Invitation to an europeanwide conference In Jena/Germany

On 23rd and 24th of April 2000

Shut Down Fortress Europe!  No Borders !  For An Open Europe! - For internationally organised activities of Sans Papiers, of refugees and migrants, of anti-racist and social groups

(Within the framework of the caravan refugee congress in Jena:

"Unite against deportation and social exclusion"

20th of April to 1st of May 2000)

On Saturday, 29th of January 2000, 20.000 of demonstrators demanded the immediate closure of the detention camp "Via Corelli" in Milano. At the same time many thousands of people came down into the street in Florenz and in Trapani protesting against the inhuman "Lager". After more than one year of continuous mobilisation on the streets and revolts and protest actions inside the camps, the decision was taken now in Milano. Because of the pressure of this strong demonstration the minister of the interior Mr.Bianco was forced to announce the closure of "Via Corelli", which was reflecting the symbol of a severe deportation policy in Italy. This great success and outcome of antiracist movements in Italy seems to be even more significant at a moment, where the EU asylum- and migration policy still gets worse at a restrictive and unified level. New EU-actionplans have been taken to stop the flow of refugees already in the neighborhood of the countries of origin. The extension of the EU to the east actually means the extension of border regimes and shifting the seal off to those countries. Again the terror of the deportation - with German leadership - is going to take a new form of escalation in Europe. The closure of "Via Corelli" was a new sign of opening an important breach in fortress Europe, whose walls become as well violent and deadly as protest actions and angry criticisms are increasing. In March 1996 300 african migrants occupied a church in Paris. Their central demand was known to be "Papers for All", following this situation the "Sans Papieres" movement broke out and created an unique political dynamic in Europe. Under pressure from the movement the french government was forced to carry out a program of legalization, but many of the Sans Papiers were excluded in the end. That is one of the reasons, why the fight is still going on. The well structured resistance of Sans Papiers in its collectives, which are multinationally built up, took effect also beyond french borders. This movement has inspired selforganisations, anti-racist groups and the defenders of refugee rights with motivation and energy in many european countries in the last few years.

In Belgium Sans Papiers-groups were built up and occupied churches and universities, while other supporting groups were protesting successfully against deportations at the airport. The assassination of Semira Adamu in September 1998 provoked angry mobilizations which led to the resignation of the minister of interior. For the time being a legalization programme is taking place in Belgium.

In Netherlands last year socalled White Illegals defended themselves efficiently in public against their exclusion and deprivation of their rights. At the same time a number of aircompanies known for having carried out deportations were the target of angry and severe criticisms held by anti-racist groups. In Switzerland local selforganisations as well as supporting groups are very active. After protests on different levels deportations of resisting refugees and migrants, carried out by Swissair, are still interrupted.

In Spain refugees and migrants have taken first steps forward for organising themselves. The slogan used by them was again "Papers for All". The same situation was going on in Portugal with an anti-racist alliance, which have organized a remarkable demonstration in September last year.

In Poland some groups started to protest against the new migration policy, which is adapted to the Schengen-standards and which leads to more control and deportations of migrants. In summer 2000 an antiracist actioncamp will be organized at the eastern border to Ukraine and Slovakia.

In Germany kurdish refugees have been fighting for two years for their rights to stay through the church asylums. At the same time the caravan came into being and led to organise refugees from different countries within a Germanwide initiative against deportation. The network "no one is illegal" gave strong support to this struggle and initiated action camps against the hunt of refugees along german Schengen outside borders. In Austria new supporting projects have been created. African groups held demonstrations last year against racist motivated police controls and against human right violation when Marcus Omufuma was killed on 1st of May during his deportation. The mobilization that broke out following this assassination were faced - under social democratic government! - with a hatred and incrimination campaign. The participation of the fascist Haider-party in the ruling government reveals new threat of institutional racism. It is obviously known, that protest actions and demonstration are going at present time every day in a lot of cities in Austria. In the Great Britain of "New Labour" supporting groups aee protesting in front of deportation prisons; they firmly committed themselves in different campaigns to champion the right to stay. And the self-organization Kalayaan made very successfully a stand for the rights of migrant domestic workers, with or without stay permission.

Kalayaan also founded RESPECT, a network in collaboration with migrant domestic workers organizations from various  european countries. They recently launched a Charter of Rights in London. "No Border" is the name of a project, to which various supporting groups and social initiatives from more than 10 countries belong, and which carried out, for the first time, simultaneous protest actions during the special EU-summit in Tampere in October 1999. "For an open Europe", this was the slogan of an european demonstration with over 10.000 participants in Paris in March 1999. Invited by Sans Papier movement one day later a conference with delegations from all over Europe took place. A subsequent conference of Paris was appointed in December 1999 in Amsterdam. Unfortunately only few groups came to attend it, and concrete conclusions could not be drawn as well. The two-days conference on 23rd and 24th of April in Jena will try to lead together some more self-organizations of refugees and migrants and other supporting groups to mobilise their concerted efforts and discuss combined planning. There will be on the first day a short introductory report on european migration policy and an intensified exchange of experiences will follow. It is expected that ten delegations will report on the present situation and conditions relating to their struggles and movements in their country. On the second day there will be three presentations of european network projects. Afterwards practical proposals and suggestions will be made, aiming on common mobilizations. A first concrete aim is the establishment of an european manifesto. As a basis the demands, that were exposed in Paris in March last year, will be once more set out: - The legalisation of all Sans Papiers - The banning of deportations and the return to Europe of the deported - The release of those detained for lack of papers

- The closure of detention centres where they exist

- The abolition of the "double penalty" where it exists

- The abolition of the "crime of solidarity"

- The abrogation of anti-immigrant laws

- Respect for freedom of movement

- An open Europe, respectful of the rights and freedom of immigrants.

The expected manifest should be published and presented in many different european countries one week later, on 1st of May 2000. We hope that the success of Italy continues coming along with our conference in Jena to inspire it with strength and energy.

Program suggestion  (will be cofirmed in the beginning of April) Sunday, 23rd of April 9.30 til 11 a.m.:

Actual developments in the restrictive harmonization of european asylum and migration policy:

1. EU-actionplans to various countries of origin, e.g. Turkey, Marocco and Afghanistan, destroying the flight routes and establishing europeanwide readmission agreements.

2. Border regimes and shifting the seal off to east, EU-enlargement and Schengen adaption.

3. EuroDac (fingerprintsystem) and SIS (Schengeninformationsystem): technological combat of illegalized refugees and migrants.

4. Deportations: Eurocharter and new developments.

11 a.m. til 1 p.m and - after a break -  2 p.m. til 6 p.m.:

Country reports (following common questions):

- France: Sans Papiers, Coordination nationale de Paris (agreed to come)

- Italy: Ya Basta group from Milano (agreed to come)

- Belgium: Sans Papier collective from Brussel (agreed to come)

- UK: Anti-deportation-campaign and Kalayaan (invited)

- Netherlands: Selforganisation of socalled white illegals (will be invited)

- Portugal: Olho Vivo from Lisboa (agreed to come)

- Austria: For a world without racism from Vienna (invited)

- Spain: N.N. (two groups asked for)

- Poland: Collective Rozbrat from Poznan (will be invited)

- Switzerland: N.N. (will be invited)

- Germany: Caravan for the right of refugees and migrants

Monday (holiday), 24th of April 9.30 til 12.30:

Presentation of european network projects:

- RESPECT: Network of migrant domestic workers, presented by Kalayaan (London)

- "No Border": Network of supporting groups and antiracist activists

- "For an open Europe": Meetings from Paris to Amsterdam and Jena ... demands and perspectives of the network initiated by Sans Papiers from France.

1.30 p.m. til 4.30 p.m.:

Workshops with concrete proposals of combined and common actions:

- 1st of May (at least presenting a common european manifest!)

- Border actioncamps in Germany, Italy, Poland ...; campaigns against aviation companies, which are involved in deportations  (prepared by "No border"-activists)

- Common mobilisation to the French EU-presidency, beginning 1st of July with a central summit in December 2000 in Paris (prepared by Sans Papiers from Paris).


5 p.m. til 7 p.m.:

Conclusions: establishing an european manifesto, further appointments, next europeanwide meeting...

Contact for registration and further informations about the european conference:

Caravancommitee Hanau, Metzgerstr.8, D-63450 Hanau

Phone: 0049-172-6688454  Fax: 0049-6181-184892


Contact for the caravan congress: The Voice Africa Forum, Schillergń▀chen 5, D-O7745 Jena

Phone: 0049-3641-665214  Fax: 0049-3641-423795


Information on Internet:

Für eine Welt ohne Rassismus