TWENTYONEMILES: Migrant struggles and resistance in Belgium, France and Switzerland

January 21, 2011

Protest aboard Air France flight stops deportation

Filed under: deportation, France — twentyonemiles @ 9:19 pm

When a group of activists from the Afrique-Europe-Interact network boarded a flight to Bamako yesterday (20/01/11) from Paris, they found themselves on the same plane as a man in shackles, accompanied by police, who was to be deported to Mali. Soon after departure, 17 passengers left their seats and refused to sit down in solidarity with the man who was showing resistance against the deportation (see short video clip here).

As a consequence of their joined action, the pilot returned to Charles-de-Gaulle airport, and had eight of the activists and other participating passengers arrested. Security officers attacked a man who had recorded the course of the events on his phone. According to Malian activists from Bamako, another attempt to force the deportation of that same man was also unsuccessful.

In this last week two other departures from Paris were delayed because of protests against deportations. Last Friday, passengers stood up against a deportation in a flight scheduled to Douala in Cameroon – four of them were removed from the plane and had their identities taken by the police. On Wednesday, several passengers refused to take their seats in an Royal Air Maroc flight, until the plane took off one and a half hours later without the two prisonerers that were to be deported.


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