Anarchist Federation bulletin - Resistance 84 - May 2006
ASYLUM NO CRIME
AIM FOR a
world where people can live where they want. Yet the media tells us that asylum
seekers are here to make money or harm the “British people”. As we write this
issue of Resistance,
A Rwandan woman was taken to
is a 35 year old university graduate who fled
homophobic and political persecution in the
A Congolese man suffered imprisonment and
torture over a 21 month period for supporting the
opposition. He escaped to the
A Roma mother and daughter from Kosova face persecution and abuse if forced to return. The
daughter is disabled. Her father and brother ‘disappeared’ after threats . If they return they will
be at risk of rape and beatings. The
Lisa, partner of an asylum seeker wrote this most recently. “…I only learnt how evil the Home Office can be when they sent my partner a letter asking if he would return home and make arrangements after he had been refused Family Amnesty. It was a shock in which I lost our unborn child in November 2005. ...Soon after, in February 2006, our family home was surrounded by police at 8am on morning, witnessed by our children ... This is when I learnt that I had made the worst mistake ever and in fact should never have trusted the Home Office the way I once did. “
These personal stories are only a glimpse of the suffering experienced. There is no space here to give the full picture of these peoples’ experiences and of the thousands of others.
Tags: an insult to humanity
NEW ASYLUM SEEKERS to the
Section 36 of the Immigration and Asylum (Treatment of Claimants) Act of 2004 allows for the electronic monitoring of those liable to detention under the Immigration Acts. This includes asylum seekers, illegal entrants, those found working in breach of their conditions of stay, those who have overstayed, people subject to further examination at a port of entry, and those refused leave to enter. (Home Office)
ASYLUM SEEKERS ARE placed in housing by NASS who take out contracts with housing providers. These providers have a duty to ensure basic care of those in their homes. Basics should include regular visits, assistance in registering with doctors and schools and provision of bedding, pots, pans and seating.
housing providers including Clearsprings lost their
contract with NASS on the grounds of costs. Clearsprings
provided some of the better
quality houses nationally. The full effects of this are not known but currently we expect most families in their
housing to be moved. Letters sent to families contained leaflets on
repatriation. How to make a bad situation even worse!
Campaigning by a local school in
LIKE THE TORIES poll tax, ID cards are Labour's own version of a 'tax on being alive'. We can scupper ID cards as soon as they try and force us to register, but only if we start preparing now. Once the scheme is in place it will be harder, although certainly not impossible, to beat it. We cannot allow the state to get away with becoming more authoritarian than it already is.
One way to fight the national identity scheme is to get involved with a local anti-ID group (or set one up) and help get the message out by producing and distributing information against ID in community & social centres, libraries, health centres and door-to-door. There is still a lot to do to explain the basic facts of the scheme, as well as its likely effects, and to work out effective forms of direct action.
ID will affect different groups in society in many different ways. Applications to the Student Loans Company will be linked to ID, so they can keep tabs on any address changes, and university students may even need to have an ID card to get a loan. The Connexions Card scheme for 13-19 years olds also gethers information on other school leavers and students. There are likely be big changes in levels of police harassment for minority groups, and ID records could easily be used to control access to benefits or healthcare.
Get the inside information
Those in work can try and find out about any ID-related developments there. Anti-ID groups will be pleased to hear from any council workers or anyone else who can help the campaign find out when ID data collection starts to happen locally, especially in areas that may be chosen as a trial area for ID registration.
Councils also hate local people turning up in their cosy council offices to protest, especially when they would rather maintain the illusion that they are victims of a scheme instead of an integral part of it. Workers in companies implementing the scheme, like Experian, may know details about how their employer is planning to operate their part of it.
Get your passport
Personal information from passport applications will be used to build the National Identity Register from 2008-9 although you can 'opt out' of having an actual card until 2010.
Some data collection has already started, taking face dimensions from passport photos. Later on, applicants will have to attend in person to get fingerprints or eyes scanned (69 Identity & Passport Service centres will be set-up around the country from October 2006 for in-person applications). So, for anyone who needs a new passport, it would be a good idea to get one now before the new systems are up and running properly, making sure the photo is not too clear so it is harder for the Passport Office to extract facial data.
One Post Office service for the newer photo ID driving licence has your photo pre-checked so you can see what you can get away with (postage is also included which can work out cheaper than paying for this separately) - this may also be the case for passports.
There must be lots of individual ways to confound the ID scheme and these can be shared in anti-ID groups, and even better, by telling friends and neighbours. This will help build a mass refusal campaign, because a scheme like this won't be prevented by small numbers of individuals helping themselves.
Remember that local politicians of whatever colour cannot be trusted. Under the Tories, Labour council leaders enthusiastically issued poll tax demands and court orders, sent in the bailiffs and condemned local and national demonstrations as mindless riots. But as local people, we supported each other, we defied the courts and saw off bailiffs. We were angry and we fought back. Many of us disappeared off the registers for good. There may be a local MP against ID in some areas, but lobbying has been shown to be useless. We know that governments do not listen and that ID will be beaten on the streets or not at all.
There many groups around
Big Oyster’s Watching You
Meanwhile… Do you realise that if you register your
Oyster Card to travel round
Rossport Solidarity Camp
Rossport Solidarity Camp was re-opened on the 25th of February.
The camp is part of a community based struggle against Shell’s plans to devastate a remote coastal area in the West of Ireland.
The camp is now bigger and better than it has ever been before.
The Rossport Five, five residents jailed last year for refusing to obey court orders preventing them from protesting the development, went free from the High Court, without further imprisonment, on the 7th of
April. One of them, Willie Corduff, attributed this to “people power”. Costs were awarded in favour of Shell, though the feeling is it is unlikely they will get
away with trying to claim them.
In April we were visited by Rhythms of Resistance, a
based samba band, we have also had contingents over from Earth First!, from Nine Ladies anti-quarry London
protest site, and from the Saving Iceland campaign.
On Good Friday, April 14th, there was a march through Rossport, along the proposed route of the gas pipeline, to commemorate the Ogoni nine, opponents of
Shell who were executed in
Also in April Roadbridge, the main contractor for Shell, made a number of unsuccessful attempts to enter the refinery construction site at Ballinaboy. These attempts were brought to a halt by picketers, and it
is believed Shell was testing the waters for an attempt to re-start construction.
On the June Bank Holiday weekend, the 4th to the 6th , a gathering will take place on the camp, this is to commemorate its first anniversary. The gathering will
feature workshops, a tour of the area, music, and a forum on privatisation. All are welcome.
For more information see:
THE NATIONAL COALITION of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people seeking asylum.
It is the only national organisation that
campaigns against deportations and tries to help those at risk set up and run
their own campaigns to stay in
It has done this for the past ten years and has become the backbone of support for all anti-deportation campaigns.
The NCADC charges nothing for its work. Now, faced with a campaign of hate from the national press, it faces closure.
The Daily Mail spurred on this campaign. Angered by a £340,000 Lottery Grant to the NCADC, the Mail started spreading lies. It claimed the organisation supported criminals and terrorists.
It egged on its readers to contact the Community Fund (which distributed the Lottery Funds).
The flood of distortion and the hate mail that followed persuaded David Blunkett, who was then Home Secretary, to set up an inquiry into Lottery funding. Now the NCADC has had its funding removed.
Already a number of offices have closed. Others will follow and the whole organisation is in danger of going under in May.
Closure will leave frightened, vulnerable people on their own trying to fight the Home Office and immigration law. An asylum seeker said : 'We need to campaign for NCADC to keep their doors open for those who are suffering under the threat of deportation to where their human rights were severely abused. The work they are doing needs some money and this is very important because they can't achieve their objectives and help refugees and asylum seekers without it. They can't disappear because our lives depend on them’
If the NCADC folds it will be another victory for the government in its attempts to keep refugees out. It leaves the field open to racists and little Englanders. The NCADC needs money urgently. Our readers can help. Standing order and one-off donation forms can be downloaded from: http://www.ncadc.org.uk/donations/donate.htm
While you are there, take a look around their website and see some of the many campaigns NCADC is assisting. We cannot let the Daily Mail win.
Support for anarchist asylum-seeker
an Armenian member of the anarchist/libertarian communist network ‘Autonomous
Action’ operating across countries of the former
In November 2005 whilst protesting about a state referendum right-wing vigilantes attacked him and his comrades. He fled the country but has had to leave a wife and children behind.
He is seeking asylum on the grounds of his political convictions. The date of
next Asylum and Immigration Tribunal hearing is on the 29th of June in
Offers of support, which we will forward, to: solidarityaf-north.org
Earth First! Gathering announcement
This years Earth First Summer
Gathering will be held in
“Exploring Alternatives to the corporate world of greed, lies and exploitation”.
Phone 0845 223 5254
Leeds 6 May - City of
Subscriptions to resistance costs £4 from the address above for 12
issues. A two issue subscription to our magazine, Organise! for
revolutionary anarchism, is also £4.
You can subscribe to resistance by email for free, or
download current (and back issues) from http://www.libcom.org/hosted/af/res/