Anti-imperialists stop deportation – join the fight to free Ali Nur

free ali

On Friday 4 May activists from the Revolutionary Communist Group, Goldsmiths College Anti-Imperialist Society and others mobilised in support of Somali refugee Ali Nur in order to stop his deportation to Tanzania.

Ali has lived in England since 1998, when he fled the Somali civil war in which his family were slaughtered. He has built a new life here and has three British-born children.

Since 2015, Ali had seen very little progress on his Home Office case, trying everything to improve the situation, getting stuck between an uninterested solicitor and frustration created by the Home Office. For the last eight years he has reported weekly at the west London immigration reporting centre Eaton House without missing a single appointment. Then on 23 April 2018, when he went to report as normal, he was detained and told he was going to be deported. He was taken from the reporting centre to Colnbrook IRC, an immigration prison next to Heathrow airport.

In 2017 Ali was forced to attend an interview organised by the Home Office at the Tanzanian High Commission. At the meeting the Home Office interrogated Ali, using information they collected from browsing his Facebook page, such as his friends list, to build a case that he is a Tanzanian national. The Home Office representative said that Ali ‘looked Tanzanian’ and had ‘Tanzanian Facebook friends’.

Ali is from the Somali minority Bajuni tribe. He therefore speaks Kibajuni which is a dialect of Swahili. Consequently, he could understand the Tanzanian embassy staff speaking, who he overheard complaining in Swahili that he was definitely not from Tanzania and that this process was a waste of Home Office resources. Ali left the meeting confident that the Home Office had no case and this would all go away.

In the following weeks Ali received a letter from the Home Office, claiming that he had 14 days to prove he is not a Tanzanian national. After years of silence, and confiscating his Somali passport in 2009, the Home Office was now trying to deport Ali to a country he has no connection with. This was not the first time the Home Office has tried to deport Bajunis to Tanzania. Since the British government cannot easily deport to Somalia, due to the country’s ongoing conflict and lack of government structures, the Home Office have deported Swahili-speaking Somalis to neighbouring countries Kenya and Tanzania (see VICE, 2014).

Language testing and racial profiling

Through using a mix of language testing and other forms of racial profiling, Home Office lawyers build cases against people who often have little to no legal representation, due to the ending in 2013 of most legal aid provision for immigration cases, and who cannot pay for lawyers as they are not permitted to work in Britain while their cases are pending.

In 2014, the Home Office ended its contract with Swedish company Sprakab, which had been contracted to provide language analysis in cases involving disputed nationality, after the Supreme Court ruled that Sprakab staff had given ‘wholly inappropriate’ opinions to a British asylum tribunal on whether a Somali asylum seeker sounded convincing, rather than just reporting on their use of language. It was later revealed in a Swedish documentary that the Somali dialect ‘specialist’ employed by Sprakab and relied on to create over 5,000 reports, had a fabricated university degree and had had doubts cast on his abilities by several independent language specialists.

Fighting Ali’s deportation

After a week of detention in Colnbrook, Ali received a notice of deportation to Tanzania, but now addressed to a new name ‘Abdillahi Said Ali’ (later changed again by the Home Office to ‘Abdillahi Ali Juma’). The flight was set to take place on Friday 4 May at 18:25. Ali applied for a Judicial Review, but this did not halt the Home Office’s removal directions; they did not even reply to Ali’s solicitor’s faxes to acknowledge receipt of his legal challenge.

However, what the Home Office didn’t know was that Ali had begun mobilising his supporters to fight back. Details and phone numbers for Kenya Airways, Colnbrook IRC and the Home Office were being circulated across social media, mailing lists and WhatsApp. Activists from around the country, ranging from students, Somali community groups and migration support organisations, began bombarding Kenya Airways and Colnbrook with complaints and demands to not deport Ali and free him from Colnbrook.

The Windrush scandal was all over the media, enhancing the effectiveness of the message distributed by Ali’s supporters – that the Home Office is racist, corrupt and behaves in a inhumane way towards migrants in order to fulfil both its bureaucratic ‘targets’ and its reactionary political agenda.

As the date of Ali’s threatened deportation drew nearer, his supporters began mobilising for a protest at the desk of Kenya Airways at Heathrow 4 Terminal. Despite harassment from armed police, mixed with promises from airline staff that Ali would not be put on the flight, supporters went ahead with the protest, displaying placards about Ali’s case, chanting and distributing informative leaflets to passengers due to board the flight to Tanzania.

Meanwhile, Ali was being held in a Home Office van on the runway next to the Kenya Airways plane. The flight was delayed due to the protest; then after a tense hour of waiting, the van holding Ali turned around and returned him to Colnbrook.

Ali quickly got in touch (basic mobile phones are allowed in Colnbrook), saying: ‘I wouldn’t have made it out without you, I’m texting this with tears in my eyes.’

The Home Office guards concurred, although they were far from happy about the outcome, telling Ali: ‘If it hadn’t been for your friends you wouldn’t still be here. Next time we’ll take you quietly’.

We will never allow the racist Home Office to do anything quietly!

We must always raise our voice and act in solidarity with those attacked by racist immigration laws alongside all those willing to work together to fight this. The fight goes on to get Ali bailed from Colnbrook, and to find a solicitor who can begin to unpick and stand up to the Home Office’s fraudulent claims. Together we can fight Theresa May's 'hostile environment' and Britain's racist immigration laws.

Free Ali now!

Sign the petition against Ali’s deportation here and contribute to his GoFundMe here.


SWP defends Zionists

The RCG proudly stood with others on 17 March 2018 and successfully prevented the Zionist Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland (CoFIS) from participating in the annual Stand Up to Racism march

As the Israeli state expels thousands of African migrants, prepares to annex the West Bank, and talks up war on Hezbollah and Iran, it should be unthinkable for any anti-racist organisation to offer any concession to Zionism or the Zionist state. The charge that anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism has been used by supporters of Israel to vilify supporters of Palestinian freedom inside and outside the Labour Party. Yet on 17 March, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), through its Stand up to Racism (SUTR) front was prepared to allow an avowedly Zionist and pro-Israeli organisation to join its annual march against racism in Glasgow. More than that: it had faced down pro-Palestinian supporters when they demanded that the organisation in question, the Confederation of Friends of Israel – Scotland (CoFIS) be excluded from the event. In the end, the Zionists were prevented from joining the march because of a counter-mobilisation led by Glasgow Revolutionary Communist Group.

This stance of the SWP is appalling. It has always argued that Zionism is a racist ideology. For instance, Nick Clark in Socialist Worker on 13 March 2018, said: ‘Opposition to Zionism is not anti-Semitic. Zionism has always claimed that Israel should be an exclusively Jewish state – racism against Arabs is at its very core.’ In allowing such racists to pretend they are anti-racists and join its SUTR march, the SWP shows that its alliance with the Labour Party and the trade union leadership far outweighs the principle of supporting Palestinian freedom.

CoFIS participation on the 17 March demonstration had become an issue because a small contingent of its members had been able to join the 2017 march carrying Israeli flags. In the lead up to this year’s march, SWP/SUTR had refused to say whether or not CoFIS would be allowed to join in again. Glasgow RCG therefore sent an open letter to SUTR in mid-February insisting that it publicly exclude CoFIS, arguing that:

‘The issue at stake is quite clear. Zionism is a racist ideology. It is the ideological cloak of the racist colonial-settler state of Israel. SUTR and its Socialist Workers Party (SWP) backers cannot present this form of racism as something different from the racism they say they are challenging. To do so is to capitulate to the Israel-backed and reactionary campaign which presents anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism. If SUTR and the SWP do not challenge CoFIS and prevent it from marching with SUTR on 17 March, SUTR will be understood as saying that Zionism is an acceptable form of racism.’

When there was no response, the RCG organised a lobby of the SUTR Glasgow steering committee on 10 March where a motion was put in the name of Scotland against Criminalising Communities (SACC), demanding that SUTR tell CoFIS that it would not be welcome on the demonstration. Only one committee member, Sandra White, a Scottish National Party MSP, voted in support. Those who voted against included SWP members Penny Gower, Jim Main, Talat Ahmed (also SUTR’s spokesperson), and Keir McKechnie (SUTR chief steward). A letter from the president of the EIS teachers’ trade union, Nicola Fisher (also a friend of the SWP), was read out stating that if the SACC motion was accepted, the EIS would remove all funding and support from the march. If this was not enough, SUTR nationally through Diane Abbott, Labour Shadow Home Secretary and SUTR President, ordered the Scottish SUTR to ensure CoFIS was allowed to join the march.

CoFIS in the meantime had made it clear that it would attend the demonstration, stating on Facebook that supporters of Palestinian freedom such as the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) were the real racists. In the week before the demonstration, Glasgow RCG decided that rather than walk away and let the Zionists present themselves as anti-racists, it would mobilise opposition to prevent the Zionists marching. On the day, under the slogan ‘the Zionists shall not pass’, around 100 people confronted the 20-30 Zionists who turned up. Other organisations which mobilised to stop the Zionists included West Dunbartonshire Supports the People of Palestine, who brought an excellent replica apartheid wall which was used to hem in the Zionists and withstand police pressure; Red Front Republic; Communist Party of Great Britain – Marxist Leninist (Scotland) and Class War. In addition, there were individual supporters of groups which condemned SUTR’s stance but either did not call for CoFIS to be confronted, such as Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign and Solidarity Scotland, or had opposed such open confrontation with the Zionists, including SACC and SPSC.

The SUTR march itself numbered around 500; SUTR claim that 1,500 joined in is a gross exaggeration. The Muslim Council of Scotland, which had attended the steering committee and voted against the SACC motion, changed its position and publicly announced beforehand that it was boycotting the demonstration. Apart from handing the Zionists some placards, SWP/SUTR stewards were so embarrassed by what was happening that they got the march to move off leaving the Zionists behind, kettled by pro-Palestinian supporters. Protected by more than 40 police, and surrounded by counter-demonstrators, the Zionists made their way over an hour late to the SUTR final rally in George Square, by which time the main march had dispersed. It was a victory for principled anti-racism.

Since the march, SWP supporters have attempted to justify the organisation’s stance, saying that it would have been sectarian to exclude the Zionists and that it would have made SUTR look anti-Semitic, to which they have added that the RCG stance was racist. Such arguments are a complete abandonment of basic socialist principles. Fighting Zionism is an essential part of any anti-racist standpoint: the idea that an organisation such as SUTR should not take a stand on Palestinian freedom is merely a cover for the SWP’s alliance with the reactionary pro-Israel standpoint of the Labour Party.

The counter-mobilisation to the Zionists could have been bigger but for the decision of SACC and SPSC to avoid any confrontation and limit the embarrassment of SWP/SUTR. Immediately following the 10 March lobby of the SUTR steering committee, pro-Palestinian organisations including the RCG met to discuss their tactics for dealing with CoFIS. We called for a militant counter-protest; there was a clear agreement by the 25 people present to report back on this proposal by 13 March. Instead, the SPSC issued a public announcement calling on people to boycott the march and avoid a confrontation with the Zionists. At this point, we issued our call for a mass mobilisation against CoFIS. Sofiah MacLeod, national chair of SPSC, privately emailed supporters on 14 March:

‘After some consultation with Glasgow branch and the National Committee we decided to meet at the start of the march to address and discuss with the participants of the march about CoFIS. Our intention is not to engage with CoFIS or to attack anti-racist marchers and supporting organisations. We are not joining the FRFI demo.’

SACC chair Richard Haley added: ‘Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (RCG) are calling for a mass mobilisation against CoFIS on Saturday… I think we should avoid publicising this action and should try (though it may not be possible) to avoid publicly commenting on it (FRFI will probably not change their view, and a side-debate over this will just produce unfruitful friction). People have a right to peaceful protest, but this is an unwise way to exercise it.’

Both were completely wrong. They wanted to keep a veneer of respectability; like SUTR they seek the patronage of the Labour Party and official trade union movement, and did not want to engage in an action which could undermine such links. The fundamental lesson that needs to be learned from the events of 17 March is that for effective solidarity with Palestine, there must be an irrevocable break with the Labour Party and the opportunist forces which defend it. Democracy, militancy and grassroots activism will all be key to ensuring the success of a real movement. There can be no concession to Zionism – it is racism through and through.

Victory to the people of Palestine!

Dominic Mulgrew

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 263 April/May 2018


Defend the Stansted 15!

On 19 March 2018, the trial began of 15 anti-deportation activists from End Deportations, Plane Stupid, and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, who on 28 March 2017 prevented a charter flight to Nigeria from Stansted airport in Essex. On 24 March the trial was adjourned until further notice.
The 15 are charged with aggravated trespass under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, and 'obstructing or disrupting ... Stansted Airport' under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, brought in following the 1988 Lockerbie bombing ostensibly to target terrorist activity. The maximum sentence they could face if convicted is life imprisonment. Ironically, the British government's intention is to terrorise activists.


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Belfast – Bristol: Same Struggle - Same Enemy

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 4, May/June 1980

‘It was like a scene from Belfast without the bombs' (Daily Mail 3 April)

‘But the youngsters feel they have little to lose, even if they do get caught. Respect for authority, represented by the institutions of white society — particularly the police — is at rock bottom. These people have virtually no stake in the community, do suffer continual police suspicion about their activities, and are sufficiently discriminated against, both at work and leisure, to feel trapped by their black skins.... In some ways there are parallels with Ulster, where also few listened until it was too late, and where also there has grown up a generation of alienated youngsters within a minority population.' (Observer 6/4/80)

‘These are things that we have regarded with horror when they happen in Ulster. We never dreamed that in the England of 1980 we could have ‘no-go' areas like those of Londonderry. It must never, never happen again.’ (Sun 5/4/80)


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St Pauls Uprising

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 4, May/June 1980

The black people of St Pauls drove the racist police off the streets! They have achieved a glorious victory for all oppressed people and the whole working class! For four hours on Wednesday 2 April St Pauls was a ‘no-go' area for the British state. The sight of black people taking the offensive to defeat the police is a terrifying prospect for the imperialists. The revolutionary movement of black people is striking blows right to the heart of the British imperialist monster. The British state is counterattacking in an attempt to crush the resistance of black people. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! salutes the tremendous victory in St Pauls and calls for full support for the defence of those arrested.

The police raid on the Black and White Cafe was one of many raids on black meeting places in Bristol. A few weeks earlier the blues on Brook Lane had been closed down by the police. When the police came to the Black and White at 2.30pm on Wednesday 2 April they were mounting yet another attack on the black community. The police came prepared for resistance. Apart from the twelve police making the raid, five dogs were used and a back-up force of over thirty police were waiting nearby. The police met more resistance then they could contain. Resistance from angry black people who have had enough of racist harassment and brutality from the police.


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Decent housing for asylum seekers! Decent housing for all!


Jomast hear us say! Over-crowding no way! Bedbugs, broken cookers, leaking ceilings, black mould – enough is enough!

Protesters picketed Jomast’s Middlesbrough offices on Monday 5 March, rallying against the luxury property developer’s sub-standard accommodation provisions for asylum seekers.

Tyneside based Migration Asylum Justice Forum, supported by Fight Racism Fight Imperialism North East, coordinated with South Yorkshire Migration Asylum Action Group and North East Coalition for Asylum and Refugee Rights to demand improvements for asylum accommodation calling for an end to forced bedroom sharing which sees unrelated strangers forced to share bedrooms.

Jomast is subcontracted by G4S who hold the contract for asylum accommodation in the North. We forced their office to shut shop for the day. Management scarpered, leaving a couple of admin staff who locked the doors, drew the blinds and refused to accept any letters from us. Jomast own much of the office and housing blocks surrounding their office, meaning that asylum families living in the overcrowded Jomast flats above the office came down to join the protest and speak out about their unscrupulous landlord. They spoke of having their water cut off, broken washing machines, cracks and holes in the walls, with mothers and several children having to sleep in the same room, sharing their tiny flats with other families leaving them with no space or privacy.

Several Jomast residents who are forced to share bedrooms also took to the mic to speak out, demanding privacy and respect.

There has been widespread outcry over conditions in asylum housing, leading Newcastle city council to pass a policy against bedroom sharing for asylum seeker adults in March 2017. The Migration Asylum Justice Forum then pressured the council to conduct inspections of properties where bedroom sharing was taking place. As a result, Newcastle city council’s Environmental Health department issued several notices under section 139 of the Housing Act 2004 stating they considered the houses over-occupied.

Despite this, Jomast continue to force asylum seeker residents into shared bedrooms, many in quite heated situations where Jomast call the police if residents demand that the local council policy was respected. Now Jomast and G4S have appealed the council's section 139 notices so it will go to the first-tier tribunal property chamber on 23 March. If Newcastle council win the case this could be a step towards banning forced bedroom sharing across the region, following in the footsteps of Sheffield council who successfully ended forced bedroom sharing in 2017.

In the meantime, dozens of asylum seekers have been in touch with our campaign, distressed and upset with their treatment as Jomast have forced new residents in to houses that are already full:

‘Jomast want me to go crazy in here, I have no privacy, I have to share my space with another man who I don’t know, who doesn’t speak my language, doesn’t speak English, we can’t communicate - he is just as stressed as me!’

‘It is so hard sharing with so many people in the house, the others I share with, sometimes they smoke in my bedroom – and I have asthma! So many men all together – with different cultures and customs – the house is a mess, Jomast are supposed to provide cleaning materials but they never come to fix anything, they never come to clean – we are eight people in four bedrooms – no space’

All this is happening at the same time as the government and the Home Affairs Select Committee are locked in a dispute over asylum accommodation and the contracts for the next 10 years are up for grabs. Meanwhile in Middlesbrough, Jomast have just built a new Premier Inn and cite upmarket developments in Queen’s Square, Bedford street and Albert road as glittering jewels in their multi-million-pound property development projects. Our protest attracted the attention of local press with those directly affected speaking to TV, Radio and newspapers1.

Housing should be a right not a commodity – Jomast and G4S are only interested in asylum accommodation as part of a desperate scramble for lucrative government contracts. Like slum landlords, profit driven housing associations and local councils selling off estates, profit is their bottom dollar. The fight for decent homes for asylum seekers is part of the fight for decent homes for all – unity is strength – together we are stronger!

We are now preparing for the tribunal court hearing on 23 March. We will be gathering outside to protest and highlight the issue – for more information follow us on Facebook:

1. Crowded and poorly maintained homes cost us 'basic human rights' say protesting asylum seekers. GazetteLive, 5 March 2018.

Asylum seeker's life on Teesside - 'I thought it would be heaven but now I'm scared'. GazetteLive, 6 March 2018.


Black Freedom March: Statement by the organisers – Asian Youth Movement Bradford

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.3 March/April 1980

FRFI Editorial Statement - Black Freedom March

The Asian Youth Movement Bradford has taken a major initiative in calling the Black Freedom March from Bradford to London, in June and July this year. We print their statement in full in this issue [below]. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! pledges its full and unconditional support to this march. We urge all our readers and supporters to do likewise. This march is an extremely important step in the fight against racism in Britain.


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Hornsey Police attack again

police brutality

The racist thugs of Holloway Police Station have beaten up yet another black youth. Their latest victim, Junior Archer, like the Earlington family, has decided to fight the case. He has asked the Earlington Family Defence Committee to take it up.

Junior Archer is 18, he lives in Hornsey. On Thursday evening (6 March) he went out to a club. On his way home in the early hours of Friday morning he was stopped on Tollington Way by four police. There were two other people with Junior but he was caught first, and surrounded. He stood there, he didn't move, he didn't push to get free, he didn't say anything. Immediately, seven other police arrived in a van. The brutality started right away when the police tried to get information out of Junior about the people with him.


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Black Peoples' Day of Action - Black workers on the march

On the Black Peoples Day of Action, Central London witnessed a clear display of the hatred and anger felt by black working class people for the 'National Front in police uniform', the racist organisations and the imperialist institutions they defend. It was the most significant sign of the revolutionary militancy of the black working class for many years. Black people showed once again that they would not be the victims of racism, but the revolutionary fighters against their racist oppressors.

Organised by the New Cross Massacre Action Committee the march was a militant response to the lies and distortions of the press, the inactivity of the police, the total indifference of Parliament and local Labour MP, John Silkin, to the massacre of 13 black children by fascist murderers.

15,000 people joined the march and their placards and slogans made their feelings clear: New Cross Massacre Cover Up; Forward to Freedom, Babylon will fall; No stopping us now we are on the move; No Rights, No Obligations.


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Oldham — 'Minister of Deportations'

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.


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Holloway fightback

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

Police repression in Holloway has continued without mercy since the arrests of 20 local youths at the end of December. At the time a Homsey Road police thug said, 'We want the blacks off the streets for Christmas'.

Not content with harassment of black people on the streets and in their homes, at the courts and in the prisons, the police have now carried their attacks into the schools. Readers can see from the letter printed on this page what happened on Monday 16 February at a North London school. The youth arrested were actually grabbed and beaten up in the school building itself.

The letter which FRFI is pleased to publish was given to our supporters, who have been working regularly in the area, by youths from the school. We are impressed by the solidarity and determination of these youth to organise against police tyranny. They do not see why such actions should be carried out and kept secret from parents and the community as a whole. The school authorities know, the teachers know, so let the world know what can happen to black and working class youths in a London school. That is the message from 150 pupils.


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Free the St Pauls 9

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

Three of the St Pauls 12 have been acquitted. In these three cases even the frame-up tactics of the British police and courts could not be made to stick. In the case of one of the acquitted defendants, the Judge was forced to admit that his name had not even been mentioned in the course of police 'evidence'.

The remaining nine face the serious charge of 'joining in common cause to riot' which carries a heavy prison sentence. Of all the hundreds who rose up against police harassment, the state has chosen these nine to act as an example to all those who dare to rebel.


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New Cross massacre: Police, press and Parliament cover up

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

On 18 January 1981 a fire deliberately started at a birthday party at 439 New Cross Road, South London, resulted in the cold blooded murder of 13 black children. Mrs Amza Ruddock, who held the birthday party for her 16 year old daughter, Yvonne, lost two children — Yvonne and Paul. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! extends its deepest sympathy and solidarity to the relatives and friends of the dead and injured. Those who died are Lillian Henry (16) Lloyd Hall (20) Patricia Johnstone (15) Jerry Francis (16) Steve Collins (17) Andrew Gooding (14) Humphrey Brown (18) Peter Campbell (18) Patrick Cummings (16) Owen Thompson (16) Glen Powell (16) Yvonne Ruddock (16) and Paul Ruddock (22). 29 other children were injured, some very severely.

There is a long history of racist and fascist attacks on black people in South London. Within one mile radius of 439 New Cross Road, 4 places have been burned down in the last few years, and shortly before the massacre black people's cars in the area were burnt out by racists. Black people are therefore rightly convinced that the New Cross Massacre was another such murderous and deadly attack. Obscene letters have been received by relatives of the dead and injured gloating over the attack and stating that this is the first of many. One of the letters, received by Mrs Haynes, mother of one of the injured stated 'What a great day it was last Sunday when I heard about the fire and all those niggers going up in flames ...' The response of the black community to the massacre has therefore been a massive anger, shown by meetings of up to 1000 people.


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Racism, poverty and cuts

britains racist imigration laws

Two significant reports on race equality were published in October 2017: the government's first release of data from a Race Disparity Audit, which combines data from a wide range of central government departments; and the Runnymede Trust's Intersecting Inequalities: The impact of austerity on Black and Minority Ethnic women in the UK. TOM VICKERS reports.


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British immigration controls after Brexit

eu migrants

At the start of September a Home Office document containing proposals for immigration policy following Brexit was leaked. Hiding behind apparent public concern about unrestricted migration, the document sets out a plan for greater control.

The hostility of large sections of the British population to migrants has been actively promoted by the ruling class; yet it also creates problems for them. Key sectors of the economy rely on low-waged migrant labour, but anti-migrant hostility has been used by the ruling class to justify restrictions on migrants’ rights; this in turn enables more intense exploitation and undermines resistance to austerity and wage cuts. Brexit has brought these contradictions to a head.

The report attempts to manage these contradictions by striking ‘the right balance between the economic growth that immigration can generate and its social impacts’, and ‘a balance between economic growth and immigration control by ensuring that economic migrants really are the brightest and best, and that family migrants are capable of integrating’. The government is seeking to make the most of Brexit to further restrict the rights of working class migrants, increase lab­our discipline and further fine-tune immigration to the needs of capital. As the report states: ‘It is not a question of stopping EU migration. Rather, it is a question of ending the position where we are unable to exercise controls, because free movement rights can be exercised at the discretion of the migrant.’


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Exploited workers, racist rhetoric: immigration does not cut wages

fight racism4

Political comment by the Editorial Board of FRFI on the review of the report Brexit and the impact of immigration on the UK

The Editorial Board of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! feels it necessary to draw out an important political point that the article below does not make explicit. Racism is the form that national oppression takes in an imperialist nation. That is why the RCG opposes all British immigration controls. It has always been our position that in an imperialist country, immigration restrictions must necessarily be racist. This applies both to claims for asylum and to the ‘management’ of ‘economic migration’. The RCG does not accept the political framework of the report reviewed below. Such studies often disagree with one another, because so many factors influence outcomes at particular times, in particular sectors, and for particular grades of workers. But communists have a fundamentally different starting point: we do not ask whether the existence of one group of workers is good or bad for another group of workers, but how we can defend the interests of the working class as a whole. The article below has utilised the framework of the report in order to show that immigration does not undercut the wages of the British-born working class. This is insufficient: whatever the conclusion of this study, it does not affect the essential communist standpoint on racism and immigration.


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