[ 28. Sep 2009 ]

International Gathering for the Free Movement of Persons

Barcelona, 01.-04. Oct 2009

The struggle against borders and migrant detention camps - Call for gathering from 01. - 04. October 2009 in Barcelona


The existence of borders implies the need to transgress them.

It is important to question the space from which we speak. Fortress Europe, founded and reproduced over centuries of colonial politics, redefines repression selectively, persecuting and penalizing the free movement of people, turning some into controlled producers and others into "illegals": the persecuted and the incarcerated.

In pursuit of its redefinition, Fortress Europe constructs warfronts and militarized zones; develops increasingly sophisticated technologies of social control; creates the spectre of the controlled, persecuted, eliminated, deported "enemy within"; criminalizes acts of solidarity with "the undocumented"; and is spreading a network of lagers (migrant detention camps) which, with the complicity and collaboration of migrants' origin countries, start far beyond European borders and extends throughout the European Union.

The definition of the Other is a fundamental part of managing capitalist warfare. The Other is the necessary enemy, the terrorist of the day, and a figure that is indispensible to efforts to draw the borders which are currently being imposed upon us under the guise of Fortress Europe.

The Other is transformed into a commodity managed by institutions and the corporate elite, and the same people who exploit migrants train prison guards. Meanwhile, the mainstream media constantly transmits messages of whitewashed, politically correct racism. These are accepted by the public in the form of "multiculturalism"; or, exploiting fears of insecurity, the figure of the police-citizen is created, who denounces and collaborates with the expulsion machine.

Forms of control are currently converging towards a single, increasingly repressive and totalitarian model. This system imposes conditions which leave migrants and detainees with no alternative but confrontation and rebellion. In Ceuta and Melilla, hundreds of "undocumented" migrants came together to assault the borders of the Spanish State. In Lampedusa (Italy), Vincennes (France), Patras (Greece), Steenokkerzeel (Belgium), Yarls Wood (UK) and many other places, it has been the prisoners themselves who have risen up to burn their own prison blocks. Rooted in these events, compañer@s with and without "papers" have mobilized at borders and prisons for migrants, carrying out actions, campaigns and struggles from the bottom up in different countries.

It is because of this that we feel it is urgently necessary to share experiences of struggle, and have decided to call for a series of international sessions, with discussions and debates. We invite you to come share your ideas, tactics and experiences, and debate future strategies from the 1st to the 4th of October.

During these days, we wish to focus above all on resistance inside the detention camps and active solidarity from the outside. We also find it important to deal with the issue of Europe's Southern and Eastern borders, as these are the main entry points and daily backdrop of the war on Fortress Europe.

We do not wish to delve too deeply into the issues of obtaining documents or migrant labor, since these depend on the particularities of each country's judicial situation, however, we do have a blog available, on which any documents that may complement the sessions can be posted. We invite you to send us any information, experiences, stories or critiques you'd like to share through text or images.

These sessions will take place in 'liberated spaces' in Barcelona and we will collectively organize the infrastructure (including collective cooking, lodging and simultaneous translation/interpretation).

If you would like to participate in these days, please contact us . If you need invitations to obtain visas, please contact us as soon as possible. There is a very limited "help purse" with which we can help cover travel costs. If you can't come but would like to participate, you can also help by sending us texts or other material which we can post on the blog.

To participate in the workshops and/or send us information, contact us at:
antilager (at)