Opening Action Prison Boats Zaandam, NL

9. April 2007

Just before the official opening of the new detention boats in Zaandam, around 90 activists made a start opening the fences with bold cutters. The ministry of justice plans to take in use this month the 300 two-person cells for detention of 'illegal migrants'. The barbed wire and 150 meters of fencing were dismantled with bolt cutters, spanners and wire cutters.

One of the most severe means that can be used against citizens is brought in practice on these boats: deprivation of liberty. To justify this treatment in Dutch media and politics an image is provoked that links migration and criminality. The Netherlands put per 100.000 inhabitants more people in alien detention than any other European country.

Most of the detainees are eventually not deported but end up on the streets again. After been caught after an inspection on the job or because of minor offenses like cycling on the pavement, people end up again in one of the many Dutch alien detention centers. A scare-off is the true goal of this migration policy and these new prison boats the means. The daily abuse on the Rotterdam prison boats, in use since 2004, has been exposed and is similarly expected in Zaandam: badly trained aggressive guards, lack of space and medical provision, and ongoing insecurity of the term of detention that makes it psychologically unbearable.

After the fences were successfully taken down the activists left as one group, holding a banner stating “For Global Freedom of Movement and Equal Rights for All”.* No one was arrested. The action took 30 minutes.

link to Dutch Indymedia for postings and pictures:

A link (in Dutch) to last year's one-day long occupation of the building site:

*The slogan for the mobilization in the run up to the G8 protests in
Germany coming June.