Open Borders

No one is illegal is a phrase first used by Elie Weisel, a Jewish survivor from Nazi Germany, a refugee and a Nobel Prize winner.

No to immigration controls, freedom of movement for all.

Everyone in the entire world has the right to live whereever  they wish.

Economic migrant or daring heroic explorer? seems to depend on your skin colour….

Since the beginning of European imperialist expansion in the sixteenth century, almost twice as many Europeans have migrated to the Americas, Africa and Asia as people from these areas have migrated to Europe.

In the period between 1815-1912, around 21 million people left Britain to settle elsewhere, most of them were economic migrants rather than asylum seekers. In the process, ‘the Tasmanian aborigines and most of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean were extinguished; the population of Australian aborigines was reduced by some 80%; that of the Americas, North and South, was reduced by between 33 and 80%.’

Marika Sherwood, Institute of Commonwealth Studies quoted in Open Borders

We are all immigrants!

The Paleolithic, Stone and Bronze Ages races

The Celt, the Roman, Teutons not a few

Diverse in dialects and hair and faces-

The Fleming, Dutchman, Huguenot and Jew

‘Tis hard to prove by means authoritive

Which is the alien and which is the native.

Anon. poem, (1909)

Who’s invading who?

The xenophobic right is prone to describe the British Isles as under siege from a horde of restless foreigners about to invade their historically undisturbed homeland. This is a curious myopia as it takes little account of the many early invasions of Britain by the Vikings, the Normans, the Romans and others, or the fact that the British themselves have been highly energetic colonisers of other people’s lands. Many of the population invasions of the last 250 years started, not ended, in Britain.

Robin Cohen, Frontiers of Identity: The British and the Others.

If only we would learn from history

You always have a mob of entirely uneducated people who will hunt down foreigners, and you will always have people who will make use of the passions of the mob in order to get their own ends politically. We believe the interests of the working classes everywhere are the same.

 Josiah Wedgewood 1919

Immigration controls are designed to be racist

The great merit of this scheme is that it can be presented as making no distinction on the grounds of race or colour..Although the scheme purports to relate solely to employment and be non-discriminatory, the aim is primarily social and its restrictive effect is intended to, and would in fact, operate on coloured people almost exclusively.  Conservative Home Secretary Rob Butler 1961 referring to work vouchers in the Commonwealth Immigration  Act.

It is vital to examine the root causes of migration from the South to the North; the centuries of colonisation and robbing of natural resources, the support for brutal dictators, sales of weapons to regimes, sweatshop labour, ‘aid’ in the form of unfair trade agreements and IMF loans creating third world debt….

People should have the right to freedom of movement, not forced to move because of war, famine, repression or impoverishment.

The opening of borders could make the world are more harmonious, peaceful and less racist place, and make possible cooperation and democracy and greater mutual understanding worldwide.

Teresa Hayter, Open Borders

I was there [at the protest against Campfield detention centre] with my husband for two reasons: as refugees from Hitler’s Germany in 1939 we are often asked why Jews did not defend themselves from attack and persecution (if there is no place to flee, how is this to be done?): and, when my husband came home he began to work as an engineer (helping the war effort) but was interned a year later as an alien!  All the arguments used then are being used now and they are the reasons people like us are demonstrating against detention. During his internment my partner, like many of his fellow refugees, was imprisoned with members of the Nazi party, the Home Office policy being, then as now, ‘Collar the lot’….Fleeing Nazi Germany was seen as ‘suspect’ even in 1939, which is why my husband is the sole survivor of his family, all sent to Auschwitz.’

Letter from Maureen Renyort to the Daily Telegraph in 1994, explaining why she joins the protests against Campsfield Detention Centre.


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No One is Illegal

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