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Meeting of No Borders South Wales tonight (plus people from the ShareDYDD destitution network).

no borders march 15

Racist vans, harassment of migrants via text messages from private companies, cuts to legal aid, cuts to English language learning provision, cuts in support services – and phone-lines that people now struggle to use…and more to come from the new Immigration Bill – some might just conclude that the government’s policies are an attack on the vulnerable, but then again, when hasn’t this been the case?

Home Secretary, Theresa May has openly stated a desire to create a “hostile environment” for all but “the brightest and best” migrants.

But whatever governments try to do, people will be there, working together in unity and solidarity to try and change the far-right policies that don’t help anyone, even the richest or bigoted.

Action has been taking place around Europe to build resistance and empower people to stand up for their rights.

freedombanner

The ‘March for Freedom‘ walked for 450km between Strasburg and Brussels, and defied laws by crossing borders that is now a normal occurrence for Europe’s citizens, but denied to vistors seeking sanctuary from wars and conflict.

Activists in Calais have stood up to openly fascist groups and seen support grow as far-right demos were cancelled. Many have now reclaimed a major space in the city to use for solidarity work.

cms

Here in south Wales, activists have recently become involved in the necessary work to support destitute asylum seekers. The government cuts are forcing more people to sleep rough. Cardiff Destitution Network is helping to make the grass-route changes that challenge this bogus system, it was set up by solidarity activists in CMS Wales, which has been active since 2012 after being inspired by the Unity Centre in Glasgow. Some activists have spent less time coming to meetings and more time helping to promote events and organise local benefit gigs which help to fund the vital work that keeps people safe and alive.

Some have worked with various organisations to help make Cardiff a ‘City of Sanctuary’ – hoping that their input helps to make a real difference on the ground so that those that need to the most can directly benefit from the ‘award’.

Many others have been involved in anti-deportation campaigning, alongside friends in south Wales and a now released Dignity marcher to South Wales from Bristol.

We want to build on this though.

We have plans to hold a day of action during the NATO summit in South Wales, and also to help organise a new No Borders Convergence, bringing together migration activists from all over the UK and beyond. Our friends in Bristol and Leeds are growing the No Borders struggles there, and other groups in Manchester, Brighton, Oxford and Nottingham are building a new Migrant Solidarity Network, which Cardiff is also linked to.

This work is to create a world where no one is oppressed or discriminated against because of their status, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

We want a No Borders group again, that will use protests and many forms of direct action to get results. When detention centres have been blockaded and flights have been cancelled, people’s lives have been saved. We’re meeting tonight to help make this happen. We hope that you can join us at Cathays Community Centre from 6pm to be a part of it. We will aim to meet regularly after that.

You can contact us for more information but we’d like to see you stand together with us if possible.

For a world without borders, in which all are equal and live without conflict.

On Thursday we’ll be showing the premiere of a documentary film about the situation for migrants in Calais made by one of our group: Passengers is the personal account of a few people stuck in a place they don’t want to be, a collection of interviews with people seeking sanctuary. It’s No Borders South Wales meets Calais Migrant Solidarity. It’s on from 7.30pm in room 0.53 of the Bute Building, Cardiff University (map). It’s free entry and we’ll also be showing some other films about the situation in Calais and have a report back from some of the group who have just returned.

Here’s some stills from the film:

The appearance of Louise Perrett in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday has led to Read the rest of this entry »

Now on the revised date of Thursday 4th March from 7.30pm we will be hosting a film showing at the Birt Acres Lecture Theatre, Bute Building, Cardiff University (map). Featuring 3 short films about Calais that give a glimpse into the lives of migrants living there. One of these will be will be the premier of ‘Passengers‘ made by one of our group. You can RSVP on the facebook event page.

Since the No Borders Camp last summer, many activists from south Wales have been involved in migrant solidarity work in Calais. Hundreds of migrants have travelled overland to Calais to cross the final border to Dover in order to settle in Britain. Even though in Britain the odds are not in favour of asylum seeking migrants being given status, it is much less likely in Read the rest of this entry »

New Year’s Eve is bound to be different everywhere, as a party, or a special occasion. But how would you be able to celebrate if you were homeless and vulnerable on the streets of Calais?

In addition to  Salam’s incredible food distribution, they ended  the New Year’s Eve distribution with a party. Music was played over loud speakers mounted on top of a van with Sudanese and No Borders activists dancing to Afghani music, under instruction from Pashto mentors; everyone dancing to Read the rest of this entry »

A group of No Borders activists from South Wales recently returned to Northern France to take part in Calais Migrant Solidarity.

A serene scene, sitting at night a migrant’s encampment, sipping tea and watching the dark sea from the sand dunes.  Behind the gulls are wheeling against the orange sky. This peaceful snapshot hides the daily struggle, stranded up against the tall fences of the UK Border.  It’s very cold. It’s very exposed.  There’s no water and it’s a long walk from anywhere.

Through-out the winter, activists have continued working with and supporting migrants in Calais.  The local humanitarian organisations do astonishing work, providing regular food and support, three times a day, every day. Calais Migrant Solidarity directly supports this work and helps provide access to warm, dry clothes, and helps deal with minor injuries and access to health care.  In addition we’ve also been maintaining a permanent safe, practical space to support people and Read the rest of this entry »

small Eritean squat

small Eritean squat

A carload of activists from No Borders South Wales are in Calais with the group Calais Migrant Solidarity.

The weather was awful at the beginning of the week, cold with heavy sudden rain showers; dangerous weather for people forced to live on the streets. We set out on Tuesday morning to deliver warm clean clothes to the ‘bridges’ area – a collection of railway and road bridges across the ‘Basin de la Battellinne’ – where many Afghans and Iranians are struggling to stay dry and warm.

Despite the incessant rain we received a friendly welcome, sharing cigarettes and watching the rain. Meanwhile, during that morning the CRS (Companie Republican de Securité) had invaded the Ethiopian squat and arrested Read the rest of this entry »

Urgently needed: Blankets, Sleeping bags , warm clothes (especially winter jackets and water proofs), mens shoes, tents, money, tarpaulin, rope, tools

calais police migrantsHundreds of refugees and migrants, many of whom are under 18 are sleeping out in the cold weather in Calais; with no shelter, no blankets, nothing. This is the result of the French Immigration minister Besson’s policy of destroying the migrants camps together with the peoples few possessions. New shelters are being destroyed as well as squats being evicted. People sleeping under bridges have had their blankets confiscated or sprayed with chemicals so they cannot be used any more.

The associations and charities cannot cope with Read the rest of this entry »

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