• Unite and coordinate our strikes – Unite the strikes with community struggles
  • To fight poverty we must fight racism, anti-immigrant prejudice and fascism
  • Build elected rank and file action committees

The capitalists caused the crisis, they must bear the cost:

  • Fight for regular, automatic pay, pension & benefit rises linked to the rate of inflation
  • No job loss – Cut the hours not the pay
  • Make the polluters pay for the climate crisis, take over oil, gas & coal companies & shut them down

Open the Borders – Stop immigration raids – Amnesty for everyone without papers

To the striking workers & those preparing to strike, to the communities fighting racism & stopping immigration raids, to the refugees who are treated as criminals, to the militant movement against global heating, to the youth fighting for a future of hope

This statement is addressed to you. The Movement for Justice stands with you against the attacks of the British government and its agents. This government is creating a fascist dictatorship. Together we are the active vanguard that can defeat the most dangerous government in modern British history.

Students joining picket line of striking teachers at Lewisham College, October 2022

The past 12 months have witnessed an inspiring resurgence of trade unionism. Trade union membership has grown steadily over the last few years, and this year’s strike-wave is the biggest rise in working class struggle since the 1980s. The spirit of these strikes is as impressive as the number; time after time we are seeing strike votes of over 90%, on turnouts of 90% and more. Many of this year’s strikers have never taken industrial action before, many are young, and we are all part of a multi-racial workforce that is more diverse and integrated than ever before. We are all fighting to win. The Movement for Justice is confident that together we can win.

The current strike movement is a response to declining real pay, an increasing cost of living, cuts in jobs and working conditions – and to broken promises and racist, bullying or abusing managers. At the same time, it is a response to a government and ruling elite that embody the arrogant privilege of wealth, with all its cruelty and corruption – a regime that is shutting down democracy and aiming to establish a dictatorship.

We have government ministers who think and act as though they are above the law, while they destroy our legal protections. They have trashed workers’ rights, immigrant rights and human rights. They have trashed our public services and turned them into financial assets for their friends and supporters. At every stage in the Covid pandemic they have put private profit above the safety of the people, with the result that Britain has the worst Covid death-rate in Europe.

The government that “Got Brexit done” has relied on whipping up the racism and immigrant bashing that was central to getting Brexit done. This government has found that the majority of people in Britain are opposed to its mistreatment of refugees and its plan to deport cross-Channel refugees to Rwanda – but its only response is to appeal even more to the most racist & fascist elements in British society.

The truth is that the resurgence of trade unionism and the inspiring strike-wave are as much a political struggle as they are economic. This is a movement against a hated government. Our spirit of resistance has only been strengthened by Kwasi Kwarteng’s recent budget – a budget that takes from the poor and gives to the rich on an unprecedented scale, like Robin Hood in reverse.

Moreover, workers and poor people generally can see that there is a serious crisis among the people ‘at the top,’ that the politicians and the ruling class are divided, uncertain and devoid of any plan to resolve the problems people are facing. They don’t deserve respect, they look weak, and so growing numbers of workers believe that the bosses and the government can be defeated. That mood has proved highly infectious.

We can’t live with this government any longer. We can’t live with the poverty, the growing insecurity and the destruction of public services it is responsible for. The Movement for Justice believes that together we must Bring Down the Government as soon as possible.

We can’t wait for an election in two years’ time, while the government and the employers continue to destroy lives and jobs through the coming winter and a deep recession. We can’t wait while people are starving, freezing, dying and losing their homes, and while thousands are condemned to destitution because they have no legal immigration status and ‘No access to public funds.’ We can’t wait while the government continues to detain & deport thousands of men & women, or dumps them in Rwanda, and while the police have a licence to harass, brutalise & murder black, Asian & Muslim people.

And we can’t put our trust in a Labour Party leadership that is opposed to the present strike movement, that won’t speak the truth about racism, and that is tied hand-and-foot to defending capitalist interests. The government can ONLY be brought down and its plans destroyed by the action of our growing movement.

Newham refuse strikers marching through the community, Sept 2022

Fight to win – Unite the strikes, mobilise our communities

As this movement grows it will have to respond to new and bigger challenges, because the economic crisis will inevitably deepen. The British economy is in recession and that will get worse because the economic crisis is global, regardless of what happens to Kwasi Kwarteng’s plans or what policy the Bank of England adopts. The working class, wide sections of the middle class, renters, the sick and elderly etc will face higher inflation, higher interest rates, job loss, evictions, and a health crisis. The need to bring down the government will be more urgent.

To meet these challenges we will have to go beyond the ‘guerrilla war’ tactics of repeated, short strikes in different sectors of the economy at separate times. As a start we should bring the strikes together – united strikes by workers in all the different sectors and unions at the same time, and for more prolonged periods – everyone out at once and everyone on the streets!

Those strikes should be used creatively to build closer connections with the wider population in our communities, through demonstrations, marches, rallies, local conferences, community tribunals etc. – and by organising solidarity action to defend the poor and needy, joining the growing movement of community action to stop immigration raids, etc. Our unions, our strikes, and our fight to bring down the government will be many times stronger if, at all levels, they become champions of all the poor and oppressed.

We will be reviving a tradition rather than inventing something totally new. In the past, the local trade union organisations have been at the centre of their communities and there have been many examples of unions taking action to defend people in their communities, against evictions for example, or against racist and fascist attacks – as well as solidarity action with workers in other sectors, like the industrial workers who went on strike and marched to support striking health workers in 1980s. Reviving and extending those traditions will have a vital role in bringing down the most dangerous government in modern British history.

Set up elected strike committees in every workplace – build a rank-and-file workers’ movement

The development of this movement needs a secure base, and that cannot be left to ‘Head Office’ or to ‘Regional Office,’ or to outstanding national leaders, however skilful their organising abilities or however powerful their speeches.

We must raise our level of struggle and organisation to achieve our demands and send this wretched government to the dustbin of history, whoever is leading it next month or next year. To achieve that, it is essential that the rank-and-file of the strike movement organises and asserts its authority. We need to build our own leadership in every workplace and every locality. We need to elect strike committees, workplace committees or action committees in all sectors. These should be inter-union bodies wherever strikes involve members of different unions. Striking workers in every locality should set up city-wide or district-wide committees to coordinate action and build community links.

As the fight becomes more intense there will inevitably be points where the full-time leaders and officials are out of touch or become too cautious, as a result of pressure from the government, the media, or the Labour Party leadership. They may be afraid of some legal issue, being fined for ‘unofficial’ strike action, or want to cool things down because they think it will help with some negotiations.

The rank-and-file must be strong enough and confident enough to correct those mistakes or to act independently. That will only be possible if elected rank-and-file leaders are already working together and have the confidence of their members.

Fascism in Britain and the USA

We must bring down this government because it is establishing a fascist dictatorship, and that process is already far advanced. We don’t use the term lightly and should not be misled if most fascists don’t use the name today. Fascism is defined by what a movement or government does, not by what it calls itself.

In January 2017, barely six months after the Brexit referendum, a Movement for Justice conference adopted a statement with the title Perspectives for Action in the Time of Trump and Brexit. The first paragraph declared that,

“Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the boost that these events have given to neo-fascists across Europe have created a new and more negative political situation that has plunged the ‘western democracies’ into a profound crisis. We can characterise the threat of these developments quite simply: the most right-wing, reactionary forces in capitalist society have succeeded in establishing a mass base among sections of the middle class and working class, based on race and racism. For them to win total power only one thing is needed: that the poor and oppressed of all races stay silent and fail to fight back. The task before Movement for Justice is to build the mass movement that will fight back and defeat this threat by any means necessary.” 

Four years later, on 6th January 2021, Trump and many thousands of his most racist supporters, ended a mass rally by storming Congress, spearheaded by violent organised groups like the ‘Proud Boys’ and the ‘Oath Keepers,’ in an attempt to overturn the result of the presidential election. We now know that the only reason Trump wasn’t at the attack on Congress in person was because his security team ignored his protests and drove him back to the White House.

That insurrection was a direct attempt to overthrow democracy – an attempted fascist coup. It didn’t succeed, but the fascist movement around Trump is very much alive. It has taken over the Republican Party, controls political power in many states, and its allies control the Supreme Court. The Court’s decision to abolish women’s right to abortion, and the anti-LGBT+ laws introduced in Republican controlled states, along with changing election procedures to exclude black, Latina/o and poor voters, have been major victories for the Trump fascist movement.

Brexit is the British version of the Trump movement. It was always a project to complete the destruction of the democratic and social gains of the working class and Britain’s black, Asian & Muslim communities. The Brexit referendum campaign was a multi-month festival of racist myths and lies, whether it was the ‘official’ campaign dominated by Boris Johnson or the ‘independent’ campaign led by Nigel Farage, the fascist leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). In reality they worked in tandem. They used racism, xenophobia and the scapegoating of immigrants, not only as a divide-and-conquer strategy, but to create a mass movement – and they succeeded. Their propaganda gave a licence to a parallel campaign of racist & fascist attacks and abuse, on the streets and on public transport.

That escalated massively after the narrow victory of the ‘Leave’ campaign in the June 2016 referendum. There was a sharp rise in physical attacks and other forms of abuse & extreme harassment against

immigrants of all races, refugees, black and Asian people, LGBT+ people, community centres – and the organised racist harassment of children and parents at the gates of primary schools. Johnson, Farage and their allies had incited those horrors; they never disowned them and they never dropped their racist rhetoric.

That is fascism at work, and by the end of 2019 Johnson and the hard-line Brexiters had taken control of the Conservative Party and the government.

The terrible impact on people’s lives is all too clear. Recorded racist hate crime has nearly doubled since the year of the referendum, with over 100,000 recorded between March 2021 and March this year. All forms of hate crime rose by more than a quarter during the same 12-month period, with rising attacks on LGBT+ people and the disabled, but during that period only 8% of those crimes were prosecuted. A similar pattern is seen in figures for sexual assaults, domestic abuse and violence against women.   

The global crisis and the worldwide rise of fascism

The last twelve years or so have seen a sharp, worldwide rise in attacks on democracy, with the growth of fascism and the establishment of fascist governments.

The democratic system that has existed in the rich countries of Europe and North America since the late 19th century has always been based on an implicit ‘deal’ between the capitalist ruling class and the working class: the capitalists continue to make huge profits through the exploitation of the workers, not only at home but in colonies & neo-colonies; they and their political and professional allies (MPs, bureaucrats, judges etc) control the administration of the state, the army, police etc. In return, the working class gets the right to vote, the right to organise and strike, a series of welfare benefits (pensions, sick pay, health insurance etc) and, for the skilled workers at least, higher wages. That was only possible because of the huge wealth of those ruling classes.

The financial and economic crash of 2008/2009 – which was caused by the reckless gambling of the banks in the world’s richest countries – delivered a huge blow to the global capitalist economy, and to the political authority of the capitalist ruling classes of the different countries. They responded by bailing out the banks – and then they made sure the cost was borne by the working class, the poor and oppressed, and the world’s poorest countries. That meant slashing public services and welfare schemes. And it meant increasing the exploitation of the working class – cutting corners on health and safety, more privatisation, fake ‘self-employment,’ zero-hours contracts, and the rise of Uber and similar companies.

Those policies have not led to any significant or lasting recovery from the crash, and the financial gambling has continued. Since every national government has resorted to the same desperate measures the conflicts between them have become sharper. That has meant new and expanding wars, and no international co-operation to deal with the climate crisis or the rise of new pandemic diseases. The period since 2008 has seen greater poverty on a world scale, the mass migration of refugees, the rapid development of a  climate disaster – and the rise of fascism on a global scale.

Governments everywhere imposed cuts, but the crisis continues. In one country after another,  sections of the elites decide that the only way to protect capitalist power and wealth is to dispense with democracy completely, establish a dictatorship and crush the independent action of the working class.

To achieve that, especially in the richest countries, they promote the growth of a mass movement of mainly lower middle class people who hate the established political system but despise the working class and fear losing some real or imagined privilege. Those movements are outside the machinery of the state (police, army etc)  and they are motivated by some form of extreme nationalism based on racial or religious identity. They peddle the myth of a ‘glorious past’ that has been betrayed. The myth of betrayal is their justification for using physical violence against the ‘alien’ racial or religious groups, the organised working class and the defenders of democracy.

That is fascism. That describes Brexit and it describes the Trump movement. It is the character of the regimes in Russia, India and Brazil – and in Italy, where the fascist Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) and its close allies now control the government. Fascist movements are growing across Europe.

The global rebellion against growing poverty and inequality – Open the Borders

The inhumanity of the government’s attacks on the mass migration of refugees is an essential part of its drive towards fascism. It is not only about ‘divide and rule’ and the racist language of a threat to ‘national identity.’ It is, firstly, an expression of the ruling elite’s fear of the courage and determination of people who are part of that mass migration, part of a global rebellion against growing poverty and inequality, wars without end and the impact of the climate crisis. Throughout modern British history people, men and women who have uprooted themselves from their home countries to escape persecution & poverty have been leaders in the fight for equality and democracy and a force for progressive change.

But there is a further depth to the very real physical and mental cruelty that this government inflicts on refugees and the immigrants who are denied papers – it is an attempt, essential to fascism, to get the whole population to regard such cruelty as ‘normal’ and even inevitable.

So far that has had limited success, but it must be challenged and defeated. The cross-Channel refugees, everyone seeking asylum in Britain, and immigrants with or without papers are our brothers & sisters in the fight against Britain’s racist, imperialist ruling class.  Movement for Justice demands Opening the Borders of Britain & Europe because that is what refugees are doing every day, in order to resolve the material problems in their lives and find some degree of safety & freedom – and because the only alternative to open borders is a world of increasing barbarism and tyranny.

The Movement for Justice demands an immediate & unconditional Amnesty for everyone living in the UK without legal immigration papers, because Papers for All is the only way to end the nightmare created by 61 years of immigration, asylum & nationality laws, brought in by governments of all the main parties.

We call on the growing strike movement and anti-poverty movement to take up these demands and unite with the growing, community-based movement & networks that are stopping immigration raids. If we are not fighting racism, we can’t stop the creation of a fascist dictatorship in Britain.

Our greatest strength in this fight is the increasingly integrated character of the working class, the youth and the major towns & cities – in other words, the majority of the population. That is a major problem for the government and its supporters. It is the base we must mobilise in order defeat the move towards fascism.

The strike movement and government

The purpose of Kwarteng’s ‘mini-budget’ was this: to use huge tax cuts for the rich and powerful, and the need to repay the money the government has to borrow, as the reason to stop funding the services and benefits that the poor and oppressed rely on for their survival. It was effectively a plan to starve those services and destroy them. At the same time he plans to bring in yet another law to stop strikes and restrict trade union action, and yet another law to make it easier to deprive the poorest people of their welfare benefits.

Those are direct attacks on the present strike movement and shows how much the government fears its impact.

The current divisions among the Brexiters certainly make the Conservative Party and the government look weak, but they are not a fundamental division. There is no real disagreement about aims, only about tactics and presentation.

They have all voted for the laws that are creating a dictatorship, destroying workers’ rights, legal protections, human rights and the right of asylum. They all voted for the Borders Act and supported the plan to dump cross-Channel refugees in Rwanda. The Tory critics of Truss and Kwarteng are angry that by provoking a fall in the value of the pound and acting too fast they have alienated many of their own supporters.

Meanwhile the Labour Party leadership has used those divisions to present itself as the ‘reasonable’ alternative, without doing or saying anything significant about their own policies.

The truth is that the Labour leadership and other supposed defenders of democracy fear our inspiring strike movement, and the power of the working class and the poor, far more than they fear the government and the advent of British fascism. They fear a working class uprising more than they fear fascism.

We see that fear of working class struggle and appeasement of rising fascism every time Keir Starmer wraps himself in the Union Jack, sings God Save the King, sacks MPs who try to speak out against racism, covers up racism & Islamophobia in the Labour hierarchy, expels Jewish members who criticise Israel and Zionism, expelled left-wing delegates before they could take their place at the recent Labour Party Conference, and orders MPs not to join picket lines or support strikes.

In reality Starmer and the rest of the leadership are making the rise of fascism seem ‘normal.’ That is a betrayal of the working class. Many of the left-wing MPs have been targets of racism and misogyny themselves and we should call on them to lead a fight against the direction in which Starmer is taking the Labour Party – and support them when they do. This can’t wait until after some future election.

Our immediate general demands

Every current strike has a specific set of demands over pay, conditions, job cuts etc. At the same time, the most urgent fight overall is to Bring Down the Government. In addition the strike movement must put forward demands for real solutions to the issues that apply to all workers and can unite the entire working class in struggle. Firstly, in the current crisis, those are the rising cost of living  and unemployment. Secondly, there is the climate crisis, the issue that affects the future of humanity and that has often been used to divide the working class and tie many to the selfish interest of their employers.

Fighting inflation and poverty – Fighting unemployment

The working class, and the growing strike movement in particularly, are already facing the increased cost of living because of inflation. The recession will increasingly threaten us with unemployment. It is essential that this movement is able to put forward, and fight for, a plan to counter these twin evils and meet the essential needs of the poor and oppressed.

Inflation is at the highest level since the 1970s, but then workers’ wages, though under attack, were higher, and the trade unions had more power to win wages rises. Now inflation was rising to higher levels even before Kwarteng’s ‘mini-budget’ sent the value of the pound tumbling to the lowest level ever and pushed prices to even higher levels. Since the biggest prices rises are affecting food and energy, inflation is hitting the poorest people hardest of all.

Almost every wage rise that workers have got this year is really a wage cut, because the cost of living is rising faster and higher. It is simply not possible for new pay claims and strikes to keep up with this rising inflation. So far, the talk of ‘inflation proof’ wages is just empty words.

The only way that workers can actually defend their income from inflation is by securing automatic increases tied to the rate of inflation in the cost of food, energy, housing and transport. That should be decided independently of the employers and the government and agreed with the unions and workers. Adjustments should take place monthly, or weekly if inflation increases at a faster level.

The same system of automatic adjustments must be applied to all pensions and benefits (Universal Credit etc). Without that arrangement millions of people will be driven to destitution, starvation, ill-health and death.

A prolonged recession will inevitably mean that employers try to defend their profits by laying off workers, in a situation where new jobs are becoming more and more scarce. The jobless workers and their dependents will face destitution. That is unacceptable. We must fight for job-sharing on full pay – the available work should be shared out between the workers, while they continue to receive what they would have got for a full week or month. The workers did not create this crisis. It was the capitalists who created it and they must pay for it.

Fighting the causes of global heating must be a workers’ struggle – Make the Polluters Pay

Prime Minister Truss plans to re-start fracking in Britain and open up new oil fields in the North Sea. The Secretary for Business, the super-rich super-snob Jacob Rees-Mogg, has announced that he wants to see “Every cubic inch of gas” got out of the North Sea (a cubic centimetre would be an even smaller amount, but that would be too ‘European’ for this arch-Brexiter). This dangerous government would rather let the planet burn than see the capitalists lose a penny of profit. On that issue it only speaks for a tiny minority of the British population.

Our movement and the wider trade union movement must take up this existential fight. We must take the same approach as on inflation, wages and unemployment – the people responsible for the climate crisis, the people who are blocking any effective measures to resolve it, must be held responsible. We must make the polluters pay!  

We must fight for the expropriation of the oil, gas and coal companies – they must be taken into public ownership in order to shut them down. Their vast wealth must be used to fund a rapid transition to sustainable energy, repair as far as possible the damage that has already been done, and to support and retrain the workers in those industries. Further investment in fossil fuels should be made a criminal offence.

We will be told that the proposals on dealing with inflation and unemployment are unrealistic, just as we will be told that Opening the Borders is unrealistic, and we will certainly be told that expropriating and shutting down the fossil fuel industries is unrealistic. In fact these are the only realistic solutions to the present crises that we face. They are ‘unrealistic’ only if we live and think by the rules of a morally and politically bankrupt system – parasitic, ‘neo-liberal’ capitalism.

Building the political power of the working class as an alternative to capitalist rule

If the mass movement succeeds in bringing down the government there will inevitably be a general election, but it will be in the context of a victory for mass working class action. A new government will be confronted with the power of the poor and oppressed. There will almost certainly be a Labour government or a Labour-led coalition, and there will probably be a section of more left-wing Labour MPs who, from the start, put pressure on Starmer or come out publicly against his right-wing policies.

On the other hand it is possible, though perhaps unlikely, that the present government simply collapses in the near future. If that happens there will be a general election that will most likely lead to a Labour government. Starmer will Prime Minister.

Neither outcome will end the crisis, and either way it becomes Labour’s crisis. Either way we will still face the threats of greater poverty, accelerating global heating and fascism. Either way the fight to build the movement remains on the order of the day, and in many ways it will be more urgent.

The task facing the movement will be to create a new power structure, based on the rank-and-file organisations. The movement and those organisations must grow stronger and become more representative of the broad layers of the working class, and all the poor and oppressed. They will assert that power against whatever crisis-ridden government is presiding over the broken political system and trying to defend capitalist profits.

Then the working class will be in a position to create an economy that meets the needs of everyone on a basis of equality.


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 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


















Cross-Channel refugees win major victory in Court of Appeal: It is not a crime to steer a refugee boat across the Channel

Quash ALL the convictions – Free the refugees from prison!

Crown Prosecution Service must drop all pending prosecutions of cross-Channel refugees and refuse any further prosecutionsSIGN & SHARE THE PETITION!

Refugees who have risked their lives crossing the Channel to seek asylum have been slandered, persecuted and politically exploited by Johnson’s racist government. Now they have won an important victory. Yesterday the Court of Appeal ruled that it is not a crime for refugees to steer small boats across the Channel, to do their best to keep themselves and fellow refugees safe so they can exercise their legal right to claim asylum in Britain.  

The decision came following a special hearing last week, in which the Court of Appeal brought together four claims made separately by cross-Channel refugees. There were at least seven other refugees who were determined to fight for justice and waiting for  the outcome of  this hearing. They all have been or still are imprisoned  for that supposed ‘crime.’ The quashed all four convictions, making it almost certain the other seven will be quashed in January. 

Movement for Justice (MFJ) welcomes this decision. It is a defence of human rights and the UN Refugee Convention, made in defiance of a government that is tearing up asylum rights and  human rights, and under the threat of a new Nationality & Borders Bill – the purpose of which is to change the law so that it will, automatically, be a crime for any refugee to cross the Channel or seek to enter the UK without a legal document. 

Politically, yesterday’s decision is a challenge to the whole direction in which this Far Right, authoritarian government is moving – and not only on asylum and immigration policy.

Since 2019 the Home Office has used photographic evidence from drones to get the police to arrest refugees who steered boats across the Channel, and then treated them as ‘people traffickers.’ That accusation was obviously false and the Home Office knew it was false. Nevertheless, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) agreed to prosecute the refugees who the Home Office identified.

The legal principles of today’s decision were actually established by a Court of Appeal hearing in April this year – in the case of Fouad Kakaei, an Iranian asylum seeker. Over the next few months prosecutions were dropped in another eleven cases, and in July the CPS announced publicly that it would not be bringing any further prosecutions against cross-Channel refugees. 

However, the Home Office has continued to target refugees who steered boats. The CPS soon fell into line and brought more prosecutions. There are still many hearings scheduled: the next one is on January 4th and the list includes the case of MFJ member Nabil Abdulmajid in May.

The plain truth is that the government and the Home Office have consciously ignored the legal decisions and acted as though the new Borders Bill was already on the statute books. The CPS has agreed to be their accomplice. Canterbury Crown Court, where every one of these cases has been heard, is a racist production line churning out guilty verdicts for the Home Office. 

This is the state of affairs under a regime that despises democracy and humanity; it has no respect for us or even for the law. It sees all such concerns as obstacles to its political and economic objectives. In that context yesterday’s decision in the Court of Appeal can be described as a defence of democracy and human rights. It has fired a kind of warning shot at the development of dictatorship and fascism. It further undermines the tattered legitimacy of this government and its policies. 

The full significance of this decision will become a reality if we understand the authority it will give a refugee, immigrant and youth led movement to resist the Home Office and make the Borders Bill unworkable.

We have the advantage that Britain’s ruling elite is increasingly divided – important sections of the judiciary against the Home Office, different sections of capitalist businesses against the government or against each other, and the government increasingly divided against itself. Our movement must learn how to build collective action to take advantage of these divisions in order to increase the power and unity of the poor, exploited and oppressed. 

The Home Office, the Court of Appeal and the CPS are at loggerheads on many fronts. On the Borders Bill and the Home Office’s general anti-immigrant measures they are in conflict over the central public plank in the government’s political agenda. We must demand that the CPS grows a backbone and refuses to bow any longer to the government’s demands that it ignores the decisions of the courts. Specifically, we demand that the CPS immediately drops all prosecutions of refugees who have steered boats across the Channel and refuses to bring any new prosecutions. 

MFJ demonstrating outside the Court of Appeal on day two of the hearing.

Build Workers resistance and non co-operation with the racist Nationality & Borders Bill NOW! UNISON must allow workers to vote!

The trade unions must be prepared to lead, organise and mobilise resistance to this bill, to support their members who will be asked to participate in facilitating concentration camps, mass deportations and racist discrimination. RESIST the Nationality & Borders Bill!

The following is an appeal drafted by MFJ chair Antonia Bright, in her capacity as UNISON Black Members Officer at SOAS. Appealing against a decision to rule out of order the SOAS motion to UNISON London Regional Council to organise resistance to the most draconian and racist immigration legislation in British history, the Nationality and Borders Bill. This appeal and the motion lays down a strategy that is essential to building the resistance to this racist legislation. The trade unions must be prepared to lead, organise and mobilise resistance to this bill, to support their members who will be asked to participate in facilitating concentration camps, mass deportations and racist discrimination. Please spread the motion, pass it in your branch, in your union. If you are a member of UNISON pass it in your branch.

Appeal for SOAS Unison’s motion Black Members Against racially divisive “Nationality and Borders Bill” to be heard at Regional Council.

To the Regional Secretary.

SOAS Branch object to the ruling to deny Regional Council the opportunity to discuss and vote on our motion ‘Black Members Against racially divisive “Nationality and Borders Bill”.’ The motion urgently tackles the dangerously racially divisive piece of proposed legislation while it is at committee stage, not yet law. We appeal the ruling. We were informed that the motion would not be included on the agenda on the grounds that:

“the union cannot support activity that is beyond the law, as referred to in the fourth action point”.

The fourth action point in question calls for London Region to 

“Work with Labour Link to support those local authorities / councils that make public pledge that they will resist collaboration with the Home Office on its targeting of immigrants”.

We make the following three requests:

  1. We request that the motion be accepted on to the agenda for the Regional Council meeting now timed for the 2nd November.
  2. We request a copy of the legal advice on which this claim is asserted, and a list of which laws it is claimed would be breached by supporting locally elected councils that pledge to resist the targeting of our immigrant communities. What is the specific ‘activity that is beyond the law’, given that the immediate Bill referred to has not become law, and many local councils have made similar such pledges?
  3. We request a meeting with whomever made the decision where we can make our challenge. 

There is nothing in the motion to justify taking the extreme unilateral position of ruling it ‘out of order’. 

Firstly, the assertion that support of local authority’s resistance to Home Office activity is equal to support of ‘activity beyond the law’ is a speculation that the decision-maker has chosen to imply – it is not what the motion actually states. Loose speculation of this kind is dangerous to our unions’ democracy; it could be applied to any motion that ever seeks to resist any of the abhorrent things the government of the day may try to impose despite there being many ways to resist and challenge such things. 

In Higher Education we had resistance to “Prevent”, for example. The legally binding obligations placed on educational institutions by Prevent, did not stretch to forcing those institutions to force staff to carry out harassment of particularly Muslim students, though that was the implication. Unison HE Conference debated supporting members who refused to comply with the demands from state powers through Prevent legislation.[1] There is always scope for resisting discriminatory practices and asserting protections, which we should be using when the objective of an activity pushed by the government is the blanket discrimination or harassment of particular oppressed groups.

But unlike with Prevent, this motion is talking about a Bill that has not even passed. It is NOT law – it can’t be ‘broken’ since it’s not even clear what it is capable of legally imposing. It can however be fought, withdrawn, amended, and delayed. The ruling against discussing this motion inherently presumes that councils will have no lawful means to resist the racist and sexist outcomes of what they might be asked to do in the furtherance of the hostile environment policies. 

In fact, the Bill is already demonstrably likely to face legal challenges for years to come.[2] That challenge could conceivably come from local authorities, or dare we say, trade unions. We are not discussing settled law, it is precarious unclear immigration law which is an area where Home Office activities have been found unlawful in lots of areas including the workplace.[3]

Action point 4 anticipates that councils will be faced with choices and will be asked to do things that they have the power to refuse. It would mean Unison working through its Labour links to further the very resistance that is already underway against the anti-immigrant Hostile Environment policies. Councils including Hackney,[4] Lewisham,[5] and around 100 others have refused to assist the Home Office.[6] That is a sign of the strength of the international, integrated communities they represent and serve. 

While so many local council’s have already been resisting collaboration with the demands of the Home Office’s racist hostile policy, why are we now being told this is unsupportable? What a weak message to send a parliament as they weigh up this deplorable racist attack on refugees and Black communities, alongside major attacks on the right to protest, Judicial Review and legal aid. No wonder we have MP’s openly envisaging their path towards getting rid of the Human Right Act too. 

This is the time we need to state where we stand – as the RNLI did by stating what should be obvious: that their obligation is to rescue without discrimination; and that is not compatible with any law that tries to order them to let human beings drown in the sea. The local authorities have public sector duties too and are accountable to communities; they are in a position to challenge and to resist demands on them to breach human rights. 

If locally accountable councillors actually use what powers they have (the few powers central government have not yet destroyed), to resist measures that the Home Office may attempt to impose that would racially target and discriminate against immigrants, turn public services into a trap for the harassment of Black people and of non-citizens, lead to racial division and cause real damage to their community worse than what the hostile environment already has, clearly they should be supported and celebrated.

Regional Council is our voice. It is for us as members to raise debate, in this case to call for Unison to be clear where its support lies before our members, (which includes several serving as local councillors), are faced with the dilemma of how to uphold their obligations and ethics to help and serve our communities without discrimination, in the face of a political pressure to harass and stigmatise immigrants including refugees. 

The meaning and necessity of ‘Resistance’.

Our motion express the strength we want to convey. Discriminatory laws get repealed or changed when oppressed communities build resistance, with no guarantee of achieving justice. Universally, resistance is a means of struggle essential to fighting oppression. 

The Nationality and Borders Bill, if it passes, would not be the first time a British parliament has attempted to codify into law a set of deeply racist or bigoted ideas that opened a section of our society to legally sanctioned harassment and abuse. Look at the whole series of immigration and nationality laws that have systematically written the Black out of ‘Britishness’. Look at Section 28 that made an offence out of encouraging openness towards gay sexuality and empowered school leaders to drive out gay teachers. Had Unison been asked to declare “we support teachers and students who resist collaboration with the authorities implementing Section 28”, a motion to that effect would have shut down as ‘out of order’. What a way to prolong the misery suffered living under unjust laws. 

Without resistance to unjust laws there would be no fighting racism, segregation or apartheid, there would be no defeating anti-gay laws, or the legalised oppression of women. We fight unjust and oppressive laws, or we give way to even greater oppression. Fighting unjust laws begins with resistance, the means of which is decided by the context and what power exists.

Our motion opens a legitimate debate that must be had, about the nature of the Nationality and Borders Bill, its relation to past experiences of resistance to racism and unjust legislation, and the actions of local councils and communities currently resisting the racist hostile environment for immigrants. This is a trade union issue, recognised by the TUC statement quoted in the motion.

To block this motion by claiming that a trade union should not support resistance to a proposed law which seeks to introduce concentration camps for asylum seekers among other reprehensible measures, is offensive to the very historic struggles that the organisations of the oppressed have led and which we ‘celebrate’ in words if not in deeds. 

[1] Unison HE Conference 2012, Motion 16: “WE WON’T SPY ON OUR STUDENTS”



[4] Hackney Gazette: “Hackney Council pledges to ‘Support not Deport’ rough sleepers”;

[5] “London Council Rejects ‘Cruel’ New Immigration Rules”;

[6] The Independent: “More than 100 councils and charities vow to boycott Home Office policy to deport rough sleepers”;

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