Skip to content or view screen version

Activists disrupt 'policing the borders' conference

No Borders London | 24.03.2010 21:30 | Migration

A high-profile conference about 'policing' the UK borders on Tuesday was disrupted by campaigners protesting against a 'fortress Europe'. Activists from No Borders London [1] stormed the Cavendish conference centre in central London with banners, leaflets and cameras. They then started to shout 'No borders, no nations, stop deportations' until the 20 or so attendees left and the event was cancelled.

The event, organised by Capita, is the second annual 'Policing the Borders Conference'. Described by the organisers as a "learning and networking opportunity," the event gathered representatives of the European border agency Frontex, the Identity and Passport Service and senior officers from the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Metropolitan Police and various other police forces. It was also attended by representatives of private security companies, such as Serco, and featured an exhibition about border security and surveillance technology. [2]

Video footage of the protest posted on activist news site Indymedia shows protesters walking in, unfurling a banner that reads 'No to Fortress Europe', and lecturing their shocked audience about freedom of movement and state repression. The highly esteemed delegates are then seen leaving the hall one by one, some covering their faces to avoid being filmed. [3]

Commenting on the reasons behind the action, one of the protesters said: "Under the pretexts of 'security', 'terrorism' and 'illegal immigration', hundreds of migrants are everyday denied their freedom of movement, dignity and basic rights. On top of that, the increasingly racist immigration policies create an atmosphere of suspicion, where everyone is under surveillance for unnamed 'crimes'. And to achieve that, European government are outsourcing immigration control to shadowy organisations like Frontex, who do the dirty work for them. From sinking migrants' boats to forcibly deporting people on specially chartered flights, Frontext can be best described as a mercenary army charged with protecting the artificial borders of Fortress Europe." [4]


[1] No Borders London is

[2] Speakers at the Policing the Borders conference on 23rd March, 2010, included Edgar Beugels, head of the Research and Development Unit at Frontex; Tony McCarthy, detective chief inspector, Office of the National Coordinator PROTECT, Association of Chief Police Officers; Bob Chatterton, head of Special Branch, Essex Police; Duncan Hine, executive director, Integrity and Security, Identity and Passport Service; Lorraine Morrison, detective chief inspector, Gatwick Operations, Sussex Police; Dave Padwick, detective inspector, Counter Terrorism Unit, Gatwick Operations, Sussex Police; Paul Kiteley, Detective Sergeant, Cargo Unit, SO15 Counter Terrorism Command, Metropolitan Police Service; Vaughn High, Small Ports Team Leader, Essex Police.

The conference was chaired by Ian Hutcheson, the security director at BAA Airports Ltd. The main presentations were the one by Frontex about "how to solve cross-border challenges and create an integrated border control system" and the one by ACPO on "the national strategy for UK border policing."

The page advertising the conference on Capita's website 'disappeared' since the action:
The page, however, can still be accessed via Google's cache:
The conference brochure and programme are here:

[3] The video footage of the protest can be found at .

[4] Frontex (officially known as the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union) has recently assumed extra powers to charter mass deportation flights, buy equipment and explore satellite technology to survey the EU borders. For more details, see this recent Guardian article:

No Borders London
- Homepage:


Display the following 13 comments

  1. Nice one.... — ACAB
  2. Wicked and good — south wales
  3. Thumbs up! — Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
  4. Big Grin — Sir Pleased
  5. an open border would cause chaos — anon
  6. but where did they go — impressed
  7. F'in Awesome — Ether
  8. Great action:) — Henry Twigger
  9. Solidarity! — "Chief" Coppers are Even Bigger Bastards
  10. look around you — country bumpkin
  11. Wish I'd been there! — anon
  12. art of communication — anonandon
  13. police scum — ftp