The situation for migrants in Calais has become a major news story in recent months, with the humanitarian crisis now an unavoidable reality. UK Immigration minister Phil Woolas boasts that migrants “have been locked out by one of the toughest border crossings in the world” whilst his French counterpart Éric Besson vows to make Calais a no migrant zone by the end of the year and has increased police actions in the area.
At Thursday ‘s public meeting in Cardiff we will be explaining why this criminalisation of migrants is nothing more than brutality in response to suffering by politicians who are encouraging us to blame the victims of Western imperialism and economic domination. The presence of many of the people stuck in Calais is the ineveratable fallout of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, We encourage people who opposed those wars to side with the victims facing persecution once again as they flee to the ‘safety’ of Britain.
Migration is causing a fundamental shift in the class struggle, the British left stands at an impasse, with the possible responses summed up in two phrases “British Jobs for British Workers” or “Workers of the World, Unite”. It has been suggested that we, as the indigenous exploited people of this island would lose the few privileges that we are apportioned by capital if equality with the global poor is to be realised. This fear of socialism is not new, and we do not accept the idea that equality equates to a race to the bottom.
Migrants are not a separate social group, they are labour on the move. As such they are competitors for the crumbs from the rich man’s table and potential allies in the struggle for an equal society. We can either stand against fellow working class people in the hope of clinging on to the few pathetic crumbs the establishment let us have, or we can join with the masses of the dispossessed of the empire and together as equals create a new society. It seems likely that many who claim to act in the ‘best interest’ of workers will side with of the British Ruling class against the poor, we advocate standing alongside our natural allies in the class struggle, this summer, that can begin in Calais.