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about us

No One Is Illegal is a Melbourne-based collective acting to question borders in all their forms.

We are part of a loose network of groups around the world using the kein ist mensch illegal/no one is illegal idea which began in 1997 at Documenta X.

We want to find answers to questions like: why are there borders? Do we need nations? Is a global community possible? How can we remove the barriers between us?

Capital derives its profit and power from the theft and plundering of the land and the exploitation of labour. Once this was organised by the colonial powers of Europe, now they are joined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and Washington with their structural adjustment programs and free trade treaties. This means massive impoverishment of the global South, displacing millions of people from their homes and making the survival of billions harder and harder. Some countries are economically devastated, in others there is war and genocide. As the world is homogenised, the laws we live by are increasingly the values of the market place. And while there are few borders for trade and the movement of capital, restrictions on the movement of people are being tightened.

Our present focus is on the treatment of people who arrive in Australia without papers. (See Xborder for lots of information on this.)

We are inspired by actions throughout the world, both inside and outside the camps, and see ourselves as part of a global struggle against capitalist neo-liberalism and all its borders. We oppose a world where money and corporations are free to travel, but people are not. We believe people fleeing poverty and ecological degradation have as much right to move as those escaping dictatorship and persecution. We wish to join forces with others to end mandatory detention and to start creating the future now.

Often we use the slogans: open the borders : full rights for all migrants : close the camps as a shorthand for some of the changes in the world we hope to see.

We experiment with different methods and ways of bringing about change in society: civil disobedience, direct action, writing, speaking, and artistic interventions.




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