As part of the day of action called by the International Network #PapersForAll

La Ballade des Sans-Papiers

A documentary by Samir Abdallah, Raffaele Ventura

Collective online screening – 30 May 2020 – all day

In 1996, 300 undocumented African migrants – women, men and children – occupied the church of St-Bernard in Paris for weeks, and redefined the struggle of immigrant people. By rejecting the term ‘illegal immigrants’ they demanded ‘Papers for all’ and galvanised an international movement of support. The Sans-Papiers were crucial in establishing that the autonomy of  undocumented immigrants was key to winning the right to stay for all.

That year, Black Women for Wages for Housework* and Payday men’s network met with the Sans-Papiers in Paris and circulated information about their campaign, including by subtitling and screening the film La Ballade des Sans-Papiers in English. We brought Sans-Papiers women organisers to the UK and translated “A Woman Draws the First Lessons”, a powerful introduction to the movement by the Sans-Papiers’ spokeswoman, Madiguène Cissé.

The organising we did was part of the anti-deportation work both organisations, and other groups based at Crossroads Women’s Centre, have been doing since we began.

Watch this film to find out how the Sans-Papiers, led by African women and men, organised autonomously while working with a wide range of supporters — from anti-racist, women’s, community and church groups and celebrities — inspiring immigrants of other nationalities and in other countries to form collectives.  Find out how women sans-papiers organised autonomously from men to keep the fight going: “Each time the movement ran out of steam, the women met and worked out initiatives which re-launched the struggle.”

*(Since 2000, also known as Women of Colour/Global Women’s Strike)

As we send our support to the Sans-papiers and supporters who are taking to the streets in France on 30 May, we invite you to join this collective viewing which documents the  origins of a movement for #PapersForAll which is today spreading like wildfire.

  See the film in French only HERE See the film in French with English subtitles HERE Please send your comments — we want to hear from you and keep in touch!  

Send message of support to the Sans-Papiers in France: marche.des.solidarites@gmail.com

Information on the day of action: www.papersforall.com and http://againstrape.net/

Circulated by Global Women Against Deportation* and Payday men’s network

Contactwomenofcolour@globalwomenstrike.net +44 (0) 7456525227 * GWAD is a coalition of the All African Women’s Group, Legal Action for Women, Women Against Rape, Women of Colour/Global Women’s Strike

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