"No-go area" (or "no-go zone") is an area in a town barricaded off to civil authorities by a force such as a paramilitary, or barred to certain individuals or groups. It has been used to refer to regions or places that are off-limits to everyone but a particular group, or which some people feel at risk visiting, for whatever reason. It has also been used to refer to areas undergoing insurgency where ruling authorities have lost control and are unable to enforce sovereignty.
- 1 Historic no-go areas
- 2 Contemporary no-go areas
- 3 Criticism
- 4 See also
- 5 References
Historic no-go areas
With no government enforcement from the British colonial government aside from a few raids by the Hong Kong Police, the Walled City became a haven for crime and drugs. It was only during a 1959 trial for a murder that occurred within the Walled City that the Hong Kong government was ruled to have jurisdiction there. By this time, however, the Walled City was virtually ruled by the organised crime syndicates known as Triads. Beginning in the 1950s, Triad groups such as the 14K and Sun Yee On gained a stranglehold on the Walled City's countless brothels, gambling parlors, and opium dens. The Walled City had become such a haven for criminals that police would venture into it only in large groups.
During the Troubles, the term was applied to urban areas in Northern Ireland where the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and British Army could not operate openly. Between 1969 and 1972, Irish nationalist/republican neighborhoods in Belfast and Derry were sealed-off with barricades by residents. The areas were policed by vigilantes and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) operated openly. The most notable no-go area was Free Derry.
The areas' existence was a challenge to the authority of the British government. On 31 July 1972, the British Army demolished the barricades and re-established control in Operation Motorman. It was the biggest British military operation since the Suez Crisis. Although the areas were no longer barricaded, they remained areas where the British security forces found it difficult to operate and were regularly attacked. As a result, they entered only in armored convoys and in certain circumstances, such as to launch house raids. Police presence in these areas remained contentious into the 2000s and the main republican political party, Sinn Féin, refused to support the police. In 2007, however, the party voted to support the new Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
The term "no-go area" has a military origin and was first used in the context of the Bush War in Rhodesia. The war was fought in the 1960s and 1970s between the army of the predominantly white minority Rhodesian government and communist-backed black nationalist groups.
The initial military strategy of the government was to seal the borders to prevent assistance to the guerrillas from other countries. However, with the end of Portuguese colonial rule in Angola and Mozambique, and especially the arrival of some 500,000 Cuban armed forces and tens of thousands of Soviet troops, this became untenable and the white minority government adopted an alternative strategy ("mobile counter offensive"). This involved defending only key economic areas, transport links ("vital asset ground"), and the white civilian population. The government lost control of the rest of the country to the guerilla forces, but carried out counter-guerilla operations including "free-fire attacks" in the so-called "no-go areas," where white civilians were advised not to go.
Similar to Rhodesia, the term was used chiefly in the context of black emancipation movements. However, the South African Defence Force was larger than the Rhodesian by orders of magnitude and backed by a white population of millions. As a result, there were few areas termed no-go in the sense of the military. Instead, the term was used to describe areas that white civilians should not go without the peril of their lives and police went only in heavy convoy.
Contemporary no-go areas
The following are actual and/or alleged no-go areas c. 21st century.
In the wake of the 2015 Paris attacks, the Molenbeek municipality in Brussels was described as a no-go Muslim area, where gang violence, Islamic radicalism had fed on Molenbeek’s marginalisation, despair and festering resentment of authority. In 2015 Belgium’s home affairs minister said that the government did not “have control of the situation in Molenbeek" and that the terrorists' links to this district were a "gigantic problem".
Some favelas in Brazil, most notably in Rio de Janeiro, are controlled by gangs with automatic weapons. Police and investigative reporters have been tortured and killed there, such as Tim Lopes in 2002. Attempts at clearing up such areas have led to security crises in Rio as well as in São Paulo.
According to Funen police, the burglaries committed in the Vollsmose district follow patterns of ethnic cleansing against native Danes. Danes from other parts of the country are stabbed just for walking into the ghetto zone.
An early usage of the term regarding Europe was in a 2002 opinion piece by David Ignatius in The New York Times, where he wrote about France, "Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders." La Courneuve and other districts in Paris were described by police as no-go zones.
In 2010, Raphaël Stainville of French newspaper Le Figaro called certain neighborhoods of the southern city Perpignan "veritable lawless zones", saying they had become too dangerous to travel in at night. He added that the same was true in parts of Béziers and Nîmes. In 2012, Gilles Demailly, the mayor of the French city Amiens, in the wake of several riots, called the northern part of his city a lawless zone, where one could no longer order a pizza or call for a doctor. In 2014, French academic and Syria expert Fabrice Balanche labelled the northern city of Roubaix, as well as parts of Marseille, "mini-Islamic states", saying that the authority of the state is completely absent there. American magazines Newsweek and The New Republic have also used the term to describe parts of France.
In January 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, various American media, including the news cable channels Fox News and CNN, described the existence of no-go zones across Europe and in France in particular, or featured guests that referred to them. In some cases, the French areas termed "sensitive urban zones" were described as no-go zones. Both networks were criticized for these statements, and anchors on both networks later apologized for the characterizations. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said that she intended to sue Fox News for its statements.
A sociology paper published in 2009 said that right-wing extremists had been discussing the creation of no-go areas in Western Europe since the 1980s. It described attempts to "create national liberated zones" (Schafft national befreite Zonen) in Germany: "'no-go-areas', which are areas dominated by neo-Nazis," attributing their appeal in the former DDR to "the unmet promises of modernisation and the poor socio-cultural conditions that offer no perspectives to young people". Whether or not Germany actually had no-go zones was disputed: the paper concluded "according to ... state officials, the police and other relevant institutions, [the phenomenon of no-go zones] does not actually exist ... by contrast, the national press in Germany, various civic associations, and also experts acknowledge and give examples of the existence of no-go areas."
In a 2011 interview, Bernhard Witthaut, then president of the German police union Gewerkschaft der Polizei, stated that some areas in Germany, mostly with a high immigrant population, had become no-go areas where police feared to enter.
The Gaya Island is a location of an illegal Filipino colony, called Kampung Lok Urai, with stilt houses girdling the beach. Both the Malaysian federal government and the Sabah state government do not officially recognise the settlement and the inhabitants as the inhabitants are known as illegal immigrants. It has a 6,000 floating population of largely Filipinos Suluk and Bajau. It is considered a dangerous, high crime or "no-go" area by the police and the locals.
Swedish police in a 2014 report mapped 55 particularly dangerous "exclusion areas" (sometimes dubbed "no-go zones") were criminal gangs have a major influence, across Sweden. In an opinion piece in Svenska Dagbladet, Per Gudmundson wrote that "The number of residential areas in Sweden where the police cannot maintain law and order now totals 55."
In March 2015, journalist Henrik Höjer discussed the rise of criminality, especially organized crime, in various neighborhoods within Sweden since the mid-1990s, especially in the city of Malmö. He wrote that gangs like to lay claim to an area by throwing stones at police, firefighters and ambulances who enter the area.
In March 2016, a news crew for Australia's 60 Minutes came under attack, including some stones thrown and a car running over the foot of a cameraman that was trying to prevent it from leaving in the immigrant-dominated district of Rinkeby of Stockholm. 60 Minutes published the video, on which reporter Liz Hayes states "there are now 55 declared no-go zones in Sweden."
In 2012, Professor Hamid Ghodse of the United Nations' International Narcotics Control Board included areas of Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool as "no-go areas" run by drug traffickers, comparing them to Brazilian favelas. Local police forces denied the claims.
In January 2015, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in a speech in London, England, that Muslim immigrants were seeking "to colonize Western countries, because setting up your own enclave and demanding recognition of a no-go zone are exactly that." When he was asked for evidence of "no-go zones," Jindal pointed to an article in the Daily Mail which said "killings, sexual abuse of minors and female genital mutilation are believed to go unreported to local police in some areas" in England.
In 2015 Fox News received strong criticism for airing statements by Steven Emerson that Birmingham was a "no-go area" for non-Muslims, despite less than a quarter of the population identifying as Muslim. British Prime Minister David Cameron described Emerson as "clearly a complete idiot". Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator later found Fox News breached broadcasting regulations over the comments. Ofcom identified the comments as "materially misleading and had the potential to cause harm and offence to viewers" and described Fox News' behaviour as "a serious breach for a current affairs programme".
Authors in publications such as The Atlantic and Business Week magazines, Media Matters for America, and Snopes.com have criticized use of the term "no-go zone" regarding locations in Europe, calling it a "myth" or falsehood.
- Exclusion zone
- Sundown town
- Kowloon Walled City
- Neutral Moresnet
- Sharia patrols, an attempt to create an Islamic no-go area in London
- Definition of no-go area, Collins English Dictionary (online), retrieved 2015-01-22
- David Wadley (September 2008), "The Garden of Peace", Annals of the Association of American Geographers (Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Association of American Geographers) 98 (3), p. 658 – via JSTOR, (registration required ())
- Carney, John (16 March 2013). "Kowloon Walled City: Life in the City of Darkness". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- Morier-Genoud, Eric (2012-04-19). Sure Road? Nationalisms in Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. BRILL. ISBN 9789004226012.
- Gillespie, Gordon. The A to Z of the Northern Ireland Conflict. Scarecrow Press, 2009. pp.177-178
- "IRA left Derry 'before Operation Motorman'". BBC News. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- "HISTORY – OPERATION MOTORMAN". The Museum of Free Derry. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- Chronology of the Conflict: 1972. Conflict Archive on the Internet (CAIN).
- Steve Bruce (May 1993), "Alienation Once Again", Fortnight (317): 18–19 – via JSTOR, (registration required ())
- Moorcraft, Paul L.; McLaughlin, Peter (2008), The Rhodesian War: A Military History (2010 reprint ed.), Stackpole Books, p. 38, ISBN 9780811707251 note - first printed in South Africa in 1982 by Sygma Books and Collins Vaal
- Munir, Metin (1980-07-25). "Turkish Army Moves Against Leftists' 'Liberated Zone'". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
- "Visiting Molenbeek - home of two of the gunmen in the Paris attack". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Freytas-tamura, Kimiko De; Schreuer, Milan (2015-11-15). "Belgian Minister Says Government Lacks Control Over Neighborhood Linked to Terror Plots". The New York Times - The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
- "A rota de fuga dos traficantes da Vila Cruzeiro para o Complexo do Alemão". O Globo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- "Repórter foi capturado, torturado e morto por traficantes - Brasil - Estadão". Estadão. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- "Tim Lopes - Journalists Killed - Committee to Protect Journalists". cpj.org. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- Domit, Myrna; Barrionuevo, Alexei (2010-11-28). "Brazilian Forces Claim Victory Over Gangs in Rio Slum". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- "More die in fresh Brazil violence". BBC. 2006-05-14. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- "Danskere udsættes for indbruds-hetz i Vollsmose". www.bt.dk. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
There is a kind of racism out there, where we find that more and more Danes are chased out of the area. It happens as a result of a big increase in burglaries. There have been approximately 150 burglaries the last four months. What is striking is that nine out of ten burglaries are now directed against ethnic Danes, a cop at Funen Police headquarters explains." "Hedder du ’Hansen’ eller ’Nielsen’ til efternavn og bor i Odense-bydelen Vollsmose, så er din risiko for at blive udsat for et indbrud væsentligt større end hvis du havde haft et mere udenlandsk-kligende efternavn.
- "Politiet dropper zoneforbud i ghettoer". www.b.dk. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
- Ignatius, David (April 27, 2002). "Wake up to the problem : Separate and unequal in France". The New York Times.
- Abrahamson, Mark (2013-11-25). Urban Sociology: A Global Introduction. Cambridge University Press. p. 76. ISBN 9781107649415.
- Stainville, Raphaël (August 3, 2010). "Insécurité : "C'était intenable, nous sommes partis" (fr)". Le Figaro.
- Marie-Laure Combes, Aurélien Fleurot (August 15, 2012). "Amiens-Nord, une "zone de non-droit"? (fr)". Europe1.
- "Des "mini Etats islamiques" en France (fr)". Radio Télévision Suisse. September 25, 2014.
- Christopher Dickey, Europe's Time Bomb, Newsweek, 2005-11-20;
- Donald Morrison, What Does It Mean to Be French? The 'Charlie Hebdo' Massacre Complicates the Answer, The New Republic, 2015-01-08;
- "Combien de ZSP ? / ZSP / 2013 / Archives des actualités / Archives - Ministère de l'Intérieur". 2015-11-19. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
- Rajeev Syal (January 13, 2015). "Nigel Farage tells Fox News there are no-go zones for non-Muslims in France". The Guardian. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "CNN, too, trafficked in ‘no-go zone’ chatter". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "CNN again hammers Fox News over ‘no-go zones,’ with a touch of hypocrisy". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Eugene Volokh (January 19, 2015). "Fox News retracts allegations of "no-go zones" for non-Muslims in England and France". Washington Post. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Brian Stelter (January 18, 2015). "Fox News apologizes 4 times for inaccurate comments about Muslims in Europe". CNN Money. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Lisa de Moraes. "CNN’s Anderson Cooper Apologizes On Air For "No-Go Zone" Remarks - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "CNN’s Anderson Cooper acknowledges mistake on ‘no-go zones’". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Gregory Wallace; Brian Stelter (January 20, 2015), Paris mayor: We intend to sue Fox News, CNN Money
- NOVOTNÝ, LUKÁŠ (June 2009), "Right-wing Extremism and No-go-areas in Germany", Sociologický Časopis / Czech Sociological Review (Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) 45 (3): 598 – via JSTOR, (registration required ())
- Novotny p. 591
- Novotny p.596
- Novotny p.605
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- "Svensk politi: – Vi er i ferd med å miste kontrollen" (in Norwegian). NRK. 8 May 2016.
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- "En nationell översikt av kriminella nätverk med stor påverkan i lokalsamhället" (PDF). Rikskriminalpolisen: Underrättelsesektionen (in Swedish). October 2014.
- Gudmundson, Per (28 October 2016). "55 "no go"-zoner i Sverige" (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 March 2016.
55 ”no go”-zoner i Sverige
- Höjer, Henrik (11 March 2015). "Därför ökar de kriminella gängens makt". Forksning & Framsteg.
- Hayes, Liz (March 20, 2016). "Breaking Point". 60 Minutes (Breaking Point) (2:54-2:59: 60 Minutes Australia). Archived from the original (video) on
there are now 55 declared no-go zones in Sweden
- Brown, Jonathan (29 February 2012). "UN says Liverpool has drug-related 'no-go areas' like those in Brazilian favelas". The Independent. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
- "Murders and rapes going unreported in no-go zones for police". Mail Online. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Philip Elliott (January 19, 2015). "Jindal: Muslim establish 'no-go zones' outside civic control". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
- "BBC News - Florida: 'Easy to stray into a bad area'". BBC News. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Grahamjan, David A. (January 20, 2015), "Why the Muslim 'No-Go-Zone' Myth Won't Die", The Atlantic
- Carol Matlack (January 14, 2015), "Debunking the Myth of Muslim-Only Zones in Major European Cities", Business Week
- Karen Finney (January 26, 2015), "The No-Go Zone Myth Comes To America", Media Matters blog (Media Matters for America)
- "Caliph-ain't", Snopes.com, January 18, 2015,
A number of localities in the United States, France, and Britain are considered Muslim "no-go zones" (operating under Sharia Law) where local laws are not applicable. FALSE