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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #285 - Europe: The fortress is also a prison (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]
Fri, 14 Sep 2018 09:01:21 +0300
Security policies that target migrant women and migrants do not apply only on the borders:
to strengthen the latter is to tighten the control of the entire population, throughout
the territory. The fight against these policies is in the interest of everyone, nationals
and foreigners alike. ---- Cédric Herrou, farmer of the Roya Valley, ---- He was subjected
to 8 police custody, 5 searches, 2 trials, administrative detention and a very strict
judicial examination, for having repeatedly offered a place in his van to refugees. ----
During his visit to Vietnam in July 2015, and while still British Prime Minister, David
Cameron spoke about the entry of refugees in the United Kingdom. The source of the "
problem, " he said, is that " people are crossing the Mediterranean in search of a better
life " ; he therefore called for treating the problem at its source " by making life less
easy for illegal immigrants in the United Kingdom ", because " all these measures, which
draw an internal border, count just as much as the external frontier " .
A few months after this meeting, following the attacks in France, police checks were
re-established at the borders between States within the European Union, and the European
Council authorized their extension the following year. But that is not what the former
Conservative MP had in mind. Neither were moral or informal boundaries marginalizing large
sections of the population of a country on the basis of their religion, skin color or
presumed origin. In fact, the frontiers he intended to erect consisted, among other
examples mentioned, in limiting to refugees the possibility of opening a bank account,
access to social housing and employment, and of course to intensify evictions. So many
measures that apply far from the coast, so.
A gigantic border post
The trouble with borders is that they have an unfortunate tendency to overflow inwards.
The refoulement of part of the population outside the national territory is not a simple
decree: it requires a whole criminal and police apparatus, which can only affect the
entire population. The control of some necessarily implies the control of others, and the
freedom of foreigners is also that of nationals.
One might have thought that the Schengen Agreement (1985) would rid EU residents of border
police. But if within the Union the frontier post as such has disappeared, the frontier
line where the States exercise their authority has been considerably enlarged, to become,
in France for example, a ten-kilometer band below the border line, where the police can
conduct random and mobile checks.
A quarter of the French territory concerned
The people who live on these border strips of course remained a minority ... until the
Anti-Terror Law of 30 October 2017, which amended the Code of Criminal Procedure and the
Customs Code to allow the identity check of " any person " within a radius of 10
kilometers around ports, airports and 118 border crossing points, as well as " near "
railway stations, where previously such controls could only take place inside. And, by
definition, it is because we can not say who is illegal or not that the police must also
control citizens in their own right - or even target people according to their skin color
The police grid of the border populations has since spread along a network of
infrastructures that mesh the whole territory: in its previous version, the bill envisaged
a radius of twenty kilometers, which ensured the coverage more than a quarter of the
French territory and two-thirds of its population, according to an estimate of the World
. A map prepared by CIMADE shows France covered internal borders, in terms of the
identity check of the male and female migrants .
In the United States, border guards have recently been authorized to carry out checks,
arrests and searches of vehicles up to 160 kilometers below the border, without the
approval of the judicial authorities. To this unfortunate mapping, one could add that
dozens of administrative detention centers that dot the country.
There is also what is not printed on the territory: the legislative apparatus, certainly,
but also the procedures of registration, documentation, surveillance, the administrative
routine of confinement and expulsion, and especially a technology of diffusion of the
function of control, which the police is not the only one to endorse. Building effective
internal borders requires the dissemination of control at every level and in every sector.
Borders everywhere, solidarity nowhere
Passenger transport companies were quickly put to use - under the threat of heavy fines -
and developed a real competence in the matter: at airports, it is not the police that
controls passengers the most, but the agents and agents of the company. In coaches (at
Flixbus, Ouibus, etc.), travelers had to get used to having their passport scrupulously
checked by the drivers themselves, worried about the risk they would incur if they left a
passenger without papers aboard. .
This logic of border security penetrates the whole society, its administration but also
its citizens. The state might be entitled to demand that they do not collaborate with
undocumented migrants, that is, in practice, that schools and universities control their
pupils, doctors their patients, services their beneficiaries, the bankers their clients,
the inhabitants their neighbors, etc. That suspicion stifles any form of spontaneous
Marco (AL 92)
INDEPENDENT AND SOLIDARITY ... AND PROUD !
Article L622-1 of the Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and Asylum (Ceseda) defines
what has been called the " offense of solidarity ".
Although this law was originally intended to be used to prosecute smugglers, it was turned
against the citizens who helped refugees in need, sometimes simply by taking passengers on
hitch-hiking. Among these " joint delinquentes " are Cédric Herrou, a farmer in the Roya
Valley, who has been subjected to 8 police custody, 5 searches, 2 trials, administrative
detention and indictment under strict judicial control. , to have several times offered a
place in his van to refugees walking from the Italian border.
Pierre-Alain Mannonni, a teacher-researcher from Nice who had taken three injured young
Eritreans to the hospital while crossing the Alps, was sentenced to two months in prison.
Neither Valls, who had promised it, nor Collomb, in the asylum-immigration law, put an end
to this criminalization of elementary solidarity.
The other articles of the file:
Editorial: Security without the security
Judicial Reform: Towards court robotization ?
United States: Chained to Slave History
Big Brother: A real public-private partnership
History: Police sometimes, justice nowhere
Rojava: Security and local justice
Chiapas / Zapatistas: Repairing rather than Closing
Practices: Dealing with gender-based violence in a militant environment
Treat the sexual abuser through feminist education
And the " dangerous fools " ? And the " psychopaths " ?
 Matthew Holehouse, " Calais crisis ", The Telegraph, July 30, 2015.
 " The government is preparing a massive extension of border identity checks ", Le
Monde, 19 December 2017.
 Cimade, " Permanent state of emergency, facies checks everywhere, " September 11, 2017.
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