Socialist Worker

Defending refugees

Issue No. 1834

PROTESTERS AGAINST the government's brutal new laws on refugees took to the streets of London, Glasgow and Manchester last week.

GLASGOW: More than 60 people attended a protest last Wednesday called by the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees. There were campaign banners and union representatives including Jim Friel, president of the GPMU union.

Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan accused the Labour government of putting on the clothes of the far right. John McFadden of the firefighters' FBU union said Blunkett's pandering to far right arguments would only embolden fascists.

LONDON: 'What has happened is the nastiest thing for many years. We won against vouchers for refugees. We have got to win against this even more quickly.' So said Neil Gerrard MP, addressing demonstrators outside the Home Office last Wednesday. Up to 70 people braved the snow to join the protest. They included 15 year old James Haywood, who told demonstrators, 'Welcoming refugees is not just humane, they play a huge part in our society. 'Bush and Blair say they want to 'liberate' Iraq yet they are not letting the victims of this 'evil regime' in.'

MANCHESTER: Over 100 people gathered outside the town hall on Wednesday. Several refugee organisations and representatives of the different ethnic groups in Manchester attended. We hope to go on from this to build a successful campaign to challenge this new attack on asylum seekers.

BRISTOL: Some 300 shoppers in the Broadmead shopping centre put their names to a petition last Saturday condemning the new legislation against asylum seekers. Alex Gordon, national executive member of the RMT rail union, joined campaigners as we protested, leafleted and petitioned.

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Sat 18 Jan 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1834
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