No Borders Camp FAQ

No Borders Camp

A FAQ with more information about the upcoming No Borders Camp from November 5-11, 2007, in Calexico/Mexicali.

-please distribute widely!-
(será disponible bien pronto una versión en español)


What is the No Borders Camp?

No Borders Camps are action camps and temporary autonomous zones meant to
challenge neo-liberal capitalism, border militarization, and migration
controls. The first No Border Camp took place in Europe in the late
1990s, and there have been many No Borders Camps since in Europe, Oceania
and elsewhere. In 2007 there were No Border Camps in Ukraine in August
and in the UK in September. There is a No Borders Camp planned for the
5th – 11th of November in Calexico, California and Mexicali, Mexico. This
will be the first No Borders Camp in North America, and the first one to
take place simultaneoulsy on both sides of an international border.

What is the goal of the No Borders Camp?

The goals of the camp are multiple. This is an experiment, a spectacular
intervention in a discourse that at times ignores and at other times
justifies the systematic violence and exploitation experienced by migrant
and indigenous peoples the world over. The No Borders Camp is not just
about the U.S. / Mexico border, but all borders that divide and control
people. It is about a regime that allows the free flow of capital while
dividing families, forcing people underground and limiting their movement.

At the No Borders Camp we intend to manifest our resistance to this
regime, as well as share and develop strategies for the long haul. We
intend to learn from one another, from the struggles that are already
underway and the ways these can be supported and expanded. We intend to
have fun, to develop alliances and friendships. We intend to dream
together, and transform our ideas about what is possible. We intend to
create a world without repression, without exploitation, and without

What is going to happen at the No Borders Camp?

The No Borders Camp will be an action camp, but the camp itself is an
action. Both the camp and other events throughout the week will be taking
place on both sides of the line between the U.S. and Mexico. The camp is
a building process, an autonomous space, a place for sharing, learning,
and dreaming. While it is intended to be part of a platform for developing
strategy and facilitating movement, it is not a conference. There will be
marches, actions, forums, workshops, music, independent media, art and
circus every day of the camp. An events calendar and framework of themed
action days is available on the website,

There is no single group in charge of or organizing the camp. Accordingly,
groups and individuals are encouraged to come to the camp prepared with
their own ideas, actions, workshops, dreams, and projects. If you would
like to list an event on the online calendar send an e-mail to

Who is organizing the No Borders Camp?

There are many collectives, individuals and organizations who have been
involved in planning the No Borders Camp. The organization of the camp has
taken place through thousands of conversations, at workshops, encuentros
and other events all across North America. The process began more than a
year ago and is still developing. We are working together from both sides
of the border, sharing and learning and collectively working toward this
mobilization. If you are planning to come to the No Borders Camp, then
really the answer to the above question is you are. To become more
actively involved in planning for the camp contact one of the working
groups on the website. A partial list of regional contacts as well as
working groups can be seen at .

What will be the camp setup, and what should I bring to the No Borders Camp?

Yourself, your friends, your dreams. Bring your tents, dishes, a sleeping
bag, some food and water, and everything else you'll need to be
self-sustaining. There will be more than one community kitchen, and there
are plans to serve two large hot meals a day. Everyone will have to pitch
in for cooking, sanitation and security. Bear in mind that we are going to
be in the desert. It will be hot during the day and cool at night. Bring
structures for shade, sunblock and a good hat. Bring plans for workshops,
art and actions.

Although we will be in the city, the layout of the camp will be rustic. A
water filter will be helpful. Toilet paper and other toiletries are
important. Bring comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Bring paper-mache,
puppets, paint, banners, drums, bagpipes, trumpets, tubas.

If you have tech gear, video cameras, computers, large tents, a bullhorn,
a battery-powered PA, a projector, a huge stove, propane tanks, large
water containers, outdoor lights, folding chairs, solar ovens, medical
supplies or solar panels, bring them too! If you are able to provide any
of these resources - and for more information, please contact

We ask that you not bring firearms, drugs, or alcohol.

Will there be translation, medical and legal support during the camp?

Yes, yes, and yes! If you would like to help in any of these areas,
contact noborderstranslation(at)lists(dot)riseup(dot)net,
nobordersmedics(at)riseup(dot)net, and noborderslegal(at)riseup(dot)net

Is there an airport near the location of the camp? If I am coming from
elsewhere how can I get to Calexico?

There is an international airport in Mexicali. You can hire a taxi or
take a bus from the airport to get downtown. The closest major airport in
the United States is in San Diego. Organizers in San Diego are planning
shuttles to and from Calexico during the week of the camp. If you have
made travel arrangements and/or need help finding a ride, check the
rideboard on, contact others in your region who are
going to the camp, or contact noborderscamp(at)gmail(dot)com.

Both Calexico and El Centro, CA have a Greyhound station. Buses can be
taken from San Diego, L.A., Phoenix, Tucson or elsewhere. If you are
coming from elsewhere in Mexico there is a large municipal bus station in
Mexicali with numerous carriers.

There will be housing available in both Calexico and Mexicali for those
who arrive early. If you are planning to arrive early, contact one of the
organizers in either city for more information, and stop by the
convergence center in Calexico when you arrive.

Is there some sort of pre-registration and fee?

The No Borders Camp is an action, not a conference. There is no
pre-registration or fee for attendance. There will be, however, a lot of
cost and work that go into creating a successful camp. Fundraising and
donations are essential, as are organizing and logistical support during
the camp and beforehand. For ways to plug in and contact information for
working groups visit

How will special needs be handled? Will the camp be accessible to everyone?

Our goal is to make the camp as physically accessible as possible. This
will necessarily be a collaborative effort. If you have special needs
that might affect your ability to attend and participate in the camp,
please be in touch with folks beforehand – write to
noborderscamp(at)gmail(dot)com. The No Borders Camp should be a space
where everyone is included.

What if I am traveling alone to the camp?

Everyone is welcome to attend the No Borders Camp. If you are traveling
alone to the camp, be sure to link up with some buddies once you arrive
(you won't be the only one coming alone; if you don't know anybody, make
new friends!). You do not need to be planning your own action or event
before the camp, although everyone is encouraged to do so. There will be
multiple ways to participate in various activities throughout the week.

If I am unable to attend the camp, are there other ways I can support it?

Yes! There are many ways to support the camp. The first way is to plan
and take action in your own community. The border is not a line in the
sand – it is an ideology and it exists everywhere people are marginalized
and excluded. In addition, we are in great need of funds, and fundraising
is a great way to support this effort. For more information or ideas get
in touch! noborderscamp(at)gmail(dot)com.

What kinds of legal issues may come up? What kind of police presence
should we expect?

There will be many different actions, marches, etc. during the week of the
camp – some of which will happen on site, others away from the camp
itself. The best way to prepare for any legal issues or police presence
during the camp is to know your level of risk beforehand, and to discuss
this with your comrades.

The border region is among the most militarized in the United States.
There are multiple law enforcement agencies that operate and claim
jurisdiction. The protocol for police activity is different than elsewhere
in the country – expect that you may be searched, whether you consent to
it or not. You may need to present ID when asked. Otherwise do not answer
any questions from the police; if you are detained or under arrest, ask to
speak to an attorney. The behavior and protocol of law enforcement, as
well as legal ramifications of different activities may vary drastically
depending on whether you are in the United States or Mexico.

We cannot guarantee the security of anybody who does not have papers;
however, we will not allow ourselves to be divided based on peoples' legal
status. We encourage everybody to travel in groups to and from the camp
and during any actions. If you are stopped by the police, do not allow
individuals to be isolated based on their legal status or appearance – our
best defense is always sticking together. It is important, however, that
we all take the risks seriously. If you or your comrades do not have
papers, consider ways to take action in your own community.

The No Borders Camp is about claiming autonomous space. We are not seeking
confrontation with the police, but the camp itself is a refusal to live in
a world of repression and fear. The tactics we will employ in response to
police repression will be based on the principles of sticking together and
conflict de-escalation. We will be discussing camp security in greater
detail leading up to and during the camp. For more information on legal
issues and what to expect, see the binational No Borders Camp legal guide
(to be released soon).

If I do not have papers, should I come to the camp?

See above.

Will there be an Independent Media Center at the camp?

There are several groups organizing independent media and tech projects.
We are planning on having at least one IMC space, and encourage people to
come prepared to make their own media. For more information contact

If I am an independent journalist, how can I get information about the
camp? Am I invited to attend?

The No Borders Camp welcomes independent and alternative media. In
addition, we will be releasing a daily press release to the corporate
press. Otherwise the corporate media are not invited into the camp.
Every participant in the No Borders Camp will have their own story to
tell; however, there is no spokesperson for the camp. If anybody claims
they are speaking as a representative of the No Borders Camp, they are
lying. We are asking all participants not to speak to the corporate

If I want to show my film or play with my band, is there some way to set
that up?

We are working on setting up infrastructure for multimedia art and
performance, but we will need help making it happen. If you are able to
help, contact the tech crew at noborderstech(at)riseup(dot)net.

The events calendar says that November 11 is the day for artistic
expression. Do I need to wait until then for my art project?

November 11 will be the last day of the camp, and we have envisioned that
it will be a day devoted to creative expression and for the culmination of
all of the art projects that develop throughout the week. By no means
should our artwork and creativity wait until Sunday. We anticipate that
such creative action will be the backdrop through which the entire camp
will progress, and we encourage folks to bring projects, collaborate with
others and develop ideas beforehand. The convergence space in Calexico
will be opening on October 13, and it will include an area devoted to art
making. Anyone is welcome to come and work on projects during the month
leading up to the camp.