Jump The Channel! 28th November

Transnational protest against the border regime! Whatever side of the channel you live on, join us on Saturday 28th November! Protest outside the 'Joint Centre for Intelligence' Bouverie House, (Folkstone police station) Bouverie Road West, Folkestone, at 3pm.

On Saturday 28th November 2009, French and British solidarity activists will stage a cross-channel protest from Calais to Folkstone. They will protest against the tightening of border controls and collaboration between the French and the British authorities, which is creating a heightened humanitarian crisis in Calais where hundreds of migrants now sleep rough and suffer constant police abuse, after being stopped from entering Britain, and having their homes in Calais bulldozed in September of this year

The protest will start at 10:00 local time in Calais, where both migrants and activists will gather at the town hall before boarding ferries in Calais and travelling on to Folkstone. While on the ferry, workshops will be held discussing the UK Border Regime and its impacts on migrants in Calais, and in Folkstone the final protest will be held outside the newly built Joint Intelligence Unit, which is a centre for both the British and French services who specialise in trying to combat international ‘illegal’ immigration networks. Join us at 15:00 to demonstrate! Bring banners, and make some noise!

What they call ‘illegal’ immigration is in fact the visible human cost of war, which they don’t dare face. Everyday increasing numbers of UK troops are sent to Afghanistan, but when the human stories emerge and people inevitably migrate, we respond with further violence and hardships against these individuals.

Phil Woolas has announced that the United Kingdom will immediately contribute £15 million to the introduction of improved security mechanisms, such as developing high tech monitoring equipment, and building increasingly large detention centers, such as the biggest ever planned at Bullingdon house... all the while failing to acknowledge the reasons why people migrate. When Besson cleared the “jungle”, he did not stop migration. Attempts to make the borders ‘impermeable’ by 2010 will not stop people trying to cross, but only force them to take more life threatening measures.

France and England are tightening their grip on the border, but on both sides of the channel, resistance is spreading in solidarity with all those without papers. The demonstration today began and will end in Calais, with activists from across Europe travelling back together to Calais in order to continue the work with those migrants could not cross today. We will continue to resist police oppression in Calais and demand an end to these racist border controls, freedom of movement for all, and the right to stay without fear of persecution, invasion or natural disasters.

For more information,

Phone number (on the day) 07535319119


Earlier this year Eric Besson – the French immigration minster – declared that Calais would be a “migrant free zone” by the end of 2009. To this end, on the 22nd September Eric Besson, Immigration Minister for France, oversaw the eviction and destruction of the Pashtun jungle in Calais which involved the violent arrest of more than 100 minors, with Home Secretary Alan Johnson saying he was ‘delighted’ with the operation. In order to implement this fascist concept, the repression against migrants in Calais - which has always been brutally significant - has reached an unprecedented level. Hundreds of people, from Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Darfur experience state violence everyday: they face constant arrest, they are evicted from their homes, their belonging are stolen, vandalized or event burnt – all at the hands of the French Police (for details, please see http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com)

Deportation flights to Iraq and Afghanistan have also seen been co-organized lately, with 24 Afghans being deported to Karbul on October 22nd of this year. The charter flight to Iraq which left on the 15th October was the first attempted since the Iraq war – containing 39 people all taken from detention centers across the UK, was actually sent back by the Iraqi government as they deemed Baghdad to be too unsafe, but Besson and Woolas have recently restated their commitment to future flights.

The creation of this Franco-British centre is the first step in implementing the commitments made by President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the France-UK summit in Evian on 6 July 2009 to step up the two countries’ joint efforts to combat ‘illegal’ immigration networks. On 27 October 2009, Eric Besson - French Minister for Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Mutually-Supportive Development - and his British counterpart, Phil Woolas - Minister of State for Borders and Immigration - opened the Franco-British Joint Intelligence Unit in Folkstone. At the opening, Eric Besson said “Combating illegal immigration networks which attempt to use French soil in order to reach the United Kingdom represents a joint challenge for our two countries. We must face that challenge together.

[This year will see the opening of Bullingdon house in Bicester, which will be the largest immigration prison ever built in the UK, housing 800 men.

In June 2009 European activists held a No Borders camp in Calais. Since June ‘Calais Migrant Solidarity’ has maintained a constant presence in Calais, monitoring, communicating and resisting police violence against migrants. On the 1st of December there will be an international demonstration against the Stockholm programme in Brussells (with a No Borders camp also planned there in July 2010), and on the 14th December No Borders activist from across the world will take action in Copenhagen as part of the COP15 summit to highlight the plight of the millions who are predicted to migrate from the effects of climate change (for more information please visit http://climatenoborders.wordpress.com).