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Liverpool Indymedia

No Borders / NO2ID / Defy-ID protest against ID Cards for Foreign Nationals

Dave Page | 10.11.2008 19:03 | Migration | Social Struggles | Technology | Liverpool

THIS THURSDAY 13th November, there is a planning meeting in Liverpool for an action. 7pm at the Liverpool Social Centre, next to News From Nowhere bookshop, 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY.

The action will take place on Tuesday 25th November, the first day on which foreign nationals will be interrogated and processed onto the Government's Database State. All groups opposed to identity cards, imposition of restrictions on foreign borders etc. are urged to attend.

NO2ID Logo
NO2ID Logo

No Borders Logo
No Borders Logo

From 25th November, foreign nationals applying for or extending visas to study or marry in this country (students and spouses) will be required to apply for a "Biometric Visa". This is a mirror of the UK National Identity Card - not just a piece of plastic, but a comprehensive, biometric database record which will track you for life. More details at  http://www.no2id.net/news/pressRelease/release.php?name=Jacqui_Smith_bullying

This scheme is about picking on people who have every reason to comply with the Government, and forcing them into an unfair, useless control-freak system.

On the 25th, a number of groups from around the UK, including No Borders, NO2ID and Defy-ID, will be protesting at the 6 immigration centres around the UK - Glasgow, Cardiff, Sheffield, Liverpool, Croydon and Birmingham. On Thursday 13th November, there will be a meeting in Liverpool to discuss the action there, at the Liverpool Social Centre, 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY - see  http://www.liverpoolsocialcentre.org/find.htm

We welcome all groups opposed to this scheme to join us.

Dave Page
- e-mail: manchester@no2id.net
- Homepage: http://manchester.no2id.net/


Article has been amended as follows

17.11.2008 12:51

The line "This scheme is not about preventing immigration or terrorism." has been removed from the article as this wording took an unintended political position on the issue of immigration & migrants (i.e. it implied immigration should be prevented).

(Also amended the sentence following which was "It is about picking on people who have every reason to comply with the Government, and forcing them into an unfair, useless control-freak system." from "It is... " to "This scheme ..." to make it make sense)

The comment thread below draws attention to and discusses the problem of the wording and contains statements by representatives of both No Borders and NO2ID

maria / Liverpool Indymedia
mail e-mail: nfnmaria@riseup.net


Hide the following 38 comments

point of clarification

10.11.2008 21:59

"This scheme is not about preventing immigration"
is not a statement that anybody holding a no borders position would say try here....


for a no borders call for action on this day

Bristol No Borders

liverpool demo 25th

10.11.2008 23:48

agreed with the Bristol no-borders comment. Although Manchester No-borders will be in liverpool on the 25th we are not affiliating ourselves with any groups that oppose ID cards on the grounds that they will not prevent illegal migration. Manchester No-borders oppose ID cards as they are an attempt at discriminating against migrant communities and the first stage of a process which will extend to everybody living in the UK. By resisting the repression of migrants, we defend the freedom of everyone.

Manchester No-Borders member

manchester no-borders member

Clarification of Clarification

11.11.2008 00:14

I wasn't implying that preventing immigration is a good thing, or a bad thing - just that it's totally irrelevant to the Government's reasons for targetting migrants with this scheme.

It'll be good to see No Borders at the immigration centres on the 25th - any chance of Manchester No Borders making some kind of contact with Manchester NO2ID, preferably on  manchester@no2id.net or at our meeting on Wednesday 12th November? I've been trying to get in touch but to no avail.

Dave Page
mail e-mail: manchester@no2id.net
- Homepage: http://manchester.no2id.net/

I don't think the article implies immigration is bad

11.11.2008 00:39

I don't think it is a problem to point out logical inconsistencies in your opponent's argument even if you disagree with the original premise. Attack them on all fronts.

It's like saying animal rights activists shouldn't say how healthy a vegan diet is because the issue is animal suffering, not human health benefits.

The No2ID campaign needs to speak to as broad a church of people as possible if they are to stop ID cards. Total ideological purity may be a noble goal, but in the real world if your message is too far off the mainstream and you are a political campaign, you will be marginalised and ignored.

No2ID is a single issue campaign that aims to influence the government. Unless you have the physical power to use intimidation (we don't) you have to play by the government's rules.

I would like to see an end to all borders and all immigration controls, but I see it as a long-term utopian goal. The No2ID campaign, one the other hand, is a pragmatic, political, single issue campaign, so I can see how these two things don't totally coincide. They should overlap enough that it becomes advantageous to work together, though, as long as each can tolerate the other's difference.


Bloggers Unite for Refugees

11.11.2008 10:23

We support you, and would like to come on your protest

- Homepage: http://unite.blogcatalog.com/

Good to ask Questions

11.11.2008 22:47

There is, of course, a real need to oppose ID cards, they are extremely dangerous. I do however feel that No Borders are right to be wary in giving their unconditional support to the NO2ID campaign. I have just been on No2ID's website and found a list of all those groups who support them. While I assume many individuals are doing it for the right reasons I do think it would be bizarre to see a No Borders group campaign along side groups such as UKIP, The English Democrat Party and The Freedom Association. It would look a little hypocritical. In fact the coalition of NO2ID supporters is simply very bizarre. Here a a couple of qoutes from the English Democrat's manifesto, if you want to read it all follow the link on the NO2ID webpage!

'The UK should refuse to accept any further asylum seekers and should instead give financial assistance to genuine refugees in their own or neighbouring countries, where such financial assistance will have the greatest beneficial impact. In order to end the mass inflow of asylum seekers into the UK, the UK must withdraw from the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees.....
Our principal concern is to preserve and build on what is left of English cultural unity and social cohesion. The preservation of our identity and culture are at least as important as economic considerations. We do not accept the fallacious but widely publicised economic arguments for mass immigration. For the most part they greatly exaggerate the economic benefits and wholly ignore the economic, social, and cultural costs. The people of England have never voted for nor supported mass immigration. The English Democrats support whatever measures are necessary to bring mass immigration to a complete end'.

Not surprisng then that No Borders may have issues around sharing the same platform as some of those in the NO2ID campaign!
No Borders completely reject any idea of ID cards, but, I would suggest, for differing reasons to the likes of some who are part of the coalition. We should be united in our opposition to ID cards and also united in our opposition to nationalism, little England mentality and anti-immigration rhetoric. It would be helpful if NO2ID were more clear in their support of such aims!

Groups who affiliate to NO2ID (from NO2ID website):

* 1990 Trust
* Action on Rights for Children (ARCh)
* Activist Network
* Alternative Party
* Association of British Drivers
* Cambridge City Council
* Campaign Against Criminalising Communities
* Campaign for an Independent Britain
* Cardiff Social Forum
* Ceredigion County Council
* Charter 88
* Church of the Militant Elvis Party
* Community Action Party
* Cymru Rydd - The Welsh Republican Party
* Democracy Movement
* Democratic Labour Party
* English Democrat Party
* English Democrats
* Foundation for Information Policy Research
* Freedom Association
* Globalise Resistance
* Green Action
* Green Party of England and Wales
* Hackney Labour Party
* Hackney Unison
* Halton Citizens Party
* Hebden Royd Town Council
* Independent Group of Councillors (Kingston)
* Index on Censorship
* Legalise Cannabis Alliance
* Leicester City Council
* Liberal Democrats
* Liberal Party
* Libertarian Alliance
* Liberty
* Network for Economic & Political Democracy
* New Alliance
* Newhaven Town Council
* Norwich City Council
* Peace Party
* Plaid Cymru
* Privacy International
* Radical Activist Network
* Reformist Party
* Resolutionist Party
* RESPECT - The Unity Coalition
* Scottish Green Party
* Scottish Human Rights Centre
* Scottish Independence Party
* Scottish Nationalist Party
* Scottish Socialist Party
* Silent Majority Party
* Social Vision
* Socialist Environmental Alliance
* Socialist Labour Party
* Socialist People's Party
* Southwark Green Party
* St Albans Party
* Stand.org.uk
* Statewatch
* UK Independence Party
* UKIP Bournemouth West
* UNISON City of Plymouth
* UNISON South West
* United Socialist Party
* Unity Injustice
* Watford Borough Council
* West Suffolk Independent Alliance Party
* York City Council

Good to Question!

By resisting the repression of migrants, we defend the freedom of everyone.

11.11.2008 23:25

The rhetoric of NO2ID on the issue of migration and their insistence on referring to people as "illegal" is clearly a problem, it is likely to hold them back from being able to campaign effectively against the scheme. Those who fight against having to carry an ID card themselves but consider some migrants 'fair game' for such controls have, in their short sighted bigotry, the seeds of their own failure.

No Borders South Wales welcomes anyone who is opposed to ID cards and the wider system of social control to join us on Tuesday 25th November at 12 noon outside General Buildings, 31 -33 Newport Road, Cardiff. However we are keen to stress that it is only through solidarity with migrants that we are able to truly oppose this scheme.

Update on ID cards here, check it out:  http://noborderswales.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/by-resisting-the-repression-of-migrants-we-defend-the-freedom-of-everyone/

No Borders South Wales
mail e-mail: noborderswales@riseup.net
- Homepage: http://noborderswales.wordpress.com

No Borders speak sense

11.11.2008 23:26

relatively speaking some of the groups who are aligned to NO2ID make No Borders look big and main stream in comparison, no wonder they want to co-opt them!!


Silent Majority Party

12.11.2008 00:26

I tried to find some info on the Silent Majority Party who are supporting NO2ID and had no luck, perhaps this is because they are silent.

Silent Majority Party

Where do No2ID refer to people as "illegal"?

12.11.2008 00:42

A previous comment said that No2ID use rhetoric where they refer to immigrants as "illegal" - can you provide a link to this?

As far as I know No2ID is run by anti-authoritarians of the leftish persuasion. But clearly it is also an issue for right-wing libertarians, such as the far-right Freedom Association.

It's a difficult question. If No2ID purged all their supporters who weren't left anarchists, there wouldn't be many left. Councils are part of the state, so maybe they should go too? All political parties are supporting the state system, so they go as well.

My guess is they would refuse outright racists like the BNP but give little englanders like the UKIP and the Freedom Association the benefit of the doubt.

Party politics is a dirty game, so if you are involved in it like No2ID is, you are going to get your hands dirty.

I like to think we can have a whole spectrum of organisations against ID cards, or varying degrees of radicalism. We may not agree on everything, but maybe as a unholy alliance we have a chance of resisting ID cards.


Comment on Illegals

12.11.2008 10:13

It is here
"Supporters of NO2ID and No Borders will be protesting at the Immigration Services building in Liverpool on the day ID cards are rolled out to non-EU students and spouses.This move is not about combatting terrorism or illegal immigration"

from here


NO2ID message toned down but still a problem

12.11.2008 11:41

It used to be a lot worse in terms of NO2ID propagating a negative message about migrants. At national level the camapign appears to have toned down the original message about illegal immigration that seems to have been originally designed to appeal to little englanders. For example, their 'immigration' webpage no longer exists online (dated 30 July 2004) but is archived here:
It reads as follows:

"ID cards will not cut illegal immigration or illegal working

The argument that ID cards will cut illegal immigration or reduce black market illegal labour is fatally flawed. There are systems in place at present to deal with these matters, but the authorities have shown themselves incapable of administering them.

If they can't run the present systems properly, what are the chances that they will be able to cope with the most expensive and complex IT project ever undertaken by the government?

Employers of illegal immigrants are often fully aware that they are breaking the law - they don't ask to see national insurance cards at present, and they won't check people's ID cards in future. Identity cards are a recipe for excessive red tape and expense for legitimate businesses, but will be completely ignored by those who are already willing to act outside the law."

I'd like to think they have responded to some of the criticisms from Defy-ID about this, expressed in one form here, Stop Using Their Logic:  http://www.nottingham-defy-id.org.uk/download_files/stop_using_their_logic.pdf and also here,
Defy-ID and No Borders - Better Together!

Obviously for the 'single issue' campaign that are trying to appeal to all who might oppose ID, they are now having to face the reality that, aside from airside workers, foreign nationals are the major front line target for biometric ID. This could easily have been predicted and formed a major part of the campaign, especially since asylum seekers have had for many years an ID card in the form of the ARC card and are on a biometric database as explained here:
Still, even with the change in tone since 2004 concerning illegal immigration from NO2ID it's annoying to read that ID cards for foreigners are coming through No Borders Act and are therefore not really ID cards ...  http://www.no2id.net/news/pressRelease/release.php?name=Jacqui_Smith_bullying

Also some of the NO2ID local group sites and especially sister site 'Youth Against ID' still peddle overt anti-immigrant rhetoric e.g.  http://www.youthagainstid.org/node/studentpack/WindowPosters/FAQs.pdf
"Spain also introduced ID cards under fascist regimes in the 1930s. Since the introduction of
the cards they now suffer from some of the worse illegal immigration in Europe and have had
multiple terrorist atrocities in recent years – the very things that our government sold ID cards
as a tool of preventing."

See:  http://www.afed.org.uk/ace/anon.html#org where this problematic approach in anti-ID campaigning was first raised (talking about Liberty's 'ID Cards: Fact and Fiction' booklet).

One of Nottingham Defy-ID
- Homepage: http://www.nottingham-defy-id.org.uk

Let's work in Solidarity to defeat ID cards

12.11.2008 15:10

NO2ID is opposed to ID cards for everybody.

I've been at NO2ID meetings where fundamentalist Christians, UKIP members, Socialists, Tories and Anarchist have buried their differences to work towards a common goal of defeating ID cards.

Personally I think the ability to find common ground with your ‘enemies’ and work together on shared goals is the only way in which you can build a mass movement that is required to defeat the scheme. If some No Borders groups chose collectively not to support NO2ID as a campaign that is their freedom of choice, and should be respected.

I Hope that such groups will become involved in joint protests and demonstrations but under their own banners as standing together in Solidarity against ID cards we are at our strongest. Of course as No Borders is an autonomous group it will be up to individuals within different groups to decide what they feel comfortable with.

Here in Yorkshire we approached No Borders and they felt uncomfortable with directly supporting the NO2ID campaign for the reasons stated above. However they were still happy to publicize the event in order that individuals in their group could decide whether they wanted to come along and oppose ID cards with NO2ID. We are planning to announce a protest in Leeds Shortly and hope that all people who oppose ID cards will come along and join us in defeating the scheme.

Personally I think it would be a tragedy if our efforts to oppose ID cards were distracted by arguing amongst ourselves as to the best way of going about this.

James Elsdon-Baker
mail e-mail: yorkshire@no2id.net
- Homepage: http://www.yorkshireno2id.org

Hard to improve upon what James wrote

12.11.2008 16:06

Sometimes you have to put aside your differences to achieve a more important goal.

It would be a huge mistake for NO2ID to take a position on migration. We have broad support from the Tories, LibDems and even within the Labour Party. We have newspapers as diverse as the Daily Mail and the Guardian trumpeting our concerns and as such we are genuinely influencing the direction of 21st century Britain - something very few campaigns can claim.

NO2ID is *not* a political party. It is a single-issue campaign purely to stop ID cards and national databases like the ID database, the Medical database, the proposed Stasi database of our emails and phone calls and even the Children's Index.

There is an equal split between left and right within NO2ID, including those who have led the campaign since inception. It would not surprise me if they disagreed about open borders.

So affiliate or don't. Join No Borders or don't. If we all had the same beliefs, life would be boring.

Whether you carry No Borders', Defy-ID's or NO2ID's banner on the 25th, let us spoil the Govt's pointless propaganda exercise that bullies minorities.

Dave Gould
- Homepage: http://www.bristol-no2id.org.uk/

Using migration as a political football

12.11.2008 16:28

"It would be a huge mistake for NO2ID to take a position on migration"

Indeed. Except that the huge mistake has already happened. By using terms like "illegal immigration" and "illegal immigrants" NO2ID appears to be taking a position on migration that is directly opposite to that of No Borders.

As Nottingham Defy ID has already pointed out in a link above:

"In simply asserting that the ID scheme “won't stop the immigrants” we implicitly suggest acceptance of the
position that there is an “immigration problem”, playing into the hands of those who seek to stir up anti-
immigrant feeling, and subtly feeding into the perception that the country is being flooded by foreigners, and
into the vile culture of persecution of immigrants that the government and other political parties are happy to
sustain. "
source:  http://www.nottingham-defy-id.org.uk/download_files/stop_using_their_logic.pdf


Rebuttal, not Racism

12.11.2008 16:44

It is a shame that people take NO2ID rebutting the Government's false, racist allegations about ID cards as tacit approval of the Government's migration policy. It seems to take a fairly selective reading to achieve this, as the first paragraph of  http://www.no2id.net/ states:

"NO2ID is a campaigning organisation. We are a single-issue group focussed on the threat to liberty and privacy posed by the rapid growth of the database state, of which "ID cards" are the most visible part. We are entirely independent. We do not endorse any party, nor campaign on any other topic."

NO2ID and No Borders might have slightly different reasons for opposing the introduction of ID cards for non-EAA nationals from 25th November, but both are in opposition. It would be great to hear more about how we can work together, rather than rehashing old and inaccurate allegations about how we are separate.

The last meeting we had in Liverpool was very productive, with people from NO2ID, Defy-ID and No Borders talking about how we can oppose this scheme. I expect the meeting tomorrow will also be productive, and hope to see a few of you there so we can discuss both the protest and our respective campaigns in a constructive environment.

Dave Page, Manchester NO2ID

Dave Page
mail e-mail: manchester@no2id.net
- Homepage: http://manchester.no2id.net/

Inaccurate allegations and not the place

12.11.2008 22:34

NO2ID haven't said ID cards "won't stop the immigrants"!
Nor have NO2ID said anything about an "immigration problem".

And if you must make inaccurate allegations, perhaps don't do it in a public forum where we're trying to raise opposition to ID card for foreign nationals?

Dave Gould
- Homepage: http://www.bristol-no2id.org.uk/

doesn't matter

13.11.2008 13:11

it's not about whether the 'allegations' as you call them are justfied or not, or whether this is the place to discuss it.

the fact remains that no one from no borders would agree to no2id's call out for the demo, so they shouldn't advertise it as a joint no borders protest.
and if they do, don't be surprised that no borders folks give their opinions as comments here on indymedia.

one of mcr no borders

The meaning of Solidarity

13.11.2008 13:37

'Stop using their logic' was directed at the 'ID cards won't stop...' argument in general and does not mention anyone in particular. 'Their logic' is the logic of the state that wants us to be fearful of illegal immigration and benefit fraud as problems to be solved by draconian means instead of recognising the fundamental problem of living in a class-based society.

"Solidarity" is not about compromising principles with little-englanders but about seeing working class immigrants as equals in a world ravaged by capitalist greed. The history of nation states and empires is one of ruling classes thieving common 'property' (at home but much more often 'abroad') and imposing a rule of law to keep it for themselves. If we all get ID because of the self-interest of little englanders not standing up against 'ID card for foreigners' I will certainly put some of the blame on them as well as the government.

And someone else in NO2ID should perhaps have a word with whoever is the admin for the Youth Against ID site " http://forum.no2id.net/viewtopic.php?t=10556" about that terrible sentence about Spain: "Since the introduction of the cards they now suffer from some of the worse illegal immigration in Europe..." and ask them why they think this is a good thing to be saying to the target audience of 14-25 year olds?

As put by South Wales No Borders recently...

“First they forced ID cards on asylum seekers,

and I didn’t protest because I wasn’t an asylum seeker.

Now they’re forcing ID cards on non-EU migrants,

and I didn’t protest because I wasn’t a non-EU migrant

Next they’re forcing ID cards on airport workers,

and then they’re going to force one on me…”

(to which we can add the ending from the Pastor Martin Neilmoller quote - "... and by that time no one was left to speak up".)

Full leaflet:

One of Nottingham Defy-ID
- Homepage: http://www.nottingham-defy-id.org.uk

Dave, you need to understand...

13.11.2008 15:40

If you are conducting a protest against ID cards for airport workers at the same time as the TUC, putting statements like "ID cards won't stop trade unions" is going to cause your allies to take offence!

This is very much an issue of language. This (possibly clumsy and unintentionally offensive) method of referring to people the government has declared war upon as 'illegal' is remarkably common, and perhaps NO2ID, in the past, has used statements which inflame the migration debate somewhat unwittingly.

Its prudent to clear these issues now, as we are likely to be occupying the same space as each other, whilst the government targets migrants for their totalitarian schemes. It would be good for the two groups to have fraternal relations, and provided that NO2ID don't use anti-immigration logic to form their arguments, there is no reason for us not to be able to.

one of no-borders

ID or not ID?

13.11.2008 16:08

Similar to point mentioned here in July,
NO2ID needs to consider carefully if it's right-wing affliliations can now honestly claim to be against ID if they are ideologically unable to oppose the first wave of ID card imposition.

+++ NO2ID forum discussion about this Indymedia thread +++


no2id forum about no borders:

13.11.2008 18:05

"And they were the same ones that chucked a custard pie in the face of a Labour minister at Manchester University recently regarding his position on curbing illegal immigration. I read the comments the readers had left after the article and they were not pleasant reading either. These people are hardline Marxists, exactly the same sort who want ID cards and they are internationally based, as is the Marxist movement generally. The Communist Manifesto is an accurate reflection of what we are moving towards today, and it is done by infiltration. Anyone who is serious about ID cards would avoid them like the plague."



The Freedom Association...

13.11.2008 19:22

...are a bunch of scabby, middle class little shits whose sole concern is maintaining their own position of social privilege. Anybody who thinks that their concern for "freedom" extends past their own selfish ends is a fucking idiot. They wouldn't even be opposed to ID cards for foreign nationals if it weren't for the fact that it's merely the first stages of a wider scheme.

If anything, the car crash alliance of completely incompatible strategies and ideas is a classic example of why broad lobbying groups like No2ID are such a stupid fucking idea. It's kind of sweet that some of you think that getting a few quotes published in the Daily Mail is going to do anything to stop the introduction of ID cards and the National Identity Database.


claryfiying No2IDs stance on migration

14.11.2008 02:04

I heard that there was a charge being made in these parts that because No2ID have said
"ID Cards wont stop illegal immigration" it somehow implies that the group think that stopping illegal immigration is a worthy goal.

I dont speak for the group, but as a long time active member I can confirm that we have no such position. We have a position against ID Cards. Period.

This for me means solidarity is needed now with the first victims in a specifically racist implementation of a very dangerous policy.

The reason why that line is used is because it is in response to a state lie. The state tells lots of lies about ID cards and it is the place of No2ID to highlight this.

The initial lies were about terror, benefit fraud and migration.

Now those lies are increasingly exposed, the state has changed tack and tries to sell them as "convinient" (ie they will make it very inconvininent not to have one)

When the successive reasons for a policy are shown to be wrong or fibs it becomes reasonable to assume we aint being told the real reason.

I believe the main reason is that the elite are inately and corrupted control freaks who will lie through their teeth to get what they want, but I am happy to be challenged on that.

But for anyone to imply that No2ID implicitly endorsing an anti migrant stance of any sort is straw-man building of the first order. Or to put it another way: complete bollox.

This is no time for petty in fighting and imagining positions that dont exist.

The state is about to start registering citizens for a control grid database, starting with some of the most vulnerable people in society. Thats what matters, beginning middle and end.

I hope to see as many people as possible at some very vigourous demonstrations.

steven durrant

How did the meeting go last night?

14.11.2008 14:14

I hope the meeting went well and that there will be a lively demo in Liverpool.

But Dave you said: "NO2ID and No Borders might have slightly different reasons for opposing the introduction of ID cards for non-EAA nationals from 25th November, but both are in opposition. "

Did UKIP or any of the English Democrats or Freedom Association so-called anti-ID affiliates turn up to last night's planning meeting then? And do you think any of them will go on demonstrations or participate in other action to oppose ID cards following their introduction on 25th? If not to what extent are these organisations no-to-id?


Not Attending Protest To Stop ID Cards vs Use Of Language - What's The Priority?

14.11.2008 14:27

I think some people really need to reevaluate their priorities.

It might be the case that some of No2ID's statements refer to immigrants as 'illegal', but it's not No2ID that makes them illegal because of laws that they have implemented, it is the government. Whoever wrote that No2ID statement is not saying that immigrants are illegal, they are using the term that is applied to immigrants by the government, and that is linguistically correct in application to the situation. It is not saying that No2ID agrees with this stance, and I'm not sure how you could say that it is, apart from if you were very pedantic. No2ID is standing up to the racist doctrines that the government is attempting to implement, and it would be great to see No Borders and everyone else standing together alongside each other to defeat this rather more relevant cause.

To not attend a protest because of a petty semantic arguments (that are incorrect!) like this smacks of childish tantrums, throwing rattles out of prams and attention-seeking egotism. If you really wanted to help things, rather than taking your ball home and not playing, why not offer to help correct No2ID on its misplaced use of lingo? Surely that would help heal things, rather than causing unnecessary divisions?


Language is essential

14.11.2008 20:59

When we ALL start taking about the 'undocumented' rather than 'illegals', perhaps some will realise why opponents of social control see campaigning against the Border regime as the true frontline in the battle against the database state.


Some NO2ID affiliates are for the database state...

15.11.2008 11:01

Here is the problem (as highlighted in a comment on Indymedia  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/11/412945.html ),

Extract from,
"Other points from UKIP's immigration policy:
Put in place border controls so that all non-UK nationals who enter the UK can be registered and tracked on their entry and exit from the country. Anyone overstaying their visa will be subject to arrest and removal from the country and will incur a ban on further entry to the UK for a minimum of five years"

A policy of registering and tracking is just not compatible with stopping "the database state". It's a crazy situation to have a party claiming to support NO2ID that has this policy.


Proposal to amend this article (admin) & personal opinion

15.11.2008 17:49

I'm a Liverpool Indymedia admin (so can edit and amend the article) and also part of the Liverpool Defy ID group.

Speaking personally:

I agree - the wording of this article is deeply problematic where it says "This scheme is not about preventing immigration".

I accept that NO2ID do not seek to take an anti-immigration position, as an organisation is concerned solely with resisting the introduction of identity registration, but, as has been pointed out, this wording DOES imply that immigration is something that should be prevented, and so does represent a position on immigration.

It's an all too easy argument to fall into, especially when a common pro-ID argument thrown at you is often "I'm all for it, it'll stop all these illegal immigrants coming into the country". It's tempting to say "no it won't" as a way to persuade that person or others with that point of view to oppose ID cards, but it falls into agreeing with them that the immigration should be prevented and strictly controlled. It also plays into government & media scapegoating and fear-mongering against immigrants, the kind of fear-mongering that encourages unthinking acceptance of ID cards in the face of exaggerated outside threats. (An alternative counter-argument? Well, clearly this argument appeals because of the idea that there are "bad" people and only the "bad" people have anything to fear from ID cards, which we all know is fallacious on so many levels, so: "It will affect everyone including you. Everyone will have to pay for it, everyone's freedom and privacy will be compromised, everyone's personal information will be vulnerable to government and criminal snooping")

Additionally, the scheme IS about immigration control: the scheme overall is all about control of all people, migrants and existing citizens alike. It's just that migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are ALREADY subjected to the kind of repressive control that national identity registration would eventually extend to the rest of the population.

When we are fighting to resist the authoritarian controls that ID registration represents, it is ultimately inconsistent and counter-productive to use an argument, "ID cards won't stop illegal immigration", that, however unwittingly, implies that authoritarian controls are needed for some people (anyone not British) and not others.

As a single issue campaign, NO2ID rightly seeks not to take any position on immigration - but right now it IS taking a position, exactly has been described, whereever it uses language that agrees that immigration and immigrants are a problem, whether you (NO2ID) intend that or not.

Taking a truly neutral stand on the issue of immigration involves being sensitive to the implications of language used to frame the issue and to describe migrant people - e.g. being careful not to inadvertently argue that immigration as a "problem", to not describe some people's very existence as "illegal", using the more neutral "undocumented migrants" if you have to talk about migrants at all. Taking on this more genuinely neutral position will not alienate anti-immigration affiliates/members but not doing so is currently alienating potential important allies like No Borders and people supporting the rights of asylum seekers and immigrants. Your (NO2ID's) common ground with these affiliates and allies across the political spectrum is solely opposition to identity cards.

PROPOSED ACTION AS INDYMEDIA ADMIN: What I'd like to do & will do if there are no objections (from people involved in this discussion or my fellow admins) is to delete the sentence containing "This scheme is not about preventing immigration" and append an "addition" (a comment that is always visible with the article) explaining that the article has been edited to remove this sentence, so that the comment thread still makes sense.

mail e-mail: nfnmaria@riseup.net

Language IS important and "undocumented migrant" will give the wrong impression

15.11.2008 21:51

maria wrote: "It's an all too easy argument to fall into, especially when a common pro-ID argument thrown at you is often "I'm all for it, it'll stop all these illegal immigrants coming into the country". It's tempting to say "no it won't" as a way to persuade that person or others with that point of view to oppose ID cards, but it falls into agreeing with them that the immigration should be prevented and strictly controlled."

I've quoted this paragraph to emphasise that we entirely understand the point you are making.

Whilst NO2ID would like to answer "NO2ID is single-issue and has no opinion on undocumented migrants..." we'd have lost 99% of our audience or, more likely, turned them against us. A lot of protest groups (unfairly) get attacked for being too PC and we wish to avoid such associations.

So sorry but we can't answer that way. And, sadly, this is the most significant pro-ID argument we have to deal with, largely responsible for the 45% of the public who still think ID cards are a good idea.

We understand that some people think a lack of denial means agreement. For No Borders to not turn up to their own event because they believe this would be very sad indeed... because it's neither logically true, nor true for 80+% of the public.

For what it's worth, NO2ID currently answers more along the lines that "The Government keeps pushing this xenophobic angle on ID cards but it's clear that ID cards cannot find people unless we are all forced to identify ourselves several times a day." But, if we can only make one point, we will always make our anti-ID card argument before criticising marginalisation of immigrants.

NO2ID is NOT affiliated to UKIP. And we are more interested in dividing-and-conquering the few ID proponents than ourselves.

JH - the Govt listens to the Daily Mail and Murdoch more than it does anyone else. Several New Labour ex- ministers have said as much.

I've forwarded a link to this page to Youth Against ID. If you think there's any more NO2ID as a single issue campaign can reasonably do, email me at daveATdeep-trance.com.

Dave Gould

More about the language thing.

16.11.2008 06:42

Overdocumented wrote:

"When we ALL start taking about the 'undocumented' rather than 'illegals'..."

Well we are not doing that. The disgusting term "illegals" (more general in use in the US) is indeed dehumanising.

But to refer to a group as "illegal immigrants" is fairly accurate though I admit I dont like the term - it does allow pigeon holing of a group.

However such people are immigrating, I prefer to say "migrating" because I think language matters too. It doesnt matter to me where people go from and too, but they happen to be "migrating".

Their status as migrants is judged not qualified the law or "illegal".

That doesnt mean we have to accept that law or any law.

So when the state says they "will stop illegal immigration" and No2ID counter, It is fair to say that No2ID are indulging the language of the state, but it is to hoist them by their own nasty lying petard.

Its an interesting debate for sure but really,honestly and for pitys sake we are about to witness a racist implentation of the database state. Lets not have this divide us.

For thousands of years elites have sought to divide and conquer. They laugh themselves silly when they dont even have to bother because we are doing it for them.


Baron von Lotsov

17.11.2008 05:55

What I can’t fathom with this argument about semantics is that some on here want NO2ID to do exactly what they are wrongly accusing them of doing.

NO2ID uses the words ‘illegal immigrant’ to simply mean an immigrant that has broken the law. Now this term is used widely in this country because it’s simple and unambiguous English.

Someone used the argument that you don’t call a car driver an illegal driver, but call such a person an unlicensed driver. Again, the logic is faulty because ‘illegal driver’ is the collective term for unlicensed driver, untaxed driver, uninsured driver and so on. This is why the English language is such a good thing, it allows you to say exactly what you mean.

Now, all well and good you might think. NO2ID saying what they mean in a simple and unambiguous way. But for some of you people this is not enough. You want to embarrass NO2ID into putting their hands up and say “Oh, we could be offending someone here” and bow down and substitute it for language that is not readily recognisable by the masses because it is contrived to make a political point. This is generally known as the much-hated political correctness.

Stupidity abounds when councils apply this sort of talk, and in case you need to be reminded, let me just mention Birmingham City Council and their much laughed at Winterval. It’s almost become famous for that one, and for all the wrong reasons. So you expect NO2ID wont mind being made into a laughing stock? Well it depends on whether you mind being forced to carry an ID card. We can’t afford to make these mistakes, the fight is critical at the moment. I think we have the edge, but only just. It could still go either way. So if you are serious then get down to the business of fighting ID cards and not semantics.

Baron von Lotsov


18.11.2008 01:58

Winterval was just a marketing scheme, there's no sinister agenda behind it.

In any case, I do intend to attend this demo, but I intend to do so in solidarity with the "illegal immigants" and not with those who wish they could find a truly final solution to the "problem" of migration. The real problem is not the language used, but the fact that No2ID is open to groups that are actively anti-immigrant (UKIP, for fuck's sake?)


Splitting Hairs Causes Headaches

18.11.2008 14:07

"The real problem is not the language used, but the fact that No2ID is open to groups that are actively anti-immigrant (UKIP, for fuck's sake?) "

No2ID is NONPARTISAN. Look that up in a dictionary, if you're more obsessed with words than getting out and actually doing something. Here, I'll save you the job of looking:


Now I hope we'll see everyone out on the streets on the 25th, whether it's in separate clusters or united together against ID cards - comprende?


You can't be neutral on a moving train

19.11.2008 10:20

It's easy for WASPs to be "non-partisan" towards racism, not everybody has that particular privilege. This isnt' a matter of "splitting hairs" over language, but about a genuine refusal to line up with racists while they get a sly dig in against immigrants. This isn't about particular individuals, it's is about groups whose entire politics are based around attacking immigrants and using them as a scapegoat.

As far as I'm concerned, anti-racism, internationalism and standing in solidarity with immigrants is completely, 100% non-negotiable.


Not So Cunning Linguists

19.11.2008 17:02

In answer to the above:

"It's easy for WASPs to be "non-partisan" towards racism, not everybody has that particular privilege." - who doesn't? (and aren't WASPs meant to be American, anyway? Are you from the seventies?)

"This isnt' a matter of "splitting hairs" over language, but about a genuine refusal to line up with racists while they get a sly dig in against immigrants." - No2ID hasn't done this, it's the government who have created this situation

"This isn't about particular individuals, it's is about groups whose entire politics are based around attacking immigrants and using them as a scapegoat." - which No2ID does not do, as it is a nonpartisan organisation

"As far as I'm concerned, anti-racism, internationalism and standing in solidarity with immigrants is completely, 100% non-negotiable." - So will you be standing in solidarity with immigrants 100% at the protests next Tuesday?


Hijacking Political Issues

20.11.2008 05:03

"As far as I'm concerned, anti-racism, internationalism and standing in solidarity with immigrants is completely, 100% non-negotiable." - So will you be standing in solidarity with immigrants 100% at the protests next Tuesday? "

Well I personally wouldn't because I believe immigration needs greater controls, and I believe in the rule of democracy by an elected national parliament, hence I'm against undemocratic organisations like the EU and the UN and their plans.

So if I need to change my view on these things in order to be allowed to protest against ID cards, in that you stated it was non-negotiable, then naturally I would choose not to attend. Incidentally, this is typical of the left, it's known as hijacking one issue to sell a controversial one. Nu Labour have this down to a fine art regarding ID cards- it's a shame more of you don't wise up to these scams.

Baron von Lotsov

Since when did having a coherent political outlook...

25.11.2008 09:48

...mean "hijacking" anything? No2ID is *not* neutral on immigration, it takes an implicit stance against immigrants, which is why I would never be a part of it.



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