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Protest Against DRC Deportations in Solihull

one of noborders | 18.04.2007 18:26 | Migration | Repression | Birmingham

Over 200 people protested on Thursday, 12 April, at Sandford House, the immigration reporting centre in Solihull, near Birmingham, against forced mass-deportations to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Police served a section 14 of the public order act on protesters on the morning of the protest. Section 14 restricted the protest to only 30 people, who were penned-in behind a hedge next to the car park of Sandford House. Organisers were expecting around 400 people to attend the protest.

Protesters escaped the confines of the pen by stepping through a hole in the hedge. They then proceeded to occupy Homer Road where police arrested a person sitting in the road. Another demonstrator went to ask what was happening and got punched in the face by Officer P. Dutton (3792) before also being arrested.

Just as police managed to push people back onto the pavement, another coach load of protesters spilled onto the street shouting "liberez! liberez!" and the road was occupied for another two hours. Police then attempted to confine people in their pen again, but protesters refused to leave and re-ocupied the road once more in an amazing show of solidarity until their friends were released.

Video Protest Against DRC Deportations in Solihull - video/mp4 77M

Officer P. Dutton (3792)
Officer P. Dutton (3792)

Officer P. Dutton (3792) punches a demonstrator in the face
Officer P. Dutton (3792) punches a demonstrator in the face

Congo is the largest country in Central Africa, bordering nine other nations. It is fabulously rich in minerals but the majority of it's 50 million people have only known poverty, oppression, instability and war. 'The War the World ignores' is a war that still goes on and has killed more people than Adolf Hitler's armies in World War II. It is not a distant 'tribal war' but a war whose trail leads directly to you in the so-called developed world. It leads to your computer, your remote controls, your mobile phone and your diamond necklace if you're rich enough to buy one. Today the country's infrastructure and institutions are in ruins. Ethnic power blocks and foreign manipulators in the guise of multi-national corporations vie for control of its politics and immense resources.

one of noborders


Hide the following 10 comments

Excellent video

18.04.2007 23:01

Fantastic stuff.

Oscar Beard


19.04.2007 04:34

hey, thanks for that video. really glad we watched it here. cool strong bunch of people there. great. you generally comment on the multinationals involved, etc... can u be more specific? this kind of comment starts to sound more like opinion than fact when generalised like that, i think anyway. also ... can you tell us what groups might be opposing what is going on in congo from within? "leftist" groups? libertarians? who exactly. it is not posible that there are not such people as us here, yet we* still know nothing about them. any plans to make connections and collaborate?

great "work". well done all involved,

in alegre rebeldia

*( generalising, but i certainly dont hear much talk around)


12 British Companies responsible for the plunder of Congo and war profiteering

19.04.2007 09:37

In October 2003 an independent panel of experts reported to the United Nations Security Council that 85 multinational companies based in Europe, the US and South Africa had facilitated the plunder of the Congo and illegally profited from the war. Twelve of the companies named in the report are based in Britain.

Afrimex - Exports coltan.

A.Knight International Assayers – they weigh, test and examine metals. Based in Warrington.

A & M Minerals and Metals Ltd. - Trade in metals and minerals worldwide. Based in London.

Alex Stewart Ltd Assayers. Based in London. There is an Alex Stewart laboratory in Rwanda.

Amalgamated Metal Corp - Holding company of AMC Group. Trades in Congolese coltan. Total sales of £1.5 billion in 1998/99.

Anglo American Plc Mining and natural resources conglomerate. Formed from a merger in 1998 of Anglo American Corp and Minorco. Moved offices from Johannesburg to London. Also has a 45% share in De Beers.

Arctic Investment - Investment firm with investments in Europe and Africa.

Barclays Bank - Offices across Africa but not in Congo. Declares mission to be Africa’s leading bank. Has profited from the exploitation of people and resources in Africa for over a century.

Das Air - Operates at Gatwick. Serves Africa, Middle East, the US, and India.

De Beers - Diamond mining and trading.

Euromet - Trades in coltan from the Great Lakes region of DRC.

Mineral Afrika - Mines and exports natural resources from Africa to Europe.

"Britain is not only involved in the exploitation of the Congo’s natural resources; it also armed all the sides involved in the DRC conflict. UK arms manufacturers have been granted export licenses to sell weapons to Zimbabwe, Uganda, Angola, Namibia and Burundi.11
In a speech to the Labour Party Conference last year, Tony Blair said that, with UK help, the world community could ‘sort out the blight that is the continuing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where three million people have died through war or famine in the last decade’. What Blair refers to as ‘the blight’ within the DRC was exacerbated by his own government’s sanctioning of military exports and training into the region. Since the Labour Party came to power, Britain has more than quadrupled arms sales to Africa."

What's really shameful is this a war fought for us, so that we can have these resources. But when our governments were informed by the United Nations that their corporations were collaborating and indeed causing some of the worst human rights abuses anywhere in the world, our governments didn't react by holding these corporations to account. They reacted by saying to the UN, “Why has our company been put on this list?” The companies lobbied very hard, not just in the Bush administration, but in Britain, in Germany, all over the developed world, to say, “Get us off the list.” And lots of them were taken off the list.

one of noborders
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can't view

19.04.2007 10:49

downloaded the vid (it's an mp4, non?) but can't view it in quicktime or realplayer...any advice? i know i should be using vlc or something, but any reason nwhy i can't view it with my other players?


Use vlc or mplayer to view the video if you can't see it in your existing player

19.04.2007 11:04

if you can't view the video properly it's probably cos you haven't got the right codec.

Download VLC player or Mplayer - they've got all the codecs and they're open source :)

open sauce playa

More on Coltan here

19.04.2007 18:37

This guy published this article last year.

An edited version made it on to

Oscar Beard

cool and the congolese rebel groups?

20.04.2007 00:22

great, thanks for the links, am sure there will be a few of us munching around for interesting links over the next few days.

but... anyone any ideas on resistance groups and collectives in congo? don't we? can we? doing a bit of indoamerican "solidarity" here and there people often, particularly in countries like france for example, ask and question, even challenge so much knowledge and focus on their truggles, where hardly anyone does or knows anything about struggles, groups, particular campaigns in africa ( appart from the occasional south african demo and repression, water and so on, or nigeria and the ogoni )

there is always a shadow running thru the challenge. we all know this is true, hardly ever anyone came up with a list of places and groups, like you get with south americans. words like "i know of this group in Namibia who... in 2002 did this community campaign against so and so and we did an action in solidarity"

bit weird innit?

any ideas with congo? any investigative types ?

thanks again


Why don't you research it yourself?

20.04.2007 11:07

if you want to find out about congolese resistance why don't you get in contact with some congolese people and find out for yourself.

that's pretty logical isn't it?

one of noborders

Why did the police limit the demo?

16.05.2007 08:38

I think you should write to the police asking them why they served a s14 order- this can only be done to prevent serious disorder, intimidation and the like. I'd want to know what grounds they had (other than a big demo equals more PCs and that means a bigger chance one will hit someone) to make a order restricting a basic democratic right.


Section 14 was challenged

23.05.2007 17:36

Several people challenged the conditions the cops imposed on the demo and eventually everyone sucessfully resisted them.

The cops, as in the video, couldn't answer why it had been imposed.

one of noborders