UK No Border Camp 2007 Feature Archive
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2007 is witnessing a resurgence of No Border Camps around the world as three Camps have been announced. The first one took place in Ukraine in mid August [Pics] and another one is announced at the US/Mexico border for November. But close to home, this week the UK sees the first No Border camp near Gatwick airport. Despite weeks of constant harassment of local farmers by the police, the Camp got under way as planned with several hundred people attending workshops and discussions, and taking part in actions and demonstrations throughout the week.
The No Border Camp sought "to try and stop the building of the new detention centre, and to gather ideas for how to build up the fight against the system of migration controls". The Camp progaramme consisted of four days of workshops, protests and discussions. Various actions were announced for the week, including a Transnational Demonstration on Saturday 22nd from Crawley to the site of Brook House attended by around 500 people. Brook House is planned to be Britain's largest detention centre for migrant people, and it is being build next door to Tinsley House. Another solidarity march took place in Newcastle. There were several actions also happening during the camp on Thursday and Friday. These included the occupation of Virgin Atlantic tour operator offices and a blockade outside Group 4 near Crawley, a welcoming event in Crawley as well as demonstrations outside Lunar and Electric houses reporting centres in Croydon.
Saturday 22nd: Timeline of Events | Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Video | Press Releases: 1 | 2
Friday 21st: Timeline of Events | Reports: 1 | 2 | Pics 1 | 2 | Video | Press Releases: 1 | 2 | 3
Thursday 20th: Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Pics | Video
Wednesday 19th:: report | report and pics | pics
As the government started to build a new immigration prison (Brook House at Gatwick Airport, near Crawley), the No Border Camp is getting closer: Sept 19-24. Among the various actions announced, Saturday, the 22nd, will see a demonstration from Crawley to Tinsley House, the already existing immigration prison at Gatwick, next to the planned site of the new centre. There will be workshops both at the camp and at Goldsmith University the week before, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Lewisham.
Days after the Home Office told refugees "We'll do everything we can to send you home", 26 migrant prisoners escaped from Campsfield, Oxfordshire, following days of protests. The riot was the latest episode in the migrants struggle inside detention after the Harmondsworth riots last November.
Relentless protests, both inside adn outside detention, have managed to put many detention and deportation profiteers on the map. On 17 August, activists occupied the office of XL Airways in Crawley to protest against the charter airline's role in forecul deportations on behalf of the Home Office. Several demonstrations have been announced for August 28th to protest against a planned charter flight to deport a number of rejected asylum seekers to DR Congo.
2007 is witnessing a resurgence of No Border Camps, which were instrumental to the No Border movement from the late 1990's onwards. Three No Border camps for 2007 have recently been announced. The first will be in the Ukraine at the intersection of five countries and at the border of Fortress Europe. In September, it is the turn of our very own Gatwick airport, where the government is planning to build yet another prison for migrants. Finally, in November, there will be another No Border camp at the Mexico/US border, where every year hundreds of migrants die trying to cross the desert or at the hands of the vigilante 'border police', the Minutemen.
Over 100 people held a lively protest in Crawley, West Sussex, on 21 April, 2007, against a new planned detention centre nearby. The protest, called by the No Borders network in the UK, aimed to show opposition to the new purpose-built Immigration Removal Centre (as it's called by the government) which is being built at Gatwick Airport. The new prison for asylum seekers will have a capacity of 420 places for male and female detainees and is another step in the Labour government's efforts to meets its target of 4,000 places in detention centres throughout the country.
The demonstration, which was mainly made of two large groups from Brighton and London, marched through Crawley town centre in the high of Saturday's shopping spree. Many leaflets were given out, informing locals about the reasons for the demonstration, whilst pointing out the fact that a new concentration camp for innocent people is about to be built on their doorsteps. Policing was relatively low but the level of surveillance and 'information gathering' was incredibly high and intimidating.