Friday 28 Nov: Moving Tree

Listen this evening from 7 pm to the stream.

News: Saleh has safely arrived in Baghdad! George goes to court against COA for kicking him and his family out. Illegals on the street (“geklinkerden”) zijn  uitgenodigd voor kerstdiner met winterjas! (Invited for Chritsmas with dinner and a free wintercoat).

Reportage:How the art tree moved  from Oude Meer to Nieuwe Meer. Asylum granted by the artists colony!

Surprising Europe, Ssuuna’s documentary about Africans migrating to Europe is finally on line. We speak with filmet martin hansen and watch it with sakho.

And we hear Ssuuna’s story.

How Fritass lost his case in court against his deportation to Morocco.

What to expect from the Mayor of Haarlemmermeer (Dutch)

Why is COA treating the Kvantrashvili family like they do?

Two young artists squatting and working in Slotervaart: Johan and Alex.

and more groovy sounds with Muppet.

and early food from Frida!

and Papa Sakho is back!!

Friday 21 Nov: Unmounting the monument

Today, Thursday the 20th of November we, a handful of artists and survivors, have unmounted the monument, according to plan. But the transport to a new location has not been completed, due to bad weather: the captain of the salon boat  judged the risk too big for his boat with forecasted winds up to 7 Beaufort, and sweeps of 34 miles per hour.
The detention center surprised us by handing back the canvas painting, they had taken inside a few days after the commemoration. And they helped us out of the weather problem, by bringing the unmounted art tree to a safe and visible place on the complex behind the fence.

Believe it or not.

The only serious friction occurred between the Mayor and his representative Mr. Scheffer and organizer Jo van der Spek.
They mayor had without any previous consultation with the main stakeholders of the commemoration, decided to leave the decision to the NV Schiphol, apparently the owner of the land now “temporarily” occupied by the detention center. Jo van der Spek, together with Mrs. Toekaja were offered a choice between two locations for the living trees, the Tilia Cordata. We immediately choose the first option: only 30-40 meters away from the ceremonial space with the eleven wooden pillars for each of the eleven victims of the fire. But then Mr. Scheffer pointed to three bricks standing straight up and in a straight line. Jo picked up one stone and moved it to the middle to better use the space. Scheffer jumped up and told us we were not supposed to move the bricks one inch. Why not? because Schiphol says so. Why? because the mayor has decided that this is it, take it or leave it.
Jo explained that the three trees had been planted according to instructions by expert Nic Zuurdeeg from Oosterbeek and that the formation of the three trees in a triangle was based on a long tradition of creating a full crown under which people can sit and chat and play and fool around. Like a democratic ritual communal space in the heart of the village, or near a chapel or other spriritual sign. So, please Mr. Scheffer, give us a reason why in this case Schiphol insists on have them in a straight line.  Scheffer started repeating himself and refused to inform himslef and us by calling Schiphol or go back his boss, the Mayor of Haarlemmermeer. So that’s the end of the discussion, decided Jo.
No consultation, no conversation and no participation by represenatives either from the Town Council or from the organziers of the Commemoration the the local church. So nothing according to the rules of engagement that had been agreed upon less than a week ago. Trust building is hard if one party refuses to listen, to argue or to understand. It becomes impossible if the ultimatum is the last word and orders replace proposals. Scheffer forced his will and destroyed the dialogue. Without any further debate, he ordered Huub Braas and Marcel Taam (the gardeners of Water Wolf) to dig the wholes where the bricks were. Jo stepped away from the trees after the replanting of the first. Mrs. Toekaja observed how they planted the other two.

A great VIDEO report by Patrick

Under the observing camera of Patrick van den Hurk and the eyes of reporter Koen Polak of the Haarlems Dagblad , Alessio, Ben and Sakho worked their backs off to break the concrete fundament of the aluminum art tree.
Meanwhile the police officer Prinsen told us that the prison management wanted to hand us back the painting that they kept stored inside. We rejoiced and happily accpeted this gesture of respect and, possibly, embarrassment. We had hoped to be able to see the painting inside, but this gesture really came as a surpise. It greatly helped our effort to maintain the integrity of the monument as an art work and as a ceremony intact.

The Mayor and his representative had not given any sign of assistance to transport the tree to its new location. That is why we asked the managent of the detention cetre to kindly look after the tree for a couple of days. Byu Monday the depression would be over and we could finally sail our boat to Schiphol_East, load the tree and carry it to Nieuw en Meer, the artist’s colony having it’s way at the nearby Nieuwe Meer.

So see you again this Monday.
Boarding time 10 a.m.
Arrival at Schiphol East 12 o’clock.
Arrival at Nieuw en Meer at 1 p.m.

be there!

A moving monument

Thursday 20th we will move the tree from Oude Meer (Schiphol Oost) to Nieuwe Meer (Het Buitenland). The boat leaves at 11.30 a.m. Wanna board: come to the cafe on the corner of Bilderdijk- and Jacob van Lennepstraat. Or call 0624148872


What happened since the commemoration?

Miloud Fritass is in prison, in the Detention Centre of Rotterdam Airport (Zestienhoven). We have succeeded to postpone his extradition to Morocco by mobilizing as survivors and supporting artists and activists. Lawyers did their bit, a member of Parliament has had the guts to ask critical questions. And the judge forbade extradition on medical grounds. Our brother is under heavy stress, on top of the post-traumatic stress disorder that dominates his mind ever since the fire.
On Wednesday morning the Rotterdam Court will meet in public session to decide whether or not he has the right to recover his mental health in Holland before being deported.
A serious delegation will be on the public bench to meet and greet him. And give him a piece of our Monument.
That is on Wednesday the 19th of November at 9 a.m. Wilhelminaplein 100, 3072 AK Rotterdam.

The monument that we have mounted on Sunday the 26th of October has been placed illegally according to the Mayor of the Haarlemmermeer. And he has ordered us to remove it not later than Monday 17th. of November. When we comply, he offered to find a new location on his territory. If we don’t, he said that the he will do it himself and send us the bill.
We are negotiating in order to keep communicating with all people concerned and to maintain the spirit and soul of our struggle, to make a life again as survivors of the Schiphol Fire and for recognition and justice of migrants’ rights in general. You may read our reflection in our letter (in Dutch) we delivered at 9 AM today. [See below]

We propose to temporarily deconstruct the monument:
-    the eleven wooden pillars stay where they are
-    the painting on canvas has been taken off the fence and stored inside the prison complex, according to some of the guards
-    the aluminium tree can travel too, but we must decide where to
-    the three living trees (Tilia Cordata), the indigenous ritual community tree, will be offered to the community of Haarlemmermeer

This proposal has been presented on Monday morning to the Mayor after consulting with as many people as we could.
On Monday we hope to reach an agreement with the Mayor on a good way to deal with the situation, based on the shared sense of the need to create a permanent monument and a joint commemoration next year. We have reached a mutual understanding of each others position in the meeting with the mayor last Friday. However, there was no direct representation of the survivors in this meeting. That is why we have been  consulting survivors and artists and activists by phone and E-mail and will discuss the outcome in the assemblee of the survivors on Tuesday evening in Rotterdam. That is on the evening before the court session on Fritass.
We hope to be able convince the Mayor and his advisers that a process of democratic decision making that has evolved in the last three years, requires peace of mind and a minimum of time to reach a satisfactory outcome.

In the live program of M2M Radio last Friday we talked a lot about Fritass and about the news brought by NOVA on TV: new technical research on the footage of the security cameras strongly indicates that the fire did NOT start in the cell of Ahmed Isa, who has been convicted to three years in prison. The fire started in the technical installation outside the cells, which is exactly what many survivors have testified on many occasions for the last three years. This new piece of truth is a relief and a liberation for the survivors and may well lead to a reopening of the investigation by the Security Board and by the Prosecutors of the Ministry of Justice as well. The lawyer Nico Steijnen who is pressing criminal charges of cruel and inhuman treatment against the then responsible ministers Donner and Verdonk, has demanded the immediate dismissal of all charges against Ahmed Isa. And to stop torturing Fritass and all other survivors by withholding evidence, justice and proper medical care.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg is now considering admitting the request to deal with this case after receiving the documents last month.

We regret the turmoil all this causes for the survivors.
We are confident that we can deal with this, like we have so far dealt with everything since the fire.
If living is moving, than a living monument can be moving too.

We are here
To make a life again
Together as one

We are everywhere.

Continue reading A moving monument

Video of action at Zaandam jailboat

The 25th of October a group of activists succeeded in climbing a cage on the territory of the Zaandam jailboats.

These boats are being used for the detention of undocumented people. The activists could make contact with the people inside. A film was made of the action.

The film contains material shot by one of the activists with a mobile phone from the roof of the cage. This clearly shows a prisoner being taken to isolation by the prison riot squad ‘IBT’. If you watch closely, you can see them threatening the man with a baton…

The action ended with the arrest of the activists after 3half hour.

Watch it here:

Or download the 53.6 MB version:

The power of truth. Free Ahmed Isa and Miloud Fritass NOW

Frida‘s dinner is on the table (fish). Irene and Sakho, some hip hop and clattering hard ware. Sekhou Toure comes in. We enjoy his music! check And Tati is back. Let’s call Steve in Kinshasa. Dance. Writers, Painters. Artists make better migrants. Migrants make better artists.

Welcome to M2M Radio. Liberate Fritass and Ahmed Isa. Today’s program and Sakho commenting on the news from NOVA. Click

So  Everybody talks about the news from NOVA TV with new technical evidence showing that the Schiphol Fire did not start in Ahmed Isa‘s cell number K11, but in the space between the cells and the roof. What does it mean? We talk with our brothers and sisters around the table and on the phone. Sakho, Jenny, Mustafa, Caroline, Hichem, Boukhari. Listen with us

Miloud Fritass has NOT been deported and he will meet a judge in public session on Wednesday 19th of November in Rotterdam. We will go and greet him and give him his piece of our monument.

Fritass on the phone from the detention centre.

To Make a Life Again

And a delegation of the Commemoration had a talk with Theo Weterings, the Mayor of Haarlemmermeer. The man wants us to remove the monument by Monday.


We  reach Steve Wembi, our correspondent in Kinshasa.

No fucking verblijfsvergunning.

Closing the show with Jo, Jennifer and Sakho. And Muppy’s vibe.

An exchange of Afghan thoughts

***  Listen here to the full program of Friday 7th of November. ***

The latest news is that our brother Miloud Fritass is in a life threatening sitiuation. He is in detention centre Alphen aan den Rijn, and Justice wants to deport him back to Morocco. His ticket is ready for Wednesday 12th of November. This must be stopped! Before Miloud kills himself.

We will also talk about our monument at Schiphol Oost. And how we can convince the mayor to embrace it. We will meet him next week!

Our special guests this evening are  Jun Julien Matsushita, coordinator of the Radio Connect Project of Internews Europe and his partner Wais Zahir of  Nai, supporting open media in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s 37 independent local radio stations will be put online through a platform which will enable them to collect advertising and sponsorship over the Internet. All Afghan local independent stations, including those located in some of the most remote areas of the country, will be given new opportunities and new skills to develop their business and increase their revenue.

Wais and Babak have a long discussion on religion and history (and a bit about sex)

Radio Teranga
Special appearance of Selle Diop on CD!
latest news from Goma and Kinshasa (DRC) by are correspondent Steve Wembi.

And we warmly welcome el payaso Daniel from Buenos Aires, a.k.a. Suuz the Clown.
Nice audio from the demonstration of African sin-papeles in Madrid too.

And Tati is back!

And Muppet takes it away again!

Survivors and relatives

Who are the survivors of the Schiphol Fire?

There were 85 people locked up in block J and K. They are the officially  recognized survivors of the fire. Bart Zuidervaart of newspaper Trouw published their story the day before the Commemoration. On the flash map (below) you can see the names of those known to us. But many are still unidentified. They are from China, Turkey, Rumania, Ex-Yogoslavia, etc.  In all there were people from 36 different nationalities.

Besides block J and K, many people in Block D, next to block K, are equally traumatized by the fire that happened in front of their eyes. They sounded the first alarm, but they were neglected by the guards. These people have not been seen as victims or survivors. They were in for smuggling cocaine from Latin America and arrested at their entry on the airport. The prison complex has actually been constructed to tackle the rising number of people from Suriname who try to make a buck this way.

And then there are another 150 people who were in other blocks. They were also undocumented migrants from all over the world. And they were deported as soon as possible after the fire. Nobody knows who they are and how they survive these days.

The relatives of the eleven dead, some of them in Holland, but most in distant places, are trying to cope with their loss in their own way. We reach out to them, like we reach out to all brothers and sisters affected and by the fire and by the politics that caused it.

And we don’t forget the helpers: those guards who really tried to save lives, the fire brigade that arrived too late to face the fire and the health workers who did not distinguish between legal and illegal patients.

The eleven dead have been documenmted by Jannetje Koelewijn in NRC Handelsblad.

This is a map of cellblock K. Move over the cells voor information (in Dutch) about the people who were locked there the day of the fire.