Written as part of the book publication ‘Over de grens’
A perspective of the Autonomous Centre on migration and deportation.
The detention and deportation of refugees and migrants from the Netherlands is a ‘breech- block’ of a policy that aims to regulate migration. This means that the number of refugees is reduced to an ‘acceptable’ level, regardless of the motives of their arrival. In the regulation of migration the situation beyond the (European) borders is hardly taken into consideration. A solution to the causes of ‘forced’ migration is not being pursued. Therefore the policy does not aim to solve the problems surrounding this migration but only focuses on fighting its symptoms. The solution offered is mainly to keep the problem outside of the borders. This is in contradiction to how the world is developing in numerous other fields. National borders are fading and policy, especially in the economic field, stimulates the process of globalisation. A globalisation in which the interests of certain groups are put before those of others. The interests pursued are mainly those of the military, economic and reigning elites and the interests of migrants are not considered, so it’s: deport and remove and that’s that. (meer…)
09 Februari 2003
Translation by Laurence Ranson
The last few months have suddenly seen a flurry of activity. There have been an unprecedented number of political initiatives which have seemed to hold out the hope of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or at least of bringing such a solution closer. There have been the Geneva Accord, the Olmert initiative, Sharon’s plan with its mention of withdrawals from settlements in Gaza, the People’s Voice, One Voice, and even the colonists want to present their own plan. You might ask yourself: why now, when there is virtually no pressure on Israel? Nobody seems to care any more about, for example, the daily civilian casualties in the Occupied Territories. The Americans have their hands full with Iraq, and there are presidential elections next year.
It is that it has become more widely understood in Israel itself that a military solution is a recipe for disaster, and that the only solution is a political one? It seems more likely that the realisation is dawning that expected demographic developments are such that there will soon be a Jewish minority in what is now Israel, including the Occupied Territories. This would mean the end of Israel as a Zionist state. (meer…)
From 19 to 28 July 2002 a border camp took place in Strasbourg, organised by the European No Border network. It is the most recent in a series of border camps (action camps) organised in recent years by this European network of refugee solidarity groups mainly dedicated to illegal immigrants and refugees who have exhausted all legal possibilities. We, the Autonoom Centrum, also participate in No Border. The initiative for this network was taken during the Euro Summit in Amsterdam in 1997. No Border is a network of campaign groups. One of the activities resulting from this network are the border summer camps. Where the previous border camps specifically dealt with migration and attracted hundreds of people, a broader set-up was chosen for this camp, which resulted in the participation of many people from the grass-roots globalisation movement and the People’s Global Action (GPA) network. With some two to three thousand participants it was by far the largest camp so far.
The camp proved enormously successful in the number of people it managed to attract and in setting up the necessary infrastructure to keep the camp going for a week. But it has also met with criticism. Criticism which may benefit us in the future, for example in the upcoming PGA-conference in Leiden. This critique is by no means new, but we felt it was important to comprehensively commit it to paper. (meer…)