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11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Campaign against ‘Kleenex worker’ launched

3 February 2008 - “I’m an activist, so I don’t have a powerpoint but a banner”, Hagen Kopp started his presentation at yesterday’s Migrant Media Metropole meeting at de Balie. He was referring to a banner announcing a string of migration-related actions in European and African cities.

At the meeting in Amsterdam, the campaign was launched. Future events include an event in Bamako, where deported migrants have organised into the Association Malienne des Expulsés. Bamako is also significant, Kopp explained, because it is the site of a pilot EU job centre for a circular migration scheme, described by some as an experiment in using ‘Kleenex workers’, to be disposed after use.

The aim of the international campaign is to find out what is common in the experiences of migrants ranging from “temporary seasonal workers who are exploited in the fields of Andalusia in Spain; to ‘legal’ migrants who live and work every day in Eurospace; undocumented migrants working in irregular jobs in Italy or the UK, in factories or in the home, as many women do; ‘tolerated refugees’ living in an isolated ‘jungle camp’ in Northern Germany; migrants detained in a camp in Greece or Poland, or even in front of the externalised EU-borders in Morocco or Ukraine”.

A recurrent theme at yesterday’s meeting was the ambiguous treatment of immigrants, who are tolerated and used, but not given full rights as workers or citizens.

A film was shown documenting the exploitation of undocumented cleaners in the London Underground. They face the additional problem that the Underground has been turned into a ‘public-private partnership’ by New Labour. The service is run by an evasive web of contractors and subcontractors that is very difficult to hold responsible.

Another presentation dealt with ABVAKABO FNV’s efforts to organise domestic workers, many among them undocumented. Despite the obvious difficulty of organising these vulnerable and isolated workers, there are now about 100 members in Amsterdam, mainly thanks to the efforts of some 30 domestic workers who have become union volunteers.

The union is organising language courses and providing training on labour rights and communication skills to reach out to other workers. Interestingly, many Dutch union activists are enthusiastic about the campaign and willing to help. “This is what I joined the union for”, they told organiser Katrien Depuydt.

Yesterday’s meeting was an initiative of organisations involved in the successful cleaners’ campaign ‘For a better future’. Photo: Association Malienne des Expulsés


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