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The protest outside the UK Border agency in Cardiff this Friday called by Refugee Voice Wales has been gaining attention.

There has been support for the demonstration on Facebook, Myspace, TwitterIndymediaEveryone’s Favourite ComradeCryptonomicon, Cardiff Radical Socialist Forum, Urban75 and Permanent Revolution.

The BBC world service also recently aired an episode of Assignment: “Unlawful Detention” (Listen or Download) investigating claims that the government is routinely breaching its own guidelines and detaining vulnerable Read the rest of this entry »

A recent episode of the BBC Wales’ current affairs programme Week In Week Out was on the subject of refugee destitution. It followed the lives of five people in Wales, highlighting the inhumane treatment they have experienced while claiming asylum in the UK. All fled dangerous situations and came to the UK with hopes for a better life. Some of them had to leave their entire families, including children that they have not seen for many years. Although they are in some ways safer living here, the programme also showed that they have to endure extremely difficult living conditions and certainly don’t have the ‘life of Riley’ that one commentator suggests.

A glaringly obvious factual error, that we would not expect from the “reputable BBC research team”, was that one of those interviewed received the same benefits as a Welsh woman whilst her claim was being considered, a media fuelled myth that you would hope a programme such as this would be trying to combat. The reality is that Read the rest of this entry »

mainpromoThe BBC Wales sitcom ‘High Hopes’ last night injected a dose of hard realism into its usual anarchic mix of surreal comedy. The show, made by Boyd Clack and Gareth Gwenlan, is now in its 5th season, and yesterday it tackled the UK’s increasingly harsh Border regime. The episode’s synopsis reads:

The local Indian restaurant is in danger when the Immigration Department, in the guise of Adam Mosley, plot to deport its elderly patriarch. The community, led by Mam, must band together to save him before it is too late.

As it turns out this episode is so like real life it’s uncomfortable. The portrayal of UK Border Agents breaking down doors, turfing families out of their beds, using aggressive and bigoted language, though played for laughs, is remarkably familiar.

Thankfully another familiar thing in the show was the portrayal of the response of friends and neighbours of people facing deportation. As we’ve seen in Cardiff and across the country, when the Border Agency goons come knocking there’s often a concerted effort by local communities to band together to protect their neighbours.

The episode is available via BBC iPlayer until 22nd December – watch it while you can!

The second failed attempt by the Home Office to deport Kemi, Taiwo and Yasim on tuesday gained some press attention. However the somewhat suspect claim by Virgin Nigeria Airlines’ Director of Corporate Communications Larry Agose (pictured) has taken centre stage for foiling the forced removal.

Larry said that:

We were approached to carry Kemi Ayinde who is billed for deportation from the UK on our flight, but we declined. We also do not intend to carry her on any of our subsequent flights.

Reporters from the Mirror, WalesOnline, & South Wales Echo all put the fact that the family was wasn’t deported down to the Virgin Nigeria refusing the Home Office. Breaking News Kenya has repeated the story and there has been discussion on the Mirror forum on the issue.  Other media souces BBConline and News Wales weren’t so sure, and have concentrated on the Judical Review that came into place some time before Larry’s statement. The whole thing appears to have really annoyed the racists on Stormfront, a sign to everyone that we’re doing something right!

Of course we couldn’t be happier that Virgin Nigeria has commited not to deport Kemi at any time in the future. And though we are somewhat cynical that they had originally refused to do the Home Office’s dirty work (especially given the evidence to the contrary, see previous posts), we’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. We hope that Virgin Nigeria’s heroic stand against the deportation of Kemi is followed up by the refusal to deport ANY failed asylum seekers by the whole Virgin group. 

Meanwhile the campaign has also now got the support of Jill Evans MEP, who has written to the home secretary to reconsider Kemi’s case and has said :

I fully support the campaign of No Borders Wales to allow Ms Ayinde and her family to return to Cardiff.

source: NewsWales


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