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UKIP are due to open a campaign office in Penarth this Saturday (29th).
No Borders South Wales is working with South Wales Anarchists and others to hand out leaflets and counter their racist lies with a demonstration.
Our leaflet busts some immigration myths that have been peddled by politicians, media moguls and others in an attempt to divide us, and distract us from real issues and problems that they are causing.
Join us at 11am. Phone/text 07512238523 for the meeting point, near the centre.
Reactions to the whistle-blowing of Louise Perrett have continued, the Cross Party Group on Human Rights at the Welsh Assembly recently had Louise give a talk on her experiences. This has led to Bethan Jenkins AM to call for an investigation into UKBA racism whilst demanding:
“a halt to any deportations planned as a consequence of the casework completed at the Cardiff office”.
Now Refugee Voice Wales has called a demonstration outside the UK Border Agency offices, 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff on Friday 26th February between 1pm and 3pm.
In the call out they state:
“We are calling for an immediate stop to consistent racial abuse and harassment of asylum seekers by the UKBA staff. We demand:
- that all cases dealt by unscrupulous officers be reviewed
- immediate suspension of all removals / deportations
- the suspension of all corrupt staff and their supervisors
- an instant independent overhaul of the whole system at Cardiff UKBA
- An independent inquiry into all UKBA offices to uphold the Refugee Convention
Tell everyone you know to come! Come play your part to create freedom. If you have BLACK GLOVES please wear them on the day for the freedom salute! Come let’s have a mass toyi-toyi (African War dance for freedom and equality). This is a mockery to the inclusion and integration policies so encouraged by the Welsh Assembly.”
Despite not agreeing with the implication that the problem is “unscrupulous officers” and “corrupt staff”, we fully support this call out. The role of Read the rest of this entry »
An article in today’s Guardian, has added extra meaning to our protest outside the UKBA this afternoon. Louise Perrett worked as a case owner at the UK Border Agency office in Cardiff for three and a half months last summer. Due to her experiences of her time in the agency she has risked breaching the Official Secrets Act to go public with evidence of anti-immigration views and abuse of power by UK Border Agency staff.
“I witnessed general hostility, rudeness and indifference towards clients. It was completely horrific. I highlighted my concerns to senior managers but I was just laughed at. I decided to speak out because nobody else was saying anything and major changes are needed at senior management level.”
Her revelations reveal a culture of bigotry and prejudice in the Cardiff office, where members of staff took pride in refusing applications.
- One manager said of the asylum-seeker clients: “If it was up to me I’d take them all outside and shoot them.”
- If a case was difficult, she was simply advised to refuse it and “let a tribunal sort it out”.
- Any officer who approved an asylum application had a stuffed toy “grant monkey” placed on their desk by other members of staff as a badge of shame.
- One official tested the claims of boys Read the rest of this entry »
This October, in a bid to stir up racial tension and increase religious intolerance, a group calling itself the ‘English Defence League‘ (EDL) intend to hold two protests in south Wales with a “march against muslim extremists” in Swansea on Saturday 17th October and an ‘anti-mosque demo’ in Newport on Saturday 24th October.
It seems that the EDL, which has close links with the British National Party (BNP), have reached out to the fantasist Jeff Marsh of Barry who has cultivated a shady reputation through authoring a number of Cardiff City Soul Crew football hooligan books. Marsh, along with a handful of impressionable young racists raised on a diet of boastful hooligan memoirs and hate-filled extremist internet forums, have formed a “Welsh Defence League” which is acting as a front for both the south Wales protests.
We will be joining the call out by <a href="http://twitter.com/NewportCAR"Newport Communities Against Racism to fill John Frost Square before the fascists arrive and show them that their bigotry is not welcome here! There is an event page on both Facebook and Myspace, as well as a page on Twitter, please invite your online friends and Read the rest of this entry »
On Thursday 29th January 2009, around 25 people braved the freezing cold conditions to hold a picket for about 2 hours outside the UK Border Agency at 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff. These offices are where decisions are made about who gets detained, deported or in rarer cases granted leave to remain. ID cards are issued here for non-EU students and spouses and immigration ‘snatch squads’ operate from this address. This is also the local reporting office, where asylum applicants must ‘sign on’ as part of the conditions of their continued residence in the UK and then sometimes are detained prior to deportation. It is the face of Britain’s racist immigration policies right here on our doorstep.
Whilst holding our regular pickets we witness asylum applicants attending to ‘sign on’, their papers being inspected before they are granted admittance. Any accompanying friend or family members made to wait outside while they go in. We often also see Read the rest of this entry »
On Thursday 29th January at 12noon we will be holding a picket outside the UK Borders Agency at 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff (map) to protest against deportation, against detention and against the racist ID card system all of which are enforced from these offices. We will be hanging banners, holding placards and distributing leaflets to draw attention to what happens inside the building.
While the image of Britain as a tolerant country that welcomed migrants is a debatable one, if you read the right-wing press you might be forgiven for thinking that any welcome that did exist had disappeared altogether, and in terms of its migration regime it most definitely has. Despite increasingly draconian laws however, there are still many people who believe that somehow the UK Border regime is too tolerant and needs to ‘toughen up’. Take Paul Goddard over on The Lone Voice blog, who recently commented on Babi Badalov‘s deportation:
“it is rather satisfying to see that the Immigration Agency actually do throw people out when they find their cases wanting.”
We are sad to say that the UK Border Agency (do try to keep up Paul!) carry out around 180 deportations every day – that’s a person every 8 minutes – with these often being to countries which the government knows are unsafe. Some contributors to “a lone voice” seem fully aware of the dangers people are deported into, commenting:
“Lets hope he gets killed asap back in his homeland.”
and from another
“If Babi faces execution … will the video be available on You Tube?”
It’s quite common for advocates of “stronger borders” to be revealed as nothing more than racial supremacists. MigrationWatch, for example, possibly the foremost anti-immigration organisation in the UK was founded and is still partly run by Professor David Coleman, a long-term member and sometime office-holder of the Eugenics Society and its successor the Galton Institute (sneaky name change due to the highly discredited theory being widely recognised for the racist nonsense that it is!). Amongst other things he thinks Ethiopians should have fewer babies, and Europeans more. In a similar way MigrationWatch chairman, Sir Andrew Green, has publicly stated that
“We have no problem with immigration from Poland, which is valuable to all sides.”
but has great concerns about people from
“the distant cultures of Asia and Africa”
To these “balanced migration” advocates, Europeans = good, Asians and Africans = bad. Whitey is welcome, darkie has got to keep out. These outspoken voices often bemoan being labelled as racist for their views, claiming to represent mainstream opinion, or the ‘silent majority’.
Our experiences as No Borders activists paints a very different picture. Even though we hold what those in government, sundry influential right-wing nuts, and their apologists in the tabloid press might consider an ‘extreme position’ on borders and migration, we have found our views usually go down pretty well with the people we meet.
We do a lot of campaigning ‘on the street’, putting our message out there and making the case for the abolition of borders and in favour of individual migrants’ campaigns to stay. And far from continually meeting with abuse from knuckle-dragging racists we’ve found that once we make our case, and explain the human stories which lie behind the faceless (and dubious) statistics trotted out by the likes of Migrationwatch, people are usually quite quick to express support for what we do.
For too long now we have allowed popular discussion of migration issues to be dominated by the unthinking right and their allies on both sides of the mainstream political spectrum: a big part of our job now has to be to get out there and put our ideas in the public domain. We have to speak to our friends, our neighbours, and those in our communities; we need to produce our own media and sometimes engage with the corporate press. If our experiences since setting up this No Borders group are anything to go by, we’ll find more support amongst the general public than the shrill and callous ranting of a lone voice might suggest.
The first UK ID cards have been unveiled, and come into force from 25th November. The card will hold the holder’s photograph, name, date of birth, nationality, immigration status and an electronic chip with biometric details, including fingerprints and digital facial image. All indefinitely held on the UK Identity and Passport Service database.
Initially the ID cards will be issued to non-EU students and marriage visa holders then, foreign nationals wanting to enter the UK. From next year other foreign nationals living in the UK will begin to be issued with ID cards. These groups will be forced to enrol on the scheme and use the card, rather than their passport, for identification,
Once migrants have been used to test the scheme, in 2009 anyone, regardless of nationality, who works in an area the government deems “sensitive” such as airports will be required to have an ID card. From 2010, students will need ID cards to get a student loan and they will be available to the rest of us on a “voluntary” basis, with them being paired with passports in 2011.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will produce the physical plastic cards, and use IBM to provide the technology. Foreign nationals who boycott the card could lose their right to stay. Those who refuse to make or turn up to an appointment to scan their fingerprints and facial image will face a £250 fine, rising to £1,000 for persistent refusal. Those who fail to tell police if they lose their ID card will face a fine of £125. Employers and sponsors of foreign nationals will be forced to keep records on them, including a copy of the employee’s ID card. Businesses found employing workers who do not have valid ID cards will face fines of up to £10,000 per person.
Nearly every section of society outside the government has voiced opposition to ID cards. Let no-one be fooled by this cynical nod to racism as anything other than an attempt to introduce ID cards by stealth.
“The government is picking on soft targets — people who have no choice but to comply. They’re actually targeting people who are completely justified in being here.”
Phil Booth, national co-ordinator of No2ID
It is patently clear that this card is the thin end of the wedge, the first blow in an attack on civil liberties we all enjoy. The government is open about their plans, it wants everyone in the UK tagged, numbered and repressed, using migrants as a testing ground for it’s authoritarian desire to increase the size of the surveillance state. The opposition to ID cards must begin now.