News of the action day in France
15.Oct.01 - PARIS and surroundings
A public meeting took place in Palaiseau Friday 12th to protest against the project to build a new retention centre. It was initially called by the Collectif Anti-Expulsions in the frame of the action day but a number of local groups joined us (a collective of sans papiers, trade unions, political groups).
Some 80 people attended. Undocumented foreigners from various collectives related their stay in a retention centre and the hardships which were inflicted on them. Inhabitants of the city expressed that they did not want this new centre to be built, be it in Palaiseau or elsewhere. Members of the municipality, invited to the meeting, stated that they did not wish the city to be the location of this centre. The community council adopted a will against the construction, but for this type of building, their advice is only a consultative one. The inhabitants who were there said they would not be satidfied with expressions of good will and wanted to act concretely. We called for a rally on November 10th.
On Saturday, we demonstrated at the Gare du Nord with mobile banners carried by ballons in order that they remain after our departure and another one with the slogan "SANGATTE, NO DEPORTATIONS, FREEDOM OF CIRCULATION".
We also ditributed leaflets, especially to the employees and to the paasengers of Eurostar (the train which goes to London through the tunnel under the Channel) ending with a call to join a demonstration which is planned at Calais on October 20th.
About thirty persons demonstrated in the frame of action day at the call of the MAKACH group. They assembled before the retention centre which is for the time being closed to be enlarged. It seemsthat also there both the former and the present mayors oppose it, but for a somewhat peculiar reason: it would use too many cops that would be missing to look over the city!
They then proceeded to the port in front of the "Marrakech", a ship that is commonly used to deport foreigners to Morroco. They followed the same way as the deported people. The local executive of the (Morrocan) company told them that would not accept unwilling people on board the "Marrakech". But they have already lied a number of times.
SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The retention centre of Palaiseau is supposed to replace the one in Choisy-le-Roi (another suburb of Paris) which is supposed to be closed within two years. We think that the campaign we led against it with a local collective of sans papiers did much for the decision to close it. Both localities are in the part of the suburbs closest to two major prisons, so that they serve much to execute the "double penalties" (prison plus expulsion). Moreover Palaiseau is near the Orly airport and a southbound railway station through which people could be conducted to Marseille and Sete to be expelled by ship.
Sangatte is refugee centre run by the Red Cross closed to the Northern port of Calais and to the end of the tunnel under the Channel. Many people, mostly Afghans gather there to try and hide in a train to England. The French and British government are increasing the repression on both sides of the Channel. There are now joint controls by the French and British polices, etc
The Makach group has been active for quite a while now against expulsions, especially double penalties. They may call for a boycott of the company. In this case help from countries from which tourists go to Morroco will be welcome.