Oct 21 2020

END THE HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT – DEFEND ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES

We are posting this article by Fred Laplat and Mile Picken, first posted by Socialist Resistance (https://socialistresistance.org/end-the-hostile-environment-defend-asylum-seekers-and-refugees/20861), about the Tories post-Brexit attacks on asylum seekers and refugees, harbingers of stepped up attacks on all migrant workers

 

END THE HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT – DEFEND ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES

 

The recently revealed Tory plans to disperse asylum seekers thousands of miles away are another example of the racism of the UK governments’ brand of neoliberalism.  Meanwhile, existing asylum seekers within the UK are facing inhumane treatment by private contractors, incarcerated and facing Covid outbreaks, deportation and frequent movement that also risk spreading the virus among the asylum community.

For decades, migrant communities and asylum seekers have lived under the shadow of a pervasive and dangerous system in Britain. Theresa May introduced the Hostile Environment policy in 2012 while Home Secretary. But it was Labour immigration minister Liam Byrne who in 2007 coined the term when he said that the Labour government is “… trying to create a much more Hostile Environment in this country if you are here illegally.”

The Hostile Environment has killed many and destroyed the lives of thousands. Britain has one of the worst records in Europe in allowing unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their families. The Hostile Environment led to the appalling treatment of the Windrush generation and other Commonwealth citizens not being able to prove their right to remain in the UK. As a result, many lost their jobs, were denied medical treatment and even deported.

Now the Tory government is planning to make the Hostile Environment, which they rebranded the Compliant Environment – even more cruel by planning the use of off-shore detention centres. Migrant detention centres used by Australia on distant islands such as Nauru have been condemned for their abuse of human rights. Behrouz Boochani vividly describes the appalling conditions in these centres in his award-winning book No Friend But the Mountains.

TORY ATTACKS

The attacks on the few rights that migrants and asylum seekers have will appeal to the Tory party membership – half of whom believe that Islam is a threat to the British way of life – and to its supporters who voted for Brexit. The English nationalist government of Johnson, Gove and Cummings now want to deliver on their racist and xenophobic promise for Britain to regain its sovereignty and Michael Govecontrol its borders. That was the same message put out by Farage and UKIP, who must be delighted that the Tory party is now carrying out their policies.

The Tory party may appear incompetent in containing the Coronavirus as Johnson makes U-turns every week. But it is at the same time charging ahead to shift to the right the political values of state institutions and society more generally. It is carrying out a “culture war” against what it sees are progressive and liberal values. This is what lies today behind the plans to attack migrants and asylum seekers. This “culture war” is also behind the row over singing Rule Britannia at the Proms, the proposed appointment of right wingers Moore and Dacre to head the BBC and OFCOM, the order to schools that they consider anti-capitalism as an “extreme political stance”,  and the departure of top civil servants.

Today the anti-immigrant hysteria is focussing on the alleged flood – in reality a trickle – of ‘illegal’ migrants who took advantage of mild summer seas to cross the Channel in rubber dinghies and makeshift rafts. In a jingoistic and flag waving exercise, Home Secretary Priti Patel has mobilised the navy to aid the border patrol in pushing them back. This will only cause more misery and deaths as desperate migrants and asylum seekers seek even more dangerous routes into Britain, like the 39 Vietnamese migrants found dead in a lorry in Essex last year.

DEATHS, COVID AND PRIVATISATION

The Tories have handed responsibility for housing existing asylum seekers in the UK to private contractors such as the infamous Serco and Mears groups.  In Scotland, three asylum seekers have died in recent months after hundreds were moved out of their Glasgow homes by the Mears group and incarcerated in hotels, prompting calls from MPs for a public inquiry.  In Birmingham, dozens of asylum seekers housed by Serco were moved in September, some 120 miles to London, despite testing positive for Covid and being required to self-isolate. Leaders of seven councils have written to the UK government describing the actions of Serco as “beyond reckless”.  In October, desperate asylum seekers facing Covid outbreaks in Glasgow have also written to the UK governmentdemanding action.  The Tory government policy of putting its appalling treatment of asylum seekers ahead of public health remains despite the condemnation of the Scottish Refugee Council, pointing out the reality of most asylum claims being regarded as genuine.

The UK government has also attacked lawyers defending asylum seekers threatened with deportation.  In August, the Home Office Twitter account attacked ‘activist lawyers’ for opposing ‘returns’.  Formal complaints from organisations representing lawyers, including the Law Society and Bar Council who stated that the Tory attacks “undermine the rule of law”, led to the removal of the tweets.  Yet when Channel 4 News pointed out that a deportation flight to France chartered at a cost of around £30,000 involved the deportation of just one asylum seeker, the Tories once again claimed it was all the fault of lawyers.

MOBILISING OPPOSITION

While freedom of movement within the EU is something that socialists should defend, the EU’s own treatment of migrants and refugees remains appalling.  The 2016 deal with Turkey to hold migrants outside of EU territory was a terrible response to the rise of far right racism within EU states.  It has meant that the EU now ignores the gross violations of human rights by the increasingly authoritarian government of Erdogan, whether it be against Kurds, the left opposition in Turkey, or even against EU member states as in the current diplomatic dispute in the EU over Cyprus and response to the situation in Belarus.

The task of mobilising opposition to Britain’s closing of borders and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees is becoming more and more urgent. And the end of European free movement in January will constitute the biggest expansion of border controls in many decades.

We urgently need a successful protest movement around asylum seeker and migrant rights to push back the far right’s narratives. The coalition that would organise such a mobilisation must be inclusive, democratic and migrant-led.  A first step is the weekend of action against the Hostile Environment on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October 2020 called by Migrants Organise. That weekend must mark the stepping up of the campaign to demand justice for all the lives destroyed by Britain’s racist immigration policies and to make clear that Black Lives Matter also means that the Hostile Environment must end.

3.10.20

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also see:-

GLASGOW KILLING RAISES MAJOR QUESTIONS ABOUT TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2020/07/07/glasgow-and-reading-killing-raises-major-questions-about-treatment-of-asylum-seekers/ 

INDICTMENT SUBMITTED TO THE PERMANENT PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL

SESSION ON THE VIOLATIONS WITH IMPUNITY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANT AND REFUGEE PEOPLES (2017-2019)

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2019/04/06/indictment-on-violations-with-impunity-of-the-human-righrs-of-migrants-and-refugee-peoples/

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE IMMIGRATION BILL?

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2019/02/15/whats-wrong-with-the-immigration-bill/ 

CORBYN, LABOUR AND THE TORIES’ IMMIGRATION BILL – A dialogue

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2019/01/31/12823/

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 also from Socialist Resistance:-

TRADE UNIONISTS RALLY FOR RICHIE VENTON AND EXTEND ACTION

ON ‘ANTISEMITISM’

 

 

ON ‘ANTISEMITISM’

 

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Oct 09 2020

TRADE UNIONISTS RALLY FOR RICHIE VENTON AND EXTEND ACTION

We are posting this follow-up article to the posting from Mike Picken of Socialist Resistance to the earlier posting from the Reinstate Richie Venton Campaign (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2020/09/06/reinstate-richie-venton/)

 

TRADE UNIONISTS RALLY FOR RICHIE VENTON AND EXTEND ACTION

 

 

Trade unionists across Britain and Ireland are rallying to support Richie Venton following his sacking at IKEA Glasgow.  Mike Picken reports from Glasgow.

A veteran trade union and socialist activist, Richie is the IKEA Glasgow convenor and shop steward for the retail workers union USDAW and a member of the union executive. He was dismissed for opposing IKEA’s plans to withhold sick pay from workers including those following Scottish government policy of self-isolating due to Covid-19 symptoms and infections. Continue reading “TRADE UNIONISTS RALLY FOR RICHIE VENTON AND EXTEND ACTION”

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Oct 09 2020

DOCTOR ISAAM HIJAWI – PRISON HUNGER STRIKE VICTORY

 

 

This is an update to the article from Working Class Club  we posted on 20.9.20 (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2020/09/20/hunger-strikes-in-support-of-dr-issam-hijawi) about the hunger strike to protest at the imprisonment  of Dr. Issam Hijawi a Palestinian activist in Maghaberry Jail. This latest article was first posted by Socialist Democracy (Ireland).

 

DR. ISSAM HIJAWI – PRISON HUNGERS STRIKE VICTORY

 

Dr. Issam Hijawi and MM Prison Maghaberry, Lisburn

 

One duty of socialists is to keep record of the ebb and flow of struggles and their significance for future struggle.  That duty arises in relation to the recent republican hunger strike especially as, in a time of retreat,  it registered a modest victory.  Prison authorities, attempting to crush Palestinian Doctor Issam Hijjawi by using Covid-19 to justify extended solitary confinement,  were forced to retreat. Continue reading “DOCTOR ISAAM HIJAWI – PRISON HUNGER STRIKE VICTORY”

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Sep 26 2020

GLASGOW STUDENTS CALL FOR A RENT STRIKE

 

Paul Inglis of the Republican Socialist Platform has written the following article on the proposed Glasgow University Students’ Rent Strike (also see  https://twitter.com/UofGRentStrike)

 

GLASGOW UNIVERSITY STUDENTS CALL FOR A RENT STRIKE

 

 

The big news of the last few days has concerned the outbreaks of COVID-19 in student halls at Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. With an explosion of positive cases, especially at Glasgow University, hundreds of students in halls have been placed into quarantine[1], and every single student in Scotland has now been banned from going to pubs and cafes for the weekend beginning the 25th September[2]. But beyond the predictable impulse to blame this all on wild student flat parties over Freshers’ Week, there are important questions that must be asked about the decision on the part of university managements across the country to open up halls again for the new academic year. How could it be a good idea, amid a pandemic, to encourage students to move into halls of residence, where multiple people share the same kitchen and bathroom spaces, when all courses are online? The result has been a public health disaster, and it has certainly contributed to the ongoing, country-wide collapse into a second lockdown. Furthermore, from the interviews with students being run by BBC News, it appears that students were often unaware that all their classes would be online prior to moving in. Continue reading “GLASGOW STUDENTS CALL FOR A RENT STRIKE”

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Sep 15 2020

FROM BLAIRGOWRIE TO THE BLACK SEA – STRAWBERRIES AND NUTELLA

We are posting this article by Sarah Glynn from bella caledonia highlighting the plight of Kurdish migrant workers  in Turkey and East European migrant workers in Scotland

FROM BLAIRGOWRIE TO THE BLACK SEA – STRAWBERRIES AND NUTELLA

and the capitalist node of production

 

 

Last week, a brief news story told of a violent racist attack on a family of hazelnut pickers in north west Turkey. 70% of the world’s hazelnuts are grown in the hills near Turkey’s Black Sea coast, and Turkey’s hazelnut production is estimated to employ some four million people. Picking the nuts is hard work and poorly paid. Like most of the pickers, this family was Kurdish, and had travelled hundreds of miles from the other end of the country for the harvest. The hazelnut trees grow on steep slopes, making the work dangerous and uncomfortable. For a month, pickers work up to eleven hours a day, every day of the week, for subsistence wages. The middlemen who recruit the labour take a cut of the money, which is generally not paid out until the end of the season. The meagre wages mean that all members of the family must work, and, regardless of the law, children are not exempt from the long hours or from carrying heavy loads. Only people who had no other choice would take this work – such as the Kurds, and also some Syrian refugees. Continue reading “FROM BLAIRGOWRIE TO THE BLACK SEA – STRAWBERRIES AND NUTELLA”

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Sep 02 2020

REPRESSION IN BELARUS MUST END DEMANDS INDUSTRIALL

REPRESSION IN BELARUS MUST END DEMANDS INDUSTRIALL

 

 

IndustriALL Global Union and industriAll European Trade Union jointly express their outrage, anger and protest at the disproportionate violence, persecution and arrests directed at people peacefully protesting the results of the presidential elections un Belarus on August 9. Continue reading “REPRESSION IN BELARUS MUST END DEMANDS INDUSTRIALL”

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Aug 20 2020

EVICTIONS OF MIGRANTS IN DUBLIN DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Thus article from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) examines the evictions of nine migrant workers from their homes in Dublin. Evictions: Round two of the battle against the banks and the government begins

 

EVICTIONS: ROUND TWO OF THE BATTLE AGAINST THE BANKS AND GOVERNMENT BEGINS

 

 

Nine tenants have been evicted in Berkeley Road Dublin by masked men garbed in black who seized and boarded up the property on Wednesday 12th August.  The tenants had not received an eviction notice to vacate the home.

One tenant said:“This is our home, in the middle of the pandemic you threw us on the road … I lived in this home nearly nine years, within seconds I am homeless now,” she said. Continue reading “EVICTIONS OF MIGRANTS IN DUBLIN DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC”

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Aug 20 2020

LEBANON – THE CRISES IN AN INSTITUTIONALLY SECTARIAN STATELET SET UP BY IMPERIALISM

We are posting two articles following the horrendous explosion in Beirut which killed mote than 200 people. The first is by Yassamine Mather (CPGB-WW) and shows that this is just the latest crisis in an institutionally sectarian statelet set up under the auspices of  French imperialism The second is from Socialist Democracy (Ireland) and draws some parallels with Northern Ireland, an institutionally sectarian statelet set up by British imperialism. 

 

1. THE PAST WEIGHS HEAVY ON THE PRESENT 

 

 

Less than a week after the massive port explosion that cost more than 200 lives, the entire Lebanese government resigned. Of course, long before that, serious students of the Middle East thought of Lebanon as a failed state. The grossly unfair constitution, the inbuilt sectarianism, the bungled response to Covid-19 and the subsequent economic crisis triggered protests across the country … against hunger, unemployment, inflation, endemic corruption. Continue reading “LEBANON – THE CRISES IN AN INSTITUTIONALLY SECTARIAN STATELET SET UP BY IMPERIALISM”

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Aug 15 2020

THE CASE FOR A  REPUBLICAN INTERNATIONALIST COALITION FOR  SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENCE

THE CASE FOR A  REPUBLICAN INTERNATIONALIST COALITION FOR  SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENCE

 

Banner made when Edinburgh RIC hosted the the national RIC contingent on the ‘All Under One Banner’ demonstration on 6.10.18

 

 

a. The Radical Independence Campaign

An examination of the wording of the initials and principles of the Radical Independence Campaign is instructive.

R = Radical, I = Independence, C = Campaign

Each one of these terms is ambiguous. Continue reading “THE CASE FOR A  REPUBLICAN INTERNATIONALIST COALITION FOR  SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENCE”

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Jul 28 2020

‘FAR LEFT FASCISM’: THE NON-EXISTENT DISORDER

As part of our continuing coverage of the political situation in the USA, we are posting this article by Susan Pashkoff. This was first posted by Socialist Resistance.

 

‘FAR LEFT FASCISM’: THE NON-EXISTENT DISORDER

 

 

As I watched the coronavirus pandemic spread globally and the resulting global economic crisis my only thoughts were that Trump would run his re-election campaign based on divide and rule and trying to create a white-backlash, writes Susan Pashkoff. It was an obvious deduction and I claim no powers of divination (think of that as a good thing as I often sit postulating what is the worst thing that can happen while praying to non-existent gods that  hopefully I am wrong).

While granting the peculiarities of some of the far-right in the US in their abhorrence of the idea of a central government; there is as much need to debunk the idea of far-left fascism as there is to debunk the existence of unicorns that fart rainbows. Continue reading “‘FAR LEFT FASCISM’: THE NON-EXISTENT DISORDER”

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