Support the cleaners

The cleaners at Amsterdam Central Station are on strike for respect and good wages. Since the 23rd of February a nation-wide strike is gaining momentum:  stations, public offices and Schiphol Airport are becoming dirty.

At Amsterdam CS the cleaning company CSU and NS are putting scabs to work. They have forced illegal migrants to work against their collegues. The union FNV responded by calling in the  Labour Inspection. This insitute however is focussed on chasing undocumented migrants. Two cleaners from Ghana were caught and put in detention on the prison boat of Zaanstad.

The Cleaners Union explicitly caters for migrants, with and without papers. The undocumenetd cleaners had been warned, the orgniser told us. And he promised to support them after their arrest.

M2M calls for support of all cleaners, with or without papers.

You can do this by leaving your dirt on the train and the station as long as the strike holds.


Give Ricky a life

Ricky  is in detention in Alphen aan den Rijn, to be deported to Nigeria.
He is an acknowledged survivor of the Schiphol Fire and has been denied residence because of his criminal record. He is considered un “unwanted alien”. This is the second time that Ricky is in prison without charges since the fire in 2005.
He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He sleeps badly, has nightmares and is scared of fire. Treatment is not available in prison, nor in his homeground in Nigeria.
The prison psychologist prescribes watching TV.
The other day there was a fire alarm, Ricky panicked and was shouted at, forces to the gropund and then put in isolation for five days. He complained with the director and with the inspection, but was denied a hearing.
The Dutch government continues to deny its responsibility for the victims of the fire. They just want to get him out of the way.
The legal procedure is nearly ended. We provide some support through vists, phonecards and working with his lawyer and our doctor.
You can support Ricky by writing him
Mui Igbinigie
Registration # 3319146.
Detentiecentrum Alphen aan den Rijn
Postbus 2261
2400 CG Alphen aan den Rijn
You can listen here to Ricky speaking at the commemoration in 2008:
Note:  M2M has a new number +31684446021

Secret prisons for migrants in the USA

There are at least 186 secret detention centers maintained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) within the borders of the USA, according to an article published in the Nation magazine in December. Drawing on a report by Amnesty International (AI) entitled “Jailed without Justice,” it estimates that 415,000 people have been held at these facilities, which are operated under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security as so-called “sub-field offices” of the ICE. Their purpose is to deny undocumented immigrants due process and any means by which they can effectively lobby for their rights.

more at Center for Research on Globalization

And a good film is The Visitor about a lost professor learning how to play the Djembee, and about being illegal in New York.

How to catch illegal immigrants

Under the headline “Deception helps illegal immigrants sneak into EU” Dutch newspaper NRC published an intersting article by Freek Schravensandeon it’s website. It gives you an idea of what you can expect if you try to pass the Dutch border.

The frontline: Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

Illegal immigrants and Dutch customs officials are caught in a game of cat and mouse.    Some of them might suddenly change queues, taking their chances with an official that looks more lenient. Others may come down the escalator as a group, only to split up as soon as they enter the customs officials’ line of sight. Sometimes a sloppily done necktie or a pair of white sneakers under a black suit will give them away. Sometimes the question “what is your passport number?” will. If they proceed to rattle it off, they have fallen for it, Erwin Rasterhoff, a customs official at Schiphol airport explained. “Nobody knows their passport number by heart.” It is a game of cat and mouse. Schiphol is the main battleground in the constant struggle between the Royal Marechaussee, the Dutch branch of the military responsible for protecting the nation’s borders, and the illegal immigrants, mostly Asian or African, trying to gain access to the European Union using fake passports. Last year, 600 would-be immigrants fell prey to the cat. How many mice got away is unknown. What is certain is: the rules of the game change constantly.

Continue reading How to catch illegal immigrants