Skip to content or view screen version

NoBorder - Fortress Strasbourg Bridge Action

Manos | 26.07.2002 17:59

A bridge in Strasbourg was used as a virtual border, disciminating between people to be deported and other. The action was repressed by police, that checked IDs and took all material and films. (article 1)

Today, Friday 26 July, a collective attempted to do an action highlighting border controls, in a non-confrontational way. Their objective was to create “fortress Strasbourg” by performing their act on the bridge around the circle of town.
On the Rue du Maire-Kuss bridge, the idea was to implement “border controls” by allowing some people through unconditionally while asking other to present themselves in an hour for deportation. The action started shortly after 3 pm, since some people involved arriving in cars were controlled by the police. Activists wearing white plastic blouses taking to people and others giving out leaflets explaining who we were and what we were acting about. The response from the public was very positive, with a lot of smiles, while others in a hurry choose to only take the leaflet and go through quickly. Cars were also approached and given leaflets, but bus drivers were not enthusiastic about allowing us to give leaflets inside their buses.
After 20 minutes of action, a car with civilian police was spotted. Suddenly the police officers in civilian leaped out of the car and attempted to arrest someone taking pictures of the action. Activists immediately ran to explain the action, and the fact that it is an act of communication, and not a demonstration. They were pushed and grabbed with hands and batons, and about 8 people were pinned in the police cordon. The others had time to run away.
The prisoners were asked to sit on the pavement, their bags were searched, their identities were recorded and checked, and the films confiscated. The police officers did not seem to be too sure of the procedures to follow since they kept asking back and forth. They were extremely impolite and degrading to the people sitting down. The police was shouting abuse continuously, including but not limited to the fact that activists were shit-faces, they have not washed their ass in 6 days, and that they should not mention human rights. They justified the measures of collective and indiscriminate punishment, including the degrading language we were subjected to, by the fact that some people of the NoBorder collective had allegedly written slogans on walls a few day before. They also informed us that we are good for nothing, that we should find jobs, and that the repression has only started.
Everyone was then released and told not to enter the city center. All action material was confiscated and the films were not returned. The general consensus seemed to be that, despite the police's thuggish attitude, the action was a success since some people were provided with the information and the public response was positive about it.