NL: Call out and announcement of a day of action at detention and deportation centers

The No Border Network, founded in the Netherlands in June, calls for a nationwide day of action on October 27th 2012, seven years after the fire at detention and deportation center Schiphol, that cost the lives of eleven people.

Several groups in the country organize a demonstration or another action to be announced at a detention or deportation center in their region. There will also be a demonstration at the freedom restricting center in Ter Apel and more announcements are to be expected.

October 26th 2005:
shortly before midnight fire broke out in the cell complex at Schiphol. The complex turned out to be a fire hazard, the communication poor, the fire brigade was standing in front of the wrong gate, guards could not get doors open and the military police rushed the refugees that were let out of their cells into a cage, at gunpoint. Eleven people suffocated and burned in cells that had not been opened. Traumatized refugees were thrown in isolation. Responsible ministers got off scott-free. A Libyan refugee, Ahmed Issa al-Jeballi, accused of causing the fire, is up to this day still fighting for justice: acquittal.

When the Schiphol fire is discussed, fire resistance is the issue. A feigned solution was found in building a new border prison at Schiphol West, a bunker of which the management will largely be privatized and be in the hands of construction company BAM. The city of Haarlemmermeer signed for its construction, because it is their territory. At the same time, last year the city of Haarlemmermeer took control of the commemoration of the Schiphol fire and announced that it would be the final commemoration.

It is not fire resistance that should be the issue, but the existence of border prisons on its own.

When migration detention is discussed, the circumstances are the issue. Report after report comes out about bad food, the lack of medical care, the frequent use of isolation cells, aggression of blundering private guards of the company G4S, and intimidation by the ‚Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek‘ (Department of Return and Departure). But it is not circumstances that should in the first place be the issue, but the existence of border prisons on its own.

When the foreigners law is discussed, alternative methods of forcing people to leave the country are the issue. Humanistic and religious organizations often agree with this, and make an effort to further programs for so called voluntary return.

But it is not alternatives that should be the issue, but the existence of the racist foreigners law on its own.

Voluntary return does not exist.
People only return ‚voluntary‘ after having been under pressure for a long time, in the freedom restricting location with a daily obligation to stamp, after having been forced to live on the street, been locked up on a regular basis, in fact been outlawed, gotten sick, desperate, and in the end see no way out anymore. Women and children that cannot be kicked out on the street, are being placed in so called family locations where strict penal regimes prevail and where there is no recreation space for children.

The government presents migration as a problem. But it’s not migration that is the problem, but the exploitation of all those countries where refugees come from. Whether it is because of war, drought, flooding, famine, repression, religious or political prosecution, no man flees voluntary. Return, as it is called so beautifully, can therefore never be voluntary! The Western democracies, that have built their prosperity on the capitalist destruction of land, air and water, the theft of resources and slave labor, respond to the refugees, that seek a better life here, with repression. A machinery that is aimed at separating useful people from useless people, all by capitalist standards. Laws, police, border control, identity control, everything is aimed at controlling migration from poor countries. And multinationals profit.

With this day of action we state: right to freedom of movement and settlement for all. No alternatives or nicer cells, but abolition of all prisons in which people are being broken for the sole purpose of realizing their deportation, willingly or unwillingly.

Commemorate not only the deaths of the Schiphol fire, but commemorate all deaths caused by the policy of migration control. The suicides, the drownings in the Mediterranean Sea, the sick persons that starve. Take action against the murderous practices of the Fortress of Europe!

The city of Haarlemmermeer wanted the commemoration of last year to be the final one. Therefore commemoration day becomes day of action on October 27th, with demonstrations at the following locations:

Detention- and deportation center Schiphol Oost – 14.30, pre gathering 13.30 uur, MKZ, Eerste Schinkelstraat 16, Amsterdam. Sign up to be on the bus! Mail to:, subject: 27 oktober Schiphol

Detentiecenter Kamp Zeist – 14.30 uur near Kamp Zeist, corner Kampweg/Richelleweg (at overpass), Soesterberg. Call out by AAGU

Detention- and deportation center Rotterdam, 14.30 at the detention center. Call out Occupy Rotterdam

Detention center Alphen aan den Rijn, 15 uur train station Alphen a/d Rijn. Call out by AFA Den Haag.

Vrijheidsbeperkende locatie Ter Apel – 14.30 uur at the VBL Ter Apel. Read the call out by AFA Fryslan, onderzoeksgroep Alaska and Werkgroep Vluchtelingen Vrij.

Family location Gilze-Rijen – Get together at 13.00 hrs, Steenakkerplein in Gilze, from there we walk to the Family location Gilze-Rijen, Prinsenbosch 2. Arrival at Family location: 14.30 hrs Action lasts until 15.30.

More, and more details will follow.

No Border Network