Turbulent Kick-off for the caravan Bamako - Dakar – Air plane forced to return to Paris to stop deportation
After spontaneous protests on board against an ongoing deportation, yesterday's Air France flight from Paris with destination Bamako in Mali was ordered to return by the airline. Eight activists of the „caravan for freedom of movement and fair development“ as well as other passengers that had participated in the protest were arrested, and are now awaiting the next flight.
The first group of activists of the „caravan for freedom of movement and fair development“ boarded their flight to Bamako this Thursday in Paris – on the same plane was a man in bonds, accompanied by police, who was to be deported to Mali. Soon after departure, 17 passengers left their seats and refused to sit down in solidarity with the man, who was showing resistance against the deportation.
As a consequence of their joined action, the pilot returned to Charles-de-Gaulle airport, and had eight of the activists and other participating passengers arrested.
Security officers attacked a man, father of a family, who had documented the course of the events with the camera of his mobile phone.
According to malian activists from Bamako, another attempt to force the deportation of that same man equally failed later that day.
Instead of carrying passengers, Air France obviously prefers to become the henchman of the french border police, relentlessly deporting persons against their will. Already this week there were two departures from Paris delayed because of protests against deportations: Last friday, passenger stood up against a deportation in a flight scheduled to Douala in Cameroon – four of them were removed from the plane and had their identities taken by the police. On Wednesday, several passengers refused to take their seats in an Royal Air Maroc flight, until the plane started one and a half hours later without the two prisonerers that were to be deported.
Employees of Air France are taking a firm stand against deportation flights by the airline since 2007 – up to now without success.
The last activists were released in the middle of the night – long after their plane had departed. While the activists must expect further juridical consequences of their courageous action against the brutality of deportation flights, an enthusiastic welcome by the Malian activists in Bamako is certain.
However courageous, the missed flights could turn out to be a hard blow for the group – to get to Bamako in time for the start of the caravan, new tickets will cause an additional expense of at least 4000 Euro. The caravan organizers therefore ask all supporters for donations and financial contributions.
Donations account for the caravan (including lawyer's costs and new tickets
Initiative Zusammen Leben e.V.
Name: J. Hackert
Konto: 174 496 53
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Stichwort: Karawane WSF