to all people we met in Pagani this year,
to all the people starting their journeys now
to all the people who are since years on their way .
to all people looking for a safer life
and peacefull days
and get confronted with the euopean union and the police brutalities
one big wish!
that the coming year bring us all with big steps closer to our aim:
freedom of movement is everybodys right!
we are here and we will fight!
happy new year!
January 25th, 26th and 27th:
trial of the revolt that set the detention
centre of Vincennes on fire
The revolt, which led to the fire that destroyed the largest prison for
foreigners in France, is a concrete and historical response to the
existence of detention centres and to the whole of the policy of control
of the migratory flows.
On January 25th, 26th and 27th, ten persons will be tried for this revolt
by the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris (a court which tries
Our solidarity has to be at the height of the stake: the acquittal of the
accused and beyond that, freedom of movement and installation.
The largest detention centre in France burnt on June 22nd 2008.
>From June 2008 to June 2009, some ten former detainees have been arrested
and imprisoned - most of them for nearly one year - in preventive jail.
They are charged with "damage", "voluntary destruction of the buildings of
the Vincennes administrative detention centre", and/or "aggression in band
against a police officer, without causing an incapacity of work for more
than eight days".
Movements of protest of the locked up sans-papiers have taken place
ceaselessly during the six months before the fire. Hunger strikes,
beginnings of fires, refusing to be counted, and individual or collective
oppositions followed each other during this period. Outside,
demonstrations and actions exposed the very existence of these centres and
support the revolts.
On June 21st 2008, Salem Souli died in his room after he had asked in vain
for medical care. The next day the detainees organized a march in his
memory, which was violently repressed. A collective revolt followed and
the detention centre was reduced to ashes.
A TRIAL FOR THE EXAMPLE
To prevent this type of revolt from spreading, the State must strike hard,
it has to find culprits. Ten persons were arrested to serve as examples.
We do not care whether they are "culprit" or "innocent". By the punishment
of these persons, the State wishes to make disappear revolts, denials of
submission, and acts of resistance from the part of those who are, or will
be in the future, between the walls of these centres.
The Vincennes revolt is not isolated. Wherever are detention centres,
revolts will spring up, fires will start, flights, hunger strikes,
mutinies, and destructions will take place. It has been so in France
(centres were burnt in Nantes, Bordeaux, and Toulouse), and in many
European countries (Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain) or in
countries to which border control is outsourced such as Turkey and Libya.
The fire at the Vincennes detention centre is not only a symbol: as an
immediate consequence of the disappearance of its capacity for 280 people,
rounding up and deportations greatly decreased in the Paris region during
the following period. Concretely, arrests were avoided by the thousands.
This act of the detainees has put out of order for a while the deportation
JAILS FOR FOREIGNERS: THEY LOCK UP, DEPORT, DISSUADE IMIGRATION
The detention centres are a step between the arrest and the deportation.
They are used to lock up the passengers for the time necessary to gather
what is needed for a deportation, namely a passport or a pass issued by a
consulate, and a plane or ship reservation.
The more a State wants to deport, the more it builds detention centres.
Their numbers increases ceaselessly everywhere. In Europe, the trend is to
make locking up longer, which not only allows deporting more people, but
also dissuades immigration.
These locking up places are actually punishment places. As such, they are
more and more built on a model of prison: monitoring by video, small
units, isolation cellsŠ For example, the largest detention centre in
France now being built in France at Le Mesnil-Amelot (with capacity for
240 persons) that will open in a few weeks is designed according to this
model. In the Netherlands, where suicides and "unexplained" deaths are
frequent in the centres, detention lasts 18 months and may start again
immediately after freeing, in very small individual cells, sometimes in
prison-boats, with scarce access to air.
THE UNDOCUMENTATED FOREIGNERS: BOTH A HIGHLY ADAPTABLE MANPOWER ...
Detention centres are a part of the "migratory flows management" policy,
which in turn is elaborated according the criteria of the "chosen
immigration" which means according to the needs of manpower in the
European countries. That bosses of the rich countries use migrant workers
to increase their profits is nothing new. Be it within a legal framework,
such as interim jobs or the former "OMI contract" (which allowed to fit
the right of presence in the country to the seasonal working time), or in
illegal work, the foreigners most often find jobs in the toughest sectors
(the building industry, restaurants, cleaning, seasonal worksŠ) These
sectors ask for a flexible manpower, one which adapts to the immediate
needs of production.
On top of the absence of rights due to their status, for instance in case
of an accident, the permanent threat of arrest and deportation obviously
enables the bosses to underpay them, indeed not to pay them at all (it is
not infrequent). This equalizing at the lowest level of salaries and
working conditions enables the bourgeoisie to enhance the exploitation of
all. The repeated strikes of sans-papiers show how much the French bosses
and the State need this manpower, but they also show that the sans-papiers
can check them and get regularizations when they organize collectively.
...AND AN IDEAL SCAPEGOAT
The migratory policy, of which the detention centres are a gear, is also
used to stigmatize the undocumented foreigners. The State makes of them
the scapegoat for the hardships of the population of France. The
spectacular use of deportations by the State takes its part in showing how
great a "danger" the irregular immigration would be for France and Europe,
and at the same time the efficiency of a State, which protects its
citizens from this danger.
The State uses artefacts such as the above mentioned "threat of
underground immigration", "rascals in the suburbs", "veiled women", or
such as the campaign for the national identity to wake up the worst
chauvinist and racist feelings, and to try and create a consent for the
power and the world it produces.
The detention centres are indispensable for the implementation of a
European policy to control the migratory flows, which, while it claims to
abolish the borders within the Schengen space, reinforces them outside,
notably with Frontex.
And so the control is outsourced at the outer doors of Europe, in
agreement with countries such as Libya, Mauritania, Turkey or Ukraine, to
which funds are given to lock up foreigners who are deemed unwanted, even
before they make it to Europe.
At the same time, within the Schengen territory, borders are scattered,
become movable, and thus are everywhere: every identity check can lead to
a deportation. For the border is not only a line limiting he territory, it
is above all a point of checking, of pressure and, of sorting out. So the
street, the communication lines, the administrative buildings, the banks,
the interim work offices already function as borders.
The detention centres are pieces of the deadly borders of the Schengen
Europe, as are all camps for migrants, They are places where one waits,
locked up, sometimes without limit and without trial, where one dies for
lack of care, where one kills oneself rather than be deported. Borders
must be abolished!
For all these reasons, and because there is no "good" management of the
migratory flows, because everybody must be able to decide where he wants
to live, we are in solidarity with the accused of the revolt and the arson
of the Vincennes detention centre!
ACQUIT ALL THE ACCUSED
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND INSTALLATION
CLOSE THE DETENTION CENTRES
NO PAPERS AT ALL
ACTION WEEK JANUARY 16TH TO 24TH 2010
Collectif de solidarité avec les inculpés de Vincennes