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[ 07. Oct 2006 ]

Oct 7, 2006: Report from the demonstration in Vienna

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Some 350 people joined a demonstration in Vienna against detention pending deportation and for the freedom of movement on Oct 7, 2006, the Transnational Day of Action Against Migration Controls.


At 2:30 pm people met in front of one of Viennas immigration detention centres on Hernalser Guertel 8-12. Around 3pm the march started with around 350 participants. There was not much police present around the demonstration.

Many leaflets and the :: Crossing Borders newsletter were given away to intersted people and passers-by. (see :: downloads).

The demonstration surrounded the prison and passed by the office of "Menschenrechte Oesterreich" (Human Rights Austria), an organisation which was founded to advise people in the immigration detention centres. It works very close to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. A short speech informed the people about the practice of this organisation, which is part of the deportation system.

The demonstration then stopped in front of a branch of the Billa chain supermarket, which is known for bad working conditions. One more speech informed on the situation of the workers there.

Afterwards the demonstration went to the court building in Wickenburggasse 18-20, where people are detained while awaiting trial. Many people are imprisioned here for racist reasons (see for example the so-called :: Operation Spring and the report :: No consequences!? Institutional racism and torture in Austria). One speech informed of the special situation of women prisoners.

An other speech told of the situation of :: one man who started hungerstrike against custody pending deportation 38 day ago! He has already lost a lot of weight. With the :: new law against foreigners (in force since January 1, 2006) it is possible for the officials to use :: forced feeding for people who are detained under the foreigners law who are using hungerstrike as protest against custody pending deportation. It is not yet official that this method is used, but in some cases hungerstrikers have been threatened by police officers with forced feeding to end their hungerstrike.

Then the demonstration surrounded the building and went to the last stop, the immigration detention centres at Rossauer Laende 7-9. The prison was surrounded and the crowd with around 220 people stopped in front of the main entrance for the closing manifestation. One more speech explained the system of custody pending deportation. The demonstration was finished at 5:30 and the people left the place one by one.