Obscurity and confinement for migrants in Europe

The International Herald Tribune has an excellent article by Caroline Brothers on the spread of detention camps for foreigners that have mushroomed across the European Union (and the neighboring African and Eastern European countries). The article draws from the impressive work done my migreurop (and even links to their excellent map of migrants dentetion camps in Europe). “Detention is a very serious measure in a democratic society – governments deprive people of their liberty when they are con…

2007 most deadly year yet

So 2007 is coming to an end and it is time to draw up the balance. when it comes to migrants who have died trying to reach Europe, 2007 has been an exceptional bad year even though the powers that be seem to think otherwise. Back in august the IHT quoted spanish and italian officials that proudly proclaimed that the number of arrivals at their shores had been down from the numbers for the same period in 2007: The deadly flow of flimsy boats crammed with migrants heading north across the Mediterr…

The myth of invasion

Just finished reading a fairly intresting reserach paper by Hein de Haas of the International Migration Institute in Oxford that deals with the ‘The myth of invasion – Irregular migration from West Africa to the Maghreb and the European Union‘. In the paper de Haas attempts to show that immigration to Europe by western African migrants crossing the Mediteranian or Atlantic is fairly small both when compared to migration of western africans to North African Countries and compared to other ways of…

Mogadishu avenue (or where to find black people in Helsinki)

So one thing you notice when you are in Finland is how incredibly white the place is. there are almost no black (or brown) people to be seen. I think when i was in Helsinki for the last time in june 2006 i saw 3 black people in 3 days. So we brought up this observation over dinner yesterday and were informed that there are lots of black people but that one would need to go to ‘Mogadishu Avenue‘ to actually see them. Mogadishu Avenue, we were told, is the nickname of a street (Meri-Rastilan tie)…

Of men and dogs

While looking for photo material for the 4th edition of the crossing borders newsletter (which is a pretty pointless undertaking anyway as my old school anarchist friends continue to send me texts that are way to long to get any photos included in the newsletter) i came across the website of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, which has been set up because – according to the EP – they have one of them ‘black holes in which illegal trade in arms, the trafficking i…

Kaafila (liquid Europe and solid sea revisited)

So over the last three weeks i have been watching ‘kaafila‘ which bills itself as a movie based on the ‘global issue of illegal migration’. It took me 3 weeks to watch because (a) it is a Bollywood movie (and thus runs for three plus hours) and (b) because it is so incredibly bad that i could not muster the courage to watch bits that were longer than 15 minutes. Matter of fact it is so bad that that the songs (those ridiculous dancing/singing scenes that are required to interrupt Bollywood produ…

Can't swim? Get rescued - Can swim? Get arrested

There were meanwhile reports from Canal Sur of another four immigrants rescued a short distance off the coast of Cabo de Gata on Sunday evening after their boat sank just a mile off shore. Another man was arrested on shore after he managed to swim to the coast. All five were said to be healthy. Taken from a news-item on typicallyspanish.com. makes sense, dosn’t it?…

Drowning season (revisited)

Apparently someone at the BBC has tracked down some of the migrants who got rescued after hanging on to a tuna fishing net for three days in the Mediterranean back in may. They will be featured in the documentary ‘Destination Europe‘ which airs tonight at 2030 on BBC one. There is another article based on interviews with five of the migrants available on the guardian website.…

Tunisian sailors arrested for saving illegal immigrants

So the Italians and the Spanish are claiming that this year there are much less immigrants trying to enter Europe via their shores, islands and outposts on the african mainland than last year. while this may be true this does neither mean that less people are dying on the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean while trying to get to Europe nor is it something that these governments should be particularly proud of. Looks like the italian authorities have just managed find themselves another way of ‘pro…

Europe == mediterranean northern bank

For some reason have kept a google news alert for this article in my inbox over the last week: 18 clandestine migrants were saved from a shipwreck, by Algeria II passenger-ship. A well-informed source told El Khabar that the clandestine migrants were attempting to reach the Mediterranean northern bank. They were handed over Tuesday to Oran port coast guard services. Algeria II passenger-ship discovered, during its Oran-Marseille trip last Sunday, 8 people on the point to sink as their boats coul…