OVER 300 people marched in Manchester last Saturday to mark the opening of Refugee Week. They demanded the end of the war on asylum seekers and an end to their destitution. Zeesham Mirza, ten years old and originally from Pakistan, told the rally, 'On Wednesday we will be out of our house, there will be no social or anything. My dad is not allowed to work. We have nothing.'
Zeesham's family face eviction from their home in Levenshulme. He received the biggest applause of the day when he said, 'The girl who had her face all burned from the bombs on Iraq, she got help with medicine. Good. 'But why did they do the bombing in the first place? Tony Blair, does he want to be prime minister of Iraq too!'
Parvin, an Iranian mother, told how after her asylum claim was rejected by the Home Office her family faced eviction into destitution. Activists launched a campaign, and with help from neighbours halted the eviction. Local unions, including the TGWU, have supported the Manchester Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers which called the protest.
Contact the Committee c/o 400 Cheetham Hill Rd, Manchester M8 9LE.