28 06 06

Declaration against European border policies ...

Barcelona, Europe, June, 2006


<Against European border policies, for the closure of Immigrant Detention Centers, for the freedom without charges of the Zona Franca detainees (Barcelona) of Saturday, June 24th.>

Since autumn of last year, the horrifying images which the current European border regimes are producing haven´t stopped appearing in the press, on television or on blogs. The deaths at the border fences in Ceuta and Melilla, the deportations to the middle of the Saharan desert, those stranded along the coast of the Canary Islands, the bilateral negotiations with certain African countries to accept those deportation even of non-nationals in exchange for large sums of money, the mobilization on behalf of the EU of naval and air patrols to control the coast of the Canaries and West Africa... they speak to us of a war along Europe´s exterior borders against those men and women who try to travel to Europe in search of a better life.

South-North migration, the same as earlier migration from the countryside to the city, imposes itself as an irreversible process. However, the European Union insists on confronting this phenomenon in a consistently repressive manner. This doesn´t just happen outside on the external European borders and the tansit migration countries, subcontracted for the management of the displacement of people towards Europe, it also takes place more and more in our own cities: police enforced identity checking is multiplying - from train station exits, to tourist agencies or the post offices, the objective is not so much to identify and expel all the extracommunitary migrants without residence permission, rather it is to make permanent the threat of deportation for all, to maintain a segment of the population, of greater and greater importance, in a state of subalternity. As such, extracommunitary migrant citizens who live and work in the EU, see their legal status, their security, their freedom of movement as subjugated to the arbitrary legislation of exception. The fear and uncertainty that penetrates their lives but also in our cities is a new social atmosphere.

The events of last Saturday at the Immigrant Detention Center currently under construction in Zona Franca (see, are one more expression of the repressive military-police methods which the current border policies of Zapatero´s government have adopted, as well as all other EU governments. First of all, because nothing exemplifies better the arbitrary implementation and denial of rights produced by the border regimes than the Immigration Detention Centers. In these prisons for immigrants, are kept for 40 days, their crime: to exist and to want to live, work, and coexist in a place where they weren´t born. Concretely, the Immigrant Detention Center (CIE) currently in construction in the Zona Franca, Barcelona, with double the capacity of the existing center, isolated from the nucleus of the population and difficult to access, perfects the horror and places it out of sight of right-thinking minds.

Moreover, through the events of last Saturday, we can see the oppressive orientation of the border policies in the way the police reacted against those highlighting the borders, against those who, having been born here, tell us that these policies, supposedly carried out in the name of our security, do not represent us. The detention of the 57 people who entered the CIE under construction, including two lawyers and two journalists, the abusive accusations, the mistreatment in police custody, the prolongation of the detainment for more than 48 hours in response to a peaceful action, can only cause us to further reject those very policies.

For these reasons, the signatories below demand, in solidarity with all those who immigrate to Europe and who find themselves humiliated, subalternated, and attacked and in solidarity with the one hundred men and women who came from all over Europe last Saturday in order to undertake a peaceful action to direct public attention to the new detention center before it becomes operational, and so to extend the movement against Immigrant Detention Centers throughout Europe:

- the retraction of all charges against the detainees;

- the declaration of Barcelona as a city free from Immigrant Detention Centers;

- the unconditional regularization of all immigrants in Europe;

- the end to police-military border policies.

signatures to: