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The following article written by one of our group first appeared on Waleshome.org last week, where it has already the 2nd highest number of comments. We reproduce it here in it’s unedited original form.

Welsh history has often failed to integrate an international perspective, and as such the role of Welsh people in the British Empire is too often ignored. People like Henry Bruce (1st Baron Aberdare) whose statue overlooks Cardiff University. He was the first governor of the Royal Niger Company which institutionalised the systematic plundering of wealth from the region that was to become Nigeria. Many of the current problems faced by people in Nigeria are a direct result of domination by Britain. Despite having abundant natural resources and being a major oil producer, poverty is a fact of life for the majority of people in the most populous country in Africa.

MIGRATION is one of the most contentious issues of modern times. Add the “im-” prefix and it’s practically a swear word in some circles. If public debate around the issue is ever given any lip service, it generally has a whiff of racism, or more increasingly the stench of fascism about it. The right-wing gutter press have managed to file ‘bogus asylum seekers’ and ‘illegal immigrants’ into the same category as child killers and sex offenders. There is so much that can be said to counter tabloid lies on immigration, it would be easy to fill a whole article with facts refuting them. But these can be easily found elsewhere, here I will sketch a rarely-articulated history of Wales which undercuts the dominant right-wing discourse on migration.

Opponents of immigration often fix upon the notion of an indigenous culture that requires defending from outside influence, a ‘way of life’ that is under attack from foreigners. The ‘shared identity’ of the nation-state is appealed to, promoting the idea that the interests of all indigenous people are separate to those of ‘foreigners’. This imagined community of a country is a construct, even in a small nation like Wales most people never know, meet, or even hear of most of their fellow countrymen. Any concept of national identity is not innate and unchanging, but fragile, contested, and constructed over time. The hegemonic concept of national identity serves as Read the rest of this entry »

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hospital_ward__empty1The UK Government’s increasingly punitive stance towards people who migrant to Britain has led to a severe shortage of doctors in hospitals throughout Wales.

As far back as this May Dr. Hamish Meldrum, chairperson of the British Medical Association Council expressed concerns at the impact that ‘tougher’ border controls could have on health services, stating that new rules would bar many migrant doctors born outside the EU that the NHS relies on from working in the UK. These concerns were unheeded, as the project to tighten borders, intensify social control and enlarge the surveillance state has taken precedence over people’s health.

In a very short period of time the BMA’s concerns have become reality, with recruitment problems for Read the rest of this entry »

Last night there was a NO2ID benefit gig in Cardiff, organised by the local group, a few members of No Borders South Wales attended, and were well entertained by the performers; Lou Noble, Cosmo, Missdalogik, The Fix Up, New State Radio and Sicknote.

We used the opportunity of the gig to give out copies of our new leaflet against ID cards that draws attention to the way in which migrants are being used as a testing ground for a repressive system that the UK government wants to impose on everyone.

An article on the Cardiff Radical Socialist Forum “No2ID – with friends like these, who needs enemies?” has been the subject of some debate. ID cards has long been an unpopular concept in the UK, meaning authoritarian organisations with no real respect for personal freedom have given their backing to the NO2ID campaign.

We encourage opponents of ID cards to look at what is happening with the control of migrants, and see the thin end of wedge of the surveillance society. No doubt some of the less libertarian supporters of NO2ID would disagree with our stance on freedom of movement, hopefully others will agree. We wholeheartedly believe that the frontline of opposition to the creeping surveillance state is the defence of migrants, especially asylum seekers.

Politically No Borders has affinity with the Defy-ID network, which came out of the libertarian milieu. There was a Cardiff Defy-ID group, though it appears inactive. No Borders Nottingham and Defy-ID Nottingham published an article “Defy-ID and No Borders – Better together” we echo their sentiments.

A hardy collection of waterproofed campaigners from No Borders South Wales picketed the government’s ‘UK Border Agency’ on Newport Road in Cardiff. This unassuming grey building is the heart of the UK’s immigration policy in South Wales, but it’s boring bureaucratic façade hides a truly barbaric regime.

This is the place where snatch squads leave at dawn in order to smash in peoples’ doors and drag them out of bed before dumping them in one of our squalid detention prisons. Innocent people, those who have committed no crime other than wanting to make a better life for themselves or flee opppression are forced to sign on here every week as part of their duty to this dehumanising system.

We do a regular picket outside this building for a number of reasons:

  • We want to alert the public to what goes on here and make sure they know about the snatch squads
  • We want to show asylum seekers some solidarity, tell them about what we do, and let them know not everybody in the UK is driven by the racist agenda of the right-wing press
  • And we want to let the Home Office know that there’s opposition to their police-state politics, and that we won’t let their ‘business as usual’ carry on without some serious opposition

If you can join us we’ll be there, rain or shine, every second week for one hour at noon. Bring your sandwiches and a justified hatred of the way asylum seekers are being treated in our names. Keep an eye on the blog for updates.

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