photo/video report from MFJs immigrant rights march 4 July 2020

On Saturday 4th July 2020 we marched for immigrant rights as part of the growing worldwide #BlackLivesMatter movement. We started in Brixton, stopping at Brixton Police Station to remember those who’ve died at the hands of Brixton police, marched on to Serco and G4S head offices (the private companies responsible for the brutalisation, abuse and murder of so many) and ended at the Home Office. At each stop people who have experienced the racism and brutality of detention and deportations spoke out.

OUR DEMANDS…

* End the racist Hostile Environment for Immigrants policy

* No more charter flights – Stop immigration raids & deportations

* Shut down ALL detention centres

* Amnesty Now! Extend settled status to ALL immigrants who want it

* Defend & extend the free movement of people

* Widen the Windrush Scheme to all Windrush Generation descendants

* Jail killer police and immigration enforcers

* Build the independent, integrated, youth and immigrant led mass movement fighting for immigrant rights and equality

The fight against racism will decide our futures. It will decide whether Britain, the USA and Europe have a future of progress as democratic, multiracial societies based on equality, whether poor and oppressed people can resist and defeat our exploiters, whether young people can live hopeful, creative lives – or if our countries will be dragged backwards by the politics of Donald Trump and his backers, Boris Johnson and Brexit, and the Far Right across Europe. That is why we, on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, responded immediately to the mass movement that took to the streets after the police murder of George Floyd, and is still marching in every city & state in the US, day after day and week after week. 

A future without racism requires the defeat of racist policies that blame immigrants and black youth for the failures of government to meet the needs of poor, exploited and oppressed people. We are marching today, on 4th July, as youth speaking the truth about racist police brutality, and as immigrants and communities fighting for our right to live here with respect and dignity.

Black lives more than matter: the leadership of black and Asian people has been critical to every progressive victory in Britain for decades – to every victory that has taken us closer to equal quality education, decent healthcare and workers’ rights. Each new generation of immigrants from Britain’s former colonies and the rest of the world brings a new, fierce aspiration for a bright future, that is shared by the youth of all races.

That is the basis of the dynamism and hope that can fire a mass movement. That is the fear of the politicians and the rich & powerful who are desperate to divide us and dampen our ambition. 

Our fight back matters: The anti-racist movement that has taken to our streets must assert our power to decide our future, by raising and fighting for clear demands. The Home Office runs the immigration system and police; it is responsible for too many deaths and acts of brutality and too much forced squalor at the hands of the police, the immigration authorities and the private contractors who profit from the government’s racist Hostile Environment policy. We demand: jail all killer cops and immigration enforcers; announce an amnesty for all immigrants; shut down all immigration detention centres; stop immigration raids and deportations.

This first video is of Ugandan lesbian activist and leader in MFJ, Prossie. She was detained for 5 months in Yarls Wood in 2013 before being removed to Uganda under the now unlawful fast track system, for the first time here she publicly speaks out, in front of Serco headquarters (who run Yarl’s Wood) about what she went through and why she continues to fight…

At Brixton police station as we started to speak about those who have died at the hands of Brixton police, a passerby started shouting ‘all lives matter’ – they were swiftly shouted down!
“Immigrants – HERE TO STAY – Charter Flights – NO WAY!” marching through central Brixton
“When they say go back – FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT BACK!”
“Tear down the fences – OPEN THE BORDERS!”
“whose streets? OUR STREETS! and Where is our power? ON THE STREETS!”
“How we gonna do it? BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!”
“Yarl’s Wood – Shut it Dooooown SHUT IT DOWN!”
“no Justice – NO PEACE – AGAIN – NO JUSTICE – NO PEACE!”
“IMMIGRANTS HAVE THE RIGHT – HERE TO STAY HERE TO FIGHT!”
MFJ leader and Windrush descendant Eulalee speaks outside Serco Head Office, her son was deported to Jamaica and murdered five months later.
Outside G4S Headquarters “I SAID – No Justice – NO PEACE!
“the racist immigration system is a virus – at least they are looking for a cure for coronavirus”
Perfect chant for outside the Home Office “WE ARE STRONGER!”
MFJs Tacko speaking outside G4S headquarters
MFJ’s Eulalee speaking outside the Home Office
MFJs Larry speaks about his experience as a Gay Nigerian asylum seeker

Immigration Amnesty for ALL – Petition Launched!

Britain’s immigration system has been exposed as inhuman, deeply cynical and thoroughly racist. What all those who’ve had to fight through the system have known for decades is now exposed for the whole country to see. The Home Office is driven by racist removal targets and an anti-immigrant agenda. Every applicant is treated as a liar, no amount of evidence is good enough, decisions are arbitrary cut/paste jobs, outrageous profit is made out of peoples misery through fees, people are left unable to work for years while bad decisions are made, people are locked up like criminals and those seeking sanctuary are subject to further torture here in the UK.

For years, immigrants, asylum seekers, detainees, international students have been resisting the brutal and unjust immigration system by any means necessary. From fighting their way off planes, exposing the brutality in immigration detention, organising together to resist raids, deportations & charter flights or fighting through the courts, time and time again the government has been exposed and defeated.

Now the entire country has been shaken by the exposure of cruel injustice towards people of the ‘Windrush generation’, who arrived from the Caribbean in the ‘50s & ‘60s, fought the racist anti-immigrant hostility of the time, only to be told in retirement ‘you don’t belong here’.  The Home Office saw these mainly Caribbean elders as ‘low hanging fruit’ in their racist drive to reduce net migration targets and picked them off for deportation accordingly. This was a massive overreach on the part of the Home Office. It’s exposure means that Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ anti-immigrant policy is now vulnerable; they’ve already started rolling back on key aspects of the policy; we can win more, we can tear it down. Continue reading “Immigration Amnesty for ALL – Petition Launched!”

Government in Crisis over Racism – Bring It Down!

Windrush exposes truth of racism at heart of immigration law. Build the movement to reverse racist immigration laws. AMNESTY for ALL immigrants without papers.

Amnesty Now!

The Windrush generation who moved to Britain in the 1950’s and 60’s are regarded by almost everyone as an intrinsic part of British society. Their generation re-built Britain after the war, the health service, the railroads, drove the buses. Making their lives in Britain meant pushing back against the racist attacks and ‘Keep Britain White’ campaigns of the time. To be told after all these years, by the government’s Home Office, that they ‘don’t belong here’ was an overreach that has exposed the racism at the heart of immigration policy to millions of people. As a result Theresa May’s already struggling government has been left vulnerable on three fronts. Firstly the whole policy of attacking immigrants is vulnerable, in particular Theresa May’s defining policy of ‘hostile environment’. Secondly, Brexit is vulnerable. And thirdly, the crisis-ridden government is vulnerable, and it can be brought down. To stop the attacks on immigrants it is necessary to unite all of those under attack from this government.

Continue reading “Government in Crisis over Racism – Bring It Down!”