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

April 30, 2011

Activists blockade detention centre to try to stop charter to DRC

Filed under: Belgium, demo, deportation — twentyonemiles @ 4:53 pm

On Thursday 28th April around 20 activists blocked the entrance to the 127 bis detention centre in Steenokkerzeel, near the main airport of Brussels. They were attempting to stop the deportation of 60 Congolese refugees on a charter flight to Kinshasa organised by the joint European border agency Frontex and “secured” by Belgian federal police.

The action began at 4.30 am when activists blocked the gates using lock-ons. The Congolese prisoners were due to be taken from the detention centre to a plane waiting at the Melsbroek military airport. More prisoners were being brought from four other countries, including the UK as well as Ireland, Holland and Sweden, to join the flight.

At around 9am the Belgian police cutting team managed to clear the blockade and the activists were arrested. Police closed off the area around the detention centre to prevent access to journalists who had arrived to cover the action. By midday the Congolese prisoners had been taken out of the detention centre by bus under a heavy police escort.

See videos of the protest here and here.

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