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
Two years of No Borders UK
It was before the G8 2005 in Scotland that initiatives started to network around the issues of Freedom Of Movement in the UK again. A Make Borders History demo took place in Glasgow during the 2005 G8 summit in Scotland, calling at several institutions and companies involved in the Border Regime. Shortly after the G8, actvists forced the YMCA to withdraw from an "ayslum slavery Scheme".
Durnig the following year, No Borders groups were set up all over the country, in London, Brighton, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leeds and other cities. Regular demonstrations targeted immigration reporting centres and as well as detention centres.
The year 2006 saw the first UK-wide No Borders Gathering in London (on 11-12 March) at the Square Social Centre. Exactly one year later, another gathering was held in Glasgow at the Unity centre. The initiatives naturally had different focal points, from fighting against dawn raids [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6], anti-deportation actions (e.g. in Leeds ), campaigning against the point-based system, to solidarity with migrant workers (e.g. justice for cleaners) and, of course, demonstrations at immigration prisons. In Glasgow, people started Unity, a union of by and for asylum seekers. In London, Harmondsworth became another focus of protests as well as building up practical support for detainees. The October 7th Network organised a demonstration in London as part of the Transnational Day Of Action for migrants' rights. However, when the Home Office disclosed plans to build a new immigration prison at Gatwick, the new Brook House became a focus for the whole network.
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 and 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.
The upcoming No Border Camp is organised by No Borders groups from Birmingham, Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Nottingham, Sheffield and Cardiff and supported by Barbed Wire Britain, Unity, Feminist Against Borders, West Midlands Antifa, Sex Workers Union, Vapaa Liikkuvuus (freedom of movement-group in Finland), Campaign to Close Campsfield, No One Is Illegal, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and many more.
Upcoming events in the next few weeks include:
- Wednesday August 22nd: film screening at the Camberwell Social Centre.
- The next Camp public meeting will take place on September 2nd in Brighton.
Events During The No Border Camp:
Thursday, 20th September
Welcome Demonstration - Crawley Town Centre, 5pm-7pm. To inform people about and invite them to participate in the No Border Camp.
Friday, 21st September:
Gathering at Lunar House, the Home Office reporting centre in East Croydon, 10am-2pm. A convergeance between those who have papers and those who don't; information-sharing, exchanging stories, food and music.
Saturday 22nd September
Transnational Demonstration at Tinsley House detention dentre at Gatwick, 12pm-2pm. Tinsley House, which has a capacity of 146, was the first purpose-built detention centre in the UK. The new planned Gatwick detention centre is to be built close by.
Later that day, groups will present their work and experiences in a Transnational Forum at the camp.
Announced workshops so far include ones with migration controls, ID Cards, practical support of people in detention, the political situation in the Middle East, alternative media, experiences from campaigns against companies and much more.
Migrating University is a set of workshops at Goldsmith University in the week before the No Border Camp.
Indymedia at the No Border Camp
As usual, IMC UK will be present at the No Border Camp. There will a public access tent, help with publishing and image processing, as well as workshops about alternative media.