Socialist Worker

Defend refugees-fight racism

Issue No. 1719

Defend refugees-fight racism

THE COMMITTEE to Defend Asylum Seekers national meeting last Sunday agreed to heighten pressure on the government's asylum seekers policies, particularly its voucher system. The meeting follows several national protests the committee organised outside supermarkets operating the voucher scheme and a national demonstration in June. Everyone agreed the campaign had encouraged and reinforced anger over the government's asylum policies. This anger was echoed at the TUC and Labour Party conferences.

The meeting agreed to:

  • Launch a new open letter calling for the scrapping of the voucher system.
  • Plan a "counter-review" to the government's proposed review of immigration and asylum seeker policies. This plan has already received the support of the National Civil Rights Movement's Michael Mansfield and Suresh Grover.
  • Launch an appeal for toys, clothes and so on for asylum seekers in the run-up to the Christmas season, and organise wherever possible Christmas parties where such items can be distributed.
  • Call a fourth nationwide supermarket protest for 11 November.
  • Organise support for the Hands Around the Home Office protest on 4 November, called by Speak Out Against Racism-Defend Asylum Seekers.
  • A model motion and campaign materials available from: www.defendasylum.org, or from CDAS at BM Box 4289, London WC1N 3XX, phone 07958 478 628.

SOME 50 refugees and asylum seekers last week attended a meeting of Leicester Civil Rights Movement. They discussed the problems of living in the city's International Hotel. The meeting agreed to coordinate assistance for refugees and lobby Accommodate, the company running the hotel.


SOME 120 people in Wath, near Rotherham, attended a meeting last week to discuss a private residential home becoming accommodation for asylum seekers. A Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers leaflet and a number of contributions in support of refugees meant racist ideas did not dominate the meeting and there was a wide ranging discussion.


UNITED IN REMEMBRANCE FOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE DIED IN CUSTODY 

Saturday 28 October Assemble 1pm, Nelson's Column, march to Downing Street 

Please wear black 
Called by the United Friends and Families Campaign


SATPAL RAM'S parole review hearing will take place on Friday 27 October Satpal has been jailed for over 14 years for defending himself against a racist attacker and is asking for actions in support of this parole hearing Protests are planned in London on 27 October For details e-mail: SatpalRam@satpalram.connectfree.uk.com


Higher education

WORKERS at new universities (former polytechnics) are to ballot on action over pay. The ballot of members of the UNISON, NATFHE, GMB and MSF unions will be for a one-day national strike along with a work to rule. The move follows management in the universities imposing a 3 percent pay deal, and seeking to do so in a way that breaks from national bargaining of pay and conditions.

A series of consultative ballots has shown big majorities for action. UNISON members backed action with 83 percent, and NATFHE members with 63 percent.


Staff and students at east London's Guildhall University will be lobbying education secretary David Blunkett over pay and student fees when he speaks on social justice at a nearby hall on Tuesday.


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News
Sat 21 Oct 2000, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1719
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