[ 29. Jan 2009 ]

Crossing the Channel: Initiatives Start Preparing for a Noborder Camp in Calais

no borders

Last weekend groups from France and the UK including people involved in the UK NoBorders Network agreed in a meeting in Lille to organise transnational Noborder Camp in Calais, France, which will be held in the last week of June 2009.


While Europe is tightening its border controls to the outside of Europe, and especially to Northern Africa, one of its internal borders is often overseen. Many migrants who come to Europe aim to reach the United Kingdom, but after the closing down of the centre in Sangatte/Calais, people are forced to sleep rough in the woods around the harbour, getting pushed around and often finally sent back to Paris where they are forced to sleep rough in their hundreds.

Furthermore the :: UK Border serves as a mechanism of internal control and filtering in Europe. By pushing the UK border onto French territory, the British government has made it impossible for many people to claim asylum in the UK and forced those that do try into the hands of people smugglers. This situation can only be changed when we start a public discourse about the UK Border regime and the humanitarian situation of the people who try to reach the UK from France.

The :: border regime can be only understood in its political and economic context, i.e. the exploitation of cheap work from migrants. Therefore we think that the struggle for equal rights for migrant workers and the struggle against the European detention and asylum system are closely connected. We need to intensify the transnational cooperation between initiatives made by people on both sides of the border who find the current situation unbearable.

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