Thursday, October 26, 2006

Migrants are world citizens like you and me

Posted to the nettime-l list:

The below made me think of the thing I´d written in March 2006 titled "architectural arrangements for exclusion". Read thát as background perspective of where I´m coming from with this posting below. Though, what I include below is purely a copy of an e-mail and my own writing does not surface there. Another point is that one cannot have lived in Spain for a year and not be acutely aware of immigration, of "los sin papeles". Especially over the summer, the number of migrants arriving daily on (being trafficked onto) Spanish shores cannot have gone unnoticed by even the most disinterested politics-averse of human beings.


Commemoration of Schiphol Detention Centre Victims

Join the live stream on Thursday night, October 26, 2006 from 8 pm
until Friday 27th 10 a.m
Go to:

Tonight a live web stream will be produced to commenorate the people
that died at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (The Netherlands) during a
fire at the temporary detention centre in the night of 26-27 October
2005. Eleven irregular migrants were killed, and fifteen other people
injured, as a result of the fire.

One year later, on the night of 26 to 27 October 2006, commemorations
will be held all over the Netherlands in memory and respect of those
who lost their lives in that terrible night one year ago.

Commemorative service in the Dominicus Church, Spuistraat 14,
Amsterdam, 07:00 08:30 p.m.

Family, friends and survivors will gather before the gate of the
detention centre at five minutes before mid night, the exact time the
fire broke out. An all-night vigil will be held at Schiphol East
detention centre, Oude Meer, Ten Pol 64, from 09:00 p.m. 8 a.m. the
next morning.

Turning point: Schiphol

A calamitous fire at Schiphol Airport deportation centre in the night
of 25-26 October 2005, in which 11 defenseless migrants died, was the
immediate and shocking cause for denouncing Dutch immigration
policies and initiating the LEFT WITH NOTHING campaign (named
"vertrokken gezichten" in Dutch). Its objective: immediate abolition
of detention of migrants. All people should be equally free to cross
borders as money, goods and services!

The catastrophic fire at Schiphol was a sad and all-time low in 20
years of restrictive immigration policies in the Netherlands. Our
objective is to make it a turning point. The campaign intends to
demonstrate that there are better ways of approaching the realities
of global migration issues: together with survivors and the next of
kin of the victims we mark the occasion of this tragedy, while trying
to turn over a new leaf.

Deportation and detention centre Schiphol-East was built as
expeditiously and cheaply as possible, in answer to the need to
construct a large number of low-cost holding cells at the earliest
possible notice. Holding cells for detaining large numbers of people.
Their safety was not an issue: efficiency was key. The fire at
Schiphol thus shows the true face of Dutch immigration policies in
all its horror.

We seek to highlight that the fire at Schiphol was by no means an
isolated incident. Rather, it was a direct result of our national
immigration policies, where parsimony is the operative word the core
policy objective is to expel illegal aliens as cheaply and
expeditiously as possible.

The Campaign

LEFT WITH NOTHING intends to translate the widespread feelings of
unease and horror into real solidarity. We raise money in support of
the victims and to help them rebuild their lives, for meeting the
costs of legal redress and for active campaigning: Detention of
innocent people must be stopped!

LEFT WITH NOTHING directly addresses the survivors immediate
needs.The campaign runs a contact point for all those who are victims
of the fire: including all those who have been branded illegal, those
who have subsequently been deported (!) and those who have had the
random good fortune of obtaining generally only temporary official
status. The campaigns support team of professionals and volunteers
provides them with much-needed opportunities to unburden, share
experiences and receive assistance.

Solidarity means support for migrant self-organisations, cooperation
with individuals and groups working on alternatives and researching
human trafficking and chains of exploitation.

Excluding people, hunting them down, locking them up and deporting
them these are the core elements that sum up Dutch immigration
policies. Outrageous policies, which make many victims. In the
Netherlands, some 22.000 migrants - people who have not committed any
criminal offence - are put behind bars every year, with fewer rights
than the average suspected criminal. Children, women, men: Anyone
failing to produce the required documents, is mercilessly locked up.

For LEFT WITH NOTHING, solidarity also entails mutual support and
cooperation, allowing people to contribute from their own
(professional) backgrounds and perspectives. As such, we offer
perspectives to act to all those who are burning with shame for the
way newcomers - migrants as well as illegal aliens - are being
treated in our society.

Eleven people died in the calamitous fire at Schiphol Airport
detention centre. Their deaths are the immediate and tragic result of
exceedingly restrictive Dutch immigration laws. Laws to exclude, hunt
down, lock up and deport innocent people.

Some 298 people were being held at the Schiphol detention centre when
the fire broke out: each and everyone a of them a victim of this
terrible catastrophy.

We call for solidarity with all of the victims.

We demand that detention of aliens with the sole objective of
expelling them from our country be ended forthwith!

Migrants are world citizens like you and me!


Support the victims of the Schiphol fire. All donations into the
Postbank account. no. 609060, in the name of X-Y, Amsterdam (NL) with
a reference to Victim Support (VS), will be gratefully received and
put to good use.

Post your ideas and initiatives to LEFT WITH NOTHING at

LEFT WITH NOTHING - an X-Y Solidarity Fund initiative is linked to
the Amnesty Now!

and No Imprisonment of Children


XminY Solidarity Fund
De Wittenstraat 43-45
NL-1052 AL Amsterdam
T ++ 31 20-6279661 F ++ 31 20-6228229


Related Links:


Concerns of Amesty International


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