Thursday, August 30, 2007
The state repression hasn't degraded at all, despite the upcoming elections and the hot summer in Greece. During the evening of Saturday 18th of August 2007, according to reports, undercover policemen were after the 25-year-old Tony Onouha, immigrant from Nigeria, who had been selling CDs in a cafe in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki.
Based on denouncements of his fellow countrymen, Tony Onouha, recognised those policemen as the ones who had beaten him up, one year ago. He tried to run away and finally fell from the first floor of the cafe, 5 meters height, to the street, where he died instantly. [photos]
Some reports say that the immigrant was pushed by the police officers. In any case, the death of Tony Onouha is one more assassination by the state repression mechanism, the Hellenic Police.
Right after Onouha's death, his fellow countrymen and anarchists in solidarity had a vigil at the place of the incident. Some of them protested and had a conflict with the riot police and undercover policemen who went there to suppress the protest. Roadblocks were set up and the riots kept on until Sunday 4am. [photos]
On Monday afternoon, 500 hundred people participated in demonstration including many people from the black community and people in solidarity, including the antiracist initiative of Thessaloniki, left and anarchist/antiauthoritarian groups. When the march was in front of the Polce Department, the demonstrators threw a lot stones against the guarding riot police.
The protests have been announced to go on during the following days.
Monday, August 13, 2007
~ R. Tayyip Erdoğan.
Back in June, Şirnex, Culemêrg, and Sêrt were declared "security zones" (OHAL) by the Turkish general staff, in an agreement with the centralized Ankara regime. Now, the rising pressure in these areas by the Turkish military has resulted in a baby's murder.
Özgür Gündem reports that a six-month old baby in Çemê Karê, a zozan of Pervari in Sêrt, became ill and the parents decided to take him to the hospital. However, the Turkish military did not let the parents take the baby because it had closed the roads into and out of the town two weeks before. According to the Turkish military, the people of the town were supporting PKK by giving supplies to the gerîlas. The father had asked for permission from the jandarma to take a vehicle to transport the ill baby, but permission was refused.
The father and sixteen other villagers then decided to saddle up, even putting the baby on the back of a horse to travel the 90 kilometer distance to the hospital in an attempt to save the infant's life. En route, the baby died.
Thus we can say that the Turkish military murdered a Kurdish baby because it was a supporter of the PKK. This is another example of who the real baby-killers and terrorists are.
After the death of the infant, the villagers and the father of the baby went to court to press charges against the jandarma commander who had refused permission of the use of a car to transport the baby to the hospital. On their way to the court, the group was arrested and detained by Turkish soldiers. After their statements were taken, they were released.
IHD is expected to investigate the murder of the baby by the Turkish military.
There is a pregnant woman in the same village who needs to go to the hospital because she's in a critical medical situation. She may be the next one to die, since permission to take her to the hospital has been denied, just as it was for the baby.
The irony of this report is that while the villagers are accused of providing supplies to HPG gerîlas, they are suffering a critical food shortage themselves due to the severe restriction of travel. Villagers are permitted one kilo of flour per person every three days, which makes it virtually impossible to provide any extra provisions to anyone at all.
This is another example of the continuing genocide against the Kurdish people. There's no other possible explanation for the murder of a Kurdish baby, the threat of death hanging over a pregnant Kurdish woman, and the slow starvation of an entire Kurdish village.
Rastî: KURDISH INFANT MURDERED BY TSK FOR SUPPORTING PKK
Saturday, August 11, 2007
On Decorating The Blast Walls
When pondering the above photograph of an artist painting a mural, what comes to mind? That the artist is playing a constructive role in society by creating a public work meant to beautify his community? Of course there are many possible reactions to the photo, but in describing the actual circumstances in which it was made, suddenly a different set of responses come into play - as well as questions regarding the social purposes of art. A closer examination of this photo can tell us something about the art and artists in our own respective communities.
The photo was taken on July 20, 2007 by Associated Press photographer, Khalid Mohammed, and it shows an Iraqi artist painting a mural on the steel and cement blast walls erected by U.S. occupation troops in downtown Baghdad, fortifications meant to protect government buildings from car bombs. Commissioned by the U.S. backed, Shiite dominated central government, the artist’s mural is part of a government funded "beautification project", where non-controversial and colorful murals are being created and installed on bomb blast walls all across Baghdad. In painting the ramparts of a military occupation, does the Iraqi artist somehow make life better for his people? I don’t mean to say that art should not serve to ameliorate suffering and bring joy to the soul - those are, I believe, some of the main reasons why we create works of art. As Albert Camus once observed, "We have art in order not to die of life." But when we create art, who is it for, what is its purpose, and what are its ramifications?
On the other hand, those artists who want their works to have a noble purpose, can fall into a trap of a different sort. In the Summer of 2005, British graffiti artist, Banksy, traveled to the West Bank to leave a series of stencil murals on Israel’s so-called "security fence" surrounding the Palestinian territories. On his website the artist wrote: "How illegal is it to vandalize a wall, if the wall itself has been deemed unlawful by the International Court of Justice? The Israeli government is building a wall which stands three times the height of the Berlin wall and will eventually run for over 700km - the distance from London to Zurich." Once Banksy began his murals, he was confronted by an old Palestinian man who said, "You’ve painted the wall and made it look beautiful." The artist replied with a "Thank you", only to be admonished by the elder, "We don't want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall. Go home!"
Read the full article on
MARK VALLEN'S "ART FOR A CHANGE" blog:
On Decorating The Blast Walls
Labels: Artists and the Iraq war
We will assemble at 45th & Kingsessing Ave. at 12:00pm, August 11 in Philly
For transportation from NYC, call (212)330-8029
HISTORY OF THE MOVE 9
This August 8th will mark the 29th anniversary of the 1978 confrontation in Philadelphia that was completely provoked and carried out by the Philadelphia police. Over 600 heavily armed police officers came out to MOVE headquarters to serve an eviction order to MOVE members, charging them with failure to leave their Powelton Village headquarters in supposed violation of an earlier agreement. With their concocted story to justify a military invasion, public officials and the media blamed MOVE for the deadly assault that followed.
On the morning of August 8, 1978. police fired over 1,000 rounds of ammunition into a basement that was filled with MOVE men, women, children, and animals. The police flooded the basement in an attempt to drown MOVE members. They fired tear gas knowing full well that MOVE babies would be gassed. In their bloodthirsty frenzy to kill MOVE members, the police killed one of their own fellow officers. As MOVE members came out of their house, mothers had their babies snatched out of their arms and were shackled. MOVE men were savagely beaten and shackled.
The police, rather than admitting that they had killed one of their own, charged nine MOVE members with the murder of the one police officer, James Ramp. The nine were, as in the case of Mumia, tried and convicted for the murder of the police officer. Each member was sentenced to 30-100 years in prison. The trial judge admitted, when questioned by then still unimprisoned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, that he did not have the faintest idea as to who shot the cop. He said he had sentenced the MOVE members as a family because they insisted that they were a family!
It was partly because of Mumia’s extensive and fair reporting on MOVE, rare among Philadelphia journalists, covering all the events that led to August 8th as well as the trial and conditions of imprisonment for the MOVE 9, that he was later framed. Mayor Rizzo specifically threatened Mumia for what he defined as biased reporting.
That was 29 years ago. MOVE members are still in prison today. Merle Africa died in prison under mysterious circumstances after doing 20 years. August 1978 led directly to the infamous bombing of MOVE on May 13, 1985, as MOVE would not stop protesting the incarceration of their nine sisters and brothers.
We cannot allow one more freedom fighter to die in Amerika’s dungeons! A year from now the MOVE 9 will go before the parole board for the very first time. Interviews will begin in the next few months. Join us in a campaign of massive steady public pressure to bring our freedom fighters home. The struggle to parole the MOVE 9 is key to reinstating the right to parole for all prisoners.
NO EXCUSES! NOW IS THE TIME TO PAROLE THE MOVE 9!
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC
Friday, August 10, 2007
Collaboration of the Nigerian Embassy in the deportation of Nigerians from Germany
As we, the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants, Munich, have recently learned, the Nigerian Embassy is coming to Munich, Germany, in order to issue ‘travel certificates’ (TC) for Nigerians living in Munich to the end of their deportation from Germany. The Bavarian Foreigners’ Authorities have sent letters summoning Nigerians to attend this hearing with the Nigerian Embassy taking place on Wednesday, the 8th of August in the Munich refugee camp in Tischlerstrasse, and the hearings may well span over several days. The Nigerians summoned are being told that they have to attend in order to have their identity clarified, which means that if they are identified as being a Nigerian citizen, they will be issued a TC which in turn will allow the German authorities to deport them to Nigeria.
We strongly protest this decision of the Nigerian Embassy to neglect their duty to look after the welfare of their citizens abroad and rather collaborate with the German Authorities in order to tear Nigerians living in Bavaria out of their lives here and help to put them, forcefully, on a plane bound to Nigeria. This is not the first time that the Nigerian Embassy has come to Munich Tischlerstrasse. When they held these hearings in 2004, we observed a large number of deportations of Nigerians afterwards. We also want to state plainly that with this decision, the Embassy is assuming responsibility for the inhuman and degrading practice of deportation, a practice that already has lead to numerous deaths. It is not long ago that the Nigerian citizen Osamuyia Aikpitanhi was killed by Spanish officers while being deported from Spain in June 2007. The list of persons killed during a deportation is however much longer.
Since we were informed of the Embassy coming down to Munich, we have addressed them in a letter urging them not to come. We have not received a reply, but through an official, we heard that the Embassy went to consult the ‘Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge’ (the German authority concerned with the issues of flight and migration, BAMF) to ask them what to do. In our opinion, this shows who is giving the orders. Instead of consulting with the relevant authorities in Nigeria how to tackle the issue of providing welfare to all Nigerians abroad (as it is expected of an Embassy), they rather went to consult a German authority infamous for denying the right to stay to many Nigerians, Africans and migrants in general. The Nigerian Embassy claims that there is a German law forcing them to hold this hearings, however it is known to us that various embassies of other countries have stated very clearly that they are not willing to provide such services to the German authorities. We therefore would like to ask about the real motives behind this collaboration. If they were of a personal and economic nature, or of a similar immoral category, the Nigerian Embassy staff would surely have forefeited their right to represent Nigerians abroad.
Given the Embassy’s intransigence, all that remains is public action. We will state our protest in Munich, but we also urge you to send a protest letter, fax or email to the Nigerian Embassy demanding from them to reverse their sinister decision and not to comply with the wishes of the German authorities, wished that only mean the deportation of Nigerians from Germany. Remind the Embassy of their obligations to Nigerian citizens living abroad and let them know that they are acting in a manner that lacks any respect for the Human Rights globally agreed upon.
What you can do
We have prepared a short text that you can use for your protest letter to the Nigerian embassy. Since we need some kind of feedback, we ask you to send us a carbon-copy of your letter.
Via email: email@example.com and carbon-copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Via fax: ++49 (0)30 21230-212 and carbon-copy to: ++49 (0)89 762236
Via mail: Nigerian Embassy, Neue Jacobstraße 4, 10179 Berlin, Germany and carbon-copy to: Caravane Munich, c/o EineWeltHaus, Schwanthaler Str. 80, 80336 München, Germany
Sample text protest letter
Your Excellency Ambassador Abdul-Kadir Bin Rimdap,
with great distress I have learned of the decision of the Nigerian Embassy to travel to Munich, Bavaria around the 8th of August 2007 in order to issue travel certificates to Nigerians living in Bavaria whose sole purpose is to facilitate the deportation of these people. This is a cruel fate for the victims of such practices, and it in stark contrast with my view that the Nigerian Mission should have an interest in the welfare of all Nigerian citizens living abroad. The dishonourable circumstances under which such a hearing takes place clearly constitute a humiliation of those whose welfare you should have a personal interest in and thus, any kind of such cooperation is prohibitive.
I believe that such an action would have severe consequences which are incompatible even with your interests.
As experience has showed, a large number of Nigerians will be deported from Germany, Nigerians that have established a living here and are often providing vital support to their families at home and their country in general. During this deportation, the people concerned are exposed to the risk of stress, harrassment, maltreatment and even death, as it has recently occured during the deportation of Osamuyia Aikpitanhi, who was gagged and choked to death by Spanish officers, an event that sparked outrage of Nigerians all over the world. If the Embassy were to engage in this activity, you become an accomplice in the inhuman practice of deportation and assume co-responsibility for the death and sufferings of those being deported.
Please do also consider that the relations between Nigerians living in Germany and the Embassy will suffer. Already in the years prior to 2007, Nigerians have experienced the Embassy as a mere extension of the German government because of such activities. As a result, the reoccurence of distrust and fear can be anticipated if such a delegation were to come to Bavaria for said purpose. This consequence can clearly not be in your interest.
I therefore ask you to reconsider your decision and to rather care for the welfare of all Nigerians living in Germany. Don’t send the Embassy delegation to Munich. Refuse to collaborate with the German authorities whose sole aim is the forceful deportation of so many Nigerians living in Germany, a decision taken by many embassies in Germany.
carava.net » Blog Archiv » Call to Action! Against the Collaboration of the Nigerian Embassy with the German Authorities
Around 10:30pm on Saturday, July 4th, a riot broke out in Campsfield House, Oxfordshire, leading to 26 migrants escaping the immigration prison. 15 have since been recaptured, while the rest are still on the run. It followed a yard protest on Tuesday night against the appalling conditions inside the detention centre, which is run by American company GEO, and the discriminatory decisions of Newport immigration court, which is used for bail hearings and appeals involving Campsfield detainees. A hunger strike was started on Wednesday but was put on hold pending a meeting with Home Office representatives on Friday. A further yard protest on Friday night was held as the meeting failed to meet the prisoners' demands. Three solidarity demos were held on Tuesday midday at Campsfield House, Lindholme (Doncaster) and the Communication House (London) [reports: 1 | 2 | 3 ].
Last week, a revolt in a detention centre in Bari, Italy, led to at least 35 migrants escaping. Three weeks ago, 69 Tamil detainees in 5 detention centres, including Campsfield, went on hunger strike against a Home Office decision to deport them back to Sri Lanka [appeal]. Many are still on hunger strike while two Sri Lankan detainees in Harmondswoth, near Heathrow, have been on hunger strike for almost a month (see also Immigration detention: Unworkable).
According to the Campaign to Close Campsfield, detainees were evacuated into the yard at around 10:30pm on Saturday after a fire in the centre's makeshift kitchen (a Portakabin where the centre's detested diet of chips is prepared). There was allegedly a risk that the large gas bottles stacked outside would explode. Then, at about 10:45, reports came in that a group of detainees were smashing through the back gate. At about 11:30, detainees were being marshalled back into their cells and locked in, while a police helicopter was circling around. No fewer than eight fire appliances were seen. Hoses were being paid out although the kitchen fire had reportedly been extinguished.
A while later a new fire broke out in one of the accommodation blocks and detainees were evacuated into the yard again. Meanwhile, another group were trying to break out but these did not succeed. About 6 police vehicles were already at the side gate, with dogs and some officers donning riot gear. There was a moment of drama when the "spacemen" approached the penned-in detainees and were pelted with mud, small stones and insults.
Around 6:30 on Sunday morning, detainees were taken back inside and were "locked down" with police lining the corridors of the centre.
A statement by detainees at Campsfield House on Tuesday read:
“Newport immigration court, which is used for bail hearings and appeals involving Campsfield detainees, is very discriminatory compared to other courts in the UK: the bail application and appeal success rate there is less than 5%. Living conditions for detainees are appalling. Campsfield is a health hazard with 70% infection with flu. Paracetomol is the only medicine made available; two weeks ago even this ran out. Campsfield was rife with scabies, but only staff were issued with gloves. Although detainees are held civil detainees, not convicted prisoners or prisoners on remand, food, toilets and showers are a lot worse than in prisons. Some detainees are being held even though they have won an appeal against deportation. Others have clearly stated that they want to go back to their country of origin but have still been waiting in Campsfield for months.”
A statement by No Borders UK noted that police have portrayed the escapees as criminals, urging members of the public to "contact us immediately should they see anyone they believe could be one of those involved." Seeking asylum, the statement added, "is not a crime and these people should not have been imprisoned. We call upon members of the public to assist these vulnerable people." The BBC had proudly reported that a local resident in Kiddlington tackled and detained one of the escapee asylum seekers who had asked him for help, while some so-called refugee support organisations urged the escapees to turn themselves over to the police. The former chairman of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants Imam Sajid, for example, was quoted saying "It is hard to be sympathetic towards anyone who breaks the law, but these men must be desperate."
Campsfield immigration prison
Campsfield House was converted into an immigration detention centre in 1993, amid a storm of protest from local residents [history]. The so-called Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) is run by GEO, the private US prison company previously known as Wackenhut, which took over from Group 4 in May 2006. The centre, surrounded by 20ft fences with razor wire on top, holds up to 200 male asylum seekers at any time. Within 6 months of its opening, six asylum seekers escaped following a rooftop protest. Regular demonstrations and pickets outside Campsfield, mainly organised by the Campaign to Close Campsfield, have since become a common occurrence.
In March this year, Campsfield witnessed another riot when detainees tried to intervene and stop a forceful 'removal' of a fellow Algerian detainee. Following the 'disturbance', Robert Whalley CB was asked by the Home Office to extend his investigation into the Harmondsworth 'disturbance' on 28-29 November, 2006, to that establishment as well. Among other things, Mr Whalley said:
“The Harmondsworth and Campsfield House disturbances were very different, both in causation and in how they unfolded. Both occurred at a time when recent population pressures, falling heavily on vulnerable fabric in a hard-pressed detention estate, were accompanied by dislocation in casework handling, especially in the case of Foreign National Prisoners, which caused a build up of latent tensions.”
“It did not take much to trigger these events. When they started, they soon escalated, despite best efforts to prevent this happening. The underlying causes are still there and, without any changes, the same thing could happen again at either establishment.”
UK Indymedia - 26 migrants escape immigration prison in Oxford
Report of antiracist support:
Liam Byrne captured at Campsfield
MINISTER FOR LOCKING UP FOREIGNERS ARRESTED AT CAMPSFIELD
Yesterday (7/8/2007) members of the Campaign to Close Campsfield held a very successful demonstration outside the immigrant prison, in an effort to redress the balance of reportage on the escapes that took place on Saturday night, and to show the detainees inside that not everyone goes along with the mood of hysteria. There were loud shouts of "freedom" and "thank you very much!" from the main accommodation block, which we addressed by megaphone across the prison's unused, weed-grown football pitch.
Quite a few members of the local media turned up. The event was featured on regional BBC and ITV, and on local radio stations.
One journalist told us that she had done extensive interviews in the immediate locality and "a good half" of the people she'd spoken to were sympathetic towards the escapees, and even wished them luck. This included people living in the houses adjoining the prison, where the media have generally focused on residents who play along with the "escaped criminals" story (extra locks etc).
Less attention is paid to the nature of the crimes the escapees are said to have committed. All that the police will say (and perhaps are able to say because of poor communication with the Borders and Immigration Agency) is that none of them had done anything very bad.
Were it to be revealed that most of the escapees had done little more than failing to return their library books, the official reaction might be seen as a very expensive pantomime, played out for no honorable purpose, at public expense.
THE REAL STORY IS CRIMINALISATION
Since New Labour came to power it has created over 1,000 new crimes. These in particular criminalise the weakest members of society, especially migrants.
"A very high proportion" (say Asylum Welcome and Bail for Immigration Detainees) of the so-called criminals held in Campsfield have been jailed for the new "crime" of using false documents to enter the country. Making this a crime has brought fear back into the lives of thousands of legitimate, established Oxfordshire residents who are now terrified of falling the wrong side of the law in some way. And it blatantly violates Article 31 of the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees, which says governments must not penalise refugees who arrive on false papers.
It was for this infringement of international law that we arrested Liam Byrne during the demonstration. It turned out that we had, in fact, only arrested a cardboard cutout, but those who know the Minister say it is an easy mistake to make and, at a mere 2 mm thick, our cutout is certainly not as thick as the original. And a few more people now know what the ex-Anderson consultant, Reid protegée and parliamentary neophyte looks like.
Bob Hughes (Campaign to Close Campsfield)
For more information, contact 01865 726804, 01865 558145 or 07965 292499
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
against refugee rights
International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) have been informed that
the body of Mewan Omer an Iraqi Kurdish refugee has been found. Mewan Omer
has been missing for four days. Mewan Omar hanged himself in Olivia,
Mewan claimed asylum in Netherlands and Sweden but, his claim of asylum was
rejected in both countries. IFIR blames the Swedish Government for Mewvan’s
death. Mewan became depressed after receiving a letter from the Swedish
Government threatening him with deportation. Mewan’s death is a human
tragedy and an outcome of the policy of the Swedish Government to forcibly
deport Iraqi Kurdish refugees
The Death of Mewan should not be forgotten. Human rights campaigners should
continue to put pressure on the Swedish government and press them to prevent
future tragedies such as Mewan’s suicide. Following Mewan’s suicide IFIR
calls on all human rights campaigners, trade unions and civil rights
organizations to join IFIR’s campaign against forcibly deporting Iraqi Kurds
back to Iraq. This is the time to challenge European governments
threatening to deport Iraqi Kurds. IFIR calls on all European countries to
grant refugee status to Iraqi Kurdish refugees.
IFIR expresses its sorrow at Mewan’s death but will continue to campaign
against and challenge the inhumane policies of forcible deportation to Iraq
which led to Mewan’s death.
IFIR held a demonstration on Monday 2nd July 2007, which started at
the front of Gothenburg newspaper marching to where Mewan’s body was found.
COALITION TO STOP DEPORTATIONS TO IRAQ
Keine Abschiebungen in den Irak