Detention center for migrants guarded by undocumented migrants

Yet another (fairly ironic) proof of the fact that western societies are dependent on undocumented migrant labour (while at the same time everybody is busy pretending that it makes sense to keep migrants out, to the extent that we make it more or less deadly to enter Europe and the US): It seems that a detention center in Texas where undocumented noncriminal immigrant families are imprisoned because of their undocumented status has employed undocumented migrant workers as prison guards: “The dir…

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.…

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…

Imagination of desperation (2)

Another photo of a car that has been upgraded with seats that enable undocumented migrants to hide in them. This one has been released by the Spanish Guardia Civil (the last one came from the US Immigration and Customs enforcement Service): According to this article at typicallyspanish.com the pictures where taken at the El Tarajal border crossing between the Spanish enclave of Ceuta and Morocco.…

Parallel infrastructures (2)

About a year ago i blogged about mini busses shuttling polish migrant workers from poland to holland and back. In that post i had attributed the use of mini buses over trains (and regular busses) at least in part the fact that the mini busses are much faster than other means of transport. apparently they are not fast enough anymore: The agrarisch dagblad (‘agricultural daily’) reports that P&E people, a Dutch temporary work aganecy supplying eastern and central European workers to the dutch…

Drowning season...

Summer is approaching and that means a seasonal increase in African migrants who try to reach Lampedusa, Sicily or Malta from the coasts of Libya and Tunisia. As in the last couple of years lots of them manage to reach these island outposts that have come to be the most accessible edges of the European Union and lots of them don’t. An sometimes people are deliberately left hanging in between these two options for a while: Over the weekend 27 migrants spent a day at sea holding on to buoys around…