What do we need to build a strong anti-border movement?

Download Beating the borders printable PDF

At the moment there is not really anything equating to a No Borders movement in either Spain or Morocco. There are some charitable associations and activist groups in solidarity with migrants and they are connected across the border to some extent. But they have certain legal limitations about what they can  and can’t support.

From an anti-capitalist and anti-state perspective though, there should be no limits to human solidarity or direct action to create a fairer and freer world. If a government’s laws try to prevent such things then it simply means we have to work outside of the law.

One obvious example of something which would drastically improve the humanitarian situation but which legal associations are unable to fund would be the provision of life jackets and good quality boats to migrants trying to cross the sea. Many migrants suffer in Morocco for years trying to hustle up enough money to afford a space on a boat that is often overcrowded and extremely likely to sink.

When they do sink, migrants often either drown to death or are “rescued” by the Moroccan police who bring them back under conditions of torture. If they are rescued by the Spanish Red Cross or even the Spanish Police they are likely to end up in a better situation, but to have to almost die in the first place is obviously not something anyone wants to go through.

The provision of life-jackets, life boats and other materials to make crossing the border easier requires raising money clandestinely in ways that can’t be traced back to any individuals, because helping migrants to cross the border would be considered illegal. If you have ideas about how you can help in such efforts then get in touch, from an email address that cannot be traced to your name, at nobordersmorocco@riseup.net. Do not email us with any information relating to specific criminal acts which have either already taken place or which are being concretely planned.

Migrants crossing the border in itself is a form of direct action against the border. The clandestine organizing involved on the part of migrants and anyone who helps them contributes towards making border controls less effective, because when successful it means they failing to do what they are supposed to. Migration across this border simply cannot be stopped, because the factors driving it are too powerful for any government to put an end to. The more governments realize this and stop bothering to invest manpower and resources in maintaining them, the more the humanitarian situation will improve.

The fact is, governments and their employees are not nearly so effective or loyal to their official proclamations as they would have us believe. Even if governments continue to make “policies” against immigration, in practice their actual border guards may not be working particularly hard, especially if the numbers of migrants making it across keeps getting higher and higher. We are not looking for changes in laws, we are looking for changes in facts on the ground, and these can be best brought about through direct action.

This is not to say that more “indirect” action does not have it’s place too. People organizing demonstrations, writing articles, handing out leaflets and dropping banners can definitely help raise awareness and help to challenge the mainstream racist/nationalist discourse around borders. But these efforts should be based around this function of raising awareness, not kid themselves that they are somehow going to change government policy.

We don’t want to convince the general public to vote for a different party or lobby for a change in the law. We want them to realize the law is fundamentally wrong and needs to be resisted until it becomes unworkable. Resistance has no time scale, unlike general elections or parliamentary procedures, and anyone can start right away.

If you agree with this general attitude towards the situation, whatever you describe you’re politics as, you are probably the kind of person we want to get in touch with us. If you are already connected to activist groups or networks you think could help then all the better, but even if not, please email us at nobordersmorocco@riseup.net

If you are also the kind of person for whom it would be relatively easy to visit us in Tangiers, Morocco and help directly with what we are trying to do, then we especially want to hear from you. If you come and see us it won’t be all doom and gloom, we can guarantee it. Tangiers is a weird and wonderful place where there is always some surreal, hilarious madness going on, despite the tragedy of the border situation. We can provide crashpad accommodation, food and live musical entertainment. Just don’t come expecting to be told exactly what you can do to help, because we won’t be able to know that till you’ve been there a while.

Our email address in nobordersmorocco@riseup.net

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s