Archive for no borders camp

Bruxelles No Border Camp – Action Round Up

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on Friday, 8 October, 2010 by bristolnoborders

(Translated from the French by the Internet)

The camp-in-a-train-station

No Border Camp has been the subject of fierce repression, preventing the majority of public actions (such as demonstrations on Wednesday and Friday, and the “game-action” on Thursday) and many others. Despite this repression and violence in police stations, a number of actions have taken place. This is an attempt to list … To be completed?

 No Border Camp has been the subject of fierce repression, preventing the majority of public actions (such as demonstrations on Wednesday and Friday, and the “game-action” on Thursday) and many others. Despite this repression and violence in police stations, a number of actions have taken place. This is an attempt to list … To be completed?

Police Station Windows Smashed

Cons STIB (Brussels transport company, participates in roundups of undocumented immigrants): Machines to control and sell the tickets were destroyed in three subway stations ( Other inspection machines were damaged in the trams.

Several buildings of companie involved in the deportation machine were tagged and had their windows broken: CarlsonWagonLit and Randstatd (, Serco (, Sodexho ( 236), Steria (, Dalkia (

A meeting of Frontex was blocked by activists before they are arrested, the building has tagged ETEA (

Action against Frontex has also held in Brussels Airport ( ”

A police station was attacked, broken windows, two policemen and damaged several of their cars endomagées (

” The facade of the Embassy of Italy was covered with shit and graffiti to protest against the deportation of Italian politics of Roma and cons recent agreements with Libya on immigration ( articles/196).

 A symbolic action took place against the offices of BP’s lobbying in Brussels ( ”

 Sodexho, providing food in many prisons and detention camps, received a visit from a group of people who poured 40 liters of oil into the lobby (http://bxl.indymedia. org/articles/180). ”

The building of the Cultural Attache of southern Germany has been “redecorate” in protestagainst the repression of a demonstration Thursday in Stuttgart cons S21 ( ”

A recruitment session of the Brussels police has been disrupted by several activists, by those who had been arrested on Wednedsay. ( ”

The doors of the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) were blocked with glue ( ”

On Saturday, October 2, the demo Closing No Border Camp brought together nearly 1,500 participants on arrival at the Bourse ( ” “Actions of conversation” were held throughout the week with people from different districts of Brussels. Numerous meetings were held on the camp in the streets and in cells. A lot of visitors now know the city … and police. Projects have been outlined. It only depends on us not to leave all these meetings and common desires disappear …

Brussels No Border Camp Infonight

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on Thursday, 26 August, 2010 by bristolnoborders

This Tuesday there’ll be a chance to find out more about what’s planned for the No Border Camp in Brussels and talk with other Bristol folk thinking of going. We’ll also be showing some short films about the European migration regime. And there will probably be snacks.
7pm – Tuesday August 31
The Smiling Chair
40 Stokes Croft

No Border Camp Poster

Please note that the venue has changed due to trouble at the Factory

A Calais No Borders Camp – Diary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on Thursday, 2 July, 2009 by bristolnoborders


A personal perspective – hopefully others will add their voices to give a fuller  account.

Most Pictures from:


I went to Calais with a head full of worries… Physical Threats from the Mayor of Calais, and the French Riot Cops (CRS), whether we’d make things worse for the migrants in Calais, whether the camp would have sufficient infrastructure…

My biggest fear, however, which I had buried in the midst of the normal  logistical/organisational nightmare which surrounds “activist” camps was how I would cope emotionally being so near, such a horrible situation. This fear would prove to be well-founded. (For me, a news report, or a second hand conversation is enough to inspire me into action – it’s not that i don’t react emotionally to hearing people’s stories first hand – it’s just that it doesn’t make me more likely to act. For others, I know, it does shape, and to some extentinfluence how much work they will put into a particular campaign.)

We even wondered whether we’d even be allowed into France at all. This proved no  problem for me personally, but others were stopped both sides of the channel…delayed enough so they had to get later ferries.

Day 1 (Monday)


Once through the French border, we decided to walk to the camp.  About 20 minutes into our journey, we spotted (and were spotted) our first CRS van. They didn’t pull us over, but just a few moments later 2 unmarked cars abruptly pulled up. Non-uniformed Police got out, and did a cursory search of our belongings…and a check of our ID’s. Some work gloves were confiscated – which we could have used for “fighting”. We set off again, only to be stopped almost immediately as the ID check apparently hadn’t carried out properly.


Arriving at the camp, the most immediately noticeable factors were that there were “migrants” and “locals” as well as the expected “anarchists”  and “activists” on site.


I put these labels in scare-quotes, as the label “migrant”  Begin to pall during the camp – it seemed to become offensive in it non-specificity. Though maybe it was just a result of it’s over use, as the sans papiers presence  and participation  became the camps’ central feature. This wasn’t necessarily a sure thing before the camp – the fear stoked-up by the authorities and the media, lead some to believe that the sans papiers may be too scared to come to the camp – though I also thought that fear would probably not come into for those who had travelled all the way from, for instance, Afghanistan to Europe and then risked life and limb, boarding lorries to try to make it to the UK, and were now stuck in Calais having their make-shift homes destroyed, being tear gassed, beaten up… Thinking that we were an irrelevance, I thought, was more likely to be a factor.


Some of the work that I avoided

It seemed I  had avoided most of the hard work as the structures had already been erected. Many local kids had helped with the set-up.   There was problems with the water supply, which meant slightly comically that people had to continually stand in the road stopping cars so they didn’t split the piping that lead from the nearest stand-pipe (This problem was later rectified with some improvisation and some foam).

At this point (on Monday evening) there was only 150 people on site, which with the heavy police presence, and the fact that I had already been stop and searched didn’t lend itself to a relaxed atmosphere.  Getting beer to relieve this tension, involved been stopped and searched again!

Day 2 – Tues

cinema tent

cinema tent

Tuesday, was the official first day of the camp (can anarchists be official – discuss). For me it was very much about sorting the Workshop timetable out which I did with a lot of help. Meanwhile more people arrived, including many more migrants. One of the Jungles, was very close to the camp, and in fact we were en-route from the port to the Jungle. The motorway which took HGV’s unimpeded across the channel bordered one side of the camp.

The stories of some the epic journeys, told at 1st hand, or through an English Speaking Afghani, or Kurd moved us. I found that the stories of those who had made to the UK and since deported the most upsetting. One told me of the kindness he had received from ordinary people he had met –  and the harsh treatment he received from the authorities –  and the friends he missed “Peter and James – very good friends”. Also, for his love of the English Cooked breakfast. The Museli and Bread at the camp must have been a disappointment.
Below is Moustafa’s, who was in Calais, videoed experinces of being a migrant, or perhaps just being Moustafa in Patras, Greece.


Some of the sans papiers were under the impression that we were actually going tear down the border. A misapprehension that they apparently shared with their arch-enemies The Sun and The Daily Mail etc:
dailyex sun2

Whilst the newspapers misunderstanding of what we were doing was deliberate scaremongering, it seemed that the migrants was based on us not being clear enough what we were able to do. There will be a ” No Borders Camp On Monday” apparently turned into: “There will be No Borders on Monday”.

I suspect those who had been to the UK were probably not under this impression, having a more realistic notion of our capacity to take on the authorities.

Others thought we were on a UN type fact finding mission for the UK government, and once we had told them of the abuse and terrible conditions that they suffered in Calais, the government would immediately let them in. That may sound naive, but equally I think it is entirely reasonable.

While understandably disappointed that we weren’t able to take such immediate direct action to get them to the other side of the channel, a realisation that we hoped to work with them, in solidarity, rather than do things for them encourgaged them to attend meetings at the camp.

Whilst many were happy to see us, this was tinged with the fact that we would be gone in a week and they (probably) would still be at the port town: A long term political campaign strategy is not what you want to hear about if you’ve already been stuck in Calais for 6 months.


medics tent

Day 3 – Weds

In the morning meeting –  we recieve news that a blockade of a detention centre near Lille. 24 arrests. Workshops start. Many people go and visit people in “The Jungle”. I didn’t go. Why? I decided that it would upset me too much.  Though, despite a shortage of amenities the migrants were not living in “squalor” as a BBC report suggested. A Kitchen, a shop and a Mosque had been constructed with salavaged materials. There had been a suggestion that we should give the migrants “help” in making better structures. The reality was that they made a far superior medical tent on “our” camp than we had orginally constructed. Hopefully others from our group who did visit the Jungle will give an account of it.

Day 5 – Friday

AM: One Man blockade of town by camper , demanding access to showers for the migrants.



The Motorway, which carries the frieght to calais is blockaded as it shows how we have a free flow of trades and good – but not of people. The blockade doesn;t last long beofre the CRS arrive – the first time they have had any excuse to deploy their considerable  arsenal at us. The motorway stays closed for good an hour and half – thnaks to the Police. Occasional missile thrown at Police in return to their tear gas cannisters and concussion grenades. Worry for a while whether they will now come on en-masse.


blockade starts

Go to other end of camp, to view tailback of lorries.




camp teargassed

Police leave, and traffic starts moving again. Recieve honks of support from many lorries.


A long, hot march. Police generally in control. It took us a good couple of hours for the “No Borders Bloc” to reach the starting point – and the rest of the march. Several people are held for identity verification, as the police insist on searching everyone, some people duck down an alley to avoid it. Eventually, the police just let us through without searching everyone.

try to get to the lighthouse

trying to get to the lighthouse

at the lighthouse

at the lighthouse

The agreed route seemed to take us through spareley populated areas, well are from the town centre. At one point, the police stopped  Eritrean’s attempting to join the march, by blocking them into their squat, which had been raided earlier in the week.

We tried to have fun, but it was quite disheartening to be honest. I learnt later that the Police had re-routed the march without consultation.

South Wales try to lighten the mood

South Wales try to lighten the mood


A day of meetings.  The last meeting which had a large migrant participation was in 5 languages: Pashtun, Arabic, English, French and Farsi. The  statement below was agreed on, as well some practical initiatives which will include providing meals at weekends to the sans papiers, regular visits and other things to be further discussed.


1. Entry to the UK for all unconditionally.

2. The cessation of attacks and destruction migrant camps and squats. Access to care and showers must be guaranteed.

3. Freedom of movement for all in and around Calais: the ability to move anywhere without restrictions, harassment or fear of being arrested.

4. The cessation of repeated arrests.

5. Freedom of expression for all, including migrants, the right to protest and complain to the authorities individually or collectively.

6. To stop deportations  to any country,  whether  at war or not.

7. The end of the repression of associations and individuals who support the migrants including the provision of transportation.

8. Provide free and impartial legal advice in the UK, regarding the rights of asylum and immigration.

9.Arbitary detention without time limit cannot be exported to Calais. No new detention centre should be built .

Calais: Site and Workshops Announced

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, 17 June, 2009 by bristolnoborders

Camp Site

Defy the rise of racism ! Come to the Calais No Borders Camp 23-29 June

With deportations of migrants (SOAS), attacks on Romanians in Northern Ireland and the rise of the elected neo-fascists, we make a last call for all those who are wondering whether to come to Calais.

Workshops range from practical workshops for migrants to developing our politics and networks, as well as medical and legal workshops.

Workshop Programme

Directions and other site details

We now even have the obligatory denouncement and misrepresentation in the Daily Mail.

No Borders Camp, Lesvos, Greece

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on Sunday, 15 March, 2009 by bristolnoborders

“We would like to invite you to join us in August (25-31), to share with us the experience of what is going on at the borders, to discuss the problems, to coordinate our actions to fight…”

In the last few years the island of Lesvos has represented one of the main entrance gate for thousands of refugees and migrants seeking to reach Europe. Packed in tiny plastic boats they try to cross the sea border between Turkey and Greece but some of them can’t make it. More than 1.100 migrants and refugees have lost their lives that way in Aegean sea the last 20 years.

The Hellenic Coast Guard, following the european and greek policies of “prevention of entrance” violates the rights of the refugees and put their lives in danger. At the same time, though, its activities are supported by Frontex, whose first boat started operating on the island in July 2008. Recently Frontex’s officials started interviewing / investigating refugees and migrants in Pagani (Lesvos).
Pagani (5 kilometres outside Mitilini, the capital of the island) is where the detention centre is located, to which refugees and migrants are sent, as soon as they set foot on Lesvos. And where they are detained for weeks and months. It is a prison in which fundamental human rights are not respected. Besides, the building is not suitable to host human beings, since it lacks the basic infrastructure for that purpose. Moreover, the refugees are not given any possibility to communicate, are not informed about their rights and are not allowed access to fresh air.
Once registered in the Eurodac system, refugees are set free with an administrative deportation order requiring them to leave the country within a month. Some of them who lodge an asylum application end up in a bureaucratic chaos, go through state violence (there were two victims at the Athens Aliens Department in the last few months) and in the end only a 0,60% of the applications is accepted.
Those who decide to stay in Greece and find a job have to endure several constraints, hard working times, inhuman conditions and all this in exchange of an humiliating pay. Given their precarious situation they are not given the right of association in order to acquire better working conditions. An example of this is the recent assassination attempt (with vitriol) of a foreign woman – a trade representative – in Athens.
Those who try to set forth their journey, in order to reach (usually via Italy) other European countries, flock to the western ports, like Patra’s, where the Coast Guard’s repressive activities are an everyday phenomenon. And very often refugees are found dead inside the trucks with which they try to leave the country. And those who manage to continue their journey, if caught, are sent back to Greece in application of the Regulation Dublin II.
From the Schengen Agreement to the Dublin Regulation, from the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum to the so called “Directive of Shame”, from Frontex to the IOM, from the detention centres to the practices of expulsion and deterrence, from the borders to the capitals, Europe is clearly dealing with the phenomenon of immigration with measures of repression and border control.
Here in Lesvos the building of the “Fortress Europe” is clearly visible. That’s why we would like to invite you to join us in August (25-31), to share with us the experience of what is going on at the borders, to discuss the problems, to coordinate our actions, to fight:


Coordination of No Border Lesvos 2009