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No Borders Gathering: London 11th/12th March

London No Borders | 05.03.2006 13:49 | Anti-racism | Free Spaces | Migration | London

The Square Social Centre, 21 Russell Square, WC1

We hope the gathering will include workshops and discussions that encompass our political structure and enable us to move forward to take action, and with the additional aim of welcoming those with an interest in becoming involved in No Borders activity.

The Square Social Centre, 21 Russell Square, WC1

Over the past year, new groups have formed using the name/banner "No Borders" and therefore will feel that, though informal, we can potentially create a relationship with different groups with the view of strengthening the resistance and level of agititation against the Border regimes, restrictions of movement and all deportations.

During the last few months since London No Borders was formed we have been attempting to develop a political strategy which encompasses the following:

1.Detainee support group (visiting & supporting people in detention, providing access to good lawyers and doctors, money, campaigns)
2.Defiance NOT Compliance (supporting workers who resist the states plans to enforce internal border controls in services and the workplace - social services / housing/ healthcare/ education, etc)
3. Close down detention centres & reporting centres (support anti-detention centre campaigns).
4.Global/European co-ordination (contributing to networks like Frassinito, participating in international days of action).

Some of our ideas and activities have been inspired by other No Borders groups in the UK and we feel that any communication which can be developed would aid what we are all doing. In addition we would like to construct a forum which we can present some ideas for a unified day of actions in the UK this April.

We hope the gathering will include workshops and discussions that encompass our political structure and enable us to move forward to take action, and with the additional aim of welcoming those with an interest in becoming involved in No Borders activity.

(more workshops may be added)

Friday 10th March
Benefit night for London No Borders.
Films, Bands and DJs

Saturday 11th March:
10am Breakfast

11am First Plenary
Introduction to the politics of no borders/introductions from groups/aims-desires from this weekend/what people want from this network

12pm – 1.30pm Workshops
To run concurrently:
1. How to start an anti-deportation campaign.
How networks of support can operate.

2. Non-compliance – Discussion about how those working in the sectors of social work, housing, teaching, healthcare etc, where workers are expected to enforce borders and immigration laws within their daily jobs, can create strategies of resistance, gain support from their trade unions, and co-ordinate with each other and with campaigns, on both a local and UK-wide basis.

1.30pm – 2.30pm Lunch

2.30pm – 4.00pm Workshop
Detainee Support & Visiting Workshop:
A practical discussion for those who wish to get involved and learn more about supporting people in detention or at risk of detention and deportation. The workshop will include:
- How to become involved in detainee support
- Practical steps and information when making a visit or establishing contact with a detainee.
- Legal and medical briefing.
- How networks of support can operate.
- What to do in the case of a deportation
- Emotional sustainability and boundary setting – supporting ourselves.

4.00pm – 4.30pm Break

4.30pm – 6.00pm Workshops
No Borders Demonstration @ Harmondsworth – Saturday April 8th.
(see callout at the end of the programme, below)
As an open plenary:
- Introduction to what the demonstration is about.
- Putting forward a brief description for what the demonstration might consist of.
- Introduction from London Against Detention to the idea of a campaign to close Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres, near Heathrow.
- Input from other groups who may do co-ordinated demonstrations.

6.00pm – 7.00pm SECOND Plenary
Report backs from workshops.
Discussion of ideas of what we want from network.
Ideas for future (including):
- Anti-IOM campaign
- International mobilisations (Autonomous Spaces at ESF in Athens, Euro/Mondo Mayday and Frassinito Network)

Evening: cafe, films, music

11am – 3pm
We have left Sunday as a free space for continuing any discussions or informal meetings which from arise from Saturday.


Even as the barriers to the free movement of capital come down, the border regimes are expanding and intensifying. In response to this growing repression, grassroots networks of asylum seekers, migrants, and their supporters are developing across the UK and Europe. There are anti-deportation struggles and campaigns to shut down detention and reporting centres. Undocumented workers are organising. Detainees have staged mass hunger strikes and physically resisted their deportations. In the UK we are attempting to develop a radical network of people opposed to borders (internal and external).

One of the most brutal and dehumanising aspects of immigration systems and border regimes is the imprisonment of thousands of people in detention centres throughout the EU and around the world. In the UK the capacity and use of arbitrary detention has expanded massively over the past few years, with whole families imprisoned in places like Yarl’s Wood.

The experience of being detained (without trial and with no automatic bail review), often after experiences of torture and trauma in the countries they are fleeing from, pushes many over the edge, and is viewed as a further experience of torture at the hands of a country they thought would be a refuge. The policy of detention has led to 12 suicides among detainees in the UK, including this January, the death of Bereket Yohannes, a 26-year-old Eritrean man facing deportation who was found hanged in Harmondsworth detention centre, near Heathrow.

Many detainees at Harmondsworth, neighbouring Colnbrook, and other detention cenres claim to have been abused – assaults during removal attempts, lack of medical care, denial of medication, access to independent doctors, and obstruction in trying to handle their legal matters – e.g. interference with post and blocked access to phone. Allegations of a Uganda woman being reduced to a state of mental collapse during seven months in Yarl’s Wood detention centre has triggered an enquiry by the HM Prisons Inspectors team into healthcare provision of detainees there following the catalogue of suicides and alleged mistreatment in detention centres.

Conditions in detention are not changing, and the government has made it clear that they intend, in coming years, to detain increasing numbers of people. In several countries, campaigns, actions and demonstrations have succeeded in shutting down individual detention centres and provoking public and political discussion on the use of detention. It is therefore vital to have a sustained campaign against detention centres, the private profit making companies that run them and the Home Office from whom their contracts are issued; to support those inside, to draw attention to their existence, and to call for every detention centre to be shut down.


In Australia this Easter, there will be a week of actions against detention centres in New South Wales. A call has been issued for solidarity actions to take place around the world. In response, on Saturday 8th April, London No Borders will organise a demonstration at Harmondsworth detention centre:

We call for a loud and noisy demonstration outside Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres, in the hope that those inside will here our voices and know that they are not alone. We also call for as many people as possible to visit detainees inside Harmondsworth and Colnbrook after the demonstration ends to communicate with them directly, hear their stories, and see the conditions inside these detention centres for ourselves.

On 8th April we will also be broadcasting a one-off No Borders radio show over the internet in solidarity with detainees and the demonstrations. We would like as many contributions as possible to the radio programme. We will also be producing T-shirts with messages of solidarity to send inside to the detainees.

We call for those around the UK, in every city and town, to make their own actions on Saturday 8th April, and throughout the Easter period, against the detention regime.
We invite as many groups a possible to support this call.

London No Borders.
London Against Detention: Campaign to Close Heathrow Detention Centres

For a full list of London No Borders events at The Square Social Centre, see:
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London No Borders
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NO BORDERS NO NATIONS Benefit for London No Borders Network

05.03.2006 17:17


NO BORDERS NO NATIONS Benefit for London No Borders Network
THE SQUARE Occupied Social Centre // 21 Russell Square London WC1

Presentations on the activities of the No Borders Network followed by
short documentaries relating to the struggles for freedom of movement and
anti -detention campaigns.

Followed by Live Music In The Basement feat.

BETTER DEAD THAN YOU (Hardcore/Punk from Wales)
BARACKCA (political anarcho punk from Hungary)
CHAPIPAS - THE BOSS IS ON FIRE (Experimental Dub from Greece)
SPANNER (Dub/Ska/Folk from Bristol - tbc)

Cafe Room (non-smoking space // Zapatista coffee/tea counter)

Donations at the door - all money goes to No Borders
For updates: //

Open Tuesday - Friday :: 12pm - 4pm // Cafe & Radical Bookstall
THE SQUARE Occupied Social Centre // 21 Russell Square London WC1H
(Located on the North West Side of Russell Sq - 2 mins walk from Russell Sq Tube)
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THE SQUARE Occupied Social Centre


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  1. maybe in strategy should/could include.......... — nobody in particular