European actions against detention & deportation

With the passing of the EU ‘returns directive’ last week (see also ), it is encouraging to report on two actions, one in Belgium and one in Denmark that defy state treatment of would-be refugees and migrant workers.

DENMARK: Stop the Deportations ( ) is a network that has emerged in Copenhagen as an answer to the unacceptable practise of sending people back to the turmoil in Iraq. Stop the Deportations has lately, on several occasions protested and made blockades in Kastrup airport in order to stop the deportations. We have succeeded in raising awareness and public debate about the issue and we are – with inspiration from the campaigning all over Europe, planning future actions. One day in the third week of July week 30 we will act specifically against Lufthansa. See previous action against deportation at Copehagen. Airport. May 28th 2008:

BELGIUM: On Saturday 28th of march, 22 refugee-activists blockaded the gates of the closed detention centre in Merksplas (Belgium). The group, Mindy’s Mega Blockade, locked the two gates where mini-vans transport the refugees in and out of the centre. The gate for the staff and visitors wasn’t blocked. From seven o’clock in the morning ten activists used tubes to link their arms trough the two gates, while one activist, dressed up as Mega Mindy (a very popular female superhero in a dutch television series) climbed up the wall of the closed detention centre. Encouraged by the detained refugees they kept up the blockade until 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Not a single van could bring refugees to the airport or inside the detention centre. The action group informed the police of the blockade, but the police didn’t arrest the activists. The action was broadcasted through all the media in Flandres (the dutch-speaking part of Belgium) on Saturday. The activists said they wanted to shut down the deportation machinery, raise awareness about the detention of children and strengthen the debate about closed dention centres. See photos on :

Note that UK, which implements an indefinite detention period, did not opt-in to the Returns Directive which lays down a maximum period of custody of six months & can be extended by a further 12 months in certain cases. The detention of human beings for any period is of course unacceptable to No Borders.