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Racist vans, harassment of migrants via text messages from private companies, cuts to legal aid, cuts to English language learning provision, cuts in support services – and phone-lines that people now struggle to use…and more to come from the new Immigration Bill – some might just conclude that the government’s policies are an attack on the vulnerable, but then again, when hasn’t this been the case?

Home Secretary, Theresa May has openly stated a desire to create a “hostile environment” for all but “the brightest and best” migrants.

But whatever governments try to do, people will be there, working together in unity and solidarity to try and change the far-right policies that don’t help anyone, even the richest or bigoted.

Action has been taking place around Europe to build resistance and empower people to stand up for their rights.


The ‘March for Freedom‘ walked for 450km between Strasburg and Brussels, and defied laws by crossing borders that is now a normal occurrence for Europe’s citizens, but denied to vistors seeking sanctuary from wars and conflict.

Activists in Calais have stood up to openly fascist groups and seen support grow as far-right demos were cancelled. Many have now reclaimed a major space in the city to use for solidarity work.


Here in south Wales, activists have recently become involved in the necessary work to support destitute asylum seekers. The government cuts are forcing more people to sleep rough. Cardiff Destitution Network is helping to make the grass-route changes that challenge this bogus system, it was set up by solidarity activists in CMS Wales, which has been active since 2012 after being inspired by the Unity Centre in Glasgow. Some activists have spent less time coming to meetings and more time helping to promote events and organise local benefit gigs which help to fund the vital work that keeps people safe and alive.

Some have worked with various organisations to help make Cardiff a ‘City of Sanctuary’ – hoping that their input helps to make a real difference on the ground so that those that need to the most can directly benefit from the ‘award’.

Many others have been involved in anti-deportation campaigning, alongside friends in south Wales and a now released Dignity marcher to South Wales from Bristol.

We want to build on this though.

We have plans to hold a day of action during the NATO summit in South Wales, and also to help organise a new No Borders Convergence, bringing together migration activists from all over the UK and beyond. Our friends in Bristol and Leeds are growing the No Borders struggles there, and other groups in Manchester, Brighton, Oxford and Nottingham are building a new Migrant Solidarity Network, which Cardiff is also linked to.

This work is to create a world where no one is oppressed or discriminated against because of their status, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

We want a No Borders group again, that will use protests and many forms of direct action to get results. When detention centres have been blockaded and flights have been cancelled, people’s lives have been saved. We’re meeting tonight to help make this happen. We hope that you can join us at Cathays Community Centre from 6pm to be a part of it. We will aim to meet regularly after that.

You can contact us for more information but we’d like to see you stand together with us if possible.

For a world without borders, in which all are equal and live without conflict.

The financial crisis is setting in, more and more people are finding themselves crippled by debt, while the banks who caused the mess in the first place are bailed out with public money by the government. Things are likely to get worse as people find it harder to get a stable job and affordable housing. We live in a world built by the creativity and co-operation of working class people, run for the benefit of the rich. The media and politicians, like the new Minister for Borders and Immigration Phil Woolas, would have us blaming migrants and ethnic minorities for our problems. We are told that migrants come here and take British people’s jobs. We are told that they are given and easy ride and preferential treatment with respect to benefits and social housing.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Asylum applicants are only entitled to around seventy percent of the lowest form of income support and are not allowed to work. Migrant workers and families are usually only allowed into the UK if they will maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds. Refused refugees who agree to ‘voluntary’ return home do not receive any money but £35 worth of vouchers per week, only redeemable in certain supermarkets. Other refused asylum applicants will receive no welfare benefits, are not allowed to work and are unable to access social housing. Even some migrants who have been allowed to remain in the UK for a certain period will only be allowed to do so on the condition that they have ‘no recourse to public funds’.

The vast majority of refugees who seek asylum in the UK have their claims rejected, largely due to a culture of disbelief within the Home Office, who have explicitly stated that they aim to deport more people than claim asylum. Hardly a system that is likely to do all it can to make sure people’s applications are properly heard.

Many fear returning homes because of the persecution they would face, others are unable to because their countries are war zones and are too dangerous. Take Iraq for instance, where a US and UK led invasion has completely destabilised the country and even conservative estimates of civilian casualties have the death toll in the hundreds of thousands.

Unable to ‘legally’ work, with meagre benefits cut and housing provision taken away, thousands of refugees around the UK are forced into destitution every year.

It amounts to nothing more than trying to starve people out of the country.

Some turn to working ‘illegally’, where they risk being imprisoned and deported for doing nothing other than trying to keep their heads above water. Others get by through mutual aid and the support of community networks of friends and neighbours. Support is also provided by a number of voluntary organisations. As a means of making such support more visible, we have put together a list of organisations in the Cardiff area. If you know of any other similar organisations in south Wales please let us know and we’ll add them to the list.

It’s really good that some people care, cos the Home Office sure doesn’t! No Borders South Wales believes that access to welfare, health, social care, education and housing services should not be denied due to your immigration status. We call on such services to be provided according to need and they should not be used to enforce racist immigration laws.


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