Britain OUT of the DR - Congo! - August 22

Britain OUT of the DR - Congo! - August 22

On 22 August London FRFI was invited to speak at a meeting organised by the Congo Support Project to organise resistance to deportations to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and in particular to oppose a planned mass deportation by charter flight on 30 August. The meeting was chaired by the Congo Support Project, with other speakers from the Refugee Council and Congolese organisations CCUK and Congolese Rights. We reproduce below our contribution to the meeting. The next day, 23 August, the High Court ruled that no deportation of asylum seekers to DRC could take place prior to the completion of the Country Guidance Tribunal at which the safety of deportations to DRC is being challenged. The Tribunal opened in July and has been adjourned to 17 September.

The racist Labour government has now announced that the charter flight will still go ahead, but will be filled with DR Congolese people who have not claimed asylum. Apparently the Border And Immigration Agency (BIA) has sufficient people in detention centres and prisons to proceed as planned but with the exclusion of refused asylum seekers from the DR Congo. BIA also intends to include Congolese people from the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), as the court case freeze does not apply to them.

Resistance must continue! Fight all deportations!



Greetings to the meeting from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! FRFI is the newspaper of Revolutionary Communist Group. We are active in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow, where we campaign on a number of issues, one of which is in defence of asylum seekers and against Britain’s racist immigration policy.

We call the paper FRFI because we consider that it is impossible to separate Britain’s role as an imperialist power from racism and oppression within Britain. The treatment of asylum seekers from DRC is a good example of this link.

We believe that Britain is an imperialist country, which lives off plundering, oppressing and impoverishing other nations.

It gets away with this by bribing the working class here with a small portion of the wealth it has stolen to prevent unity, and using racist propaganda depicting people in nations it oppresses as inferior to those in western countries and immigrants as undeserving.

Although Britain has never directly colonised DRC, British companies are deeply involved in the exploitation of the country’s mineral wealth. DRC has the world’s largest deposits of copper, cobalt, coltan and cadmium, as well as chrome, timber, tin, rubber, oil, uranium, germanium, diamonds and gold. The war that has taken the lives of over 5 million people in DRC has been depicted in the international media as an ‘ethnic war’ or a ‘civil war’. In reality it is a war for the control of these resources. Since his election last year, Kabila has signed lucrative contracts with multinational companies, many of which have British links.

The more implicated in the country Britain is, the more important it becomes for the government to keep up the illusion that DRC is ‘safe’ and that the people seeking asylum here from DRC have ‘unmeritorious’ or even ‘fraudulent’ asylum claims.

The very presence of asylum seekers from countries such as Iraq or DRC is unsettling to the British Labour government. It provides an unpalatable and visible reminder of Britain’s oppressor role abroad and that it is imperialism that causes people from war-torn impoverished nations to seek sanctuary in richer countries.

Asylum seekers have no choice but to organise to defend themselves against ever more vicious state attacks. The more vicious the attacks the more they have no choice but to organise and fight back. This is clear from the continual hunger-strikes and protests within the detention centres – the latest being at Campsfield. It is also apparent from the response to demonstrations and events.



On 12 February 38 asylum seekers were deported on a special flight to Irbil in northern Iraq. As you know, two weeks later on 26 February, 40 adults and children were flown from Stanstead Airport to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was at this time that my organisation first began to work with the Congo Support Project and we organised a demonstration at the Home Office. Now preparations are underway for more charter flight deportations.

We need to involve as many people as we can in opposing them and build a strong militant defence of asylum seekers right to stay here, which exposes Britain’s imperialist role in DRC and other countries and confronts the Labour government’s racist immigration and asylum policy. Such a movement does involve court challenges and lobbying of MPs but it also involves taking the message out to ordinary people in Britain, gaining their support, explaining the propaganda that has been used to vilify asylum seekers and the silence around Britain’s role in DRC and other places. We would like to work with you to begin to build this movement.

 

No deportations to the DRC! - August 28

No deportations to the DRC! - August 28

On Tuesday 28 August, an RCG comrade joined a mass demonstration against removals to the Democratic Republic of Congo outside the Home Office immigration reporting centre in Glasgow. Up to 150 asylum-seekers and refugees protested, chanted, sang and spoke against deportations and dawn-raids, denouncing the Kabila dictatorship and Britain’s tacit co-operation with his regime.



The protestors joined a large group of their comrades who had mounted an all-night demonstration outside Brand Street from Monday evening onwards. Banners were attached to the Home Office fence reading ‘Kabila = Hitler’ and denouncing the Home Office’s conspiracy of silence over the Congo and the racist use of asylum and immigration laws against the Congolese. Placards calling for an end to all deportations and dawn-raids and for equal rights for asylum-seekers were held by all.



Pastor Daly, whose deportation in 2005 was prevented after a large campaign in Glasgow, attended the protest with a generator and a set of speakers. This added to lively and militant atmosphere of the event, with songs and speeches booming out from the Congolese, letting the petty bureaucrats and racist security guards of the Home Office know that the community would not leave without a fight.

After a ‘complaint’ was made by a drunken racist who taunted the protestors the police tried to prevent the use of the soundsystem. However, the leaders of the demonstration refused to be intimidated and carried on regardless: “How can the police or residents complain about the noise we are making and not about the Home Office who is sending people back to their deaths?”

FRFI spoke to one asylum-seeker who had been living in Britain for ten years, fleeing the DRC after his parents were murdered in the imperialist-fomented war. He explained that people were forced to leave the DRC because of the violence. France, Belgium, Britain and the US “do not want peace – they want war to divide the people so they are able to rob the Congo of its resources. They want war – look at what they have done to Iraq and the Iraqi people.”



This protest followed on from ones called by the Cameroonian community following the kidnapping and detention of one of their members in Glasgow on Thursday. RCG comrades joined around 30 militant demonstrators in the city centre and subsequently Brand Street. The lively protests called for the return of Anatole to Glasgow, but also for equal rights and an end to all racist deportations. Many of the Cameroonians had opposed imperialist interference in their own country and explained to FRFI the massive exploitation of Cameroon by French and US capital which robs the country of its wealth and leaves millions in poverty.

It is clear that many are willing to challenge imperialist oppression wherever it may be

 

No to detention! No to Deportation! - September 22

No to detention! No to Deportation! - September 22

On 22 September London FRFI joined the demonstration organised by No Borders to protest against the building of a second immigration prison at Gatwick airport. About 400 people marched from Crawley Town Centre to Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre. The demonstration was part of a week of action and protest camp called by No Borders and supported by a wide range of organisations and individuals.



Tinsley House was the first purpose-built immigration detention centre in Britain. It was opened in 1996 and has a capacity of 135 people, including families and children, with 11,000 detainees going through it each year.

Next to Tinsley House a new removal centre called Brook House is being constructed, to hold 426 male and female detainees pending deportation.

There are ten Immigration Removal Centres in Britain. Seven are run by private companies contracted by the Home Office's Border and Immigration Agency and three by the Prison Service. As of July 2007, these prisons have a total capacity of 2,506. However, the Labour government, which inherited 700 places when it took office in 1997, is aiming for a total of 4,000 places. In addition, there are many so-called Short-term Holding Facilities at ports and airports as well as at a number of Immigration Reporting Centres.

FRFI opposes all British immigration controls, recognising that under capitalism, these can never be anything other than racist.



No detention! No deportation! Close all immigration prisons!

 

DRCongo is not safe - No deportations! - Report on Friction TV! - October 01

DRCongo is not safe - No deportations! - Report on Friction TV! - October 01

 From 17 to 25 September the Immigration Appeal Tribunal considered submissions that the 'Country Guidance' on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is incorrect and deportations cannot be safely carried out. (Country Guidance is intended to provide immigration judges with information to assist their assessment of asylum claims.) The Tribunal has heard all the evidence and the three judges have retired to consider their verdict. Whatever the court decides, the view of the many people from DRC who have been demonstrating all year in cities across Britain and who made their presence felt outside the court is clear - DRC is not safe!

Every hearing related to the Country Guidance Tribunal has been accompanied by nationwide demonstrations, with Congolese communities in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Nottingham, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and other cities mobilising to get across the message that while Kabila's corrupt regime rules DRC, and while imperialist countries and multinational companies plunder the region's resources, it is not safe to return. FRFI has supported and will continue to support these demonstrations and the struggle of the Congolese people against imperialist oppression. Friction TV interviewed protestors, including an FRFI member, outside the Country Guidance Tribunal on 21 February.

Click here for a brief introduction to the situation in DRC.
Video can be found here

 

Boycott Israeli Goods Action - November 10

Boycott Israeli Goods Action - November 10

As part of The Fifth International Week of Action against Israel’s Apartheid Wall between 9 and 16 November 2007 (www.stopthewall.org), protesters held a rolling picket in London raising awareness of the Apartheid Wall and calling on the public to boycott Israeli goods.

The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and its popular committees have called on the world to protest against the illegal occupation of Palestine. In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that the Apartheid Wall is illegal. Despite this, the British government has continued to support Israel economically, politically and militarily. Join the movement to boycott Israeli Apartheid.

The protest was called by Victory to the Intifada and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!



Israel destroys Palestinian lives, livelihoods and homes daily, refuses to stop building its illegal apartheid wall, denies Palestinian refugees their right of return, grows produce and sets up industrial zones on stolen Palestinian land, and operates an apartheid, racist system against Palestinian people.

Meanwhile illegal Israeli settlements are continuing and growing, in defiance of international law. Already, 40% of the West Bank is taken up with Israeli infrastructure including settlements, outposts, roadblocks, checkpoints, military areas, nature reserves and the parts of the Apartheid Wall built so far. There are now 450,000 Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. In the last 20 years the settler population has increased by 150%.

29 September 2007 marked the seventh anniversary of the start of the second Intifada. In those seven years the Israeli Occupation Army has killed more than 4,600 Palestinians, including 967 children and has injured a further 32,000. In August 2007 alone, the Israeli Occupation Army killed 52 Palestinians, 12 of them children.

The rolling picket began at Marks & Spencer in Edgware Road. M&S is one of the biggest British corporate sponsors of Israel and the occupation of Palestine. Marks & Spencer is not just interested in trading with Israel for profit like other companies; it IS and ALWAYS has been a supporter of Israeli apartheid – ‘aiding the economic development of Israel is one of our main objectives’ (Marcus Sieff, M&S chairman, Management: The M&S Way, 1990) and sells food and clothing manufactured in colonial settlements in the illegally occupied West Bank Palestinian Territories.

The protest then moved on to Sainsbury’s in Marble Arch, calling for the public to boycott Israeli goods, and picketed Marks and Spencer’s flagship store on Oxford Street, using street theatre to demonstrate the reality of the daily brutal oppression Palestinian People face. We continued to Selfridges, which sells goods produced in Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights. Under pressure from pro-Palestinian campaigners they initially withdrew these products from their shelves only to stock them again.

Finally a lively demonstration was held outside John Lewis because they sell Caterpillar products. Caterpillar’s armoured bulldozers have been used by the Israeli army for the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes, schools, wells and olive groves, and have also been used in the construction of the Apartheid Wall.

The aim of the campaign to Boycott Israeli Goods is to raise awareness of the economic links between British business and Israeli Apartheid and build economic pressure on Israel to end its illegal occupation of Palestine. We aim to get people active on Britain's streets in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their national liberation struggle.

We call on the public to:

• Demand that British companies stop supporting Israel’s brutal occupation and apartheid by selling Israeli goods and goods made by companies directly involved in the destruction of Palestinian land, lives and livelihoods.

• Demand that the British Government stops supporting and funding Israeli racism.

• Join our campaign in support of the Palestinian Liberation Struggle. There is a demonstration every Thursday, 6 – 8 pm outside Marks & Spencer’s flagship store on Oxford Street (Marble Arch end), London. We urge everyone to boycott M&S as a focus of the boycott Israeli goods campaign in order to dent the profits of the British retailing company that has repeatedly stated their support for Israel and thus send a shock wave through the whole establishment.

End the Occupation of Palestine! Victory to the Intifada! Free all Palestinian Political Prisoners! Tear down the Apartheid Wall!

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 

 

Free the Harmondsworth 4 - no show trial - November 13

Free the Harmondsworth 4 - no show trial - November 13

On 13 November activists from London No Borders, Crossroads Women’s Centre, the Institute for Race Relations, National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, Barbed-Wire Britain and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! met to launch a campaign to defend and support the Harmondsworth 4, who face trial early next year following the uprising at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre on 28 November 2006.



Harmondsworth is run by private company Kalyx, a subsidiary of Sodexho. The protest came the day after the publication of a damning inspection report by Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers into conditions and treatment of detainees at Harmondsworth, and was directly triggered by the attempts of members of staff to prevent a group of detainees from watching a news broadcast about the report. Prison riot squads (Tornado teams) were drafted in to batter the protesters into submission. About 50 detainees were left in a courtyard all night and others were locked in their rooms even though parts of the detention centre were on fire.

The revolt was widely reported after a news helicopter photographed the words 'SOS: Freedom’ and 'HELP' spelled out on the courtyard floor with bedsheets. Fearful that this would lead to support for the prisoners and make it more difficult to denounce them as violent animals, the government rapidly declared the airspace above the centre a 'no fly zone', citing vague 'security reasons'.

The campaign meeting heard from activists who had supported detainees who were tried following previous detention centre uprisings at Campsfield House and Yarls Wood and agreed to contact the detainees who are to be put on trial and offer our support to them.

For more information
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://mylondondiary.co.uk/2007/02/feb10-01.htm

photo of FRFI supporters at No Borders demo outside Harmondsworth on 10 February 2007.
Credit Peter Marshall
http://mylondondiary.co.uk
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Monday 14 January - HARMONDSWORTH 4 TRIAL - Demonstrate

Monday 14 January - HARMONDSWORTH 4 TRIAL - Demonstrate

Click here to read a letter sent to FRFI from 2 of the Harmondsorth 4!

Southwark Crown Court
1 English Grounds
(off Battlebridge Lane)
Southwark London SE1 2HU
(nearest tube London Bridge)
view map

 

Monday 14 January - HARMONDSWORTH 4 TRIAL - Report!

Monday 14 January - HARMONDSWORTH 4 TRIAL - Report!

Support The Harmondsworth 4!



The trial of four men who were in Harmondsworth IRC at the time of the protest there on 28 November 2006 opened on Monday 14th January 2008 at Southwark Crown Court.

The Support the Harmondsworth 4 campaign demonstration outside the court was attended by representatives of London No Borders, Barbed-Wire Britain, Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism and the All African Women's Group.

The trial is expected to last for six weeks and there will be a demonstration each Monday from 9 to 10.30am.

Southwark Crown Court
1 English Grounds
(off Battlebridge Lane)
Southwark
London SE1 2HU
(nearest tube London Bridge)

Harmondsworth is run by private company Kalyx, a subsidiary of Sodexho. The protest came the day after the publication of a damning inspection report by Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers into conditions and treatment of detainees at Harmondsworth, and was allegedly triggered by the attempts of members of staff to prevent a group of detainees from watching a news broadcast about the report. Prison riot squads were drafted in and about 50 detainees left in a courtyard all night, while others were locked in their rooms even though parts of the detention centre were on fire.



Enquiries/further information    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See here for letter from two of the Harmondsworth 4 to Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
racism/letter_harm4.html

----

Background
Robert Whalley: 'Report of the Investigation into the disturbances at Harmondsworth and Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centres'.
http://www.irr.org.uk/pdf/Whalley_report.pdf (pdf file, 496kb)

Liberty report: Excerpts from Witness Statements
http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/news-and-events/pdfs/excerpts-witness-statements.pdf (pdf file, 128 kb)

Report on an unannounced inspection of Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre
http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmiprisons/inspect_reports/irc-inspections.html/Harmondsworth1.pdf?view=Binary (pdf file, 464kb)

The Support the Harmondsworth 4 campaign is supported by London No Borders, Barbed-Wire Britain, Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism, All African Women's Group, Women of Colour in the Global Women's Strike, the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns London Anarchist Black Cross, Iraq Solidarity Campaign and North West Asylum Seekers Defence Group.

 

Saturday 15 March - STOP THE WAR LONDON!

Saturday 15 March - STOP THE WAR LONDON!

On 15 March FRFI activists joined the Stop the War demonstrations around the country to mark the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by the US and British forces. At the main march in London our loud anti-imperialist contingent was joined by Turkish communists from the MLKP and Congolese activities.





 

 

Pauline Campbell - FIGHTER FOR JUSTICE

pcampbel20 January 1948 - 15 May 2008

FRFI is deeply saddened by the death on 15 May of Pauline Campbell, who for the past five years had fought an unrelenting struggle to expose the brutal and inhumane treatment of women prisoners in Britain.   Following the death in 2003 of her 18-year-old daughter Sarah - the youngest of six women who died in Styal that year – Pauline began a campaign of direct action to expose the prison system’s complete lack of care for vulnerable women.  Between April 2004 and April 2008 every time a woman prisoner died, she staged a demonstration outside the prison. There were 28 demonstrations in all.  RCG comrades regularly attended those at Styal, New Hall, Holloway and Durham prisons.  Pauline was arrested 15 times and charged five times.  The latest charges against her were recently dropped and we reprint below an article sent to FRFI just five days before her death, thanking readers for lobbying the CPS on her behalf.

Pauline was completely non-sectarian in her campaigning. She lobbied MPs, spoke to parliamentary committees, emailed journalists, and addressed conferences, marched with other relatives of people who had died in custody, demonstrated alongside peace campaigners, communists, anarchists and feminists.  She wrote regularly for FRFI, as well as for many other publications.

click here to read her last letter to FRFI and Eric Alisons Comments

 

Thursday 5 June - Rock around the Blockade!- FREE THE CUBAN! LONDON!

Thursday 5 June 2008- Rock around the Blockade!- FREE THE CUBAN! LONDON!



Less than 24 hours after receiving the news that the US Court of Appeal had upheld the convictions of the Cuban Five, over 20 activists gathered outside the US embassy in London at 7pm as part of the 'day after' campaign to condemn against the rulings. This emergency protest was called by Rock around the Blockade, which campaigns in solidarity with Cuba's socialist Revolution in Britain. It was joined by representatives from other groups. Mobilisation began at 11pm the night before.

Unable to stand in front of the US embassy, which is protected by a road block and barriers, the activists decorated the eight foot railings with Cuban flags, placards and pictures of the five Cuban heroes. They leafleted passers by and gave speeches exposing the hypocrisy of the US/Britain so-called 'war on terrorism' while Cubans who work to defend their people from right-wing extremists, linked to the US government, are unjustly incarcerated and denied basic legal rights. One speaker pointed out that as well as a protest the event was also a celebration – of the continued and defiant resistance of the Five and the revolutionary people of Cuba, who have resisted US aggression and attacks for nearly half a century. They have shown the world that commitment to ideas, principles and justice is more powerful than all the money and armaments in the world.

A second demonstration is planned for this Saturday 7 June in Trafalgar Square in central London at 12 noon. We hope that all those individual and groups who oppose terrorism and support justice will join us.

Free the Cuban Five! Vive Cuba! Viva Socialism!

Check out the international reports on the "Free the Five" website,


 

 

Saturday 7 June - FREE THE FIVE! GLASGOW!

Saturday 7 June - FREE THE FIVE! GLASGOW!



On Saturday 7 June, Rock Around the Blockade activists in Glasgow, Scotland took to the city centre to protest against US imperialism's upholding of the convictions of the Cuban Five. Activists distributed literature on the five heroes, petitioned for their release and asked local people to stand in support of the political prisoners. Leaflets were also distributed calling on people to join the demonstration outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh, Scotland on 26 July to demand the release of the Cuban Five and an end to the US blockade of the socialist island. Venceremos!

 

Saturday 14 June - SOLIDARITY WITH POLITICAL PRISONERS OF IMPERIALISM!- BREAK THE CHAINS! LONDON!

Saturday 14 June - SOLIDARITY WITH POLITICAL PRISONERS OF IMPERIALISM!- BREAK THE CHAINS! LONDON!



On Saturday 14 June supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) hosted a Break the Chains rally event in solidarity with political prisoners of imperialism.

The rally took place on the east pavement of Trafalgar Square, outside the South African embassy, where from 1986 to 1990 City of London Anti-Apartheid Group held a non-stop picket for the freedom of Nelson Mandela and all South African political prisoners and for the liberation of South Africa from the racist barbaric system of apartheid.



Break the chains was supported by individuals and groups, including:
* Kurdish comrades from Halkevi demanding the release of Abdullah Ocalan from his incarceration and freedom for Kurdistan,
* Rock around the Blockade and the Marti-Maceo organisation of Cubans in Britain who are both campaigning for the Cuban 5, held prisoner in the US
* The London Guantanamo Campaign, who spoke about Binyam Mohammed, the last Londoner in Guatanamo
* Crossroads Women’s Centre, who spoke about the case of Pierre Antoine Lovinski, a human rights activist who disappeared in Haiti last year
* Tyneside Community Action for Refugees (TCAR) who reported on the activity in support of asylum seekers in Newcastle, the Pledge of Resistance against dawn raids and the current urgent campaign to free TCAR member Mako Oumakani from Dungavel Detention Centre
* London No Borders, who are campaigning in support of detainees resisting immigration detention
* No More Prisons. who are organising a demonstration outside Styal Prison on 10 August to commemorate the life of campaigner Pauline Campbell



FRFI supporters spoke over the megaphone about
* the Lucasville 5 prisoners on death row in the US
* Mumia Abu Jamal, former Black Panther and revolutionary journalist, framed for a murder 27 years ago, on death row and still fighting back
* Palestinian prisoners and the reality of life in Palestine - particularly in Gaza -  where the whole population has been made prisoners.
* British prisons and the Labour government’s plans to vastly increase the capacity of prisons and detention centres to incarcerate the poor and working class
* the importance of standing in solidarity with the oppressed and imprisoned of the world against the barbarism of capitalism and imperialism and Britain’s ongoing vicious war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
* the racist nature of imperialism in the US where one in nine black men aged 20-34 is behind bars

Towards the end of the rally we received news of an uprising at Campsfield Detention Centre, which we announced on the megaphone. FRFI sends solidarity greetings to the detainees and all those in struggle against detention and imprisonment.



Break the chains!
Solidarity with all political prisoners of imperialism!

 

Saturday 14 July - Lloyds TSB: Hands off Cuba! London!

Saturday 14 July - Lloyds TSB: Hands off Cuba! London!

RATB tells Lloyds TSB: Hands off Cuba!

On Saturday 12 July, members and supporters of Rock around the Blockade (RATB) held a lively demonstration outside the Camden branch of Lloyds TSB bank in north London, protesting at the bank’s recent capitulation to the US blockade of Cuba.

Lloyds TSB has written to its business customers who deal with Cuba telling them they can no longer use their accounts to trade with Cuba. The letter states ‘I must advise you to find alternative ways of making payments to your suppliers with Cuban connections.’

RATB is calling on the public to put pressure on Lloyds TSB until they state in writing that they will not discriminate against British companies who legitimately trade with Cuba. We oppose these bullying tactics against British companies who legitimately trade with Cuba and we stand in solidarity with the Cuban people, against attacks and attempts to isolate them.

About the US blockade For almost 50 years the US has imposed an illegal blockade of Cuba. The Helms Burton Act, 1996, the latest addition to the blockade legislation, makes foreign companies who invest in Cuba liable to prosecution in the US. This followed legislation making it illegal under US law for US-owned subsidiaries in third countries to trade with Cuba. The US blockade of Cuba has been condemned by 16 consecutive votes in the United Nations General Assembly. In 2007, 184 countries (including Britain) voted against the US Blockade of Cuba and only four in favour, however the US overturned this vote with their veto on the Security Council.

Contact RATB more details of these actions and other events: BM RATB, London WC1N 3XX 020 7837 1688 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit out website www.ratb.org.uk

Lloyds TSB customers and shareholders should write to:

Phil Markey Relationships Manager, Lloyds Bank, 25 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7HN



Patricia O'Muerte
 

 

Tuesday 5 August - Asylum is not a crime! London!

Tuesday 5 August - Asylum is not a crime! London!

Close down Communications House



Members and supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! gathered at Communications House, Old Street in London, for the monthly demonstration against the British Labour Government’s racist immigration laws and the ongoing detention and deportation of asylum seekers. Communications House and other Immigration Reporting Centres are places of fear for asylum seekers, they may be detained without warning and sent to a removal centre to await deportation.

Over the megaphone, the message was loud and clear:
Close down Communications House! Asylum is not a crime!

Join us on the first Tuesday of every month in London from 1-2pm outside Communications House, 210 Old Street, London EC1V 9BR. For more details email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 020 7837 1688
 

 

Sunday 10 August - Prisoners Justice Day! London!

Sunday 10 August - Prisoners Justice Day! London!



Members and supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, London Coalition Against Poverty and Women in Prison gathered outside Holloway Prison on Sunday 10 August 2008, Prisoners Justice Day.

This annual event around the world gives solidarity to all those incarcerated in prison and remembers all those who have died at the hands of a brutal negligent inhuman prison system.

The demonstrations for Prisoners Justice Day 2008 at Holloway Prison in London and in Wilmslow, Cheshire at Styal prison were held as a tribute to Pauline Campbell who tragically died in May this year.



Pauline was the mother of Sarah Campbell found dead in Styal Prison in 2003, aged 18 and the youngest of six women who died in Styal that year. Following Sarah’s death Pauline dedicated her life to raising the issues facing women in prison and in particular campaigning against women’s deaths – women murdered at the hands of the prison service. Every time a woman died, Pauline was outside the prison to highlight the tragedy of yet another loss of a young life, of a mother, a sister, a daughter.

There have been forty such deaths of women in the five years since Sarah Campbell died in January 2003. Outside Holloway prison, placards and banners gave the message to passers by on foot, in cars and in buses: No more deaths in custody! No more prisons! People stopped and many vehicles hooted in support, as chants rang out over the megaphone.

The London demonstration remembered in particular the five young women who have died in Holloway Prison in the last four years: Julie Hope and Heather Waite in 2004, Karen Fletcher in 2005, Marie Cox and Jamie Pearce in 2007.

In the words of Pauline Campbell, earlier this year: ‘No civilised society should tolerate prisons that drive their inmates to killing themselves. Likewise, no civilised government should allow this shameful state of affairs to continue.’


 

 

Saturday 1 November - LSE FRFI DAYSCHOOL! London!

Saturday 1 November - LSE FRFI DAYSCHOOL! London!

LSE Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! student society held a successful dayschool on the subject of 'Che Guevara, Cuba and Socialism in Latin America'. Attendees heard in-depth analyses of the revolutionary processes in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

The speakers were:

  • Dr Helen Yaffe, ( UCL/Rock around the Blockade) - Che Guevara's legacy in Cuba
  • Prof Al Campbell (Utah University, USA) - The challenge of transition in Venezuela
  • Robert Clough (FRFI) - The Battle for Bolivia
  • Fidel Narváez (Movement of Ecuadorians in the UK)- The new constitution in Ecuador



The dayschool took place on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, and in the context of a revolutionary socialist movement that is gathering pace in Latin America. It was supported by Rock around the Blockade (www.ratb.org.uk) and the Movement of Ecuadorians in the UK (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Dr Helen Yaffe spoke in detail about Che’s work in the Cuban Ministry of Industry during the 1960s. His Budgetary Finance System was an alternative to the system of planning in the Soviet Union, and his conception of socialist transformation influences Cuban society to this day.

Prof Al Campbell spoke about the challenges facing President Hugo Chavez and the socialist movement in Venezuela, as they struggle to overturn capitalism in spite of imperialist aggression and interference from the United States.
Robert Clough described the unique features of the anti-imperialist movement in Bolivia and its development into a powerful force for socialism, defeating violent opposition from the ruling class, again sponsored by imperialism.

Finally Fidel Narváez from the Movement of Ecuadorians in the UK spoke about Ecuador’s new anti-imperialist constitution, which has provided the starting point to free Ecuador from the exploitation of oil multinationals and its crippling overseas debt.
The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) is forging a united front of radical South American governments which represent the interests of the oppressed. It is a battle with global consequences - directly challenging the regional and global hegemony of US imperialism and its allies – and offering an alternative model for social development in the context of capitalist crisis.

FRFI is proud to stand in support of the anti-imperialist and socialist movements in Latin America, and will continue publicising their achievements.

 

 

Tuesday 4 November - Close down Communications House! London!

Tuesday 4 November - Close down Communications House! London!



On 4 November activists from No Borders, Southall Black Sisters and the Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq joined Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!’s monthly demonstration outside Communications House Immigration Reporting Centre in London in protest against immigration Minister Phil Woolas’s new offensive against immigrants and in support of all those faced with detention and deportation.

  • 60 Iraqi Kurds were deported to by charter flight in September and another 50 in October. The government claims that its war against the people of Iraq has rendered the country ‘safe’ for deportees to be forced back to.
  • On 18-19 November the High Court will hear the appeal in the ‘BK’ Country Guidance case about deportations to Democratic Republic of Congo. Meanwhile anyone can see from the news that DRC is not a safe place to be sent to.

Immigration reporting centres are places of fear for asylum seekers, who have to report to them monthly, weekly or even several time s a week. From reporting centres asylum seekers can be detained without warning and sent to removal centres to await deportation. Solidarity outside the centres is always appreciated.

 

 

Sunday 29 December - Victory to the Intifada! London!

Sunday 29 December - Victory to the Intifada! London!

The RCG and supporters from Victory to the Intifada joined up to 1,000 protesters gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in High Street Kensington, London, in a rapidly-mobilised response to the deadly escalation of attacks on Gaza by the Israeli military which have left nearly 300 dead, including children.

Despite early efforts by the police to stop protesters coming through, the demonstration closed most of High Street Kensington. Constant chanting demanded an end to the illegal occupation by Israel, an end to the attacks, freedom for Palestine and victory to the Intifada. At one point the demonstrators organised an impromptu march up the road before returning to the embassy gates.

Shortly after 4pm the police attempted to clear the road, organising a series of violent pushes that were met with resistance and shouts of ‘Shame on you!’ Over the RCG’s ‘open mic’ megaphone, comrades denounced the role of the British Labour government in propping up Zionist state and the British police for defending its racist embassy.

The demonstration was organised by PSC, Palestine Return Centre (PRC), Palestinian Forum of Britain (PFB), British Muslim Initiative (BMI), Stop the War, Friends of al Aqsa, Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Respect, Islamic Human Rights Commission. As the attacks on Gaza continue – attacks described by Ehud Barak as ‘only the beginning’ – and a land invasion of Gaza is threatened, another protest will be held today, Monday 29 December, at 4pm. Nearest tube High Street Kensington.

Victory to the Intifada will also be holding its regular protest outside Marks and Spencer – British corporate sponsor of Zionism – in Oxford Street on Thursday 1 January at 4pm. Join us to make your condemnation of Israel heard. 

 

Thursday 1 January - Victory to the Intifada! London!

Thursday 1 January - Victory to the Intifada! London!

Over 350 people assembled at the far end of Glasgow's George Square to demonstrate against the ongoing massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.

After 45 minutes of very passionate speeches. The crowd (which was made up of families as well as a lot of children) started to march onto the road and take the protest to the streets.

The Police panicked as there were only half a dozen of them and quickly called in reinforcements and tried to push the demonstrators back to let the traffic through to no avail. The demo moved round George Square cutting off one of the biggest traffic intersections in Glasgow at a time when most of the Square is full of Ice Skaters, Fun fairs and rides and a Music stage.

Militant and lively chanting from the demo throughout calling for Victory to the Intifada and Freedom for Palestine from all in the crowd.

The territory of Gaza is one of the most densely populated on Earth. This type of militant action has not been seen since the start of the latest Iraq war in 2003, when young militant school pupils and young Muslims led demonstrations, blocked roads and led walk outs.

Demo organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Supported by The Scottish Stop the War Coalition, SWP, Glasgow Anarchists, Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign, and members and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Group / Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

Pictures taken with permission from the Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign - http://www.gphrc.org/



 

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020 7837 1688
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