Random reading

The Piratbyrån’s Rasmus Fleischer has a an extremely interesting essay titled ‘the future of copyright‘ in the current issue of CATO unbound (a monthly web-journal by the ‘we love limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace’ CATO institute). In ‘the future of copyright’ he argues that ‘neither the stabilization nor the abolition of the copyright system seems within reach’ and that instead ‘we will have to live in this landscape of gray zones for quite a while, for good and ba…

Exceptional display of compassion...

… in todays Guardian: the last two paragraphs of an article which describes the death of two Tunisian men who stowed away on a german cargo ship traveling from sfax in tunesia to ayr in scotland actually treat the two deceased as human beings (plus the entire article does not label them as ‘illegal immigrants’ even once): Scott [the Conservative(!) MSP for Ayr] said: “This is tragic news, that these two men who appear to have stowed away, lost their lives in such desperate, lonely and sad circum…

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…

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…

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…

Hollow land

Just finished reading Eyal Weizman’s impressive Hollow Land – Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. In the book Weizman describes of how the Israeli occupation gradually hollows out what is left of Palestine, by means of architecture. His understanding of architecture is fairly broad and includes aspects like spacial theories of urban warfare, the separation wall, airborne occupation, the strategic locations of west-bank settlements and the system of checkpoints. The chapter on checkpoints (‘The…

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…