FIGHTING THE BORDER REGIME IN EUROPE:
Anarchists across the world struggle against the artificial barriers to free movement set up by nation states at their borders. There have been numerous struggles and campaigns here in Canada and in the USA as well in support of immigrants and against impediments to the freedom to move. This is also true in Europe, perhaps even more so, and European anarchists have been prominant in solidarity struggles with migrants. This year activists in various European countries are planning a concerted chain of actions, from February to October and across the continent, in solidarity with migrants. The following report from the Polish anarchist news wire Centrum Informacji Anarchistycznej gives the story of what will be happening in the coming year.
"Common Call for a Transnational Chain of Migration related Actions In the "heart of the monster": Amsterdam, Sevilla, Torino, Bamako, London, Athens, Warsaw, Hamburg, Malmoe, Ceuta ...
Between February and October 2008 a series of events, protests and actions will take place in various cities and countries all over Europe and beyond : against the border regime, against detentions and deportations, against the exploitation of migrant labour and for legalization of all migrants. This transnational chain of struggles builds on the three action days for freedom of movement and the right to stay, which happened in previous years. But with this chain of events we are aiming for something more. We strongly believe that the transnational expression of migrants’ struggles against the “monster” of migration controls must be something more than a one day event once a year. We believe that the transnational space must be understood as an unified space of migrants’ struggles, happening everyday and right now.
This transnational chain of struggles is our attempt to find out what is “common” among the manifold differences experienced by migrants in Europe and beyond. Ranging from temporary seasonal workers who are exploited in the fields of Andalusia in Spain; to "legal" migrants who live and work everyday in Eurospace; undocumented migrants working in irregular jobs in Italy or the UK, in factories or in the home, as many women do; "tolerated refugees" living in an isolated "junglecamp" in Northern-Germany; migrants detained in a camp in Greece or Poland, or even in front of the externalized EU-borders in Marocco or Ukraine. They all are crossing and forcing the boundaries living inside and struggling against the same “monster” which is the migration-regime!
Of course, we do not ignore the differences in realities and struggles in various regions, countries or continents. But all over the world capitalist exploitation is unimaginable without the global differences, constructed through filters and zones, the hierarchies and inequality, and through the external as well as the internal borders. Illegalisation and deportations on one hand, selective inclusion and recruitment of migrant workforce on the other hand, are two sides of the same coin: migration management for a global apartheid regime, whose most precarious conditions of exploitation are based on the production of hierarchies in terms of rights and on racist discrimination. Low wage countries in the south are used to undercut wages through relocation of production, low wage sectors in the north are targeting young migrant workers: trying to keep them obedient by blackmailing them, as their right of residence is linked to their jobs.
The increasing movements and daily fights of refugees and migrants challenge the external borders of Europe as well as the social and legal borders within Europe itself. The manifold struggles undermine, crisscross and attack the brutal and murderous system of migration control and racist exploitation. This transnational chain of actions is a step toward the linking of these struggles, an attempt to build communication and organization across the borders, knowing that the demands for freedom of movement and the right to stay aim directly at the „heart of the monster“, which migrants everyday and everywhere are fighting against.
• February 2nd in Amsterdam/Netherlands: Launching point for the chain with the conference „Migrant / Media / Metropolis - New labour struggles in the global city“ which will be showcasing the current union organizing campaign "cleaners for a better future" in the Netherlands where migrants from Turkey, Morocco, Suriname, Ghana, Capo Verde and Latin America are fighting for a living wage, respect and full time jobs.
• February 23rd in Sevilla/Spain : Demonstration in the frame of an action day for immigrants rights, coordinated through the countrywide network REDI, just two weeks before the general elections in Spain. Demonstrations, actions and meetings will be celebrated in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Pamplona, Burgos...and the 3 demands of all events are: 1- Regularization of all immigrants, 2-Stop the police repression on immigrants, 3- Equal rights for all. In andalucia there will be a centralized demonstration in Sevilla with the central slogan: "Migration is not the problem, the problem is precarity", with the participation of buses from Malaga, Almeria, Cadiz and people from all andalusian cities.
• March 8th in Torino/Italy: Migrants? and antiracist networks, coming from many Italian cities, will meet in Turin for a public conference and assembly. They will discuss about the condition and struggles of migrant labour in Italy, referring particularly to the relationship between regular and irregular labour. The assembly aims at promoting the political debate and the struggles for migrants? rights and for a permanent legalization of all migrants. It will be the first step toward further mass mobilizations in Turin and other cities in Italy, and toward a migrant workers MayDay in Milan.
• March 15th and 16th in Bamako/Mali: Journées Ouvertes avec des travailleurs migrants expulsés et refoulés =Open Days with migrant workers who were deported or sent back The Malian Association of deported migrants (AME), member of the Euro-African network "manifeste euro-africain", will organize two days of meetings with migrant workers who were deported from Europe or sent back on their way. It will be an open space for migrants to tell their stories and for debates, where the local population and especially people who want to migrate are invited.
• March 29th in Athens/Greece: Actionday also in Thesaloniki and Volos, directed against border controls, police violence, detention, deportations, against Doublin convention and in solidarity to refugees who reach Europe. For their right to free movement, for their right to asylum and residence in every country they choose!
• March 29th in London/UK: Trade Union and Community Activist Conference Against Immigration Controls, coming together to build a campaign against the intensifying attacks on migrant workers and their communities in the UK. This gathering seeks to develop the capacity of migrants to resist the raids, detention and deportation of migrants, and to challenge workplace exploitation and migrants' exclusion from education, social services and health care.
• June 6th in Warsaw/Poland and everywhere: Actionday against FRONTEX! Protest and press-conference in front of the headquarters of Frontex in Warsaw, against European border regime and its externalisation to East and South, combined with a transnational online-demonstration against this "European Border Agency" on the same day...
• August 17th to 24th in Hamburg/Germany: Antiracist actioncamp with a focus on EU-charter-deportations to Africa from Hamburg Airport.
• September 18th to 21st in Malmoe/Sweden: Presentation and evaluation of the chain of actions in the frame of the next European Social Forum, discussing further perspectives of transnationalization of migrationrelated struggles.
• October 7th near Ceuta in Marocco: Manifestation at the fence of Ceuta. This is the anniversary of Ceuta and Melilla killings and was decided as an international day of solidarity with migrants in Nairobi (World Social Forum).
Signatories• Cleaners for a better Future/Holland; Justice for Janitors/Global Campaigns;• Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT); Oficina de Derechos Sociales (Malaga y Sevilla), Red Precarixs en Movimiento, Coordinadora de Inmigrantes de Málaga (CIM), Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucia (APDH), Centro Social La Casa Invisible (Málaga), Corriente Roja;• Tavolo Migranti/Italy; • Association Malienne des Expulsés (AME)/Bamako• No Borders Poland, Zwiazek Syndykalistow Polski, Warszawa (Union of Syndicalists, Warsaw), Praga Anarchist Group;• Network for Social Support to Immigrants and Refugees/Athens• London Noborders, No One Is Illegal (UK) and the Conference Against Immigration Controls Organising Committee;• Refugee Council Hamburg, No one is illegal Hanau, Caravan-Group Munich;• Reseau Manifeste Euro-Africain• Frassanito Network