Selfpresentations of the participating groups
24.Sep.04 - the following groups have participated in the ESF preparation meeting in september 2004 in london.
London noborder Group
We are a floating entity of activists in London. In the cracks of a privatised urban landscape, a lively DIY scene creates spaces for alternative media, free parties, samba, squats and social centers. Resistance against measures of control is part of our daily lives. A focus on noborder issues is a consequence of these activities. Commodities can float freely across borders, people should be able to do the same, no matter for what reasons. And we all should have access to the basic necessities of live, no matter where we come from. To bring this message across, we are experimenting with creative forms of action: Colour, rhythms, and direct media. We support actions at detention centers, against the voucher system, and against racist campaigns of coporate media like the Daily Mail against asylum seekers. The most intensive event we got engaged in (in terms of logistics & soul) was the international noborder camp in Strasbourg 2002. After this, we have crossed the channel to join demos against the closure of the refugee camp in Sangatte. We are collaborating with groups like close campsfield, or those who wrote the no one is illegal manifesto (www.noii.org.uk), with the noborder network and other European entities. Within our own networks, we are promoting video screenings and public meetings. With the discussions they generate, we're beginning to bring together some strands of anti-racist activity, to create a world without borders.
No one is illegal - manifesto -group/UK
the noii uk people suggest to use their manifesto, but thats a bit long... see [www.noii.org.uk]
Tavolo Migranti Dei Social Forum Italiani
Since Genoa G8 (the huge migrants' demonstration of July 19, 2001) until
today, Tavolo Migranti dei Social Forum Italiani has connected a wide and
differentiated network of subjects fighting against the Italian immigration
Law, the Bossi-Fini Law, and the conditions of living into which migrants
are forced in a frame characterized by a progressive dismantling of work and
We are not an unitary structure, for we comprehend a large spectrum of organizations and associations coming from different parts of Italy, but during the last three years we promoted some political initiatives moving from a common political assumption: a radical rejection of the Bossi-Fini Law.
The Bossi-Fini Law, connecting visa to job-contract (through the legal institution of "contratto di soggiorno per lavoro") renders migrants every day more exposed to their masters' blackmail: they are forced into the acceptance of every kind of work condition to avoid clandestinity and detention. For these reasons, Tavolo Migranti's political initiatives have been always concentrated around the musts of a radical NO to "Contratto di soggiorno per lavoro"; NO to detention centres (CPT, Centri di Permanenza Temporanea). The first issue has been the core of one of the most important mobilisation organized in the frame of Tavolo, the Vicenza Migrant Work Strike, on May 2002, during which more than 30.000 migrants were in strike and 10.000 were on the streets against the Bossi-Fini law (at that time, the law was still a project). The struggle against detention centres knew its most important moment during the "invasion", by the people of the Frassanito no-border camp promoted by Tavolo, of the Bari Palese detention centre, inside which hundreds of asylum seekers were forced. During the action, some migrants escaped, and after two days, the centre has been closed by the military authority that managed it. Two months ago, several subjects with Tavolo "invaded" the centre that Italian authorities are building near the city of Gradisca, on the Italian eastern border. The action determined the adoption of a position favourable to the closure by the local government, and the centre is still not open.
After January 31st European demonstration against detention centres, we connected in Italy a wide migrants' movement of protest against the visas-renews policies of territorial Police. The local demonstrations contributed to determine the revision of the Bossi-Fini law by the Italian central Government, but the struggle is still open to obtain the abrogation of the law.
1994, presidential election campaign, St.Germain-dès-Près, Rue du Dragon : The birth of DD starts with the occupation of a building by 60 families and 30 migrant workers. DD, a human mosaic creating solidarity ties between have and have nots, aims to widen the struggles which were previously divided, to include all rights, on a cross-wise basis of autonomy and convergency, while putting the actors themselves at the heart of all mobilizations.
a review which links politics and culture, deals with users knowledge (precarious, migrants, people with aids...), minorities rights. We belong to a European network of reviews along with Multitudes (France), DeriveApprodi (Italy) etc. [vacarme.eu.org]
AIDS activists association, fighting for health, treatments, prevention, generics, North/South, health issues and sojourn for migrants, freedom of circulation, drugs users, prostitutes rights. [www.actup-paris.org]
Gisti (Groupe d'information et de soutien des immigrés) /Paris
NGO providing information and support to Immigrants, which through its knowledge of immigration law - French, European, and in some respects international - and its experience of immigration practices, defends foreigners, offers training and publications and participates in the debate on migration policies (freedom of circulation). [www.gisti.org]
9th Sans Papiers collective, Paris
200 migrants from several nationalities (from China, Africa, North-Africa), advocating regularisation, freedom of circulation, migrants rights, and fighting against French and European migration policies. Among their actions : occupation of political permanences (left and right parties), Paris representation of the European Commission, symbolic places (Victor Hugo museum), participation to the blockade of the building site of the detention center in Massy (Paris suburb), etc.; support to the intermittents when they occupied MEDEF last July Web pages in construction on pajol (sans papiers) website
Dost je! /Ljubljana/Slovenia
is a communicative and activist project. It is organized as informal network of different associations (Aguascalientes - works on the questions of global solidarity; Political laboratory - develops political theory; Gmajna - acts in the field of multimedia). Dost je! was established 2002 after the dissolution of the network called UZI (Office for Interventions) which was broad network of civil society organizations, movements and political organizations. UZI was "specialized" in the organization of demonstrations (one for the right of immigrants, one against Bush-Putin summit and one against the war in Afghanistan). From it's beginnings Dost je! tries to co-organize non-dogmatic political sensibilities and those that are critical toward paternalistic politics of NGOs. The initial orientation was work in communities and stimulation of self-organizational potentials. Until now in Slovenia Dost je! was involved in the struggle of refugees from Bosnia to obtain permanent residence (the project was named I Kapak!), in the struggle of erased to regain their rights from the status of permanent residence, status they were deprived of in 1992, in the campaign against enlargement of NATO on Slovenia and against the aggression on Iraq. When Slovenia entered EU Dost je! initiated together with some representatives of Association of erased and some associations of migrant and precarious work from Italy the movement called »Invisibles of Global Europe«. It was the beginning of campaign to close all detention centers for migrants in Slovenia and to define European citizenship for erased, so they can move freely across EU. One of aims of this project is also to connect necessities of migrants and erased with the necessities of precarious work and to build new solidarity network. [www.dostje.org]
No Border Finland
No Border-network in Finland consists mainly of people working in Helsinki. Our goal is to make political space for demands of free movement, but also to learn from the on-going struggles of migrants in Finland and elsewhere. Starting from the Eu-summit in 1999 with a demonstration in Tampere we are in a process of creating a wider network and a more active basis for working with several questions that we find important. An important project for us since spring 2002 has been to fight against a closed detention centre that is currently situated in an ex-prison in Helsinki, Katajanokka. Our aim has been mainly to work against concrete examples of control that are created against migrants. This includes also a fight against IOM because they have their office in Helsinki. Part of our work has been to pressure different ngo's and organizations that have been silent about the closed detention centre to open their eyes to cold facts: all organizations that use in their name word "migration" necessarily are not good news. Finland has a key role in controlling migration flows from Eastern Europe, especially from Russia. The Finnish-Russian border politics is part of the European migration politics of exclusion and financially mainly supported by Finland. We have been putting our effort mainly into making conflicts with the institutions and politics that control people. We have put lot of effort to build wider network and contacts to different groups and persons working with same themes. During 2004 we organized No Border camp in Imatra, in Finland-Russian border. We have also campainged against deporations. Mostly by taking certain cases of deportation that we have links to and campaigned to prevent deportation and to make it concreate example of todays systems of control to wider public. [fi.noborder.org]
is a community of different people from diverse backgrounds who share the commitment to eradicate racism in Gremany and everywhere else. Kanak attak is not interested in questions about passport or heritage, in fact it challenges such questions in the first place. Our common position consists of an attack against the "Kanakisation" of specific groups of people through racist ascribtions which denies people their social, legal and political rights. In so far Kanak attak started the campagne for "the right of legalisation" one year ago. In diverse ways of activities - performances, films, discussions, demonstrations so on - it tries to overcome the classical space of political representation. [www.kanak-attak.de]
The association for legalization/Germany
was founded in germany in 2003. The associates are grass roots, media and culture people who would like to install a platform and perspective for popular interventions in struggles round migration, asylum, racism and citizen as social rights. "The Association for Legalization officially announces its decision to revoke the social contract that has been established in the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union. It is the Association's purpose to push for the recognition of essential rights to legalization and mobility." (out of the 1st declaration)
Barbed Wire Britain Network
the Barbed Wire Britain Network to End Refugee and Migrant Detention was set up in early 2002. It linkls groups such as Campaign to Close Campsfield, Close Harmondsorth Campaign, Stop Arbitrary Detention at Yarl's Wood (SADY), East Kent Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers, Glasgow Campaign for Refugees, Ayrshire Friend of Refugees, though the links betwen Scottish and English groups are less strong. It is the only national network devoted specifically to ending detention. It is proposing a seminar on detention and deportation at the ESF jointly with the National Coalition of Anti Deportation Campaigns. [www.barbedwirebritain.org.uk]
The VOICE Refugee Forum/Germany
an organisation of refugee and humanrights activists engaged in the fight for the rights of refugees in Germany, will be celebrating its tenth year anniversary in October 2004, focusing on the refugee right to freedom of movement and against social exclusion.(...) With the Asylum Compromise of 1993-a landmark in eroding refugee rights in Germany, it was clear that refugees and asylum seekers needed some form of self organisation which would serve as a platform for refugee resistance against humanrights violation and the apparent racist laws which culminates in deportation of refugees from Germany. The foundation of The VOICE was in part a response to this challenge. It was aimed at fighting against discrimination and racism as well as against the deplorable and inhuman conditions which asylum seekers were (and are still) subjected to in Thueringen and Germany in general. The VOICE has become a platform through which refugees from various countries can air their opinions and speak about their problems here in Germany and the problems that led to their flights from their home countries. The VOICE has grown in strength since then into a network of satellite stations in different parts of the country... see more: [www.thevoiceforum.org]
no one is illegal/Germany
was founded in 1997 (www.contrast.org/borders/kein/appell/proclaim.html) as a network of antiracist groups and initiatives. Direct support of people without papers, anti-deportation campaigns (for example against Lufthansa) and anti-detention-actions (in cooperation with refugee selforganisations) are focal points, first nobordercamps (at the border to poland) have been initiated and since two years a small group (no one is illegal/amplitude) emphasizes also to the aspect of precarious work and migration.