Archive for UK

Autonomous Space For Migrants and Supporters in Calais needs Help

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on Saturday, 30 January, 2010 by bristolnoborders

As you might have heard, a few days ago, activists from the transnational NoBorders network and the French organisation SôS Soutien aux Sans Papiers have opened a large warehouse for migrants in Calais as a response to the ongoing repression against the migrants in
Calais by the authorities. [1]

The building is to be an autonomous space for migrants and activists struggling for the right to freedom of movement. It will be host to information-sharing, debate and practical solidarity. The Kronstadt building is located in the town that has become the symbol of Fortress Europe, a place where police arrests and beatings of migrants are a daily occurrence, and where night-time pursuits are relentless.

By this act, they stand in solidarity with those for whom border and immigration control is a discriminatory, oppressive and unjust reality.

The space is not, as the conserative press has dubbed it, a “new Sangatte”. It is a self-organised space. ( see Brighton NoBorders response to the article in the Daily Mail from yesterday: [1] ) Of course, help is needed. If you want to support the space by either travelling to Calais or otherwise, please contact:

noborderslondon@riseup.net

for more information and updates, see

http://london.noborders.org.uk

about the situation in calais, see http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

[1]
press release : http://london.noborders.org.uk/node/282
[2]
http://nobordersbrighton.blogspot.com/2010/01/not-that-old-sangatte-ii-things-again.html

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Lords refuse to hear Dale Farm appeal

Posted in Dale Farm with tags , , on Sunday, 17 May, 2009 by bristolnoborders

Only hours after a UN agency launched an urgent plea for a freeze on plans to bulldoze Britain’s biggest traveller community, Dale Farm residents learnt that the House of Lords has refused to hear their appeal. Lawyers acting for Dale Farm say the case may now go to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. But with a likely two year wait before the court could rule on the matter, it will be necessary to seek a prolonged protection from eviction.

Permission was refused on the 14th May “because the petition does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by this House at this time, bearing in mind that the cause has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal.” Just before the decision by the Lords, Brazilian lawyer Leticicia Osorio, who has visted Dale Farm as part of a delegation from UN Habitat, presented the peliminary findings of the mission at meetings in the Houes of Lords organised by Lord Avebury.  UK local councils should not only stop evicting Gypsies and Travellers but also refrain from criminalizing those living on their own land without planning authorization she stated.

The preliminary report suggests that the UK through its failure to curb the racially-motivated harassment of its Gypsy population is in contravention of human rights legislation. It states there is undeniable evidence of de facto exclusion from accommodation, education and welfare provision, leaving thousands of families homeless
and without medical care. After an expected endorsement by UN Habitat next month, the recommendations will be officially presented to Downing Street.

The UN mission organizer Joseph Jones confirmed that members of the UN Mission would be present as observers should an attempt be made by bailiffs to force their way up the private Oak Lane approach to Dale Farm for the purpose of destroying homes there. Several hundred supporters have already pledged to join Dale Farm residents in forming a human shield to stop bulldozers reaching their recently-built social centre and chapel, as well as the l32 chalets, mobile-homes and caravans that comprise the estate.

Meanwhile, Basildon District Council has yet to consider the homeless applications submitted by over 90 Dale Farm households. They include a joint homeless application seeking to be re-accommodated together as a community.

Bristol No Borders are one of the groups that has pledged to support Dale Farm families in helping to resist the eviction. For more information on how you can get involved. please email us at bristolnoborders(at) riseup.net

Dale Farm: Persecuted, evicted, fighting back!

Posted in Dale Farm with tags , , , on Sunday, 8 March, 2009 by bristolnoborders

savedalefarmbanner
We want to live in harmony, but we’ ll defend our homes and our human rights if necessary.”
– Richard Sheridan, Dale Farm spokesperson

Over 10 million gypsies, travellers and Roma live in Europe. In every country they have faced centuries of persecution for wishing to maintain their own culture. Over a quarter of a million were murdered in Nazi concentration camps. This persecution continues to the present day. Butchered in Romanian villages, ethnically-cleansed from Kosovo and more recently murdered in Hungary and fire-bombed by Italian thugs, Europe’s 12 million Roma are compelled to make common cause. And on the frontline of this growing conflict stands the bastion of Dale Farm.

The ongoing attempts by Basildon council to evict over 100 traveller families from the Dale Farm site in Crays Hill in Essex has become Britains starkest example of persecution of travellers in the UK. They have followed every suggestion, guidance and legal process that that the state have provided in order to ensure safe and secure homes for themselves and their families. Despite this they continue to face racism and harassment from the both the local council, local residents and the media – all of whom have played a part in stoking the same prejudice and hatred that has allowed the persecution of travelling communities to remain unchallenged for decades. This time the residents of Dale Farm are fighting back. In a way they have no choice – with nowhere else to go an eviction will push families back into a life of insecurity and marginalisation.

It is still unclear when the planned eviction, for which Basildon have earmarked £3million, will finally take place. Dale Farm residents are hoping to appeal to the House of Lords to overturn the Appeal Court finding, and in the meantime Basildon have to deal with over one hundred homelessness applications – one of the few obligations put on them by the Court of Appeal. They have promised that residents will be given 28 days notice of eviction – but whether this can be relied on is unclear. Recent council meetings on the issue have been held behind closed doors and Basildon council have refused to release their plans for the eviction.

Should their final appeal to the House Of Lords fail Dale Farm residents face an army of bailiffs and bulldozers. But this isn’t their last chance. Over the last 4 years the Dale Farm Residents Association have been reaching out to groups outside their own community, using the example of their struggle to highlight the wider problem of traveller repression. The call has been made for all those who refuse to accept the ignorance, intolerance and misinformation peddled by the media and the press to stand with them in solidarity. With support from local communities, churches and activists Dale Farm residents are preparing to resist the biggest traveller eviction in British history. Should they win this could represent a landmark victory – one that calls time on the isolation and repression of this until now marginalised community.

Previous traveller evictions have involved armies of bailiffs, bulldozers and wreckers. Yet Dale Farm have decided enough is enough and are calling for support in resisting. Bristol No Borders, along with many other groups, has agreed to stand with Dale Farm should the eviction finally take place. If you would like to join us please email bristolnoborders@listsriseup.net to get updates and transport down to Dale Farm.

Dale Farm Prepares For Eviction Attempt

Posted in Dale Farm with tags , , on Saturday, 14 February, 2009 by bristolnoborders
Building Defences

Building Defences. Picture: © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Scaffolding goes up at Dale Farm to defend the entrances of the largest traveler site in England from eviction by Basildon Council. The Travellers will apparently get 28 days notice, so that will hopefully gives all those who want to support the Travellers plenty of time to organise.