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[ 02. Apr 2011 ]

Invitation to the Anti-Frontex Days in Warsaw

Shut down Frontex

The Warsaw noborder collective RAS and the union of syndicalists of Poland ZSP invites you to a week of actions from 16th to 23rd of May 2011 against Frontex, the headquarters of which are located in Warsaw.

 

Throughout the week starting on May 16th there will take place amongst others: screenings of films concerning immigrant issues, street games, workshops and meetings with European noborder groups. We will conclude the Anti-Frontex Days on May 23rd with a demonstration in front of the Frontex offices aimed against "Fortress Europe". We will stand together against discriminatory immigration policy and apartheid in Europe and in concern for the dire situation of thousands of migrants as a result of official practices of dehumanization. This event and your support are especially important, as Frontex functions here in Warsaw rather inconspicuously and to the general ignorance of Polish society. While Polish authorities hail the presence of an EU headquarters in our capital city, few are actually aware of what this institution does, not only in the Mediterranean, but also along the Polish border with Ukraine and Belarus, since 2004 a heavily fortified external border of Fortress Europe. More particularly, on May 23rd we will commemorate Maxwell Itoya, a migrant of Nigerian origin who a year ago on this day was brutally shot dead in the center of Warsaw by the police. His case remains "unsolved" while the police murderer has returned to service without any punishment.

We invite all groups that would like to join us in the action days. Please inform us about your arrival up to the end of April. Feel free to ask questions: anti_frontex (at) riseup.net

If your initiative wants to support the action days and the demonstration with its name, please write to: anti_frontex (at) riseup.net

Please send this invitation to all your friends and groups that might be interested in comming to support our action!

RAS is a noborder collective who's aim is the freedom of mobility, the end of borders, exclusive citizenship regimes and the exploitation of workers. We are a group of people who oppose the current world system under which the universal rights of movement, settlement and participation in human societies are dictated by market value and underpinned by racism. In this system, free movement is delimited to commodities and the privileged citizens of countries with wideranging economic influence or impressive imperialist and colonialist agendas. Effectively, only a select portion of the Earth?s humans have the right to move and live where they choose, while for the majority the same freedom is either entirely nonexistant or subject to the labor demands of affluent countries. As the upkeep of capitalism in countries like those of the EU depends heavily on cheap labor, the right of movement is at times extended to migrant workers. But for those migrant workers allowed entry- including those who manage to transgress the border regime on their own- work in the EU comes at the cost of their welfare and dignity as they are often denied access to basic rights. Furthermore, legal recognition and social inclusion in European countries are frequently governed by nationalistic imaginings rooted in racism. In effect, those migrants who manage to set up their lives and gain access to legal status or citizenship are often nonetheless subject to discrimination and are precluded from full, rights-bearing membership in the communities they settle.

We oppose the European apartheid system based simultaneously on exclusionary integration and "migration management". While EU states collectively hail an age of collaboration and globalization marked by the disappearance of internal borders, they contrive ever-more repressive measures of exclusion by means of a heavily militarized external border zone and a complex system of control, euphamistially deemed "management" (ex. Dublin II Regulation, Stockholm Program, EURODAC, SIS, European Return Directive, FRONTEX, refugee and deportation camps). These doctrines have in reality come to replace dogmas that are falsely declared constitutional of the European community: The 1948 Universal Decalaration of Human Rights, in accordance with which the member states of the EU purport to recognize the "inherent dignity, equality and inalienable rights of all members of the human family" (Preamble). In accordance with Article 6, these states allege to hold that "everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law." Although the 1948 Declaration contends that human beings possess rights by virtue of their humanness as such, contemporary practices in the EU reveal that "humanness" is in fact a category only reserved for some, while others are categorized as "illegal" and are thereby consequently dehumanized. These measures of control and dehumanization are not only used against migrants and their communities, but are also extended to other disadvantaged humans such as those living in poverty, the Roma, or those who do not conform to hegemonic norms by race, gender or political conviction amongst others. We oppose this system of categorization according to which certain people entering or residing on European soil are deemed inferior in rights and dignity and are subject to violent measures of control.

Ending oppression in Europe requires radical solidarity; this entails realizing that our liberation is co-dependent. Migrants and non-alike, our freedom is bound together, and thus so must be our struggle.

To learn more about RAS visit :: solidarnizmaksem.bzzz.net

Frontex is the European border agency, founded in 2004 and operational since 2005. The agency has their seat in Warsaw, Poland, from where it directs its activities. It is a common misconception that Frontex is an actual border police, with a staff in uniform tasked to physically police the borders of the EU. Rather, Frontex is a coordinating mechanism of the European Union organizing the cooperation of the border police bodies of the member states of the EU. In this respect, Frontex is like a meta border police: it is both above and behind the everyday practices of border guards.

To this end, Frontex combines a lot of tasks and activities in one body that in the traditional nation state have been kept separate. There is an intelligence service component: Frontex actively monitors and pools data about all that is going on at the external borders of the EU, so that predictions to movements of migration can be made. Frontex refers to this as risk analysis, a whole department at the headquarters in Warsaw is busy with this and well connected to its national counterparts in Europe. There is also a research division, which - in cooperation with military industries and universities - pushes for the high-tech-sci-fi border of the 21st century. Current plans include real-time surveillance of the border on all levels, including live satellite imagery, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV aka drones, usually deployed in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq) for close-ups, and all other tools at the disposal of a border guard: radar, cameras, etc. Another project is the introduction of biometric identity checks at all border crossings.

The main focus of Frontex, however, is the coordination of cooperation at the actual border, as they refer to it. Since the agency became operational, Frontex has organized so called "joint operations", in which EU member states invite other EU member states to send border guard personal and equipment for a joint policing of the borders.

Recently, Frontex has also been more involved in the organization and financing of mass deportations, where a whole plane is chartered and refugees from all over Europe are collectively deported to their assumed countries of origin. In 2009, Frontex did more than 30 such flights, removing more than 1.500 people from European territory.