Under the slogan “Freedom for immigrants, justice for refugees”, at 7 pm. on Thursday 22nd April a Zoom meeting will take place to discuss the Sovereign borders bill and Britain’s racist immigration laws and the impact they have on the lives of immigrants and refugees.
The purpose is to examine Britain’s hostile racist environment, the proposed overhaul to the system and the consequences, and to discuss anti-racist resistance, both past and present with a view to inspiring participants to take action.
Guest speakers include activist Adam Yasir, who will talk about what his “Rosa Parked” project is doing around Napier barracks and other accommodation issues; the Samosa Sisters, who will outline their work to empower women from refugee backgrounds on Tyneside; Tom Vickers, author of “Borders migration and class in an age of crisis” and “Refugees, capitalism and the British state”; and Fight Racism – Fight Imperialism – FRFI North East, which has been going out into working class communities every week to raise awareness of the new migrant prison and hostile environment.
The event is called Freedom for immigrants – Justice for refugees – Fight the racist bill! and is organised by “Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!”, in coordination with Nottingham Revolutionary Communist Group – RCG, Samosa sisters Women’s Empowerment, and Defend Asylum Seekers and Migrant Workers.
Samantha McGill from FRFI, says that “an attack on migrant rights is an attack on the whole working class, we have to bring anti-racist, migrant rights politics into all struggles that we are engaged in, whether it is over decent housing, the NHS, benefit cuts, austerity”.
Crucial to this is exposing the connection between exploitation and intervention overseas – and the attacks on wages and living conditions at home.
Therefore, she says, internationalist unity must be built on class lines, not on the basis of immigration status or ethnicity.
They seek to involve everyone in this fight, as opposing immigration controls is not just an issue for migrants.
As activists they recognise the different risks that people face when engaging in political activity, from racist policing to potential victimisation by the Home Office and their contractors.
But the reality –says McGill– is that many migrants and asylum seekers are already taking action – from those who protest outside Napier Barracks in Kent, to the hunger strikes and protests inside immigration prisons, to groups like Movement for Justice, SYMAAG (South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group) or the Migration Asylum Justice Forum in Tyneside who have regularly organised protests against the hostile environment. “It is our duty to support these struggles and defend anyone victimised or targeted for taking part.”
As participants will be joining the event from different areas of the country, the organisers are encouraging people to discuss taking action in their own area and also to promote and highlight any ongoing campaigns and actions.