- Created: Tuesday, 26 May 2009 21:13
- Written by Manchester FRFI
Anti-deportation march, 11th August 2007 On 11th August more than 100 people marched in Manchester against deportations, The protest was called by North West Asylum Seekers Defence Group (NWASDG), along with Sukula Family Must Stay Campaign, No One is Illegal, Samina Altaf Will Stay Campaign, International Organisation of Iranian Refugees, Ethiopia Support Project, Mahoro Must Stay and Bolton National Union of Teachers; it was supported by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and Tyneside Community Action for Refugees (TCAR). On the day there were representatives from the supporting groups, with asylum seekers from as far afield as Iran and Nigeria, as well as local people from Manchester and the North West.
Beginning at Platt Fields in Rusholme, the crowd marched through the streets to the city centre, resisting the authorities’ attempts to confine the march to the pavement. There was a lot of loud and lively chanting, particularly calling for unity in the face of state racism: ‘Together we are stronger!’; and against the anti-asylum policies of the British government: ‘Labour Party = racist party!’ The noisy and militant TCAR contingent from the North East, which included many refugees from Africa and elsewhere who are resisting attacks on their rights through their organisation, added something extra to the protest. They led a sit-down protest and ‘street theatre’ in front of the BBC, attacking the media bias against asylum seekers, seen recently with the publicity given to the police’s ‘hunt’ for the fugitives from Campsfield detention centre.
Following the march the crowd gathered in Albert Square for open-mic speeches, with asylum seekers and supporters reiterating the demands of the demo: against deportations and immigration controls, against destitution, and for the right to work. TCAR representatives spoke about the repressive measures of the state being reserved for whoever represents the biggest potential resistance; they also pointed to the role of British multinational companies in plundering the resources and labour power of the 3rd world for the sake of higher profits. A comrade from the International Organisation of Iranian Refugees (who was also a communist), spoke about attacks on immigrants being a tool of capitalist domination and division, and urged that the fight for asylum rights should be linked to struggle against capitalism and imperialism, and for socialism. Kyle, a Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! activist spoke of the 'disgusting system of imperialism, which is modern day colonialism,' and of the urgent need for communities to work together and build the movement for asylum rights on the streets.