FOR A NEW BRITAIN, EQUAL, OPEN & INTEGRATED, THE ONLY ROAD TO PROGRESS

Shut Down Napier barracks’s rally, 22 May 2021

Defeat the Borders Bill – Don’t cooperate with racist laws – Build Action now to make the Bill unworkable

Justice for cross-Channel refugees – Justice for Nabil Abdulmajid – Drop the charges now


• Stop criminalising refugees – Seeking Asylum is Not a Crime
• Stop arresting & prosecuting refugees who steered cross-Channel boats – drop the charges, quash the convictions, free the prisoners – Seeking Asylum is Not a Crime
• No “pushbacks” in the Channel – seeking asylum is not a crime
• End the policy of deporting immigrants & refugees with criminal convictions
• Shut down detention centres, detention hotels & detention camps
• Build homes for all – refugees, citizens, immigrants – expand social housing
• Papers for all! Amnesty now!
Organise community defence against immigration raids – Home Office out of our communities, workplaces, schools, universities and NHS
Open the borders of Britain and Europe

The battle for our future
The Movement for Justice by any means necessary (MFJ) is
fighting for a New Britain that will be a nation of equality, integration
and progress. Britain is already an increasingly multiracial,
multi-national society. It is part of a world whose different
peoples are increasingly connected. It can only develop as
a truly democratic country if all of us who live here now and
who come here in the future have full and equal rights
. We must
have those rights without any discrimination, wherever we
have come from or however long we have lived here. Britain
must become a country with Open Borders. It must be a society
where we have those rights as the people we are – whatever
our culture or religion, whatever the colour of our skins or the
colour of our passports, whatever our gender or sexuality.
The British government is moving rapidly in the exact opposite
direction. It is establishing authoritarian rule based on
racism. Its new Nationality and Borders Bill is a major part of
that plan. Its policies are one long attack on democracy, on
justice, on human rights, civil rights, immigrant rights and
workers’ rights. It is attacking the lives of the poor and oppressed.
It is taking away our right to protest against those attacks.
It is introducing measures that will prevent many poor
people and black and Asian people from voting (just like Donald
Trump’s Republican Party in the USA). It is using its majority
in Parliament to tear up constraints on government power.
This government’s policies are driven by privilege – and by
desperation. It is defending the privileges of the richest and
most powerful capitalists. It is desperate because the system
that makes them rich and powerful is in a deep historic crisis.
Over several decades the ruling class shut down a huge part of
its industries, or moved them abroad. That was part of its attack
on the working class in Britain. Now the declining economy
is dominated by financial speculators and Brexit is
making the decline worse.

Britain in crisis
We are witnessing the dying pains of British imperialism.
This so-called ‘great power’ can’t protect the health and safety
of its people. Its response to the Covid-19 pandemic is to tell
people to get used to ‘living with Covid,’ so that capitalist businesses
can keep making a profit. This former ‘world power’ is
increasingly isolated and scorned. This government and its
Brexit policy have increased the likelihood that we will see the
break-up of the ‘United Kingdom’ – destroying the state that
the English ruling classes put together by centuries of conquest
and bribery. This government is incompetent, corrupt and reckless; those failings reflect a political system in terminal decline.
Racism and the rights of immigrants and refugees are the
decisive issue in the battle between two alternative futures –
the New Britain MFJ is fighting for, or the crushing, racist future
that this government is taking us to.
History has made racism the decisive issue because the
peoples of the world are increasingly interconnected and increasingly
unequal. The only hope for millions of people is to
move. And the British government and its supporters make racism
the central issue by blaming immigrants and refugees for
the consequences of their own policies: the cuts and privatisation
in the public services, low pay and insecure jobs, food
poverty, housing shortages etc. They make racism the central
issue when they promote the false idea that human rights for
immigrants and refugees, and for black and Asian people, are
taking something away from white people.

Cross-Channel refugees and the government’s Borders Bill
Racism and hostility to immigrants were the driving force
in the campaign that led to the UK leaving the European Union
(Brexit). Those policies brought Boris Johnson’s government to
power with a majority of MPs, but on the votes of a minority of
the people. Its new anti-immigrant law (the Nationality and
Borders Bill) is the most brutal, oppressive and unjust immigration
law that any British government has ever produced. The
aim of this law is to stir up racism and nationalism by treating
asylum seekers as criminals. Its immediate target is the most
recent generation of refugees – those who have risked
everything in the bold attempt to cross the Channel in small
boats, because they hoped to build a new life in Britain, in freedom
and safety. The government is using attacks on those
refugees to slash the rights of ALL immigrants and asylum
seekers.
Johnson’s main advantage is not the strength of racism in
British society. That is often exaggerated by politicians and
journalists. His main strength is the wretched weakness of the
‘opposition’ parties and the organisations that believe change
can only come from the rich and powerful and their political
system.
Now more than ever, we must build independent ACTION
by the oppressed and exploited in order to defeat the government’s
racist policies and win progressive change in British society.
That action has to be led and initiated by those who are
under direct racist attack from the government. It must be principally
led by refugees and immigrants
.

Mass migration is a rebellion against global inequality
The rich and powerful regard free movement as their exclusive
privilege: free movement for themselves and their
money & investments. They deny the right of free movement to
the poor and oppressed – the people who they exploit, impoverish
and dispossess. There is a global labour market for bosses
looking for cheap labour, but not for people looking for work,
safety and freedom. Mass migration is a rebellion against that
injustice.

In an increasingly unequal world the free movement of
people is the most basic human right. It is fundamental to
workers’ rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, the right of
asylum and the right to life itself. The ruling classes use their
border controls, detention centres and anti-immigration laws
to deny us the right of free movement. However, those same
imperialist ruling classes are forcing millions of people to
move: people are moving to escape the poverty caused by imperialist
exploitation, the tyranny of dictators and elites who
are backed by the imperialists, the endless wars caused by the
imperialists and their rivalries, and the climate crisis (global
heating) that imperialist corporations have created by their
drive for profit.
Refugees are opening borders by any means necessary because
they need to solve crushing material problems in their
lives. MFJ demands Open the Borders of Britain & Europe, because
that is what hundreds of thousands of people are doing.
The alternative to Open Borders is a world of barbarism and
tyranny. The ruling classes condemn millions of people to
death, drowning, torture and starvation, and they know what
they are doing. That is barbarism.
MFJ welcomes the refugees who risk everything when they
cross the Channel. We welcome them as new members and allies
in the fight for equality, justice & immigrant rights. Those
who we welcome, Boris Johnson’s government fears, because
their bold action is a direct challenge to its racist ideology of
‘taking back control of our borders’.

The Government’s racist build-up to the Borders Bill
Since spring 2020, Home Secretary Priti Patel has used the
arrival of cross-Channel refugees to build racist support for the
policy of criminalising asylum seekers. The attack on people
who have crossed the Channel shows clearly that anti-immigrant
policies are not about numbers. The number of people
immigrating to Britain or claiming asylum here is falling, despite
the 26000+ who have (at the time of writing) crossed the
Channel in the last two years.
The Home Office has used dubious legal grounds to prosecute
many cross-Channel refugees. The government’s UK
Border Force arrested refugees who were steering the boats,
sometimes using a photo from a drone as evidence. Then they
were charged as though they were ‘people traffickers.’ In addition,
the government ran an ugly racist campaign of mass deportations
during summer this year. Charter flights were
arranged to Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Nigeria & Ghana, and to Jamaica.
These were ‘celebrated’ in articles by Patel in the Daily
Mail
 and Daily Express – two papers with a shameful history of
promoting racism.
The Home Office is acting as though its new Borders Bill
has already become the law, but this summer festival of racism
has not been a success for the government.
The number of people who were deported on those charter
flights has been small. Only seven men were deported to Jamaica,
out of a total list of 90
. MFJ and Jamaican detainees organised
inside Colnbrook detention centre and told the real
stories of the men who Patel called dangerous criminals. The
Home Office had to take many of them off the list; one group
resisted successfully by blockading themselves in a room in the
detention centre. There were only a few people deported on
the flight to Nigeria & Ghana in July. It was the same on the
flight to Zimbabwe. A later flight to Nigeria was cancelled.
Everyone on the Home Office lists for the charter flights to
Jamaica and Vietnam had the de-humanising label ‘Foreign
National Offender’ (FNO). That means they have been convicted
of a crime and they don’t have British citizenship. All
those ‘FNOs’ had served their sentences, so deporting them was
a double punishment. Most of the Jamaicans the Home Office
tried to deport have families, partners or children in Britain.
Many came to Britain as children and don’t know anyone in Jamaica.
Most of them have suffered the racism of Britain’s police
and ‘justice’ systems. Many of them experienced racism in
education or from social services.Many of those on the charter
flight to Vietnam were victims of trafficking.
They are all likely to be in danger if they are deported. The
Home Office was prepared to sacrifice them in order to reinforce
white racist prejudices and racist stereotypes. The unjust
and racist deportation of ‘FNOs’ must stop
.

Stop the Channel “Pushbacks!”
This summer’s charter flight plan was a failure, and the Home Office also suffered set-backs in its attempts to prosecute
cross-Channel refugees. In March, the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction of an Iranian refugee who had steered one of the small boats. After a few months the Home Office had to drop the charges of 11 ongoing cases, and a month later (in July) the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced publicly that it would not be prosecuting any more cross-Channel refugees.
However, there are still people who steered boats serving
prison sentences for their convictions, and the Border Force is
still arresting refugees who have steered a boat; MFJ demands
all convictions are quashed, the prisoners are released and the
arrests are stopped.
The setbacks for the Home Office, especially the failure of
Patel’s charter flight plans, are victories for refugee and immigrant
rights, so they have created a crisis for the government.
The Home Secretary has been criticised by her own racist supporters.
She has responded by increasing her racist attacks on
refugees. She has announced that the UK Border Force will
start to push refugee boats back into French waters, and Boris
Johnson is supporting her. The Border Force has already started
training exercises in the Channel. Patel is following the
dangerous example of the Greek and Italian governments in
the Mediterranean. The government is prepared to defy maritime
law and the anger of the French government.
Border Force officers have insisted that every single ‘pushback’
is personally authorised by Patel – they don’t want to take
responsibility themselves. That is a clear sign of how dangerous
and legally dubious this plan is.
However, the government has decided to make a public
show of being ‘tough’ on refugees, whatever damage it causes.

Justice for Nabil Abdulmajid! Seeking asylum is not a crime –
drop the charges now

The Home Office was determined to reverse the impact of the Court of Appeal decision and the CPS announcement. During the summer it started more prosecutions of cross-Channel refugees and the CPS had to fall into line. MFJ member Nabil Abdulmajid, a cross-Channel refugee from Sudan, is a victim of that policy. He was charged on 14th June, six months after his arrest and police interview.
The attempt to criminalise Nabil is entirely political. All
four people in the boat with Nabil were Sudanese refugees like
him. Nabil was a victim of persecution in Sudan because of his
ethnicity. Like many other refugees, he was enslaved and tortured
in Libya. He travelled through Italy to France, but was deported
back to Italy under the EU’s Dublin Agreement. He was
destitute there and crossed more borders to reach Germany
and claim asylum. His claim was refused, however, and the
German authorities planned to send him back to persecution
in Sudan.
Faced with that threat Nabil made the choice to save his life
and join the people crossing the Channel to Britain. He contributed
to buying a boat and was doing his best to steer it and
keep them all safe until they were rescued. They were crossing
in the night in rough, dangerous waters. They battled for hours
in the dark to keep the boat afloat while the waves crashed
around them. By the time they were rescued they were soaking
wet and traumatised.
Months later Nabil was arrested and charged because he
was steering the boat. The decision to prosecute Nabil is an attack
on all cross-Channel refugees. It is part of the government’s
propaganda for the Borders Bill, and so it is a threat to
the right of all asylum seekers and to every immigrant without
papers. That is why MFJ says We Are All Nabil.
MFJ demands that the charges against Nabil are dropped and we have demonstrated at every stage in his case. If the charges are not dropped we will hold a mass demonstration at his trial before a jury in Canterbury
Crown Court, currently scheduled for 30th May next year (2022).

“Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow”
MFJ exists to build the independent leadership of and for the
poor and oppressed
. The method MFJ applies to this struggle
was summed up a long while ago, in a speech by an escaped
black slave, Frederick Douglass, who was the greatest leader of
the struggle against slavery in the USA. Speaking clearly and
forcibly he set out these principles for the struggle of the oppressed
and exploited:
“A man who will not fight for himself, when he has the
means of doing so, is not worth being fought for by others….
a man who does not value freedom for himself will
never value it for others.”
“The poet was true… [who] said, Who would be free, themselves
must strike the blow
.”
“The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows
that all concessions… have been born of earnest
struggle…. If there is no struggle there is no progress.”
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did
and it never will….”
Douglass made that speech to a black audience in 1857. It
was a tense and difficult time for the black anti-slavery
struggle, just four years before the CivilWar that ended slavery
in the US. In the speech he refers directly to white leaders who
opposed slavery but looked down on black people: “We may
fight, but we must fight… under white officers…. They don’t like
any demonstrations whatever in which coloured men take a
leading part
.”
This is a tense and difficult time for refugees and immigrants
in Britain – and more generally for the black, Asian and
Muslim communities. We have too many politicians, charities
and ‘sympathisers’ who have the privilege of UK citizenship
and who don’t want refugees to ‘take a leading part.’ They want
to preserve their ‘peaceful co-existence’ with the established
political system. They don’t want refugees taking action that
might disrupt that relationship.
Refugees and immigrants, especially cross-Channel
refugees, are the front-line of the fight for human rights. They
are in a fight against the most racist and dangerous government
in the modern history of Britain. The front-line is an exposed
position. We can’t afford the luxury of peaceful coexistence
with those enemies.

Changing the balance of power
The task facing our movement is to change the balance of
power in society. We need to change the balance of power in
favour of the poor, exploited and oppressed, and we need to
weaken the power of the rich and powerful who control the
machinery of the state (detention centres, border guards, police
etc).
In practice, that means we must change the balance of
power in favour of those sections of the poor and oppressed
who are most conscious of their oppression, who are most aware
of their conflict with the state and who feel the urgent need for
change
. In today’s British society that means immigrants and
asylum seekers, and black, Asian and Muslim communities –
especially the youth of those communities. Action by those
groups
 is the necessary force that will undermine the government’s
efforts to crush them.
This has been the consistent method of MFJ’s organising in
Yarl’s Wood and other detention centres and in our struggles
for asylum rights. Similar action has also occurred ‘spontaneously’
(though resistance is never truly spontaneous).
When a Kenyan detainee died as a result of neglect in the
former Oakington detention centre, fellow detainees prevented
a cover-up by stopping the removal of his body, taking control
of the building and contacting the media. When the BBC
arrived detainees broke down the doors and went outside to
demonstrate. Oakington was shut down within months. Similar
uprisings and exposures occurred after deaths in the
former Morton Hall detention centre.
In May/June 2014 hundreds of asylum seekers in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres took part in a
series of mass protests to demand that they be taken off the notorious
Detained Fast Track (DFT) asylum process and released.
(DFT was a system that isolated asylum seekers and
rushed them through interviews and appeals in a few days or
weeks.) In the 12 months after the protests a series of court decisions
said DFT was illegal and it was stopped.
These actions and many others shifted the balance of
power in the detention centres and between the detainees and
the Home Office. Cumulatively, they led to the government’s
decision to reduce the use of detention. Seven detention
centres were shut down between 2015 and 2020. The number
of people held in the detention system is now at the lowest
level since it began.

The movement we need to build – the action we need to take
The current stage of our struggle is marked by that shift
away from using detention centres. The policy in those that remain
is for a quick turn-over of detainees and rapid deportation.
Since the arrival of cross-Channel refugees the Home
Office has moved to using hotels and camps as places to hold
asylum seekers – especially those who came in small boats.
The Home Office says the refugees are free to come and go, but
without money they are not really free. Some of the places are
too isolated for them to go anywhere.
Each hotel needs to become a centre of organisation and
resistance. Cross-Channel refugees in MFJ have already organised
successful collective struggles against restrictions and
bullying by managers who are appointed by Home Office contractors.
Some of these refugees have spoken to journalists and
got media coverage for their action. There needs to be more action
inside more detention hotels. That will undermine the authority
of the management companies and the Home Office.
The networks of contacts between refugees in different hotels
should be expanded and used to co-ordinate action.
Such action can take many forms: collective action to get
attention and treatment for people who are ill and being neglected;
calling an ambulance if management doesn’t respond;
going as a group to reception or a manager’s office to protest
over any injustice, abuse or complaint, and refusing to leave
until you get a satisfactory answer. None of this should be left
to the individual.
Refugees in hotels need to build links and support in the
communities where they are located. We need to take to the
streets with marches and rallies in local communities, especially
in integrated communities with large black, Asian and
immigrant populations. There are many detention hotels in
such neighbourhoods. We need more demonstrations and rallies
like the one MFJ organised in Lewisham with refugees from
a local hostel. We need to show the strength of our movement
and involve local communities.
We need to speak to students in schools, colleges and universities
now the new term has started. If you are in an English
class, speak to the other students about this struggle. If you are
in a student society, (for example, an anti-racist or refugee support
group, a black or Muslim students society, or a law society)
invite speakers from MFJ. We will win their active support because
the policies and actions of this government are a real
threat to the future of all young people.
The more we build these connections and unite Britain’s
different refugee ‘generations’ in action, the more we will shift
the balance of forces and be able to defend our communities
from the Home Office. The most effective way to stop deportations
is to stop immigration raids. We can build on what is happening
already in many communities and establish
community-based defence organisations everywhere, to
watch out for raids, give warnings and take collective action to
block raids and chase out Immigration Enforcement vans.
The more we build these forms of action the easier it will be
to get workers, students and teachers to enforce a policy of
non-cooperation with the Home Office.We need people refusing
to ask questions about immigration status or pass information
to the Home Office. We need that happening in every
school, college, hospital, doctors’ surgery, local council office,
university and every workplace where immigrants, with or
without papers, are employed. The more we shift the balance
of power the more inspired and confident people will be to
defy the government.

This is a struggle we can win
Most white people in Britain are not as racist as the government
needs them to be, and British society (especially in the
major cities and among the younger generation) is too integrated
for the racist plans of the Home Office to be fully effective.
From the Home Office point of view, too many white
people who know a refugee or an immigrant without papers
personally are likely to recognise their humanity. They are
likely to sympathise with them and support them against the
Home Office.
In the run-up to the Borders Bill we are seeing an example
of this. The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) has said
publicly that it will continue to save the life of anyone who is in
danger at sea. The RNLI is the charity that organises the lifeboat
rescue service round the coasts of the UK. The rescue
crews are all volunteers from the coastal communities, which
are mainly white. They are rescuing desperate men, women
and children who are in the cross-Channel boats; they see their
humanity and they carry on, even in the face of abuse from
anti-refugee racists. Under the Borders Bill those lifeboat crews
will be liable for prosecution
 – but they have declared they will
continue to save anyone who needs rescuing.
That is part of a wider problem for the government. British
society is now too integrated to make things easy for the Home
Office, especially in the major cities where most people live,
and among the younger generation. We recently saw that
demonstrated in Glasgow, when an integrated working class
community turned out, occupied the streets for eight hours,
and successfully stopped the deportation of two Indian Sikh
‘over-stayers.’
If refugees and immigrants take the lead we can inspire a
whole movement of such resistance. There are many people of
all races who are angry, bitter about this government’s cynical
approach to the Covid pandemic and alarmed by its racism.
They are frustrated. They need to see an organised movement
of the people who have been through the harshest struggles,
who have the greatest need to fight and have the greatest need
to win – they need to see a movement of refugee and immigrant
leaders.
This government is neither strong nor stable. It is makingup
policies as it goes along. It does not have the undivided confidence
of the ruling class. Many of the rich and powerful are
alarmed by the chaos it is creating, or they are unhappy with
the damage that Brexit has done to their trade with Europe.
If our refugee and immigrant led movement continues to
grow and wins more battles, we will inspire wider sections of
the population to join their struggles with ours. That will
change the balance of power and widen the divisions among
the rich and powerful. It will create a situation of flux in which
we can derail and defeat the racist agenda of Johnson and Patel.
We can defeat the Borders Bill in action even if it is passed
by Parliament.
That will be a big step forward in the fight for a New Britain –
equal, open and integrated
.

18 September 2021

(Revised 26 October 2021)

Victory to the Palestinian uprising

  • Imperialist powers out of the Middle East – Stop arming & supporting Israel and Saudi Arabia
  • Open the Borders to refugees/migrants – Defend cross-Channel refugees – Amnesty for ALL immigrants without papers 
  • Free Speech on Palestine – Stop government attack on campaigns for Palestinian rights – Stop Boris Johnson’s attacks on the right to protest
To stop racist wars abroad we must fight racism in Britain
To fight racism in Britain we must stop racist wars abroad!

The Arab population of Palestine has once more risen up in a heroic revolt against brutal military repression and ‘ethnic cleansing’ by the Israeli state and extreme nationalist forces in Israeli society. The Palestinian people have responded to these attacks on a wider front than ever before. 

Palestinians in east Jerusalem have fought back against the repression of Muslim worshippers at the Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, when Israeli troops repeatedly attacked Palestinians inside the mosque. Now they are resisting Israel’s plan to evict Arab families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and replace them with Israeli settlers. In the occupied West Bank, Palestinian villagers are resisting renewed attacks by the illegal, land-grabbing Israeli settlers and marching in solidarity with Gaza and the struggle in east Jerusalem. In Gaza, which Israel has turned into a giant prison, they face yet another round of bombardment and killing. Within Israel’s ‘official’ borders there is an unprecedented rebellion by the Arab communities of the cities against their status as third-class citizens and the fascist-style attacks by right-wing Israeli mobs.   

Every community in Britain that is threatened by Boris Johnson’s racist, anti-immigrant and anti-working class government must support the Palestinian struggle. The victory of the Palestinian uprising will be our victory too – a victory for black, Asian, Muslim and immigrant communities, and for all the poor and oppressed – because it will be a defeat our common enemy: the imperialist ruling class of Britain.

The rulers of Britain and the USA support and defend Israel’s crimes. Israel is the chief agent of US imperialism in the Middle East. It was established on Palestinian land by the US and other western imperialist powers, and it is armed to the teeth and financed by them. Israel an oppressor nation in relation to the Arab population of the Middle East, and most immediately to the Arab population of Palestine. That role has prevented the Jewish population of Israel from being an integral part of the Middle East region with relations of equality and co-operation with its neighbours. It has compelled the subjugated Arab population to assert its identity in a struggle for Palestinian national self-determination. 

The policies & actions of the US, Britain & Israel have created a state of never-ending war and destruction in a region stretching from Libya to Afghanistan. It has forced and will continue to force millions of people across the region to move and seek refuge for themselves and their families, often enduring new dangers on the way. 

A minority of refugees make it to Europe. A smaller minority make it across the Channel to Britain, and thus to the racist hostile environment of Brexit, where government ministers and right-wing media whip up storms of anti-immigrant racism – their chief political weapon in an assault on human rights and a war against the poor. 

Movement for Justice (MFJ) believes that a victory in the fight for the rights of refugees & immigrants in Britain will be the most significant support we can provide to the Palestinian uprising. That will require mass action against the government’s growing attacks on immigrants, and the most important asset in that battle is the determination and dynamism of the men and women who fought so hard to get here. Immigrant & youth led community defence against raids, community support that allows refugees to keep out of the hands of the Home Office, and mass action to shut down isolation camps & detention centres will undermine the government’s authority. It will be the base for winning an amnesty for undocumented immigrants and Open Borders so no-one else dies trying to get asylum. 

Last year we saw the rapid growth of Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd shift the balance of social power against Trump and movements against racism and injustice internationally. That should be our aim now. The more we shift the balance of forces against imperialist rulers at home the weaker their power will be internationally. 

In 2014 MFJ demonstrates outside Harmondsworth Detention Centres in solidarity with detainees and with the Palestinian people resisting the blockade

Stopping Covid19 means permanent status for everyone who doesn’t have papers

Contact your MP and get them to sign on to Claudia Webbe’s early day motion for permanent status for all undocumented immigrants. Critical to ensure everyone feels safe to get COVID19 tests and vaccinations.

Nobody should be left at risk of infection & death from Covid19 (or any other cause) because they are in Britain without immigration papers or have overstayed a visa. Nobody should face those risks because an unfair asylum system has rejected their claim or kept them waiting for a result, or for some other ‘immigration problem’ to be sorted out.

In January the Government stated that if immigrants and refugees without papers get tested for Covid19 or vaccinated against it, their details will not be shared with the Home Office and used to deport them. Undocumented people who have any experience of the Home Office and its agents are very unlikely to trust this ‘Promise’ – and they are right to be suspicious.   

The only way they will feel it’s safe to get Covid19 tests and vaccines is for the Government to give ALL undocumented immigrants a permanent right to live in the UK.

Movement for Justice (MFJ) supports the decision of a group of MPs to raise this demand in a parliamentary motion. They speak the truth about the Government’s racist anti-immigrant policies and they are clear that those policies are a danger to everyone. This is a bold move by the group of black and Asian Labour women MPs who initiated the motion, because it challenges the refusal of Keir Starmer and the rest of the present Labour leadership to campaign against the increasing racism of the Government’s policies.

We urge everyone to contact their MP and call on them to sign the motion below.  A campaign around this motion can inspire a fight by the left-wing majority of Labour Party members who Starmer is trying to silence (especially the youth and black & Asian members).

Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination

Early Day Motion 1442: tabled on 03 February 2021

That this House believes that access to essential healthcare is a universal human right; regrets the continued existence of structural, institutional and systemic barriers in accessing NHS care experienced by undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications; considers that an effective public health response to the covid-19 crisis requires that the most vulnerable can afford to access food, healthcare, and self-isolate where necessary; understands that some of the most vulnerable people in society will not access vaccination against the virus, since to disclose their identity to the authorities would risk their arrest, detention and deportation; fears that without urgent Government intervention this will lead to further avoidable premature deaths, especially in the African, Asian and Minority Ethnic population; and therefore calls on the Home Office to grant everyone currently in the UK at this time who are undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications indefinite leave to remain, and to be eligible in due course to receive the covid-19 vaccination. (Emphasis added)

You don’t have to be a British citizen or voter, but give your address to show you live in their area.

To get your MP’s details go to https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP and type in your postcode.

You can use the message below; but it is best if you say why this issue is important to you personally.

Please let MFJ know what reply you get from your MP, email contact@movementforjustice.co.uk

Dear ……,

I am writing to urge you to add your name to Early Day Motion 1442, Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination. I believe the motion is absolutely right when it points out that very many undocumented migrants won’t feel it is safe to get tested or vaccinated, whatever the risk to their health. That is why I support the motion’s call on the Home Office to grant Indefinite Leave to Remain to all undocumented migrants. I think this is a matter of basic justice and it is obviously necessary as a public health measure to protect everyone.

This issue is very important to me because……

Yours sincerely

General information. An Early Day Motion (EDM) is a kind of MPs’ petition, a way to raise an issue that isn’t being discussed in Parliament. This EDM was started by Claudia Webbe, (Leicester East MP who was part of MFJ’s Zoom Rally on Yarl’s Wood last year). It is co-sponsored by three other black & Asian women MPs in the Labour Party (Apsana Begum, Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Kim Johnson) plus John McDonnell and a Scottish National Party MP. So far it has been signed by a further 19 MPs from four parties.

PRESS RELEASE: MFJ report on the treatment of cross Channel refugees in repurposed Yarl’s Wood highlights lack of access to legal advice and failure to identify victims of trafficking and torture

First insight into new regime in Yarl’s Wood detention centre since its conversion into a short term holding facility for cross channel refugees. Report highlights lack of access to legal advice and failure to identify victims of trafficking and torture.

Since August 2020 there have been no more women detained in Yarl’s Wood and the Home Office confirmed that its small short term holding facility was expanded to process cross channel refugees[1].

The report we release today is the first public insight into the new regime and is the result of four weeks of discussions with 20 refugees who were detained in Yarl’s Wood during September 2020.  

Over half of those we spoke to had been victims of torture or trafficking; many had been enslaved in Libya and subject to brutal torture, forced labour and rape. They spent 5-7 days in Yarl’s Wood[2].

During this time, no one was provided with access to a solicitor; the Detention Duty Advice Scheme (DDAS) was not functioning. Some were given a list of numbers after several days but lack of phone credit and language difficulties meant it was impossible for them to secure representation.

People are moved to other accommodation with no representation, no support, and in many cases with no phones. They are dispersed to areas where charities are overstretched and where legal aid immigration solicitors either have no capacity or are few and far between. Language difficulties and lack of phone or phone credit makes it impossible for many to find the legal advice, medical help and support they need.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and the Home Office have been vocally critical of ‘last minute legal claims’ which ‘frustrate’ removals; this report reveals the truth, that people are denied legal advice at an early stage and victims of trafficking are not being identified. For these refugees a ‘last minute claim,’ when they are taken to Brook House and given notice of a flight, is the only way to stop what would be an unlawful removal.

“The UK’s stated commitment to Human Rights is being trampled on by Priti Patel, the UK Home Office and this government. They have designed a Dover to Deportation pipeline, at every stage frustrating refugees’ ability to get the legal advice, care and support they need. Yarl’s Wood is but one link in that pipeline, but it is a crucial one. Had those asylum seekers been able to access legal representation at the earliest opportunity they would not have been subject to the further torture of detention and threat of removal, which has led to so many suicide attempts in Brook House[3]. Karen Doyle (MFJ National Organiser)

Victims of trafficking and torture, people with families here, people with serious health conditions and mental health difficulties are being taken from their accommodation and thrown into Brook House IRC for removal on charter flights with just five days notice[4]. When lawyers take on these cases at short notice and help their clients to access the protections available to them in law they are branded as ‘lefty lawyers’, akin to traffickers, and vilified simply for doing their job.

“This government is pursuing a relentless and dishonest campaign to vilify refugees and those who support and represent them. It has an incited an epidemic of race hatred and attacks, like the recent attempt to murder an immigration lawyer[5] and fascists targeting places where refugees are being housed. We will fight together with refugees and immigrants to end the super-charged Hostile Environment of Boris Johnson and Priti Patel. Antonia Bright (MFJ Chair)

Yarls-Wood-report2


[1] BBC News (Look East) Report 18/08/2020: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-53810521

[2] 7 days is the maximum someone can be detained in a Short Term Holding Facility

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/12/asylum-seeker-removal-flight-go-ahead-despite-last-minute-court-action

[4] https://corporatewatch.org/cast-away-the-uks-rushed-charter-flights-to-deport-channel-crossers/

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/oct/10/lawyers-claim-knife-attack-at-law-firm-was-inspired-by-priti-patels-rhetoric

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

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