Freedom of knowledge

Was in brussels for a 3 days earlier this week (some pictures here). As i have pointed out before Brussels is one of the my favorite cities in europe. Not only because i really like the roughness of the place, but also because seemingly endless imagination of the eurocrats that are based there! On the train back to amsterdam Joeri pointed me to the foreword to the Communication from the European Commission to the spring European Council which was written by José Manuel Barroso. In this essay (ti…

If lives are in immediate danger, then lethal force is permissible. If not, it is not....

Since about a year i have been coming across reports of sub-saharan migrants getting shot by Egyptian border police when attempting to enter Israel from egypt. So far i have refrained from listing them as part of the noborder.org dead count because Israel is not really Europe (although they participate in the UEFA cup and the Eurovision song contest). Since the beginning of 2008 these incidents seem to have increased in frequency as noted by Amnesty International (UK): On 19 February Egyptian se…

Carrefours de migrants

Conni points to a photo set by the french photographer Anaïs Pachabezian showing the daily lives of sub-saharan migrants in Morocco and Mauritania. The pictures were taken in October 2007 in and near Oujda (Morocco) and on the Mauritanian coast: Plage de Cansado, Nouadhibou, Mauritanie, Novembre 2007…

KLM your fluchthelfer

A couple of years ago when we were busy with a number of campaigns against airlines who allowed forced deportations from europe on their flights i did a spoof website targeting the KLM (‘KLM – uw uitzettingsagent‘) that was part of a campaign with the same name of the now defunct autonoom centrum in Amsterdam. It is kind of ironic to see that now more than 5 year later the KLM (in an email offer to the german members of their flying blue frequent flyer programme) advertises itself as a ‘fluchthe…

Migrant Media Metropole

This saturday my friend Valery (together with Eric & Merijn) are hosting a mini conference called ‘Migrant Media Metropole – New labour struggles in the global city‘ at the Balie in Amsterdam. Migration and media-activists gather with theorists and labour organizers to discuss and share best practices in the fight against precarity and insecure labour conditions. Sharing inspiring examples of social justice unionism and creative campaigning like “Justice for Janitors” in the U.S. and “Cleane…

Imagination of desperation (3): cloned vehicles

Not sure if all of them are used to get persons across the US/mexican border, but ABC news has a little item (‘Fake FedEx trucks, when Drugs absolutely have to get there‘) on what they call ‘cloned vehicles’: Savvy criminals are using some of the country’s most credible logos, including FedEx, Wal-Mart, DirecTV and the U.S. Border Patrol, to create fake trucks to smuggle drugs, money and illegal aliens across the border, according to a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Termed…

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…

Re-erecting the border fences to combat piracy?

Yesterday a number of eastern european countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia & Slovenia) implemented the schengen agreement, by removing border control posts on the internal Schengen border crossings. Of course this does not mean that there will be no more border controls between these countries as there will be ‘random’ border police checks up to 30km away from the actual border. As we have argued before the Schengen agreement is not so much…

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…