A report from the No Borders network gathering
A report from No Borders gathering in Newcastle
On 9 & 10 November a gathering of No Borders activists was held in Newcastle with groups and individuals from Brighton, Bristol, South Wales, London, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow taking part. Altogether, about 50-60 people attended.
Saturday began with report backs from local groups, giving us an impression of the activity of the No Borders network. Opposition against ID cards and the IOM, and actions against deportation airlines and immigration snatch squads, are as much part of the No Borders agenda as is solidarity with detainees, deportees and migrant workers. It was obvious that the volume and variety of actions is one of the strengths of the network which has helped it to continue to develop and grow without losing momentum.
The international dimension of the network was stressed when people told of large-scale blockades of a detention centre in Belgium, of Hamburg airport to stop deportations, and of the attempt to dismantle a detention centre in Denmark. People felt it is increasingly important to continue developing info and action-sharing networks with people across Europe and elsewhere. UK No Borders activists are making connections with campaigners in Northern France to highlight the situation of hundreds of refugees trapped in Calais.
Discussions also developed around the idea of organizing a bigger No Borders event in the future that would include actions and info-sharing.
On Sunday, the need to develop No Borders politics was stressed in a discussion on 'who are our allies'. At a local level, whilst working on some issues in coalition with groups and organisations that differ in character, No Borders has a firmly anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian stance. Over all, the network reiterated its explicit anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian position, and a group formed to work on publicity that offers an easily accessible guide to No Borders politics. This could take the form of written publications and media projects such as the development of a film.
All in all, sharing information and stories was an inspiring experience and by strengthening communications and network-wide tactics, people across the UK will continue to develop their ideas and inspire each other to take action against borders and to promote freedom of movement for all.
The next gathering is proposed for February/March 2009 in Bristol