Calais Migrant Solidarity this morning has received three reports by email of direct actions made in and around Calais in solidarity with the 100s of migrants in the area at the receiving end of constant police harassment and violence.
#1 “Several banners were last night hung from bridges over the A16 Dunkerque-Calais and the A26 Calais-Paris road reading ‘Solidarite avec les migrants’. We took these actions to draw attention to the less publicised conditions of migrants in Dunkerque and along the northern French coast who are forced to live in make shift shelters as they wait a chance to cross the channel to the UK. Many of these people are fleeing persecution and war that the EU is enagaged in. We believe these people have a right to move freely to safety and should be treated with respect not the constant police violence that has been evident these last years, months and particularly last weeks in Calais where migrants have been temporarily detained while their shelters are destroyed, only to be dumped back on the streets again. These state and police actions are inhuman, counter-productive and we believe illegal. No person is illegal – No borders are necessary – Freedom of movement for all”
#2 “The fountain opposite the town hall in Calais was this morning filled with harmless red die to symbolise the blood on the hands of French Immigration minister Eric Besson and UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson. Besson is the worst kind of politician, flitting from left to right, by his wife’s recent allegations a constant liar and cheat, seeking to advance his own position by standing by as ‘jungles’ in Calais are razed, calling them ‘inhuman conditions’, conditions his policies have created – making people seeking safety and help malnourished, unable to access basic medical care and despite his claims not given the possibility of making asylum claims with due process. Among these people by the police’s own reckoning about half are children, many seeking refuge from the wars we have created. We owe these people dignity, not the ‘delight’ expressed by Johnson as their basic shelters are destroyed and they are displaced yet again. The UK should take responsibility for the human fallout from its illegal wars and let these people into the UK. Calais is the shame of France, the UK and all of Europe. Governments have failed here, only solidarity between people on a human level can make any sense of this brutal daily trauma. No Borders! No Nations! Freedom of movement for all!”
#3 ” In solidarity with the migrants of Calais we would like to report that at around 3.30am this morning the Coquelles police/detention/law court complex south of Calais had it’s main vehicle gate and both pedestrian access gates locked shut with heavy duty chains and padlocks. This was an attempt, however brief it may have lasted, to disrupt the daily dawn mobilisation of CRS police units to terrorise migrants ‘jungles’ and squats with their gas and batons. Enough violence! Enough fascism on the streets of Europe! Fuck Besson! No Borders! No Nations!
A week ago there was yet another news item on a disaster with HaitianÂ boat migrants of the Caicos Islands in the midst of what is for manyÂ people the period of their summer holidays. Over one hundred peopleÂ drowned in the water of what is elsewhere often described as aÂ Caribbean Paradise.
Recently I have started to study (again) theÂ migration question as I may construct a mobile monument on the themeÂ migration without borders somewhere this year…and so I hadÂ discovered some video footage at the web site of the American CoastÂ GuardÂ dating back to 2007. It shows a primitive overloaded sailing boat full of migrants in full sea. The video footage is just afterÂ first contact between the migrant-boat and the coast guard and as aÂ standard precaution procedure swimming vests are given to all boatÂ people first. So what you see in the work below is already a tiny bitÂ more safe as the actual situation with a boat full of people withoutÂ any safety equipment and many who can not swim.
What gripped me the most was that the people on the boatÂ in spiteÂ of having been discovered and under threat to be send backÂ were allÂ singing to a rhythm beaten on a djembee drum. And in my minds eye IÂ combined this scene with the promising imagery of tourist flyers.
What can be seen on the simple documented web page made for thisÂ purpose is but a primitive rendering of such a vision
You can click here to see the first of a series ofÂ holidays 2009 tableaux vivants:Â Caribbean Paradise Tragedy.
After sleeping long periods in dormitoriesÂ in Milan and although most of them are officialy recognized as political refugee, some hundreds of African and Asian refugees decided to occupy an empty building in Bruzzano, near Milan City. The rightwing city-authorities sent a mass of police-forces to throw them out of the building on Tuesday 21 april 2009. The refugees protested in Bruzzano and the police reacted with brutal violence as the images [thank you manifesta 18] clearly show. After the first clash they marched to Milan where the police continued to act with surely racist motivated violence.
That night they sleapt in the park near Piazza Venezia andÂ on Wednesday 22nd of April they organized a manifestation in the center . After another night in the park the police came with huge forces, they encircled the people in less and less space and…brought them to the police headquarters to “identify the people”…an operation already terminated some days before in Bruzzano.
The video gives a clear image of this shocking and repulsive operation.
The refugees accept for the moment a temporary -two weeks- return to the dormitories.
The failing racist municipality will need almost two years to find a normal solution.
M2M Radio is all about migration, the art of moving and of metamorphosis.
We ask “who is migrating, what is moved?”
We look with artists, we look with migrants, we find a way to communcicate
with no borders between us.
The gig is part of the current very cool exhibition
At Coalesce we will meet some of the participating artists to engage in this endeavour
to merge the catastropohe of the Schipohol Fire with the exciting exhibition curated by Paul O’Neill.
With Garrett Phelan and Bob and Roberta Smith and Sophie Hope from Coalesce: happenstance. Papa Sakho, Muppet, Jennifer, Tati and Jo van der Spek from M2M Radio, Migrant to Migrant.
Irene den Hartoog and Jeanne van Heeswijk from The Blue House
Plus Raviv Ganchrow architect and sound artist
Musical performance by Mustapha Boukhari (Ud and guitar)
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 â€˜IBTâ€™. If you watch closely, you can see them threatening the man with a batonâ€¦
The action ended with the arrest of the activists after 3half hour.
Brian Conley is one of the persons behind the information project Alive in Baghdad, which brings weekly authentic videos from Iraqis in Iraq, Syria and Jordan.
Brian is also one of the people arrested in China after FreeTibet protests.
“Brian went to China to document pro-Tibet protests taking place concurrent with the Olympics. He was not participating in political actions, only documenting them as any journalist would. On August 19, 2008, he was arrested by Chinese authorities for this work, along with 5 others working with Students for a Free Tibet, Jeff Rae (who also works with Alive in Baghdad), James Powderly, Jeff Goldin, Michael Liss, and Tom Grant.
Under China’s repressive government it is illegal to record expressions of free speech and work as a journalist without state supervision.
Dutch TV on August 14th broadcast (NOVA) some fragments from an interview with an old activist about another old activist. The story is about this guy Wijnand Duyvendak who resigned last week from parliament after confessing a burglary in 1987. And now he wants all activists to make confessions about their past.
If you want to listen to the complete interview (in Dutch), click here.
ik heb Marcel Ouddeken van NOVA over de vloer gehad over de zaak W. Duyvendak. Ik heb plechtig verklaard dat alle aktievoerders van 50+ en daaronder als een man achter hem staan, maar dat zijn inbraak in het parlement tot teleurstellend weinig onthullingen hebben geleid.
Aangezien NOVA hoogstens twee quotes uitzendt, wat ze vanavond dreigen te doen, als aankeiler voor Femke Halsema, heb ik de complete opname vast on line gezet.
The report of Amnesty International should be made available to the inmates in the detention centers in Holland. With that message we went to the prison boat in Zaanstad and to Schiphol-Oost.
The prison system showed its authentic autistic face by not communicating at all on a human civilized level. Report (Dutch)
Only when we started friendly conversation with the detainees in the “recreational” cage at Schiphol Oost, did we get a reaction. We got away with it, so you can hear our report now.
And Pooja made this video!
We were filming the monument, when the inmates started waving and shouting at us. So we decided to make a dash to get closer to them. before they were forced to interrupt their short moment of fresh air, for communicating with normal people. Whatever that may be…
more (in Dutch) at http://www.vertrokkengezichten.net and indymedia.nl