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.


February 18, 2011

Deportation prevented by leafleting at Paris airport, 13/02/11

Filed under: deportation, France — twentyonemiles @ 10:02 pm

On Sunday 13th February, activists distributed a lealfet asking passengers on a flight to Bamako to stand up and resist the deportation. The deportation was successfully prevented. You can see a copy of the leaflet (in French) here.

Repression against people fighting against the deportation machine

Filed under: deportation, France, prison — twentyonemiles @ 1:45 pm

On 19/01/08 Ivan and Bruno were arrested at a demo outide the Vincennes detention centre near Paris. They were placed in detention under anti-terrorist legislation for several months before being released on bail with severely restricitive conditions. Other people are currently in prison for fighting against the deportation machine, including Dan and Olivier who were arrested in January for their involvement in the campaign supporting the Vincennes 10.

A week of solidarity has been called for 20th-27th February for the imprisoned actvists.

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.

October 7, 2010

No Border camp in Brussels

Filed under: Belgium, deportation, detention — twentyonemiles @ 9:12 am

From 25th September – 3rd October there was a No Border camp in Brussels. Hundreds of people came from across Europe to attend demos and workshops and take direct action against Fortress Europe.

The camp started with a demo outside Steenokkerzeel detention centre near Brussels airport on the 26th. On the 2nd, there was march through the centre of Brussels demanding “No Borders, No Nations”.

There were also several actions against the agencies and companies that prop up Fortress Europe. A conference featuring Frontex, the Europe Border Agency, was blockaded, and the doors of the IOM (International Organisation of Migration) were glued shut. There were also actions against Sodexo, Serco and Steria.

June 14, 2010

Anti-deportation day of action against Air France, Saturday 26th June

Filed under: deportation, France — twentyonemiles @ 9:28 pm

The following is a rough translation of a call out from the group “Désobéissants” [“Disobedients”,

Day of action Saturday 26th June

This same initiative has already happened in Marsailles and in other French towns. The citizens of Canada were successful in these type of actions against Air Canada for three years.

The action involves posing as a real client, act as if you are buying a ticket, but at the last moment do not take it. This action is very simple, impact is immediate in terms of disturbing the commercial activity, and everyone can take part.

Certain participants will want to reveal themselves and ask to meet the manager of the agency in order to let him know their only demand: STOP DEPORTATIONS and the complicity of Air France.

We hope to speak to the staff and so this issue will enter into discussions at the Air France AGM on 8th July.

June 4, 2010

Protests in Lille against the deportation machine

Filed under: deportation, France — twentyonemiles @ 7:08 pm

On Wednesday 2nd June, as part of the European Week of Action against the Deportation Machine, No Borders activists in Lille demonstrated outside several businesses that play a part in deportations. There were 7 arrests.

May 31, 2010

Fortnightly demo against closed detention centres in Brussels

Filed under: Belgium, deportation, detention — twentyonemiles @ 9:10 pm

On the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, there will be an assembly in Brussels, to create an space for debates and coordination to:
* Reflect on direct interventions against the deportation machine and detention.
* Organise between parties, associations and unions.
* Continue opposition to the creation of a new detention centre at Steenokkerzeel.
More info here.

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