Immigration Bill divide and rule

‘My government will bring forward a bill that further reforms Britain’s immigration system. The bill will ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and deters those who will not.’

Queen’s speech, 8 May 2013

As communists we strive to create a society which can provide for everyone according to their needs. In the current period of capitalist crisis and enforced ‘austerity’, we stand against all cuts and all attacks on the working class, and fight for proper social provision for everyone. We utterly oppose all ruling class and opportunist attempts to divide and rule us and pit one section against another. The recent Queen’s Speech and the Immigration Bill that it introduced are part of such an attempt to divide and rule by, yet again, using immigrants as scapegoats and creating a diversion from the government’s failure to provide sufficient housing for the working class, and from the massive attacks underway on the NHS, education and other social provision. Mark Moncada reports.


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The state that kills: Sean Rigg IPCC whitewash exposed

An external review has harshly criticised the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for its flawed investigation into the death of a black man who died in police custody in 2008. Sean Rigg, who was 40 and suffered from schizophrenia, was arrested as he walked down the road topless and performing martial art manoeuvres. Police restrained him in a prone position with his hands cuffed behind his back for over eight minutes. Still cuffed, he was taken to Brixton police station in south London and left in the van for a further 11 minutes, where he suffered a cardiac arrest. The IPCC found no police misconduct or negligence had contributed to Sean Rigg’s death.


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RCG Statement: The tragedy in Woolwich

On 22 May, two young black British men barbarically attacked and killed a young British soldier outside Woolwich military barracks in London. For the victim and perpetrators, their families and friends, this outrage is profoundly tragic. For the world, it has contributed to a wider tragedy.


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Supporting struggles of immigration detainees – Jan 2013

On 24-25 December 2012, 40 detainees in Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) protested against their treatment and conditions: including racist abuse, frequent beatings by up to 6 guards against one prisoner, sub-standard food and money sent in going missing. As a punishment for a fight between two detainees, the water supply was cut off, meaning that toilets could not be flushed and prisoners were not able to take showers.

Assaults against detainees in IRCs have led to deaths such as that in October 2012 in Harmondsworth IRC of Prince Ofosu. The Home Office and private security firm GEO, who are contracted to run the centre, refused to release any details, but an anonymous member of staff released a joint statement with detainees detailing how Prince was forcibly restrained and subjected to ‘massive blows’ from a member of staff who was instructed to hide evidence by removing his blood-stained clothes. Prince, who was reportedly on hunger strike at the time of his death, is the 7th detainee to die in Harmondsworth.


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Outsourcing racism: Capita harasses migrants – Jan 2013

‘Message from UK Border Agency. You are required to leave the UK as you no longer have the right to remain. Please contact us on 0844 3754636 to discuss.’ – Test message sent to thousands of people by Capita Plc.

In September 2012 the private company Capita was awarded a £40 million contract to help the UK Border Agency locate 170,000 people who were thought to be in the country illegally and assist UKBA in their deportation. Capita is now delivering this contract through an indiscriminate campaign of harassment, with some people reporting phone calls and text messages several times a day. Those contacted include people who left Britain years ago and people who have been granted British citizenship. This represents a sweeping campaign of intimidation against black people, and the outsourcing of another element of racist state repression alongside the immigration detention and transportation functions already outsourced to companies like G4S, Serco and Reliance.


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Morton Hall prisoners protest against racist immigration detention - Dec 2012

Morton Hall IRC
On 24 and 25 December 2012, around 40 immigration detainees at Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in Lincolnshire protested against their conditions and treatment. Their complaints and protest went unreported in the press until, on 2 January 2013, the Prison Officers Association (POA) claimed that on 30 December, when tensions were still high in the prison, a number of guards had been injured while trying to break up a fight between two groups of detainees, and that the POA feared for its members safety and lives.

FRFI spoke to a detainee, who has been in Morton Hall for 28 months; he did not wish to be publicly identified for fear of reprisals, and who is referred to below as CF. He told us: ‘the BBC is always giving a platform to all the lies generated by the racist POA, but would never report anything we report to them. I have personally rung them every time assaults took place’.


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State revenge for 2011 uprising – the big gang attacks the poor and vulnerable

In September 2012 the Ministry of Justice issued an updated statistical bulletin on arrests and sentences related to the uprising in English cities, which followed the following the police killing of Mark Duggan on 4 August 2011. As of 31 August 2012, there were 606 people in prison (including those on remand) on riot-related charges; a further 837 who had been given custodial sentences had already been released.  

By August 2012, 3,103 people had appeared before the courts: 2,138 (69%) were found guilty and sentenced; another 16% were dismissed or acquitted. Of those sentenced 1,405 (66%) were given immediate custody with an average sentence length of 17.1 months. This compares to an average sentence of 3.7 months for those convicted at magistrates’ courts for similar offences in England and Wales in 2010.


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End deportations to Somalia - Fight racist immigration controls

‘We feel like criminals despite just wanting to come here because it is not safe in our country.’

FRFI North East has recently received phonecalls from several Somali men who have been held in immigration detention for between one month and five years. One 18-year-old, who has been detained in Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in Lincolnshire since 1 August and is being held until ‘further notice’, spoke to us in detail about his situation.

He fled Somalia with his younger brother when he was 12 and has lived in the northeast of England ever since. He has no family in Somalia and has made a life for himself here with family members; he has forged friendships and represented his school in athletics and played for local football teams. This September he was due to start a degree in Sports Coaching at Sunderland University. During his A Levels, he was told: ‘someone wants to talk to you’; he was then arrested, handcuffed and locked in a police cell for three days. He was then temporarily released and then re-arrested four weeks later and taken to Morton Hall.


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Free Said Kasim Mohammed! End detention! Stop deportations!

Said KasimPlease contact the Home Office and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre to demand Said's release and also Ethiopian Airlines to complain about his treatment (see below):

Home Office
Telephone: 020 7035 4848
Fax: 020 7035 4745
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre
Telephone: 020 8607 5200
Fax: 020 8759 7996

Ethiopian Airlines
Telephone: 020 8745 4234
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fax: 020 8745 7936


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Running the Asylum

On 21 March international service company Serco won a £175m contract from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to accommodate asylum seekers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north west of England. The other contracts, worth £620m overall, were won by G4S (Care and Justice Services) and Clearel Ltd. The £883m a year Compass contract to provide support services for dispersed asylum seekers is the largest project run by the Home Office.


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Border Agency attack London Metropolitan University – September 2012

Border Agency attack London Metropolitan University

On Wednesday 29 August 2012 the UK Border Agency (UKBA) revoked the ‘Highly Trusted Status’ of London Metropolitan University (LMU), thereby removing the university’s ability to sponsor international students for visa purposes. The detailed reasons for this decision have not been given. It represents a deliberate attack on one of the most working class universities in the country, which also has 2,600 non-EU / European Economic Area students.


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Racist laws attack immigrant families

The Government believes that strong and stable families of all kinds are the bedrock of a strong and stable society’ – Conservative Party website

On 12 June the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) published a document entitled ‘Statement of Intent: Family Migration’, in which it announced guidance which would bring in changes to the Immigration Rules. The majority of these changes then came into force on 9 July.

Central to the new measures is a narrower interpretation of the right to family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8 is in two parts: the first states that ‘Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence’; the second that: ‘There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.’


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Secrets, lies and brutality: Britain’s colonial record

In April, the Foreign Office finally released thousands of files relating to British colonial rule, having previously claimed they were ‘lost’. These documents, which were secretly shipped out of colonies such as Kenya, Aden and Malaya prior to independence, have only come to light as a result of a legal challenge a year ago made by lawyers for four former Mau Mau members brutally tortured by British officials during the struggle for Kenyan independence in the 1950s. About a sixth of the archive has now been published. In all, files relating to the military and police activities of British colonial administrations in 37 territories, including Cyprus, Guyana, Botswana and Lesotho, will eventually be published.


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Stephen Lawrence verdict: ‘no cause for celebration’

‘Despite these verdicts, today is not a cause for celebration...How can I celebrate when I know that this day could have come 18 years ago if the police who were meant to find my son’s killers had not failed so miserably to do so...The fact is that racism and racist attacks are still happening in this country and the police should not use my son’s name to say that we can move on.’ Doreen Lawrence

On 3 January 2012, two white men were convicted of the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in southeast London nearly 19 years ago. The convictions of Gary Dobson and David Norris are, however, only a partial victory for all those, most notably Stephen’s parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, who campaigned so long for justice for their son. In doing so, they exposed entrenched police racism, culminating in the McPherson Report of 1999. Given the complete shambles of the original police investigation, marred from the very start by racist prejudice, corruption and sheer incompetence, it is extraordinary that there have been any convictions at all; the jailing of two of Stephen’s killers was made possible only by forensic advances since 1993 which allowed microscopic samples of blood, hair and fibres to link the two men to the scene of the crime and a 2003 change to the law that allowed Dobson, in the light of this new ‘compelling’ evidence, to be prosecuted again, having been cleared of the murder in 1996.


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Manchester: Farooqi family faces collective punishment

At the beginning of September in Manchester, Munir Farooqi, Israr Malik and Matthew Newton were convicted under the Terrorism Act of attempting to recruit people to go to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban against British and US occupation forces. Now, not only has Munir been given a life sentence, but his family is facing eviction from their home by the courts in an act of vindictive collective punishment.

Munir and his brothers ran Islamic information stalls in Manchester which distributed religious literature. The police operation that led to Munir and the two other men being convicted lasted for over a year and involved two undercover police officers joining the stalls and pretending to convert to Islam. At the end of the trial Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU) admitted, ‘this was an extremely challenging case, both to investigate and successfully prosecute at court, because we did not recover any blueprint, attack plan or endgame for these men’. In other words it was the evidence of these two undercover cops that was crucial to the conviction of Munir and his brothers. Harris Farooqi, Munir’s son, was also on trial but was found not guilty; Harris has stated that the undercover cops had been engaged in a systematic attempt to entrap him.


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Racism, Imperialism and the Working Class

Revolutionary Communist No 9, June 1979

Discussion Article


The British imperialist state is engaged in a systematic, organised and continuous offensive against black and immigrant workers in Britain. No other terms can describe the extent and the ferocity of the attack that the British state has unleashed against black people.


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Remembering the Viraj Mendis Defence Campaign

The Revolutionary Communist Group has always emphasised the link between fighting racism in Britain and fighting imperialism internationally.  In 1984, when one of our own members, Viraj Mendis, was threatened with deportation to Sri Lanka, we set up the Viraj Mendis Defence Campaign (VMDC).  Over the next four and a half years, the campaign brought together communists, anarchists, Christians, liberals and others, and was supported by thousands of individuals, hundreds of organisations and, eventually, the majority of the parliamentary Labour Party.  In 1986 the campaign organised a march from Manchester, where Viraj was based, to the Home Office in London, drawing in support from all the cities in between as it went. Later the same year, having lost his legal appeals against deportation, Viraj went into sanctuary in the Church of the Ascension in Hulme, Manchester.  Over the next two years the church became a focus for anti-racist and anti-deportation campaigning and VMDC hosted major conferences and demonstrations.


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The road to murder

Anders Behring Breivik

On 22 July 2011 Anders Breivik bombed  government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people, and then shot dead 69 members of the Workers’ Youth League of the Norwegian Labour Party on an island youth camp, wounding many others. Breivik’s online manifesto advocates the expulsion of Muslims from Europe, support for Israel combined with anti-Semitism and hostility to ‘cultural Marxism’. Such hatred of Muslims and belief in racial superiority has been fed by a steady stream of lies by the ruling class. The cold calculation with which Breivik planned these murders reflects the racist incitement which has accompanied the ‘war on terror’ over the last ten years.


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Defend Dale Farm Travellers!

As we go to press, Travellers on the Dale Farm site in Basildon, Essex, are waiting to hear whether the High Court will extend the reprieve against eviction they won on 19 September, as well as ruling on two further judicial review applications lodged on 22 September.

The Travellers won the last-ditch injunction as bailiffs were already entering the site and supporters had locked themselves to gates and barricades. The High Court postponed the eviction on the grounds that Basildon Council’s eviction notices are incomplete and the council might ‘go further’ than the eviction notices allowed. However, no one is under any illusion that the reprieve is permanent. The battle to save Dale Farm depends on mobilising the widest possible forces on the ground because the racist council, pandering to local prejudice, is determined to win a battle they say has already cost £8 million and whose final cost could reach £18 million.


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Fight all deportations!

While the Con-Dem coalition government continues to implement all the racist immigration policies brought in by the Labour government during its 13 years in power, activists and the few remaining legal aid immigration lawyers continue to challenge these attacks, and have had some recent inspiring victories.

• On 21 May the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber ruled that ‘in relation to the proposed administrative removal or deportation of one or both of his non-national parents, the welfare of a child, particularly a child who is a British citizen, is a primary consideration’. This was the latest in a series of crucial rulings over the past year, which have compelled the UK Borders Agency to pay far more attention to the effect that deportation of parents will have on their children.


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Support Dale Farm Travellers against eviction

dale_farm_courtConservative-controlled Basildon Council is poised to evict hundreds of Travellers from Dale Farm in Essex, at a cost of £9.5 million. This follows the home office announcement in June that it will contribute £4.65 million to the policing costs, thereby giving the green light to the council’s racist assault.

Dale Farm is one of the largest Traveller communities in Europe, consisting of nearly a hundred separate family plots, mainly owned by Irish Travellers, although there are also some Roma families. While almost half the plots have planning permission, the remainder have consistently been refused planning consent, even though the site was previously a disused scrap yard.


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John Freddy Suarez's deportation stopped for the second time! - 24 June 2011

John Freddy’s family

On the order of Home Office authorities, John Freddy Suarez faced deportation again this morning, Friday 24 June. Thankfully his deportation has now been stopped for a second time.

At 9pm last night legal attempts to get an injunction to suspend the deportation ended without success. John Freddy’s family were saddened and disappointed that once again a judge had overlooked the multiple irregularities of his case. At dawn on Friday, John Freddy was moved into isolation in the immigration detention centre where he is being held, ready to be transferred onto the Iberia flight from Heathrow which would return him to Colombia.


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30th Anniversary - The Bradford 12 and the fight against racism

The Bradford 12 were young Asian men, members and supporters of the Asian Youth Movement, who were arrested in July 1981 on charges of conspiracy. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! joined their year-long defence campaign and our paper carried the report of their victory in issue number 21, July/August 1982. ‘After a trial lasting eight weeks in Leeds Crown Court the jury found them all not guilty of the charges of conspiracy and making an explosive substance with intent to endanger life and property. A great victory has been won for all oppressed people against British imperialism.’


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Newcastle - Facing up to the EDL

In Newcastle, anti-cuts activists have to face both political policing and threats from the fascist English Defence League (EDL). The HSBC3 are three activists arrested and subsequently charged with peacefully protesting outside a Newcastle branch of HSBC last December. Charges of police assault against one defendant were dropped before the trial at the end of March, but the two others, Mark Pearson and Patrick Reay, were found guilty of breach of the peace and police obstruction and fined £760 in total. The two have appealed, and a Crown Court hearing has been set for 27-28 September. A financial appeal has also been launched to cover the fines and legal costs. Send pledges to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For news visit the campaign blog at: www.defencecampaign.wordpress. com


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Charity collaborates with imprisonment of children

Charity collaborates with imprisonment of childrenFollowing the LibDem party’s insistence that the Coalition government honour an election pledge to stop keeping children in immigration detention centres, the government has contracted Barnado’s, Britain’s largest children’s charity, to help run a new 'family friendly' ‘pre-departure accommodation facility’ in Pease Pottage, Sussex, near to Gatwick airport.


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Stop the deportation of John Freddy Suarez Santander! - 16 April 2011

Stop the deportation of John Freddy Suarez Santander! - 16 April 2011

John Freddy Suarez Santander arrived in this country along with his family more than 17 years ago, when he was only six years old. Unfortunately, when he was 17 he committed a criminal offence and was sent to a young offenders’ institute for seven months. Two years after his release, the British Labour government implemented a law to the effect that immigrants with criminal records should face deportation. John Freddy was arrested and served with a deportation order.

His deportation was stopped following a protest at the airport by more than 50 family members and friends wearing T-shirts with his face on them and the slogan ‘Please don’t take my son away!’ John Freddy was removed from the aeroplane and the deportation was suspended. Our protest was legitimate because John Freddy’s case had been taken to the European Court of Human Rights and was awaiting consideration of the following arguments:


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Cameron plays the racist card

Prime Minister David Cameron chose to make a statement about what he calls ‘state multiculturalism’ on 5 February, the same day as a much publicised English Defence League march through Luton in south east England. Cameron’s speech was a muddled mixture of clichés recycled from those of his Labour predecessor Gordon Brown promoting Britishness, but it contained nothing as specific as Brown’s suggestion that Labour’s supporters should ‘embrace the union flag’ (Union Jack). Cameron gave no indication of what he means by ‘state multiculturalism’, but made the usual attacks on behaviours ‘that run counter to our values’, throwing in terrorism and forced marriage as examples.


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Migrant workers in Greece win hunger strike victory against racism

On 13 March 2011, 300 migrants won a hard-fought struggle against the Greek government. The migrants, most of whom faced deportation to North Africa, began a hunger strike at the end of January in protest at the refusal to grant them documentation to remain in Greece.

Their demands were:

• The immediate legalisation of the 300 undocumented workers on hunger strike;

• The legalisation of all undocumented workers;

• The abrogation of the Dublin II Regulation which puts the lives of migrants in danger by turning immigration detention in some countries into warehouses where violence and human rights violation are commonplace. (Under the Regulation asylum seekers can be returned to the first EU country they entered. Due to its geographical location, Greece is commonly a first country.)


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EDL attacks anti-cuts and anti-racist stalls: SWP walks away

On Saturday 19 March, over 30 members of the English Defence League (EDL) descended on Grey’s Monument, the main site for progressive stalls and demonstrations in Newcastle. Their first target was a Socialist Party (SP) anti-cuts stall. The EDL members surrounded the stall, tried to put their own anti-Muslim literature on the stall, and harassed the SP activists. As FRFI has consistently argued, the EDL is not only racist but is rapidly developing into a fascist organisation.


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Stop the deportation of Peter Gichura!

peterOn 21 February 2011 the British state’s latest attempt to deport disability rights activist Peter Gichura to Kenya was averted by last minute legal action.

Peter has been in Britain since 2001, having fled persecution in Kenya as a result of his activities there, which included the establishing of an organisation which advocated for the rights of disabled street sellers.  He sought asylum in 2006 on the basis that: ‘As someone with spinal injury I am vulnerable to chronic kidney infection and need sanitary living conditions to survive - but there is no running water where I am from in Nyahururu, Kenya. I cannot afford medical treatment - and there is no free healthcare.’ Expert evidence confirmed this but was ignored, and Peter’s claim was turned down.

70% of Kenya's national wealth is in the hands of foreign corporations especially British companies such as Brooke Bond and Unilever (Kenyan Sunday Standard, 17 April 2005). These companies benefit directly from the poverty of Kenyan people which exploded into violence in early 2008, when over 1,500 people were killed and 350,000 forced to flee their homes in a tribal conflict orchestrated by the British-backed Kenyan state. Vast tracts of Kenyan fertile land are used to grow flowers, tea and coffee for export to supermarkets in Europe, while millions of Kenyans starve.


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ConDems keep up Labour’s attacks on immigrants

When the Conservative/LibDem coalition government took power in May 2010 it inherited a massive immigration policing machinery constructed over the previous 13 years by the Labour government. Labour had brought in a complex series of laws, each more punitive than the last, and built up an infrastructure that included 12 immigration detention centres, 25 reporting centres, five coastal patrol boats and the capacity to effect mass deportations on specially chartered aeroplanes to countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo. Nicki Jameson reports.


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