Socialist Worker

Protesters confront the hostile environment

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2726

Raising solidarity for refugees in Abergavenny

Raising solidarity for refugees in Abergavenny (Pic: Abergavenny Town of Sanctuary/Facebook)


Migrants’ rights groups protested against Britain’s brutal immigration system last weekend as they marked the ten year anniversary of Jimmy Mubenga’s death.

Jimmy, an Angolan man, died on 12 October 2010 after a G4S guard restricted his breathing a British Airways deportation flight. 

Anti-racists took part in a weekend of action against the hostile environment and rallied outside the Home Office in central London on Monday night. 

The previous day supporters of Abergavenny Town of Sanctuary climbed the Sugar Loaf Mountain in South Wales and unfurled a 60-foot banner. They also handed out myth-busting leaflets about refugees in the town. 

Other actions against the hostile environment took place in Hastings, Bristol, Sheffield, Manchester and Cambridge. 

Akram Salhab, the advocacy and campaigns officer of Migrants Organise, said, “Jimmy’s killing was shocking for many people. 

“It’s sobering to think that ten years on things have only got worse. Now they’re talking about putting people offshore, on ferries and oil rigs.

“We couldn’t let this anniversary come to pass without commemorating it in some way, and committing ourselves to achieving justice for those killed.”

Activists also highlighted the case of Zimbabwean asylum seeker Simba Mujakachi and demanded an end to NHS migrant charges. 

In November 2019 Simba received an NHS treatment bill for more than £93,000 after he suffered a stroke.

Simba, an asylum seeker rejected by the Tories’ system, has to pay increased charges for health care as part of the Tories “hostile environment”. 

This policy meant he stopped going for treatment for a blood-clotting condition


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