Oldham — 'Minister of Deportations'

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Timothy Raison, Secretary of State for Home Affairs, was met by a hundred-strong picket when he visited Oldham. Oldham's black community turned up in force chanting 'Death to Racism! Fight All Racist Attacks! Self-Defence the Only Way!' and 'Immigration Controls Out!'.

Black people in Oldham live under a regime of police/racist terror. The mosque windows in Oldham are regularly broken and racist slogans painted up in the area, black people are beaten up by gangs of white youths. There have been numerous deportations.

Most immigrant workers work in the textile mills in Oldham. One shift worker is forced to mind six or seven machines and he is paid £47 per week. In Chadderdon Mill which is on a 2-3 day week, workers (approximately 99% black) are not allowed to have shop stewards, they are forced to work overtime at no notice and are paid the ordinary rate. If they demand their rights they are told the mill can't afford it and would close. Anyone who challenges management is sacked, the union does nothing to protect workers. But the fightback is beginning A Defence Committee has been set up. The black community has no trust in the police and courts. They will defend themselves! It is no coincidence that since the Defence Committee was set up there have been no more racist attacks!

Liz Sullivan

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 9 - March/April 1981

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