meanwhile in france (sans papiers update)
10.May.05 - On Saturady the 7th of May on the 52nd day of their gruelling hungerstrike, and after daily almost actions in their support; the 12 hungerstrikers of the 9th collective of Sans Papiers have succeeded in obtaining their papers. The 9th collective are determined to fight on for the regularisation of the rest of their collective and for the regularisation of all undocumented people.
What finally caused the government to change their minds is hard to know .At the end the publicity for the case in the media was growing and hence the government was worried that maybe it could not continue to ignore their plight without appearing callous (which is anyway of course their default position) .
This week however the French government via the minister of the interior, Dominique de Villepin announced a radical crackdown on 'irregular migration' As British and Global audiences will know over Iraq, De Villepin specialises in his ability to masquerade as a champion of human rights on the foreign stage, however at home he is championing the politics of oppression against the vulnerable and weak.
Presumably to coincide with an 'extraordinary' G5 meeting in Paris Britain , France, Germany, Italy , Spain being held in Paris on Thursday 11th May, De Villepin has unveiled Frances new 'get tough' immigration policy. This will include the creation of a new specialist wing of the Police to tackle illegal immigration. Most people already thought this existed; just ask the people of Calais, who have been 'hosting' around 2,000 of them since the closure of Sangatte.
Other French objectives include the acceleration of deportations aiming at 20,000 this year. The militarization of borders and the building of new detention centres as well as a crackdown on foreigners marrying French nationals.
This further right-wing drift of the French government is especially worrying since as was the case for the 9th collective, sans papiers are already being driven into life-threatening hunger-strikes in order to get papers.