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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
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Hide the following 13 comments

Nice one....

24.03.2010 21:47

Nice one guys....


Wicked and good

24.03.2010 22:13

Very well done indeed comrades! xxx

south wales

Thumbs up!

24.03.2010 22:43


Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

Big Grin

24.03.2010 23:26

Brilliant, the shirts look well pissed off. Sod em!

Sir Pleased

an open border would cause chaos

24.03.2010 23:26

Would it really bring peace to the world to have more crowded countries? 60 million here already with the population rising and rising whilst resources are more and more stretched.

PS having a different opinion doesn't make me a 'troll'. I'm guessing this comment will be deleted by moderators.


but where did they go

24.03.2010 23:40

well done. i would have liked to have been with you. i trust that some of you followed the b@astards when they walked out and made sure they did not just regroup elsewhere to continue their evil-doing?


F'in Awesome

24.03.2010 23:43

Nice one!


Great action:)

25.03.2010 01:21

'an open boarder would cause chaos'

The chaos has already been caused. The people have already been displaced by our wars and weapons industry. It's just that we don't want to see the effects of it here.

Henry Twigger
- Homepage:


25.03.2010 10:00

They are not "our wars". They are not "our borders". They are the states wars and borders. Wars and borders will always be under the control of the ruling class until both are stopped. Such a revolution can only be achieved by mass direct action by the great majority of us who create economic value. We can only take our own working lives under our own control if we are prepared to defend our workers movements. This action should be seen in the context of our long history of class self defence. The immigration police are used by the state for the victimisation of union organisers. So are other police:

“Some 50 armed (with clubs) police officers charged into [Fitzwilliam village] in what was described in the court as ‘a synchronised pincer movement’ descending on a pub they knew was a popular place for miners, their wives and friends in a provocation so hard the police knew that there would be resistance, indeed calculated on their being resistance and then used this as an excuse for extremes of violence which shocked the village to its roots.”

Oh, and in a free and equal society, population levels would drop naturally. High population growth is linked to economic and political deprivation. State responses to "population" are attempts to put the population under greater social control. By fighting for better conditions for all we do address the root causes of these environmental issues. A hand full of heroic "activists" won't solve anything by our selves but lets hope we plant the seed.

"Chief" Coppers are Even Bigger Bastards

look around you

25.03.2010 12:02

perhaps you live in manchester, london, birmingham, or one of our other large and overcrowded cities. perhaps you haven't noticed that over half of your city is taken up with unnecessary space-filling buildiings like office-blocks, shopping malls, etc. also you maybe haven't realised how many of the in your city are empty and unused?

in which case i would understand that you would imagine this island is "full-up". that's a shame because thinking like that might be stopping you from living your life the way you want to. for example maybe you have denied yourself the pleasure and fulfulment of having a child, for fear of adding to this overcrowding you perceive around you?

i live in rural oxfordshire. all around me are wide open spaces, unused by our local farmers, yet bereft of wildlife whether human or any other animal (for various reasons not relevant to this discussion).

towns round here are also packed with empty and unused buildings, and even here we have offices and shopping malls surplus to requirements.

noticing these facts, this reality, i am immune to the messages constantly peddled by media outlets trying to convince me that this beautiful island i was lucky enough to born in, is anywhere near "full".

it isn't.

there aren't enough affordable homes, because thatcher sold off so many and they have never been replaced. there aren't enough affordable homes, because profit is put above people in this system. the hospitals are struggling, so are the schools, because profit is put above people in this system. people are the solution. hardworking, decent, committed citizens, regardless of their place of birth - because together we can build the hospitals, schools, housing, etc that we all need and then there will be enough for everyone to use. we will need lots of construction workers, nurses, doctors, teachers, etc to run and maintain them for us all though won't we.

let's start using our resources (buildings, space, and humans) efficiently so that all of us can have what we need to live life well. those of us born here and those of us who travelled to join our community.

country bumpkin

Wish I'd been there!

25.03.2010 17:32

Fantastic action - well done no borders! Just look at those white, overfed, middle-aged blokes. What the hell do they know about the sheer misery of trying to escape persecution, being treated like a contagious disease rather than a human being, being shut away in detention centres for the crime of seeking freedom.
Hope I'm at the next disruption!


art of communication

25.03.2010 19:10

Whilst I think this was an inspired and brilliant action, I believe the art of communication was lost, through watching the video some people there seemed willing to ask the protestors questions and to debate, you have to remember that some people sitting there dont really know the consequences of their decisions and actions. Alot of people when enlightened know when something is wrong, unjust and unfair, some were a willing audience. I believe the protesters did them a diservice in not articulating enough why they were there. They seemed to faulter at this opportunity into the safe haven of an agenderised protest rant (belief system) of indicating they are the baddies after all. It's a shame because by the body language of some of the people there, they seemed impressed at the protestors bravery and commitment and wanted to listen. Still well done for penetrating their world and consciousness.


police scum

26.03.2010 09:24

nice one guys. shame we couldn't give the dirty fuckers a good beating