On Saturday 18 December, International Migrants Day and an action day of the international Abolish Frontex campaign, we blockaded the car gates of the Koningin Máximakazerne, a location of the Koninklijke Marechaussee (KMar – military police) near Schiphol airport. This location is home to the Border Security Training Centre, which is also a Frontex training location.
On top of this the KMar itself is responsible for border security and control in The Netherlands and for deporting people on the move. KMar-personnel also takes part in Frontex operations and is involved in border externalisation efforts, by training and supporting border authorities in non-EU-countries, such as Libya, Niger and Lebanon.
Early in the morning, we blockaded the entrance gates of the base while others unfolded banners. While we started publishing our action online and approaching press, hyped up KMar officials immediately came out and violently forced two of our comrades out of one lockon by pulling on their arms and hitting, suffocating, and kicking them. Comrades who tried to get close where violently pushed away. The two were then arrested and brought to holding cells at the police base.
All the more determined to go on with our action, we continued our blockade and let the KMar know what we think about their work for many more hours. It is clear that the military police is key to upholding oppression, exclusion and racism. If we want to fight Frontex and the system it represents, we have to take action at the centres of power. After a successful action, eight more comrades got arrested. Everyone else moved to the near detention centre, which amongst other things is used to jail undocumented people, and did a quick noise demo to show solidarity with the detained persons.
The action put the spotlight on Frontex and the participation of The Netherlands in its operations and training, including of its new own armed border police force, the Standing Border Guard Corps. It was part of an international action day which saw over 40 actions in 13 countries in Europe and Africa demanding to Abolish Frontex and end the EU border regime. In the afternoon, at Dam Square in Amsterdam a few dozens of people demonstrated in support of the protesting Refugees in Libya. They collected signatures for a petition demanding the Dutch government to evacuate these refugees from their unlivable situation in front of the UNHCR office in Tripoli and an end of the cooperation with Libya to stop migration towards Europe.
On Saturday night people did a noise protest at the police base to support the arrestees and show them that they were not alone. Between Saturday and Monday, all the arrestees got released.
This will definitely not be our last action against Frontex, we only just started. We will continue our fight to Abolish Frontex and against borders and border profiteers, for freedom of movement for everyone! No borders, no nations, stop deportations!
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Pictures by Deeez and !Koekblik!