[noborders-brum] the relationship between No Borders and other (less radical) groups

Shiar shiar at riseup.net
Thu Oct 2 22:06:53 UTC 2008

Thought this could be a good thing for various NB groups to discuss and
also within the network as a whole.

>From a statement/article by the Birmingham Anti-Racist Campaign (ARC):

We were aware that at last year’s rally, members of Birmingham No Borders
disagreed with our decision to have a banner stating “Amnesty Now”. But we
were not aware, until reading an addition posted on our article promoting
this year’s event, that NoBorders had decided not to work with us again
because of this. 

At last years event we had many other banners “No one is Illegal”, “Asylum
is not a Crime” and “Freedom of Movement for All” and throughout the rally
the message was firmly that of freedom of movement for all. ARC does not
campaign around amnesty. It was felt that the “Amnesty Now” banner
alongside a “No One is Illegal” banner was a way to challenge the idea of
selected amnesty and to get the no one is illegal message across to
members of the public. We agree with the Birmingham NoBorders statement on
We also agree with the politics of the wider NoBorders network.

We are confused by Birmingham NoBorders decision to no longer work with us
or at least engage in our events of solidarity with migrants as our
politics are not in conflict. We feel that likeminded groups should do all
we can to seek out alliances with each other. If Birmingham NoBorders
really does feel our politics are so much in conflict that they can not
collaborate with us, we would welcome further discussion.

Birmingham No Borders' response:

There is no 'decision' by Birmingham No Borders to not work with the
Birmingham Anti-Racist Campaign as such. Rather, we felt that we do not
agree with ARC on certain issues, such as an asylum amnesty, so we decided
to not get involved in these specific things.

We have a lot of respect for ARC and what they do, and we have personal
friendships with some of them. However, there are personal and political
conflicts between us and some new members who joined ARC recently; and,
from experience, we are unable to work with these individuals.

As to the No Borders banners, we suspected they were being used as a
'Trojan horse', so were careful who to give them to if we could not
participate - although, for this specific event, it was just a matter of
bad timing (the banners were supposed to go to the Freedom of Movement
protest in Manchester or the anti-fascist demo in Stoke).

Another difficulty in the relationship between ARC and No Borders is that
ARC is mostly into social and public events, lobbying and the like, while
No Borders is more into direct and confrontational action. But this, of
course, does not mean the two groups cannot work together. Indeed, they
have in the past, as with the joint pickets at the immigration reporting
centre in Solihull a couple of years ago. However, differences have
occasionally arisen while drafting leaflets, organising events or trying
to push things further.

We would welcome an open discussion about these issues and encourage other
No Borders groups around the country to do the same.

In solidarity,

Brum No Borders


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