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Press release 13 January 1998, action at the Holiday Exhibition

Outrageous return flight

Today, from 13.0o this afternoon the Autonoon Centrum will be holding a demonstration at the Holiday Exhibition that is taking place in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht.

With this demonstration we hope to attract your attention to manner in which refugees and illegal aliens are deported to countries that are known as holiday locations. These deportations are carried out using aeroplanes from KLM. We demand that KLM immediately cease transporting people who are being forcibly deported..

As part of this demonstration we have produced a poster layed out in the same style as KLM advertisements but with a content that is somewhat different and more critical than their own adverts.

Also, a group of concerned KLM pilots are present at the entrance to make their concerns clear about their employers part in these deportations. They hope that more KLM staff will express their disaproval of this involement and that pilots will refuse to fly when attempts are made to deport people on their aircraft.

We also call upon people who are present in the same aircraft as a refugee or illegal immigrant who is being forcibly deported to actively protest on behalf of the deportee. We would also like everyboby who is booking a flight to request a guarantee that no one will be deported on that same flight. At the same time we request travellers to make it clear to KLM that their co-operation with deportations is not appreciated and that they demand a more humanistic approach from the airline. People are more frequently forcibly deported.

Airlines are responsible for the actions that they carry out and cannot simply -leave this responsibility to the politicians and judges. We are all responsible for creating a society where people in desperate straits are treated with respect and a world where everyone enjoys basic rights.

Through inaction as regards the root causes of migration, and an immigration policy that is based upon

prevention and exclusion as opposed to sufficient aid and support existing problems become worse. Let us remember it is not so crazy that people want to improve their lives. And is it also not the case that we have much to gain from so called 'aliens'. For example chinese food, african dance, kebabs and the fact that Dutch agriculture owes it's continued existence to cash-in-hand foreign workers. However much we benefit it is still worthy to strive for an open world where everyone can live.

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