text 3

june 2000 

International Alliances Against Airlines

The campaign »Deportation Class - Stop the business with deportations« is based on the experiences with anti-racist campaigns in other European countries against deportations with airlines. Althought goverments of the EU ar working together closely in deportations, protest movements against the Fortress Europe do know only little of each other. The campaign against the Lufthansa wants to close this gap and acts internationally from the beginning. Therefore the network »no one is illegal« is running the website www.deportation-alliance.com together with the »Autonoom Centrum« in Amsterdam. Specific actions against the business with deportation have irritated the European airlines.

Dezember 4th 1996, Schiphol airport, Amsterdam: Over roofs and firesteps a small group of Dutch activists reaches the roof of the central office building of the airline Martin Air. While a huge banner is lowered from above, a larger group enters the main entrance. The occupyers wanted to inform the staff about the deportation business of "their company" with leaflets and posters, because Martin Air was mainly responsible for Sammelabschiebungen(deportation of groups of refugees from different European countries), e.g. to Zaire. In so called Eurocharters not only refugees from the Netherlands but also from France and Germany were flown out together . The security staff of Martin Air stopped the planned information, but Mr. Martin himself was so impressed that he offered a talk. When a delegation of the »Autonoom Centrum« threatened with a campaign in case his airline would continue with deportations, Mr. Martin surprisingly gave in. He would not announce it publically, but Martin Air would stop deportations. Since that there have been no 'Sammelabschiebungen' from the Netherlands. In the meantime Dutch activists have started their campaign against KLM, the most important Dutch airline for deportations.

There have also been protests against airlines in France and Belgium. In March 1999 several hundred people occupied the centre of Air France in Paris. The actions in France were also directed against Air Afrique, Lufthansa and the Belgan airline Sabena. After the dead of the Nigerian woman Semira Adamu the pilots of Sabena declared that they were not going to accept deportees on their planes anymore. Eleven police officers had forced Semira Adamu violently on a airplane to Togo and suffocated her death with a pillow. Threats of boycotts induced Sabena to make sure before every flight that all passengers agreed with their flight.