Manchester picket rolls in support of Palestine, 3 July 2010

manchester-picketAround 25 people took part in a lively protest in Manchester on 3rd July to call for a boycott of Israeli goods, in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle. In a rolling picket organised by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! protesters demonstrated outside shops and banks to expose the reactionary nature of the British government’s support for the fascist Israeli state and its genocidal occupation of Palestine. Many passers by stopped to offer support.

The protest started outside Lloyds bank, which has denied a British organisation the right to provide funds to the Palestinian charity, Interpal. In times where the multi-million pound bonuses of rich bankers are no secret, and when the real nature of the parasitic and unstable banking system has become clearer to ordinary people, the public in Manchester were unsurprised that a British bank would sink to such levels as refusing to allow vital funds to get to Palestine. Outside the bank, and throughout the day, hundreds of passers by stopped to find out more information.

There were lively scenes as the picket moved on to Marks and Spencer, a company with a long history of support for the racist Israeli state. A lot of people in Manchester remember our comrades for their picket of the Market Street store that was a constant feature for over four years, withstanding attacks from the police, council and organised racists. Activists spoke on the megaphone about Marks and Spencers' continuing backing for Israel, as a key member of the British-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, and as a symbol of successive British governments' political and economic support for Israel. People stopped and gave donations to our campaign, and there was a lot of sympathy for the people of Gaza, who continue to suffer under a brutal blockade. The recent attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, in which 9 international activists were murdered by the Israeli military, is fresh in the minds of many people.

The protest continued outside Schuh, a footwear store which sells Caterpillar boots and shoes. Caterpillar provides military bulldozers to the Israeli army, which uses house demolition as a 'punishment' tool against whole Palestinian commuinities who dare to resist occupartion. We also picketed Tesco, which sells a large amount of Israeli food produce, asking people not to buy from the racist regime. Finally, we spent the last part of our protest outside H&M, which has recently invested in Israel, announcing plans to open 7 stores there. A lot of people stopped to hear what we had to say and many were surprised that the company was involved in propping up the Zionist state.

Overall the day of action was a great success and the support we were given showed that there is still a basis for building solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. Hundreds of people stopped to sign the petitions; we sold out of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! newspapers, selling 72 on the day; and we collected nearly £300 to help build our campaign. FRFI Manchester intends to build on this success and develop our work to support the revolutionary struggle of the Palestinian people.

Free Palestine!
Boycott the racist Israeli state!

Roundup of recent events - August

Roundup of recent events - August

Comrades in Manchester have been working hard to build the anti racist movement through the North West Asylum Seekers Defence Group (NWASDG). This involves more and more going out to working class areas to promote protests and campaigns against the government's racist policies of impoverishment, imprisonment and deportation of people seeking asylum.

Halima Aboubacar, a 20 year old refugee from Cameroon with two children, was made to attend a hearing on 15 May. The appeal has since been rejected and Halima, her 1 year old son Bailey Jr and her new baby daughter Farida (both born in Britain) now face deportation to Cameroon, away from Halima's partner in Swinton. If this is allowed to happen Halima fears that her children may be taken from her, as was her first child before she fled. NWASDG is continuing to fight alongside Halima and her children for their right to live in Britain. At the same time we must continue to draw the links: Halima's case is one in thousands, all victims of racist immigration controls which must be scrapped.

NWASDG has continued to support protests organised by Congo Support Project. Most recently this included the Congo Independence Day march on 30 June and demonstrations outside Dallas Court reporting centre in Salford, where asylum seekers are forced to sign on every month, every week or in some cases every day, not knowing whether they will disappear and be deported. NWASDG held a picket of Dallas Court on 18th June, an event supported by the International Organisation of Iranian Refugees, who pointed at the hypocrisy of the British government in its hostility to Iran while at the same time refusing asylum rights to Iranians fleeing the theocratic regime.

At the invitation of Tameside African Refugee Association NWASDG were invited to speak about 'fighting 3rd world poverty' at the organisation's conference in Gorton on 23 June. An NWASDG/FRFI speaker spoke in detail about imperialism as the biggest cause of human suffering, especially for oppressed nations, talking about the role of US, British and other multinational companies and banks exploiting the peoples and resources of Africa, the Middle East and beyond. He gave this as the context of masses of refugees fleeing the war and poverty this creates. The speaker concluded by showing Cuba as representing the socialist alternative to the iniquities of global capitalism.

On 24 June RCG/FRFI joined the Stop the War Coalition's demonstration in Manchester on the day of Gordon Brown's coronation as Prime Minister. We formed a small but noisy contingent on the march and were joined by the CPGB(ML) and others in chanting slogans in solidarity with the Iraqi resistance and against Labour imperialism. The demonstration's organisers, using the slogan 'Change the policy, not just the leader,' kept opposition to the Labour Party off their platform. Stop the War's pre-demo statement, signed by Lindsey German and Andrew Murray, claimed that 'this view is shared by many people in the Labour Party itself', and called on 'the British government to break from George Bush's wars.' Its statements like these, excusing the parasitic role of British imperialism in the world, which explain how the anti-war movement has demobilised to a turnout of just 3,000 people for a national demo in Manchester.

Manchester RCG Reports! - August 11

nwasdg_march_august_0006

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.

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Victory for Eucharia and Timeyi

Victory for Eucharia and Timeyi

On 5 November 2007, after over two years’ campaigning, Eucharia Jakpa received a letter confirming she and her 7-year-old son Timeyi had won the right to stay in Britain. Eucharia and Timeyi had faced deportation to Nigeria, where they were at risk of being tortured or killed, having fled in May 2004, after her husband and then six-year-old daughter disappeared due to the ongoing conflict in the oil-producing Niger Delta region. The Home Office initially rejected their application, later advising them to 'try other parts of Nigeria'. They were unable to appeal after their inept immigration service-appointed solicitor failed to represent them. Their MP Gerard Kaufmann refused to help them

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North West Events coming up..

Every Saturday unless otherwise specified - Information/campaign stalls, Manchester City Centre and environs

For details call 07519 427 093 or e-mail: frfi.manchester@gmail.com

 

Regular actions in Liverpool, for details contact FRFI.Liverpool@gmail.com

Contact North West FRFI

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FRFI Statement on Justice for Grainger protest

Who shot and killed Anthony Grainger?