Thursday, February 09, 2012

No Borders Convergence in New Cross

The No Borders network is a movement in favour of freedom of movement and challenging immigraion controls, detention and deportation. Next week they are holding an event at Goldsmiths in New Cross. They say: 

'London NoBorders, along with Goldsmiths students and other groups, are organising a week-long convergence to be held in London between 13 - 18 February 2012. The aim is to get together to share our knowledge and experiences in relation to people's freedom of movement and the restrictions on it, and to share skills, network, strategise and take action. From Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th there will be a series of workshops and seminars, at Goldsmiths University in New Cross, south east London. Then from Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th there will be demonstrations and actions against migration controls, concluding with the No Borders Carnival at midday on the Saturday'.

The full programme is here. All workshops are free-of-charge and you do not need to book. There's also music and film in the evenings. And on Monday 13th February, 5pm-6pm, I will be contributing to a session on the history of  'Borders and migrants in New Cross and Deptford' covering subjects including land and maritime border points, slavery, prison ships, 1970s anti-fascism, the 1981 New Cross Fire campaign and more. It's in  the Richard Hoggart Building (RHB), Room 343. That's upstairs in the old main building.

'Stop Deportations to Nigeria' banner in Peckham, January 2012

A couple of weeks ago (26 January 2012), No Borders staged a small but visible protest in Peckham against the mass deportation of Nigerians scheduled later that night and in support of one man's 8-day hunger strike in protest against his deportation. They say 'Just hours before the deportation an inquiry by MPs was published that warned potentially lethal force and racist language is used by security guards during the removal process. And on arrival in Nigeria, these men and women face a deteriorating security situation spreading from the north as Boko Haram increase in strength. Human Rights Watch claim that the militant Islamist group killed 235 people in the first 3 weeks of 2012. Mass deportation has become regular policy in the governments efforts to "crackdown on immigration". Deportations to Nigeria happen every 6 weeks with 75 people forcibly deported by 150 private security guards on a plane specially hired by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Each flight on average costs £150,000 of public money. UKBA uses mocking and sinister code-names for these deportations such as ‘Operation Majestic’ , whilst using coaches branded ‘Just Go’ to drive deportees to the airport. Since 1991 six Nigerians have died during deportations from Europe – the highest number of fatalities from any one nationality- demonstrating the deadly nature of these operations. Most recently, Nigerian man Joseph Ndukadu Chiakwa died on a deportation flight from Switzerland'.

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