reports
03.Feb.04 - On 31 January 2004, for the first time in Europe, mobilizations took place all over fortress Europe simultaneously on the same day. This was agreed at the European Social Forum in Paris, where activists and migrants organisations declared three goals: The closure of detention centers, the regularization of all immigrants in Europe and the recognition of the right of exile.
The about 50 locations in 11 countries included Spain, France, Austria, Swizerland, the UK, Germany, Belgium and Italy.
250 people took part on the demonstration on the "European day of struggles for the regularization (of sans papiers) and for the closure of all detention centers for foreigners".
In Gradisca (Gorizia), a campaign of social and civil disobbedience was opened to impede the building of a CPT by occupying the place where it is to be built, blocking the first work and opening a hole in the cement wall.
Caltanisetta CPT Pian del Lago 11.30 - This CPT is found in the province of Caltanisetta, in an isolated place. The CPT is a center that is not talked about much. Many times, immigrants that have attempted revolts or escapes are brought to this prison. Recently, a center of identification for asylum seekers built inside the CPT is to be made functional. The Sicilian movement during this day of European mobilization against CPTs and for immigrant rights has made an appointment in front of this center demanding that a delegation is permitted to enter, but for the moment the request has been declined.
15.20 - The delegation that this morning asked to enter the CPT cannot enter because of a decree made by the Minister of the Interior declaring that there are to be no delegation during this European day of mobilization. Not even a visit into the center for asylum seekers has been permitted. In the end, 4 Somolian "guests" were premitted to come out, only after the pressure of the protest obtained a temporary stay permit.
A meeting has been scedualed with the mayor of Caltanisetta for this afternoon.
Crotone CPT Isola Capo Rizzuto - In Calabria there are 2 CPTs. That of Lamezia Terme, indicated in the REcent report of Doctors without Borders on CPTS, as one of the worst in Italy. The other is that of Isola Capo Rizzuto, inaugurated about one month ago by the Undersecretary of the Interior Mantovano. It will be the largest CPT in Europe. This morning a delegation entered into the CPT while outside of the center the disobbedienti, the Regional CPT Observators, and associations held a vigil. The delegation was composed of the senators Lovine and Elisabetta della Corte, disobbedienti, and University researchers from Calabria.
A march of about 5,000 people is in Piazza Sabotino. The banner at the head of the march, led by the Im,migrant Roundtable of the Social Forum reads: "To count, don't be counted!" There are many immigrants in the march. However, the police presence is overwhelming and the CPT is completely surrounded. Even though the police chief has announced that there will be no delegations, the protestors are determined to communicate with the immigrants held in the center.
17.00 - The CPT on Corso Brunelleschi is surrounded by police after the actions in the last few days: a hole was made in the wall to enter and contact the immigrants inside and to hopefully serve as an escape route for the detainees. "Today the police are not permitting any delegation from the march to enter. We are going to pressure them untill they let someone it."
17.30 - From a building in front of the CPT a huge banner reading: "Liberty, Dignity, and Rights" has been hung to demonstrate also to the prisoners of this prison the concrete solidarity that is comming from the citizens in the march. There continues to be pressure to enter, demonstrating the difficulty of any contact with those inside.
Sunday the 25th of January 2004 in Torino, a hole was made in the retention wall of the detention center on Corso Brunelleschi, which Doctors without Borders is also asking to be closed. After the violation of the perimeter of the CPT on Via Mattei on the 30th of January 2004, (a day of mass mobilization for rights in which the autobus workers in Verona, Milan, and Bologna went on strike), contemporary actions were held against deportation - shaming those who make profit deporting immigrants.
Paris 15.30 - Many french cities are hosted marches for immigrant rights and against detention centers. The 9th collective of sans-papiers occupied the campaign office of the candidate of the government party UMP in Neuilly (a bourgeois suburb of Paris) on thursday afternoon. Now Sarkozy, the minister of home affairs is also the local head of UMP, so that a delegation met one of his collaborators in his office. The occupation was ended after the delegation had reported back.
In Lille 250 people have gathered to demand the closure of the local detention center, that is found isolated in the inside of an airport compound. An iniziative that has been in preparation for some time and that gives great satisfaction to the activist community in the city.
Frankfurt. An initiative participated in the of struggle for immigrant rights and against detention centers. A church has been occupied by immigrants and activists from the National Assembly for Human Rights, demanding an investigation into the living conditions of immigrants in Germany.
Earlier the Association for Legalization is a nationwide network that is demanding the right for legalization.Today we opened a new branch in Frankfurt/Germany. We celebrated this event with a manifestation joint by about 100 people. After a presstalk, several speeches about the issues of deportation, detention of refugess and the struggle of undocumented people for their political and social rights, the Association for Legalization awarded Goran Bogdanovic with the Paper Royal Price for outstanding achievements in overcoming the european border regime. Despite of having been arrested already several times for not beeing documented, he exercised his right of free movement. As price Mr. Bogdanovic received a scouter, in allusion to the one million "guestworker", who likewise received in 1964 a scouter too. The manifestation ended with a marriage convoi to propagate the marriage on papers as strategy of legalization.
Munich. A wide alliance of anti-racists and migrant organisations held a demonstration.
In small town Goettingen in the center of germany in this morning a group of 30 people occupied a historical kiosk on the marketplace where normaly newspaper were sold. They put a black stuff around and than re-opened it as "kiosk for usefull knowledge". Offered was knowledge you normaly can´t find in mainstream-media and public opinion: about struggles of migrants (in detention-camps), actions of supporters from outside at the fences (de-fencing) and what all of us can learn from this for the struggle against actual precarisation. Instead of that in small town göttingen is no detention-camp or central administration-building daily exclusion and bloody bad living-circumstances in ghettos for migrants - esp. for sans papiers - are everywhere and made visible in the "kiosk for usefull knowledge". Different direct actions of de-fencing, pictures, speeches and lots of letters from refugees from inside refugee-camps on built up barbed wire-fences next to the kiosk show this hidden reality and collective struggle against it.
For the first time, a variety of groups and initiatives participated in a European noborder day, ranging from the Sheffield and London Sambabands to established detention center campaigns like closecampsfield and various comitees to defend asylum seekers. A no one is illegal manifesto was launched last year, but has not been taken up widely.
Oxford - A manifestation for immigrant rights was held in front of the detention center in Campsfield. A number of activists were arrested. The Campaign To Close Campsfield has been demanding the closure of the center since 1993.
Doncaster - 200 protesters, including the Sheffield Samba band, held a colourful noise demo at the Lindholme Refugee Detention Centre in puring rain. Balloons ans paper-planes were floated over the wall into the detention center saying "Freedom, no borders, no nations, no-one is illegal" in many languages, banners tied to the fence.
London, Waterloo Station. The Wombles, Barbed Wire Britain and the Rhytms of Resistance Samba Band held a protest at the mini-detention centre at the Eurostar Terminal. A 20 ft Banner reading "All Borders are prisons" hung across the information board, whilst leaflets were handed out to the hundreds of travellers. Station staff tried to stop the leafletting and later closed the doors to main entrance to the concourse. Most people seemed more annoyed about this than the demonstrations. One couple said they liked the No Borders banner and that we were demonstrating peacefully.
Liverpool. The Liverpool Committee Against Destitution for Asylum Seekers called for a demo.
London 30 Jan. Demo outside Parliament called bay Save-Our-Souls-Immigration-Discrimination.
London, Kensington. A demonstration was held outside the offices of the Daily Mail. The paper's history of propogating xenophobia and hatred of foreigners stretches back to it's support of Hitler during the the 1930's. Around the corner, members of the British National Party or the National Front counterdemonstrated in favour of racism.
Manchester. A demo was called for and some people went to Albert Square to join it.
Thousands of people are mobilizing in Bologna, the words of the day are "Disobey the Bossi-Fini law!" The march will pass infront of the police station, the police offices and the Red Cross that manages the center on Via Mattei and that recently was scandalized by the fact that the immigrants inside the center are druged with barbituates.
16.15 - The lawyer Anna Tognoni speaks at the microphones of GlobalRadio saying that the closing of the CPTs is only the first step towards gaining immigrat rights in Europe.
17.15 - More than 5000 people are participating in the march in Bologna. Along Via Mazzini "Red Cross of Shame" was written under the Red Cross headquarters after the scandal over the sedatives that immigrants are forced to take inside the CPT on Via Mattei. There is a notable presence of North-Africans and Easter Europeans in this march.
17.40 - The protest has arrived in Piazza Nettuno, where the march composed of thousands of people finishes.
The Red Cross and the police station have been "grassroots sanctioned" because in Bologna like everywhere else, immigrant detention centers cannot exist any longer.
The march for immigrant rights will depart from Piazza Esedra at 17.00 and will head towards Piazza SS. Apostoli, crossing the places in the city where many immigrants live. A march caracterized by demand to immediately renew all the stay permits, with a strong presence of asylum seekers. Laura tells us about the already 3000 people that are there, opening the banner that reads: "Liberty of Movement for all." Action, the community agency for rights, will carry this banner.
18.10 - The extremely participated march for immigrant right has begun in the capital. During the march there has been the first act of disobbedience: Some offices of the police station have been grossroots sanctioned, closing the doors with a barbed-wire similar to that found surrounding the CPT where these same police take immigrants to be deported."
Madrid - In Spain there is a new immigration law very restrictive on immigrant rights. There are 5 detention centers in Spain. The protest in Madrid is very colorful and is composed of mostly immigrants.
Malaga 18.35 - The chronical of the iniziative in piazza right in front of the CPT, the only one in Andalusia. All of the activists in the zone have met at the doorsteps to demand the closure of the center. There have been speeches made by the spokespeople of the southern Spanish movement that are battling for the freedom of circulation. the action will be followed by a concert.
3000 people, both greeks and immirgants, marched today in Athens, Greece
demanding legalization of all imigrants and to shut down all detentiion camps
in Greece. The march was very joyful and was organizeb by the Greek Social
Forum and more than 50 immigrants' organizations. report
Over 3-4 thousand people, mostly immigrants without papers, held a demonstration in Barcelona, after a day full of workshops. For equal rights for all.
150 persons expressed their opinions about the problems of the people "sans papiers" in the continent.