The Fortress Europe policy manifests itself in the refusal to grant asylum to over 90% of the applicants. It means the arrest, harassment and deportation of men, women and children back to their country of origin - regardless of the circumstances. It means that people who travel here trying to built a better life are treated inhumanely. What have we become? For years Irish people were 'economic migrants', travelling across the world wherever work could be found. The Irish State cries foul when the US tightens its laws when it threatens Irish immigrants working without permits, but when it comes to allowing people to live and work here, we do not apply the same standards. Hypocrisy at the highest level - it would be hilarious if people were not suffering as a result.
The State's recent deportation of 64 Romanians and Moldovans, including 12 children, ranks as a low point in respect for human rights and dignity. These people were spied on and followed by the Immigration Bureau, rounded up in dawn raids reminiscent of a police state, and escorted on a plane by 35 Gardai. The flight alone is understood to have cost the State more than e120,000. Is this what the Gardai spend their time and resources on? Arresting ordinary working men and women, and shipping them en masse like cattle?
According to Pat Guerin of the Irish Refugee Council, "The term Fortress Europe has been for some years used by human rights groups and other critics to describe the gradual dismantling of the rights of asylum-seekers, the increasing hostility of EU states to persons seeking refuge, as reflected in the introduction of draconian asylum rules and regulations, and the ongoing attempt at closing Europe's borders to those who wish to apply for protection as refugees."
"The measures that combine to make Europe resemble a fortress include the effective militarisation of the EU's external frontiers, both on land and at sea; policies of destitution, detention and deportation; punitive sanctions for airlines, shipping companies and road hauliers who fail to police their passengers by applying rigid documentation standards that ignore the often desperate need of refugees for clandestine travel; and the setting of ever higher refugee recognition hurdles on an asylum track of shrinking legal protections. Such policies do not augur well for the development of a humane approach to people seeking refuge in what is fast becoming one of the largest social, economic and political blocs in the world."
We believe in No Borders and No Nations. Everyone should be free to travel, work, and live wherever they wish on this planet. Allowing people from different cultures to freely associate will lead to tolerance and understanding - and create a better world for all of us to live in. Borders are raised by those who control us, to create fear and suspicion between us. Nationalism is an ideology that fosters racism and hatred - we are all human beings, regardless of our religion, skin colour, ethnicity, place of origin. We are all different - and all equal.
For a full listing of events and actions for the
Dublin EU Mayday No Borders Weekend see:
BORDER CONTROLS STREET THEATRE: Welcome to the official day of the new Fortress Europe. Warning: You may be subject to stops by one of the Dublin Grassroots Police Network who will be patrolling the city in the morning. Experience the full reality of Fortress Europe with ID & background checks, verbal harassment, intimidation, and possible imprisonment without trial if you do not measure up to the strict criteria.
NO BORDERS, NO NATIONS - NO BORDER CAMP: Join us as we set up a No Border camp on the 2nd day of the new Fortress Europe. We are not against the new ascension states citizens coming to Ireland - we think all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants should be allowed to travel here, regardless of origin, ethnicity, or background. The No Border camp will be open to everyone. Activities will include workshops, discussions, teach-ins, planning for the future, as well as music and food.
NO BORDERS RECLAIM THE STREETS: The only party worth joining in town! Reclaim The Streets happens again on the May bank holiday to wind down the weekend. Unlike the State's street party, everyone from around the world is welcome to come to Dublin for this, not just those that satisfy the demands of Fortress Europe. Expect music and dancing, drinking and face painting, a day for all to come and enjoy a vision of the Europe that we really want.
For excellant related research and analysis see:
Statewatch Observatory: EU asylum and immigration policy
S.O.S. Europe: Statewatch Observatory on Surveillance in Europe
No Border Network: