Call for a 3rd day of Migration-Related Actions

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7th october 2006

all over Europe and beyond ...

"In the name of fighting clandestine immigration, governments are adopting repressive policies and are expanding the frontiers of wealthy nations through centers of detention, ejections, expulsions and selection of the labour force." (from the migration-related Appeal of Bamako/Mali at the Polycentric World Social Forum in January 2006)

The European migration regime makes migrants 'illegal'. One of the main measures of the European Union authorities against the movements and struggles of migration is currently the establishment of camps and other instruments of migration control outside Europe, in African and east European countries (their 'externalisation').

When thousands of migrants and refugees collectively stormed the border fences of the Spanish enclaves in Ceuta and Melilla in October last year, the crucial demands for freedom of movement and for equal rights were clearly brought to public attention, at least for the moment. The inhuman, barbaric reactions, the fatal shootings and mass deportations to the desert, mirrored the escalating level of conflict and the crisis of the European migration regime.

But there is an ongoing process undermining this migration regime, not only from 'outside' the borders, but also from the inside. All over Europe, almost every day, there are social and political struggles, protests and campaigns against camps and deportations, for asylum rights for women and men, for legalisation, for European citizenship rights based on residence rather than nationality and against the exploitation of migrant labour. These struggles go far beyond any narrow understanding of European identity.

Our new joint call for a Day of Action follows the mobilisations on 31 January 2004 and on 2 April 2005, when we held the first and second days of action on migration in more than 50 cities across Europe. At the European Social Forum in Athens in May 2006, the issue of migration for the first time had its own thematic 'axis'. A growing network of migration-related initiatives decided in the final assembly to take another step and coordinate actions around 7 October.

Taking into account specific regional and national conditions and the circumstances of various struggles, our Day of Action aims for resistance at European and even transcontinental levels. Our mobilisation will make the first moves towards Europe-wide central activities in order to develop the idea of a common demonstration in 2007, either in Brussels or at another place of public interest. Our aim is to address Europe as a whole and not only national governments.

In addition the chosen date in October is a reminder of the events in Ceuta and Melilla in 2005. We will make a particular effort to build cooperation with initiatives in Africa. A simultaneous day of actions in European and African cities in October would help to promote an axis on migration in the next World Social Forum, which will take place in Nairobi (Kenya) in January 2007. This corresponds with the Bamako Call which we have already quoted from: 'In the period from the Bamako Forum to the one in Nairobi, we propose a year long international mobilisation in defense of the right of all people to circulate freely around the world and to determine their own destiny... Finally we call for an international day of mobilisation that could take place in the sites/symbols of the frontiers (airports, detention centers, embassies, etc.)'.

Above all, we are determined to stress the global dimension of migrant struggles today. Thus, we intend to connect our Day of Action with the initiatives and ongoing mass mobilisations of the American migrants movement in the next future.

The 3rd Day of Action will be directed against the denial of rights, against the criminalisation of migrants and against all immigration controls, articulating clear demands within the framework of freedom of movement and the right to stay:

* For a European unconditional legalisation and equal rights for all migrants

* For the closure of all detention centers in Europe and everywhere

* For an end to all deportations and of the externalisation process

* For the uncoupling of the residence permit from the labour contract and against 'precarity'.

DEMONSTRATION IN COLOGNE