PRESS RELEASE: Activists picket UK Border Agency in London to protest the launch of ID Cards

for immediate release

25 November 2008

Activists picket UK Border Agency in London to protest the launch of ID Cards

Activists from NoBorders, No2ID and other Initiatives demonstrated today at the headquarter of the UK Border Agency (Lunar House) in Croydon, London to protest against the introduction of ID Cards for non-EU citizens applying for, or renewing visas for study or marriage.

The protest was part of a UK wide protest of NoBorders groups against the launch of ID cards today, other protests were held in Cardiff, Liverpool and Glasgow.

About the launch of ID Cards

25th of November is the start of the implementation of ID cards.
From that day on, non-EU citizens applying for, or renewing visas for
study or marriage, have to attend a UK Border Agency centre for
interrogation, and fingerprinting. The cards they will be issued with will
hold their photograph, name, date of birth, nationality, immigration status and an electronic chip with biometric details, including fingerprints and digital facial image. All indefinitely held on the UK Identity Service database.

Soon other foreign nationals living in Britain will be issued with ID cards.
From next year, once migrants have been used to test the scheme, airport workers will be required to have ID cards. In 2010, students will need ID cards to get a student loan and they will be available to the rest of us on a “voluntary” basis, with ID cards being paired with passports in 2011. Unsurprisingly the government hasn’t yet named the date when the cards will be compulsory for everyone, though
it has been repeatedly made plain that this is the intention.

In targeting a largely voiceless group, with plenty to lose by not complying, the government is following a familiar path for repressive regimes throughout history. It is only through solidarity with the first people to be 'registered' that we can hope to oppose this scheme.

The government is upfront about it’s plans, and has repeatedly stressed they consider that "border control can no longer be a fixed line on a map". This first blow against everyone’s liberty is part of a wider government plan to internalise borders within the UK so everyone can be numbered and monitored.

Immigration law already gives the Home Office powers it would like to exert over everybody. Under a cloud of anti-immigration hysteria the government is increasing it’s social control and attempting to usher in unprecedented powers of surveillance over the whole population.

About London NoBorders

London NoBorders support all those in struggle against borders, against
their incarceration in detention centres, against their deportation,
against their super-exploitation as illegal workers. London NoBorders
campaigns for freedom of movement and the right to remain for all.