Home Office – ‘Don’t come back to Peckham!’                     

Organise community, youth & worker defence to stop immigration arrests & raids

Make Southwark a Sanctuary Borough, enforced by community action

Anti-raid mass action, Peckham 11/06/2022

Organise worker/student non-cooperation with the Home Office in schools, colleges, council offices & NHS, including strikes & walkouts

Police Out of Schools Now!

Full Amnesty Now for ALL those without papers

Support workers who are striking against pay cuts in Southwark & elsewhere – Unite the struggles against poverty and racism

Bring Down this racist, anti-immigrant, anti-working-class Government

Open the Borders of Britain & Europe – Organise sanctuary from the Home Office for cross-Channel refugees arriving in Britain

Join the Rally & Speak-Out

Saturday 20th August 2022

Assemble 12 Noon

Junction of Peckham High Street & Rye lane (SE15 5DW)

Please wear a mask on this event to protect yourself and others from COVID-19


On 11th June, Home Office officials from ‘Immigration Enforcement’ who went to Peckham and arrested a Nigerian immigrant living in Evan Cook Close were met with an instant community response. Neighbours turned out and blocked the van from leaving the street. They called their friends, Lewisham Anti-Raids Network and anti-racists in the local Labour Party. Soon, several hundred people from the local area were massed in that small street and stood their ground against police attacks for over four hours. Faced with a growing, militant mass of people the police had to release the arrested immigrant and withdraw, followed by chants of ‘Don’t come back to Peckham.’

This victory is part of Peckham’s proud history of resistance to immigration raids and the hostile environment created by Home Office vans in the area. Peckham does not stand alone. The victory on 11th June was part of a growing movement in integrated communities from London to Glasgow. Community resistance is defeating immigration raids by any means necessary, from mass mobilisations on the streets to simple actions to protect a neighbour or workmate or pass on a warning.

The victory in Peckham soon acquired a further political significance. Among the many Labour Party members who went to Evan Cook Close there were several local councillors. The leaders of the Labour Group that controls Southwark Council threatened them with disciplinary action but dropped that idea after angry protests. The next meeting of Camberwell & Peckham Labour Party voted overwhelmingly for a motion declaring that “The Labour Party has a duty to speak out against racism, injustice and violence perpetrated against any member of our community by the British state,” and agreeing to “Stand in solidarity with those opposing deportation raids” and “Organise training in resisting deportations and the hostile environment.”

The Movement for Justice (MFJ) welcomes and supports the stand taken by these Labour Party members. It is a direct and conscious challenge to the treacherous policies of Labour’s current national leadership under Keir Starmer, who ignore black & Asian communities, refuses to support the strikes of low-paid workers, and only criticises the government’s anti-refugee policies for not being effective enough.

Building on the victory in Peckham – Making Southwark a real, effective Sanctuary Borough

The victory on 11th June and the stand taken by Labour Party members are a base on which to build a more systematic community-based defense organisation to resist the Home Office presence in Southwark, uniting workers, refugees, immigrants without papers, youth, school & college students and established activist groups.

To stop immigration raids this will need to become more than an anti-raids organisation. Immigration Enforcement relies on a network of Home Office powers, connections, sources of information in council offices, hospitals, surgeries, schools and colleges, banks etc. Shutting that down requires workers, trade unions and schools refusing to co-operate with the Home Office, directly or indirectly.

For example, every hospital has an office that reports people who are denied ‘access to public funds,’ but it could not function if health unions organised a boycott throughout the hospital. Such campaigns are likely to involve demonstrations and strikes and will be sure to win community support.

In schools and colleges students are the vital force who will come forward with walkouts and occupations to defend fellow students & families threatened with arrest, detention and deportation. This has happened already, and the last few years have seen many student actions against racist school managements – like the mass protest in March at Hackney’s Petchey Academy against a racist sexual assault – the strip-search of a 15-year-old black girl by police officers who were called to the school by teachers and management.

There is no place for the police in schools. School management and the police are working together to control & repress poor, black, Asian & Muslim youth.

  Building our movement will require preparation and planning in individual schools, workplaces, union groups etc. where people can discuss and pledge to take action.

A real sanctuary borough will not be an empty name, it will provide real sanctuary from the Home Office. It will be enforced by the community, by the systematic community defense organisation MFJ is proposing.

Mass migration is a global rebellion against poverty & inequality – Open the Borders of Britain & Europe

The government’s people-trafficking deal to dump cross-Channel refugees in Rwanda is not an isolated horror. It is the outcome of four decades of escalating anti-immigrant policies and the uncontrolled capitalist exploitation that imperialist governments have forced on the world.

For over twenty years, millions of people have been leaving their homes in the world’s poorest continents and regions. They are leaving in increasing numbers and risking their lives, because there is no other escape from horrific wars and political, religious or ethnic persecution, from famine, drought, and the effects of environmental destruction, from the mounting attacks on women and LGBT+ people, etc.

Mass migration is a symptom of a world in crisis. It is a global rebellion against poverty & inequality, and it is a life & death struggle against imperialism. There are no compromises to be made in this conflict. The governments of Europe & the USA have militarised their borders and condemned thousands of refugees to drown at sea or die crossing deserts. Those governments pay the UN and poorer neighbours like Libya, Mexico and Turkey to hold back refugees and ‘contain’ them for years in huge over-crowded camps.

There is a battle between humanity and barbarism at every border. Refugees are posing a central demand for human progress in our age – Open the Borders – and they are opening borders every day to resolve real, material threats to their existence.

There are no humane deportations, no humane charter flights, no humane detention centres. The liberals’ plea for “Safe & legal routes” is a trap; it will leave the racist government in control and deny fundamental human rights: the right of asylum & freedom of movement.

The government and ruling class fear refugees and other immigrants from the world’s poorest, most exploited countries. They fear the qualities those refugees and immigrants bring with them – determination, experience of struggle, commitment to freedom, hatred for the colonial and imperialist exploitation of their countries by Britain and other ‘great powers.’ Those refugees and immigrants are and will be leaders of the battle for progress and equality in Britain.

The rich & powerful minority that rules Britain tries to impose a national myth on the people they exploit & oppress – the myth that they are all united against other countries & peoples by a shared ‘national interest’ and British identity. That would mean Britain’s diverse population could never live in a society based on integration and equality. It is the basis of British racism.

Fortunately, however, British society is becoming more & more integrated every day – especially in the major cities and towns, in the working class, among the youth, and in a growing number of families. That is the basis of our strength and our fight for progress and equality. It is a nightmare for the government and the driving force of its attacks on democracy.

The government is establishing a dictatorship and moving fast towards Fascism

The current government is unlike anything this country has seen before. It is a FAR-RIGHT government – a government moving rapidly towards dictatorship and fascism. Other European countries saw such governments in the last century, and they are seeing them reappear now. The Trump movement in the USA is a similar development.

We must clear our heads of the idea that ‘it couldn’t happen here,’ and the belief that British democracy is exceptional & permanent. The creation of a dictatorship and the development of fascism are already happening here and happening fast.

One of the government’s first actions was to bring in a law that allows government bodies like the police, the Home Office, the army and the secret services to instruct their agents to commit crimes, without facing prosecution. It has effectively abolished the right of asylum and set up the ‘people trafficking’ deal to dump asylum seekers in Rwanda. It has brought in laws that give it control of how elections are run and make it more difficult for poor people, black and Asian people and young people to vote.

This government has already given the police huge powers to ban or stop protests and demonstrations. Now that workers are fighting back against growing poverty, this government is giving itself new powers to break strikes. It has already scrapped many of the legal rights people could use to challenge government decisions, and it is abolishing the Human Rights Act.

Its latest plan is to let government ministers ignore decisions of the law courts if they disagree with them, and Boris Johnson has ruled out emergency measures to support poor and vulnerable people as the price food and energy rise sharply during the coming winter. Johnson was quoted as saying in the first year of the Covid pandemic, “Let the bodies pile up in their thousands.” That is the government’s plan for the months ahead.

The fundamental weakness of this government

However, the government’s extreme plans and language cannot hide its fundamental weakness. This was the ‘Get Brexit Done’ government, and Brexit is a disaster that is getting worse by the day. Recent opinion polls and by-elections indicate a sharp fall in Conservative voters. ‘Fears’ about immigration have fallen sharply in opinion polls. More & more people see Brexit as a failure.

The government has no policies that can resolve this crisis. Its current leadership elections are exposing a party that is tearing itself apart. Its general direction is further and further to the extreme right, with more racist policies, but that is not solving its problems.

The government’s real support base is very small. Firstly, it is the financial parasites, like the private wealth funds that have taken over most of Britain’s care homes and nurseries and turned them into financial assets. This group is the main source of Conservative Party funding. It includes many government ministers and the capitalists who are benefitting directly from government corruption.

Secondly, there is the shrinking party membership (150,000 at the highest estimate) that is aging, 95% white and mostly living in rural areas and middle- class suburbs in the south of England – plus 357 MPs who are even more right-wing than the membership.

Thirdly, there is the increasingly active and violent rabble of fascists and semi-fascists, Covid deniers, anti-vaxxers, global heating deniers, followers of Nigel Farage and former members of UKIP and the EDL.

Those bases of support do not represent British society, especially not the working class, the big cities and the youth (or even most people from their ’40s and below). That is the majority of the population. It is too integrated to fall into line with the government’s policies, and it is where most white people are not racist enough to back the current government’s policies.

Resistance to immigration raids and deportation, and strikes against pay cuts & poverty, are both growing in those communities.

The government and the ruling class are divided but none of them have any solution to the economic & political crisis. They cannot go on ruling in the old ‘British democratic’ way – and the poor & oppressed are demonstrating in action that they cannot go on living in the way they are now.

Our real strength is in our communities & on the streets – We must Change the Balance of Power

The real opposition to the government is in our communities, workplaces, schools and on our streets.

We can see that in the victories in Evan Cook Close and Kenmure Street, Glasgow, and many other places where ‘Immigration Enforcement’ has been defeated. We see it in the growing strike action by low-paid workers, who include many immigrant, refugee, black, Asian & Latin American workers. We see it in the walkouts & protests by students against racist school & college management.

The women who resisted police violence to demonstrate against the police murder of Sarah Everard forced politicians to acknowledge the rampant, brutal misogyny of the police – and forced the removal of London police chief Cressida Dick.

The militant street level action against global heating (along with burning houses & fields) has focused much greater attention on a government and a system that would rather let the world burn than lose a penny of profit.

Those struggles are united by a profound loss of faith in the present system, and a growing awareness that the issues they are fighting on (racism, poverty and so on) have a common cause. To a greater or lesser extent, they imply an urgent need to get rid of this government, even if that is not explicit. These militant struggles demonstrate the potential for a movement to Bring Down the Government.

To build that movement it is necessary to bring the struggles together in on the basis that, firstly, we all need to see the end of this government, and secondly, that this can only be achieved through mass action and not through a parliamentary or legal process.

We are past the point where we can reasonably hope to get a change for the better by relying on the ballot box. A general election now will be run on the government’s anti-democratic rules. It is unlikely to happen until 2024 and by then the political and economic crisis will almost certainly be worse. Even if the government loses, we will have a Starmer-style Labour government or a weak coalition. In that situation the more openly fascist forces could become a far more serious threat.

We will bring down the government by changing the balance of power between the government, the rich & powerful and state bodies like the Home Office on one side, and the exploited, oppressed and poor majority on the other side. On a small scale that is what happened in Evan Cook Close on 11th June.

The government will fall when the movement has undermined its ability to govern, sent it into crisis, and deepened the divisions in the ruling class. Then the anti-Brexit capitalists might come out openly against the government, or the established political system will go into crisis in some other way. In the end there will be a general election – but it will be because of the power of a movement that has changed the balance of power and aroused hopes for change, not on terms set by the government.

Always Speak the Plain Truth About Racism – Fight to Win, By Any Means Necessary

Brexit was a victory for racism. That was confirmed by the surge in racist attacks and abuse that accompanied the 2016 referendum campaign and escalated after the vote. That vote was a boost to the Far Right and led the election of Johnson’s government in December 2019.

None of that was inevitable. It was the result of the confusion and failure of leadership on the Left, which principally means the Labour Party.

At the time of the referendum Labour had a new, more left-wing leadership under Jeremy Corbyn. Hundreds of thousands of new members joined the party, many of them young people. This new leadership could have taken the political high ground and led a bold anti-racist campaign against Brexit. Johnson, Farage and the right-wing Tories were unashamedly stirring up racist prejudice against immigrants and refugees. Labour could have defended immigrant rights and the free movement of people. That would have sent a clear, strong message, energised their supporters and brought dynamic new forces into Labour.

Instead, the Labour leadership made a conscious decision to avoid the issues of racism and immigrant-bashing that are the driving force behind Brexit. After the referendum, that culminated in Corbyn instructing Labour MPs to vote for ending the free movement of people.

By the first half of 2019 opinion polls consistently showed a majority against Brexit. The Labour leadership missed a second chance to change history, but by September the Far Right had taken over the Conservative Party and it was too late anyway. In the December general election the radical policies on housing, public ownership, the NHS etc, which had won Labour so much support in the 2017 election, were not enough to avoid a humiliating defeat.

Whether consciously or not, the motion passed by Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party is not only a challenge to Keir Starmer, but to the legacy of the Corbyn leadership.

Now it is the Brexit government that looks weak and incompetent, even though it has accumulated a huge assortment of dictatorial powers. Those powers seem small beside the anger it has inspired and the enemies it has accumulated, through its cruelty, its racism, its responsibility for so many deaths and so much suffering, its naked corruption and its arrogant display of entitlement.

A new and growing wave of struggles is fighting on many fronts but united against the same enemy, and by what Martin Luther King called “The fierce urgency of Now.”  

A largely new, more integrated and youthful generation of struggle has come forward, ready to take militant action and fight to win by any means necessary.

We may not know each other or speak the same languages, but together we will fight this racist government and its agents – on our streets, in our schools and colleges, in our workplaces, in detention centres and crossing the Channel in small boats.

And together we will win.

To all of you, Movement for Justice sends this message:

There is no better reason to speak the truth about racism and the character of this government, or to resist the laws of the rich and powerful, than to bring down this government and prevent the rise of a fascist dictatorship.          

Open Letter by #Jamaica50 families: to Jamaican High Commissioner

Open letter signed by 51 individuals & family members affected by mass deportation charter flights to Jamaica.

This open letter was sent to the High Commissioner on Monday 4th April 2022. We are yet to receive a response.
You can sign your support for this letter on our change.org petition.

Open Letter: To His Excellency Mr Seth George Ramocan 

We are individuals and families in the UK who have been suffering under this government’s racist hostile environment for years. Our fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, partners, grandparents and children have been subject to racist demonisation, torturous detention and unjust deportations.

We need you to stand up for your citizens facing racism & injustice in the UK. We need you to refuse to accept charter flight deportations and reinstate your agreement that no one who came to the UK as a child should face deportation. We are asking you to support our call for an immigration amnesty, so that we can live free and equally.

On 27th April 2022 at 4pm we will be coming to the High Commission with Movement for Justice, to speak out about these injustices, to make our voices heard. We invite you to come out and speak with us, to accept our letter in person, to listen and make a stand. (Facebook event)

There has been NO JUSTICE for our Windrush Generation, only pathetic apologies and promises that have led nowhere. People have died waiting for compensation. We are forced to jump through hoops like performing animals to prove our right to compensation[1], our right to be here.

The descendants of the Windrush Generation, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, brought here as children or born in the UK suffer racism at every stage of life. We face discrimination in schools, we are criminalised from childhood, we are stereotyped and degraded, we are treated as animals. The open, blatant racism and stereotypes of our community in the early 00’s[2] have not gone away, they’ve just been absorbed into government policy.

Many of us and our children, were groomed into criminal activity in childhood[3], never treated as victims, only as criminals. Then we face deportation to a country that is no longer home, where we are demonised and stigmatised by hostile media coverage[4] and where we face destitution and murder[5].

Our lives are here, our families are here, we are PROUD of our Jamaican heritage, we are PROUD of the role our communities have played rebuilding Britain, bringing hard work, music, culture, love and joy. We are Jamaican and we are British in all but the colour of our passport. But every day this government and the Home Office treat us as less than human.

The Jamaican people and government have taken a clear stand to further throw off the shackles of colonial rule, have demanded reparations for slavery[6]; we praise all those who have fought for this moment for decades. This country enslaved us, stole our labour, they broke our backs then told us we were one with them that we were British. Our elders came to rescue the ‘mother country’ in its time of need, they worked hard, they faced down the racists and now this country throw their descendants out like rubbish. Enough.

The UK government keeps on with their unjust charter flights, spending tens of thousands of pounds to deport a handful of people[7]. The charter flights are by their nature brutal and unjust. We are swept up in a racist dragnet of our communities, we are imprisoned and given just 5 days to find representation and build a case. The majority of us are not put on that plane because we have lawful grounds to remain[8], yet every year, twice or three times a year we are put through this torture. Immigration officers and police barging into our homes, terrorising our children who are left with nightmares and mental health difficulties[9]

Thousands of children across the UK go through this, the constant fear their father will be taken away from them, the despair of knowing this country does not want us, does not care for us. Then there’s those who have been deported, barely surviving in Jamaica, unable to work, at risk of exploitation and murder, living in fear. Desperately searching for working Wi-Fi so they can see their children over a shaky connection, trying to comfort their children and partner without being able to put their arms around them.[10]

So many of us have to survive without the right to work, unable to care for our families, deepening our depression and despair. The Home Office want us to commit crime, they want us to give up hope, that’s what the racist hostile environment policies are designed to do – force people to leave[11]. But in all this horror we have found hope and strength in each other, in organisation and community. Every time there is a charter flight we stand together; we organise with Movement for Justice and we have made the truth of this injustice known[12]. We need our Jamaican government, our people back home, to stand with us in this struggle.

This government have shown they have no regard not only for decency and human rights but for the law. They routinely breach peoples Human Rights and when called out on that by the courts, their response is not to act more humanely, but to change the law. That is what they are doing with the Nationality and Borders Bill, which will deny us even the smallest legal protections such as trafficking/modern day slavery protections. A Bill which has been roundly condemned as breaching international law and treaties[13]. Judicial Review is our only means of having our voices heard in the courts at these desperate moments yet this government is working on limiting those rights[14]. They are criminalising asylum seekers and view us all as no more than “red meat’[15]to throw to their racist voter base. Immigrants & asylum seekers are not human beings to this racist government, we are seen as scapegoats for a failing government.

We know you are aware of this injustice; we know you have stepped in to try and stand up for the people who came here as children. We know the UK government and Home Office has treated you appallingly by sending a flight even when you have explicitly called for it to be stopped because of COVID risk[16]

We also know that the Jamaican government CAN refuse to accept these flights, CAN make permanent the agreement that no one who came to the UK as a child should ever be deported. We know our closest neighbour; Ireland has introduced an immigration amnesty[17] so we also know this is possible.  It’s time for change.

We hope to see you on the 27th April.

All of the 51 signatories below either directly experienced detention and the risk of charter flight deportation to Jamaica or they are a family member of someone who has faced that trauma (for public release their names have been anonymised):

1. JP

2. FS 

3. AF

4. NP

5. MM

6. PJ 

7. MS

8. FM

9. EP

10. NS

11. IH

12. SR

13. LR

14. BS

15. MR

16. SB

17/18. M & AB

19. DJ

20. TM

21. GB

22. MW 

23. AW

24. LP

25. TT 

26. WH 

27/28. C & DB

29. LR

30. LP

31. CB

32. RG 

33. AV 

34. MW

35. WF 

36. LPL

37. AC 

38. LS 

39. LRM 

40. SE

41. NR 

42. RB

43. RH 

44. TH

45/46. KF & PD 

47. AM 

48. SRR 

49. RS 

50. PD 

51. SS

[1] https://www.voice-online.co.uk/news/uk-news/2021/11/25/windrush-compensation-scheme-slammed-by-mps/

[2] https://www.thenational.scot/news/20008635.boris-johnson-published-article-saying-jamaicans-mind-pea-editing-spectator/

[3] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/trafficking-victims-county-lines-deportation-jamaica-home-office-uk-b1954502.html

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/12/ripped-from-my-family-deportee-struggles-cope-jamaica-chevon-brown

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/may/09/revealed-five-men-killed-since-being-deported-uk-jamaica-home-office

[6] https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/jamaicans-protest-slavery-reparations-ahead-visit-by-british-royals-2022-03-22/

[7] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/nov/11/uk-deportation-flight-four-onboard-raises-questions-viability-jamaica

[8] https://www.thejusticegap.com/jamaica50-deportation-charter-flights-and-access-to-justice/

[9] https://www.bigissue.com/news/social-justice/children-of-deported-people-are-developing-ptsd-and-depression-report-finds/

[10] https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/shine-a-light/do-your-parenting-by-skype-uk-tells-fathers-being-deported-to-jama/

[11] https://www.thejusticegap.com/20996-2/

[12] https://www.bigissue.com/news/activism/they-want-to-take-your-soul-the-race-to-stop-priti-patels-jamaica-deportation-flight/

[13] https://www.paih.org/the-most-racist-legislation-of-our-lifetime-the-nationality-and-borders-bill

[14] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/oct/31/this-reform-of-judicial-review-will-put-the-government-above-the-law

[15] https://inews.co.uk/news/what-is-operation-red-meat-boris-johnsons-plan-rescue-premiership-explained-1404138

[16] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/aug/10/jamaica-calls-deportation-flight-from-uk-halted-covid-fears

[17] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/immigration-amensty-ireland-b2006737.html


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
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
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

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
 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
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
. 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
 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
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
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)

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!”

Yarl’s Wood detainees resist Nigeria/Ghana mass deportation charter flight – unlawful deportation prevented

Free AG NOW. Amnesty for ALL immigrants – and shut down ALL detention centres. Stop mass deportation charter flights. Build the independent, integrated movement.

In Yarl’s Wood detention centre new battles in the fight for women’s rights and immigrant rights have been opening up, with women taking all means necessary, encouraged and more confident having seen the government’s hostile environment immigration policy exposed and vulnerable, and having been part of the struggles that made it vulnerable through months of collective action inside Yarl’s Wood.

In Yarl’s Wood on Wednesday 30 May 2018, women gathered in Dove unit to defend Nigerian and Ghanaian women whom they knew to be the latest targets for a mass deportation charter flight. This action to stop deportations took place in the context of the Government’s wider, self-inflicted crisis over its anti-immigrant policies. It takes the fight to end detention and the whole hostile environment to a higher level and asserts the importance of immigrant leadership in this fight.

Continue reading “Yarl’s Wood detainees resist Nigeria/Ghana mass deportation charter flight – unlawful deportation prevented”

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