ESF06: short report fom the Assembly on Migrations
25.May.06 - On the 6th of may 2006 an Assembly on Migrations took place in the Framework of the European Social Forum in Athens, Greece. the following short report documents the outcomes of this meeting. Parts of the declaration of the ESF assembly on migrations [see below] have been become part of the declaration of the Assembly of the Movements of the 4th European Social Forum, which includes the call for an 'international day of action and mobilization the 7th of October 2006 in Europe and Africa, for a European unconditional legalization and equal rights to all migrants; for the closure of all detention centers in Europe, for the stop to externalization, for the stop to deportations; against the precariousness and for the uncoupling of the link between resident permit and the labor contract and for a residence citizenship'
the Assembly on Migrations
In the discussion, all speakers were in favour of a common day of action in autumn 2006. It should not only take place in Europe, but it should be coordinated with/referring to actions promoted by the American migrant's movements in September and the process started on the WSF in Bamako, proposing an international day of mobilization concerning migration in preparation of the WSF in January 2007 in Nairobi. A common day of action could take place in a lot of cities in Europe and Africa. The idea of a demonstration in Brussels could be a part of this agenda in order to show that we are adressing Europe as a whole. One idea was to have an action and a press conference in Brussels one or two weeks before the International Day of Action to launch the campaign, also referring to the actions of sans papiers in Belgium. If a central demonstration in Brussels is possible in 2007 or if it would be better to take the Anti-G8-demonstration in June/July in Rostock as a central migration-related mobilization, should be decided after discussions in the different groups and networks.
Other speakers proposed a campaign for the UN convention on worker's rights, which was adopted on the 18th of December, but not signed by most European and African governments.
Concerning the date of a common day of action, the 18th of December (or the Saturday after this date) was considered as too late and too close to Christmas by most of the speakers. A Moroccan speaker proposed the 2nd of October as a date to remind of the actions and the dead people in Ceuta, Melilla and Morocco one year before. In the end, all people agreed on the 7th of October, the Saturday after this proposed date.
during the discussions the following issues and demands where raised by participants:
- for an unconditional legalization on the European level / papers for all
and equal rights to all migrants
- for freedom of movement and the right to stay
- for the closure of all detention centers and camps
- for the stop to externalization and deportations
- for the uncoupling of the link between resident permit and labour contract
- for worker's rights (UN Convention)
- for asylum and especially women asylum rights
- for a European citizenship
- against anti-"terror"-laws and criminalization of migrants
- attack immigrants laws
- attack African governments and their collaboration with the EU
To summarize the discussions and decisions, a group of people from different countries wrote a text to propose it as declaration of the migration related networks for the final ESF assembly on Sunday morning. Most of the demands and proposals in this text became part of the Declaration of the Assembly of the Movement of the 4th European Social Forum, but it would be also important to spread our text as a whole:
Declaration of the ESF assembly on migrations
The fourth ESF gives a strong place to the migration struggles, analyses and demands. The several meetings and seminars aimed at the European and transnational dimension of migrants' movement and struggles. More or less every day we can find all over Europe, and not only Europe, protests and campaigns against camps and deportations, for asylum rights for women and men, for a european citizenship of residence and against exploitation of migrant labour.
In this frame, we want to propose a european day of action and mobilisation, which will be the third in the European social forum process. We decided for the date of october 7, 2006, because it reminds the events in Ceuta and Melilla, the southern European border, but also because it will connect the european action with the international mobilisation proposed in Bamako, toward the world social forum in Nairobi.
Furthermore, we want to connect our iniciative with the one promoted by American migrants' movement in september, in order to stress the global dimension of migrant struggles today. The third European day of action will be directed against the denial of rights and criminalization of migrants, claiming for clear demands in the frame of freedom of movement and the right to stay:
- for a European unconditional legalization and equal rights to all migrants;
- for the closure of all detention centers in Europe, to stop to externalization, to stop the deportations;
- against the precariousness and for the uncoupling of the link between resident permit and the labour contract.