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Call for International Day of Action Against Immigration Prisons

noborders | 04.08.2007 14:25 | No Border Camp 2007 | Migration | World

Call for International Day of Action Against Immigration Prisons
on 22 September, 2007

All over the world, refugees and migrants are being locked up in special prisons, disguised under various names, for the only 'crime' of fleeing wars or persecution or wanting to improve their lives. Without trial and with no automatic bail review, they can face months and years of incarceration in terrible conditions, before being forcibly deported to unsafe countries. The very idea of 'administrative detention' is a violation of people's basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. There have also been numerous reports of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of 'staff', lack or denial of medical care, obstruction of detainees' trying to handle their legal matters and so on. In the most extreme cases, these desperate conditions have led migrant prisoners to take their own lives.

In many countries, immigration detention has become an integral part of the the immigration system. It is certainly one of the most brutal and dehumanising aspects of this racist system whereby innocent and vulnerable people are interned in prison for political ends. In 25 EU member states alone, there are 174 such prisons, while more have been built in neighbouring countries as part of externalising the borders of Fortress Europe.

In the UK, there are 10 so-called Immigration Reception Centres, with a total capacity of 2,506 places, but the government is aiming for a total of 4,000 places by building new detention centres. Seven of these are run by private companies contracted by the Home Office, while three are run by the Prison Service. In addition, there are many so-called Short-term Holding Facilities at many ports and airports throughout the country as well as at a number of Immigration Reporting Centres.

On the other hand, resistance, both inside and outside these prisons, has been getting stronger and stronger. Hunger strikes, riots and pickets have become a common occurrence. But obviously not enough is being done as thousands of people continue to suffer in their cells.

The UK No Borders network is calling on all concerned individuals and groups all over the world to join us in an international coordinated day of action against immigration prisons everywhere on 22 September, 2007. While we realise that resistance is continuous and not confined to 'days of action', we call upon refugees and migrants and their supporters throughout the world to organise their own actions on this day, both inside and outside immigration prisons, in a global united cry:

The Day of Action will be during the first No Border Camp in the UK, to be held between 19 and 24 September near Gatwick Airport (see The Camp was prompted by government plans to build a new immigration prison at Gatwick, designed to hold 426 migrant prisoners. Over the last 9 years, the worldwide No Border network has organised many similar camps, including those in Tijuana (Mexico), Genova (Italy), Woomera (Australia), Frankfurt (Germany) and recently Transcarpathia (Ukraine). Each camp often focuses on a specific issue but is ultimately campaigning against borders and for the freedom of movement for all people.

This call also follows many years of global, decentralised, coordinated campaigning, which saw two European Days of Action on 31 January, 2004, and 2 April, 2005, and an International Day of Migration-Related Actions on 7 October, 2006.

Please spread this call as widely as possible. If you want to add your name to the list of signatories, please email

No Borders UK



Can we have some clarification?

06.08.2007 23:24

I remember a Stop the War Coalition meeting in Newcastle a couple of years ago, where I proposed that alongside a national demonstration in London we should organise a local demonstration in Newcastle for people who couldn't take a whole day out and go all the way to London, for whatever reason. I was widely attacked by Socialist Worker Party members at the meeting for 'splitting the movement', and told flatly by the comrade from 'Stop the War national office' that 'THERE WILL BE NO LOCAL DEMONSTRATIONS THIS SATURDAY'.

Now.. that's fairly unsurprising given the SWP's reputation for thinking they ARE the movement, and for seeing anyone outside their control as a threat, but it seems a bit more weird coming from a supposedly autonomous and decentralised network like No Borders. I don't make that comparison in order to accuse No Borders of being the same as the SWP, but hopefully to shock people into realising how they're coming across. Can anyone involved in the call-out for the 22nd clarify if the views of 'wondering' are shared by other people? Is there going to be general hostility from No Borders to anyone who organises solidarity actions on the 22nd apart from at Tinsley House? If so, I think that's a big shame and will put people off from supporting you in future, and even from getting involved in the asylum rights movement more generally.

Ironically, I was going to propose that some TCAR members should come down for the No Borders Camp, UNTIL I saw the call-out for the day of action on the 22nd, which I interpreted as international decentralised day of actions meaning 'organise something wherever you are', and so I suggested a local solidarity action instead, which people agreed with. I wasn't at the organising meetings for the 22nd or the camp (I live in Newcastle, all the meeting's I've seen advertised so far have been in London - fair enough, but don't expect me to pop down for the evening), so I was responding to the call-out, without knowing the full discussions behind it, and I obviously understood it wrong. But surely you want people outside the No Borders 'in the know' people to respond to your call-outs? Isn't that how things will link up and grow?

Considering that lots of people will hopefully be linking to this call-out in order to spread the word, can I suggest 'wondering' asks the moderators to remove his comment and comments responding to it (including this one), as people coming onto the page and reading: 'Call for support - Offer of support - Attack on the people offering support from the people who asked for it' may not be the best way to encourage others to throw in their support as well. And this day of action deserves everybody's support.

Victory to the Campsfield detainees!
Shut all immigration prisons!

TCAR member
mail e-mail:

Clarification - Letter to TCAR re 22 Sep rally in Newcastle

07.09.2007 16:46

This letter was sent to TCAR on 8 August, 2007:

Hello comrades :)

We noticed that TCAR have announced a rally in Newcastle city centre in support of the International Day of Action Against Immigration Prisons on 22 September, and that there have been some comments about this on Indymedia. We briefly discussed this at the last Camp organising meeting and would like to clarify our position to you.

Some of us argued that the call-out was for protests and actions at and against detention centres and that scarce energies shouldn't be diverted to rallies in city centres, as these could be held on any other day. Others, however, felt that it's fair enough that people do what they want and are capable of, given the hardships travelling all the way to Gatwick may enatil. After all, this is what "decentralised" means.

So, while we would have liked you to be with us at Gatwick, we still support you in your choice to organise something else somewhere else. And by the way, thanks for responding to the call-out and keep up the good

All the best,

The Gatwick No Border Camp organising group

The Gatwick No Border Camp