London NoBorders

Subscribe to London NoBorders feed
Updated: 3 hours 7 min ago

Film, discussion & music about the situation of migrants in Greece

Fri, 17/05/2013 - 17:10

Friday 24th May 2013 from 6pm (film screening at 8pm)
71-73 County St, London, SE1 4AD

Join us for the screening of the documentary 'Into the Fire' followed by an
evening of food, music and discussion.

All funds raised will be sent to support a migrant stuck in Greece. 'Into
the Fire' is a hard-hitting documentary by Guy Smallman and Kate Mara
about the plight of thousands of refugees and migrants in Athens faced
with racist attacks from the fascist 'Golden Dawn' party and the police;
combined with the impossibility to get refugee status whilst being refused
the right to leave Greece to claim asylum in other European countries.

More info: www.intothefire.org

Ismael, a young Somali migrant who is featured in the documentary, will be
present for the discussion after the film.
Music by DJ Jolie Soze, Melissa Melodee, acoustic Jam sounds and more to
be confirmed.

There will also be food and a bar from 6pm

£3 suggested donation on the door, no one rejected!

greece2013

Raid & intervention in Whitechapel

Mon, 08/04/2013 - 18:44

At around 7.30pm Saturday night, just as the Anti Raids benefit gig was getting underway, UKBA officers poured out of three vans and raided an off-licence in Whitechapel. Activists who were at the scene informed those present of their rights and passed on solicitors’ details in the event on an arrest. The Anti-Raids network has publsihed some pictures.

raidswhitechapel2013

Screening at Pogo Cafe

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:30

Free Screening & Discussion: “Welcome”. Monday 15th April. 7.30pm

Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe. He wants to get to England to see his love who lives there. Bilal finally reaches Calais, but how do you cover 32 kilometers of the English Channel when you can’t swim? The boy soon discovers that his trip won’t be as easy as he imagined… After the screening members of Calais Migrant Solidarity will discuss the current situation in Calais, and what can be done to help.

calais2013

Day of action against Barnardo’s – 8th Nov

Sun, 04/11/2012 - 20:57

Following a series of documented assaults on migrant families held in Cedars, the appalling treatment of the Saleh family, and the damning HM Inspector of Prison’s report last month, anti-detention campaigners are calling on all concerned groups and individuals to join us in an intensive day of action to ratchet up the campaign against Barnardo’s involvement in child detention.

Details and suggestions for action on the Barnardo's Out blog

Barnardo's2012

Stop the killing - Demo at Harmondsworth, 6th Nov

Sun, 04/11/2012 - 20:36

Remember the Dead - Justice for the Living - End Immigration Detention Now!

Noise demo at Harmondsworth immigration prison - Tuesday 6th November, 1.30pm

Meet at the main entrance to Harmondsworth and Colnbrook IRCs (Colnbrook by Pass, Harmondsworth, West Drayton, UB7 0FX)

Prince Ofosu died in Harmondsworth last Tuesday, 30th October 2012. The private security firm running the prison, GEO Group Limited, and the Home Office refused to disclose any information about what happened, or the person's name or nationality.

Detainees inside and an anonymous GEO officer confirm his name as Prince Ofosu, a Ghanaian detainee, 31 years old. They say he was forcibly restrained by GEO officers, taken to the 'block' (isolation cells), sustained injuries from being hit by an officer and stripped naked and left for 24 hours with the heating turned off until his death.

We will not let this death be silenced!

Bring banners, whistles, instruments and whatever you can find to make a lot of noise outside the detention centre, and to show solidarity to those still incarcerated inside Harmondsworth & Colnbrook immigration prisons.

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman is visiting the detention centre on Tuesday, 6th November. Reports say the death has been referred to the Hillingdon coroner but an inquest is not expected to open until the middle of next week.

This is the seventh death of a detainee in Harmondsworth and brings the total number of deaths in the UK detention estate to 17.

This is the tip of the iceberg in the untold reality of people suffering at the hands of a racist immigration system that persecutes people because they have the 'wrong' kind of identity and status.

Everyday people without papers are seized, detained and deported. They are racially profiled, picked out because they are 'foreign' and deemed 'undesirable' from society. Every day people face 'identity controls'. They are criminalised and told they are 'illegal'. This fear of 'others' promoted by governments makes xenophobia and racism normalised and institutionalised.

** Immediate closure of all Immigration Removal Centres, the modern day concentration camps of our society.

** Remember the dead - Justice for the living - End immigration detention now!

No Borders London

Harmondsworthdemonstration2012

A No Borders Reader - Call for Submissions

Thu, 01/11/2012 - 23:00

Transnational Struggles Against the Border Regime: A No Borders Reader
Call for Submissions

This is a call-out for contributions to a No Borders Reader/Anthology about the border regime and the struggles against it across the world.

In February this year No Borders London, along with students and academics, organised a week-long Convergence at Goldsmiths, University of London. The aim was to share knowledge and experiences relating to people's freedom of movement and the restrictions placed on it in different countries. Numerous contributions by activists, academics and migrant rights groups and organisations made it clear that the issues being discussed are very complex and there are gaps in participants' knowledge of how the system works and what is being done to challenge it.

The aim of this Reader is to make available some of those contributions, and to gather some new writing, to provide a comprehensive, critical account of how the border regime operates today, the impact it has on people's lives, and the different forms of struggle against it.

In addition to being informative, we would like the finished Reader to be an inspiring and useful resource for migrants and activists struggling against these injustices, critically examining migrant struggles and groups and drawing on past lessons for the future.

Focus

If you have a story to share we would love to hear from you! While academic and scholarly analysis is welcome, it is by no means a requirement for submissions. We want to both provide a space for critical and in-depth discussions and make the Reader an accessible and useful resource.

We are particularly interested in contributions exploring the following issues:

- Experiences of borders (being a migrant, refugee, etc.), the impact of the border regime on people's lives, and how they go about resisting it.

- Experiences of practical solidarity work with migrants and refugees, its aims, limitations, benefits and so on.

- Experiences of organising big migration-related mobilisations such as No Border camps and convergences.

- Experiences of protests and direct action against various parts of the borders regime.

- Activists' experiences of organising, networking and working with other groups and organisations, including charities and NGOs.

- Critical issues such as identity politics and privilege in activist groups and networks.

Format

Submissions could take many forms, including (but not limited to):
- personal accounts
- essays and analytical pieces
- news articles
- project or campaign profiles
- interviews
- manifestos, callouts and other activist literature
- how-to guides
- book reviews
- photographs and other visual material
- short stories, poems and other literary texts
- artistic works.

We encourage a diversity of submissions and writers, and welcome collaborative or collective submissions and the use of aliases or anonymous submissions.

The Reader will be published in English but we welcome submissions in other languages. We will make every effort to get these translated.

If you speak other languages and can spare some time, please translate this call and spread it widely. Many thanks!

Deadline for submissions

Please contact us by 30 November 2012 with your initial ideas so that we can suggest a word count.

The deadline for final submissions is 31 December 2012.

Please send your submissions or queries to nbreader@riseup.net.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

reader2012

Stop death charter flight to Sri Lanka, 23rd Oct

Sun, 21/10/2012 - 22:21

Protest at 10am on Tuesday, 23rd October, at Harmondsworth & Colnbrook detention centres near Heathrow airport, London.

Nearest stations: West Drayton, Hatton Cross, Uxbridge. Call 07512 516926
for directions on the day.

The flight is supposed to be 3.30 from stansted so they set off several
hours earlier from harmondsworth, hence the timing.

On Tuesday, the British government will try to deport up to 60 people to Sri Lanka, where many of them are at serious risk of arrest, torture and even death.

Despite overwhelming evidence of torture, mass deportations to Sri Lanka were resumed last year at the height of the genocide against the Tamils in the country.

Since then, three attempts to deport people to Sri Lanka have been disrupted by a combination of legal action and direct action at the detention centres. We have physically stopped the coaches from leaving while lawyers won final-hour injunctions in court. During the last charter on 19th September, a person locked himself to the coach surrounded by supporters, holding it up for hours while 35 people gained injunctions stopping their deportations throughout the afternoon.

Together we have the power to stop deportations. If we keep up the pressure we can stop the charters to Sri Lanka. Join us on Tuesday to show solidarity to the deportees and fight the deportation machine.

The UK government's corrupted deals with the genocidal Sri Lanka government are the drive of mass deportations of Tamils.

Britain and the genocide in Sri Lanka

The genocide against the Tamils in Sri Lanka claimed the lives of over 100, 000 people in 2009 alone and continues to this day.

Many Tamil returnees to Sri Lanka have been detained and tortured to silence potential dissenters and to scare witnesses to war crimes

While the military occupation of Tamil lands is accelerating into a mass land grab, deportations from the UK are serving to mask this deadly situation.

The driving force behind the deportation of Tamil people are investment opportunities such as oil and gas exploration in the Tamil seas and the economic potential of the land. See for example interests pursued by greedy UK politicians and businesses like the Sri Lankan Development Trust set up by disgraced former Defence Minister Liam Fox.

There is clear evidence that the resumption of charter flights to Sri Lanka were arranged in a deal by Liam Fox, Adam Werritty and other fixers close to the Tory government.

Tamils who have fled the genocide in Sri Lanka have only found themselves terrorised again by the British government is working hand in glove with commercial interests.

Harmondsworthdemonstration2012

Day of Action for Jimmy Mubenga - Fri 12 Oct

Sun, 07/10/2012 - 17:13

On 12 October 2012, campaigners will mark the two-year anniversary of the death of Jimmy Mubenga, the 46-year-old Angolan migrant who died in 2010 at the hands of G4S security guards 'restraining' him on board a British Airways flight during his forcible deportation to Angola.

With various protests and actions, campaigners will be demanding that G4S and the three guards (who were re-employed by Reliance, which took over the detainee escorts contract from G4S later that year) are held responsible for this crime; they will be demanding justice for Mubenga and his family, and that no one should face such a fate in the future.

Planned protests include:

- A public demonstration outside the offices of the Crown Prosecution Service (Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HS) from 11am to 1pm.

- A public demonstration at the G4S UK & Ireland head office (105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT) from 2 to 4pm.

- Groups and individuals around the UK and beyond are encouraged to organise their own protests and actions at relevant sites and venues. For some suggestions, see for example:
http://mappingthecorporations.org/company/g4s
http://london.noborders.org.uk/borderedlondon

Despite several eye witnesses confirming that excessive force was used by the three G4S guards, leading to Mubenga's suffocation and subsequent death, and that the Home Office and G4S' initial accounts of what happened on board the flight were false, the Crown Prosecution Service decided in July this year, 18 months later, that neither G4S nor the guards concerned will face manslaughter charges due to “conflicting witness accounts”.

Mubenga's family, his wife and five children, were “distraught” by the decision. The former chief inspector of prisons Lord Ramsbotham condemned the decision as "perverse". An inquest examining the circumstances surrounding the death will not be held until next year. Was this a political decision? Will it serve as a licence for private 'detainee escorts' to kill.. and get away with it?

According to passengers on board the plane, Mubenga was heard pleading “I can’t breathe” and “they’re going to kill me” before he collapsed. This was not the first case where someone has died following the use of force by G4S guards: The company's management was reportedly warned by the Home Office in 2006 over using dangerous restraint techniques, of the type that resulted in Mubenga's death. Concerns had also been raised by the company's own staff.

In the weeks that followed Mubenga's death, four G4S employees secretly submitted a testimony to the Home Affairs Select Committee looking into the case, detailing “how some G4S guards developed a dangerous technique for restraining deportees by bending them in aircraft seats”. According to the whistleblowers, G4S managers were repeatedly alerted that ”disruptive deportees” were being “forced into submission” with their heads placed between their legs. The technique, known among G4S guards as “carpet karaoke”, is strictly prohibited because it can result in a form of suffocation known as positional asphyxia, skull fractures and blindness. The parliamentary report found evidence of “inappropriate use of physical restraint, and the possible use of unauthorised and potentially dangerous restraint techniques”. G4S should not be allowed to profit from torture and death and get away with it.

The day of action is called by the Stop G4S coalition, No Borders London and the Stop Deportation network. Supporting groups include Corporate Watch, the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group, Redbridge Equalities & Community Council, among others.

The day of action takes place a week after campaigners from across the UK gathered in Sheffield for a ‘Stop G4S Convergence’, which brought together people campaigning against various aspects of G4S' unlawful activities and human rights abuses around the world. For more details on this, see http://london.noborders.org.uk/node/614.

For further information and questions, please contact stop-g4s[at]riseup.net.

G4Sjimmy mubenga2012

Invitation to the Stop G4S Convergence in Sheffield, Saturday 6th Oct

Sun, 23/09/2012 - 01:43

Activists from various anti-G4S campaigns are coming together for a UK-wide gathering on Saturday 6th October at The Workstation in Sheffield. Individuals and campaign groups are invited to attend to share, network, strategise and plan how to build an even more effective Stop G4S campaign. The gathering is open to all who oppose G4S and want to work with others to stop G4S from taking over public services for private profit while violating human rights.

Despite its track record of complicity in human rights abuses in the UK and abroad, G4S is being handed control of public services – everything from policing to “asylum markets” to the welfare system. Even after the Olympics débâcle, G4S looks set to take over even more control of our communities.

Campaigns have begun to highlight the appalling record of G4S and to work to prevent it from putting profit before human rights and dignity. From local campaigns to pressure G4S as it cuts corners, to demonstrations targeting the company’s AGM and headquarters, we’re beginning to damage the G4S brand.

The gathering will launch the UK ‘StopG4S’ campaign coalition, bringing together grassroots campaigns, networks and organisations with the aim of providing support, resources, guidance and skill-sharing. This coalition will be inclusive and non-hierarchical.

Please email stop-g4s[-at-]riseup.net to reserve a place, find out more or to request a speaker to attend a meeting to discuss campaign plans. If you or your organisation (if you have one) wish to endorse this call, please let us know. See also this Facebook event.

Reasonable travel costs may be paid to those unable to fund themselves. Overnight accommodation will be provided by local activists.

The many reasons to Stop G4S:

G4S and Public Contracts:

* G4S has recently been awarded £210million of public money to provide housing services to asylum seekers in Yorkshire, Humberside, Midlands and the North East .

* With profit its only motive in what it calls “asylum markets”, it’s expected that over 1000 asylum seekers will be uprooted from their communities to live in slum housing.

* G4S profits from the privatisation of policing, courts & prisons

* Workfare: G4S profits from forcing the unemployed to do unpaid work or risk having benefits cut.

* G4S won the contract to provide security for the Olympics and failed to deliver on time but still insists on receiving payment.

Human Rights Abuses:

* Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan asylum seeker died, following restraint by G4S employees. The DPP recently ruled that no prosecution was necessary.

* In 2011 G4S Australia admitted liability and was fined for the death of Warburton Elder Mr Ward.

* It profits from imprisoning refugees while it abuses families and children in their ‘care’.

G4S and Israel’s occupation of Palestine

* G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli prisons in which Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners, are illegally held and tortured.

* G4S supplies equipment and services to Israel’s illegal settlements and wall

* Palestinian civil society has called for action to hold G4S to account for its role in profiting from the detention of Palestinian political prisoners, 1,600 of whom recently held a mass hunger strike.

Selection of actions taken so far:

* Local campaigns in cities and campuses across the UK
* G4S headquarters rooftop occupation.
* Demonstrations in Birmingham, Sheffield, London and beyond
* Successfully pressuring companies to drop their ties with G4S
* Publishing detailed analysis online (see http://bit.ly/R9JbkB, http://bit.ly/PRhYMi, http://bit.ly/Kz0Uhn)

Endorsed by:

* Boycott Israel Network
* Corporate Watch
* Dundee Trades Council
* Jewish Socialists’ Group
* Jews for Justice for Palestinians
* Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign
* No Borders UK
* No One Is Illegal
* Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
* Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign
* Stop Deportations
* SYMAAG (South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group)
* Palestine Solidarity Campaign

G4S2012

Direct action gets the goods: blockade helps stop 35 people being deported

Sun, 23/09/2012 - 01:31

A blockade of Colnbrook and Harmondsworth detention centres on Wednesday (19 September) held up the UK Border Agency's planned deportation of Tamil refugees back to the killing fields of Sri Lanka. With one person D-locked under a deportation coach, the blockade held for 3 1/2 hours, long enough for the deporters to miss their flight slot and for 35 people to get off with legal injunctions.

At 2.30pm on Wednesday, 60 Sri Lankan nationals, mainly Tamil, were due to be deported to Colombo from Stansted airport where they faced a very real risk of arrest and torture on arrival. [1]

However, at 11am, as one of the WH Tours coaches of deportees emerged from Colnbrook and Harmondsworth detention centres headed for the airport, around a dozen people rushed to stop it. One of them climbed under the coach and attached their neck with a bicycle d-lock to the underside. Supporters immediately held up a sign telling the driver not to move as someone was under the coach, and recorded themselves explaining this to him. The coach then remained stationary for 3 1/2 hours. The engine was kept running: according to the driver, turning off the ignition lowers the suspension and could result in the person being crushed. This may seem dangerous for the person involved, but it was a much smaller risk than that faced by many of the people on the coach who feared torture or death on return.

Police were on the scene very quickly, but spent most of the time waiting around for the specialist cutting team to arrive. The Reliance screws on the coach drew all the curtains to stop detainees having any contact with the world outside, but the blockaders attempted to communicate with them by chanting in English and Tamil. At midday, one man inside could be heard making desperate and muffled appeals for help, and the gagged cries
of "help me!" could be heard for a distressing 15 minutes. The police were stood next to where the cries could be heard as this was near one of the emergency exits. Yet when repeatedly asked to investigate what was happening and reminded of their duty of care, of the death of Jimmy Mubenga, and of the potentially fatal restraint techniques used [2], Constable Park simply replied that the Reliance guards were taking care of the situation. After around 15 minutes of this the man went silent. Supporters are still trying to find out what has happened to him.

At 13.42 a notice was read under Section 14 Public Order Act 1986 imposing conditions on the demonstration to prevent it interfering with the "lawful removal" of detainees to torture cells: limiting it to 15 people, moving supporters to the other side of the road and allowing them to remain there until 3pm. Police presence increased significantly, the cutting team finally arrived, and a small Reliance coach had been brought in. As the person under the WH Tours coach was boltcropped out Reliance screws, and apparently detainees, were transferred onto the Reliance coach. At 2.30pm the blockader was cut out and arrested and the Reliance coach left for Stansted. It seems though that the Home Office missed their 2.30pm slot for departure, having been held up by 3 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, news had emerged that three injunctions had being granted that morning, on the back of which a flurry of others were being won. We later heard that 35 people in all had their flights cancelled. According to the BBC, 25 (out of 60) were still sent back, 13 of whom are Tamil. [3].

It is interesting to note that despite the presence of Channel 4 News and Al-Jazeera camera crews throughout much of the action, reports of the action were - as ever - filtered out of the final stories, which preferred to focus exclusively on the marvel of the great British justice system, rather than people taking the law into their own hands.

Deportations to Sri Lanka resumed in June last year following a suspension since April 2009 at the height of the genocide against Tamils in the country. Since then, successful last-minute (same day) legal challenges have been made for a number of individuals due to be deported on these flights. On the last charter to the country in May, 40 people won successful injunctions, and the coach was held up by half an hour by a spontaneous sit-down protest by friends and family of the deportees and supporters [4].

The blockade on Wednesday showed how solidarity can be successfully put into practice. In this case, it was a combination of direct action and legal action that lifted the immediate threat of torture and death hanging over 35 people. After lawyers got three people off in the morning, the blockade bought vital time for further legal challenges. Tamils and supporters stood (and lay down under a bus) side by side, and showed what we can do when we unite and refuse to allow a vicious state to treat human lives like dirt. We hope that others will be inspired to take further actions in future in solidarity with all migration prisoners and people facing deportation.

The comrade D-locked to the bus has been charged with three offences, and faces two separate trials: one before a jury in the crown court (for "causing danger to road users"??!!); and another in the magistrates court (obstruction of the highway, and failing to observe a section 14 order).

Footnotes:
[1] http://www.freedomfromtorture.org/news-blogs/6659
[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14301245
[3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19650640
[4] http://stopdeportations.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/sit-down-protest-delaye...

Video from blockade:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu7CQrsvfnE

Further information:
http://noborders.org.uk/
http://www.ncadc.org.uk/
http://stopdeportations.wordpress.com/

deportation2012

Justice for Noureddin - demo at French Embassy in London, 17/07/12

Thu, 12/07/2012 - 20:42

*Justice for Noureddin Mohamed.*

*No more border killings.*

Demonstration at the French Embassy

Tuesday 17th July @ 2 pm

58 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7JT

Our friend Noureddin Mohamed died in suspicious circumstances in the centre of Calais in the early hours of Saturday morning (7 July 2012). Noureddin was 28 years old, originally from North Darfur, Sudan. He was well known and loved in Calais, and leaves many grieving friends. He died just some 200 metres from the government office where he had recently been granted leave to remain in France as a refugee.

Noureddin's friends believe that he may have been killed in a racist
attack, and possibly with police involvement. Police had harassed Noureddin and a group of other Sudanese refugees shortly before his death. (Police harassment of migrants is a common occurrence in Calais). But, pushing a story that Noureddin was involved in a theft, the authorities have ruled the death an accident, and refused to investigate further or to conduct an autopsy. Noureddin's uncle and his lawyer have now filed an official demand that a murder inquiry be opened.

Without pressure, the French authorities will get away with covering up
the truth behind Noureddin's death. That would make Noureddin the third refugee to die in Calais in suspicious circumstances, and without proper investigation, in the last 7 months. So long as these deaths go unanswered, it is open season on migrants in Calais, as racists and fascists think they can attack with impunity. Just as it is in the Mediterranean, and on all Europe's borders, where people are dying in their hundreds.

Noureddin's family and friends in Calais have called on supporters
everywhere to join them in demanding justice for Noureddin. There have been protests on the streets of Calais every morning this week, mainly involving people without papers who can risk a lot by demonstrating. Darfuris and other supporters have also gone from Paris and Belgium to join the protests, and are planning demonstrations in other cities.

We stand with Noureddin's family and friends in Calais in their call for
justice for Noureddin. We stand with the Darfuri exile community in London, who will present a letter to the French ambassador supporting Noureddin's uncle's demand for an inquiry. And we stand with all those at risk at the borders of Europe and the world. No more border killings.

Please bring banners, and drums and musical instruments. Please remember that we want people from different backgrounds to feel welcome at this demo. Please circulate this as widely as possible and encourage people to come. But if you can't make it, keep in the loop. There will be more to come. Can we turn our sorrow and anger into the beginning of a movement against the invisible deaths on Europe's borders?

Calais Migrant Solidarity, calaisolidarity@gmail.com

For further information see Indymedia article.

calais2012