PROTESTERS OPPOSED to the government's treatment of refugees lobbied a Labour Party regional policy forum in Canterbury last Saturday. The meeting was attended by around 80 invited party members, three Kent Labour MPs and transport minister John Spellar. Tom MacGowan, a spokesperson for Kent Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers (CDAS), said, 'We handed out an open letter calling for opposition to racist government policies on asylum seekers.
'We got a very positive response from most Labour Party members. We are planning a speaking tour around local trade union and Labour Party branches, community groups and schools to put the case against the scapegoating of refugees.' Kent CDAS is organising a mass picket of the Dover Removals Centre on Saturday 19 October.
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to win refugee status for two young Kosovan men, Ilir and Dritan Dauti. The brothers were driven from their home by Serbian forces in 1999. Their mother is dead, their sister disappeared and their father was killed. The boys managed to get to Britain, and have built lives for themselves here. But they have only been given leave to stay until Dritan turns 18 this August.
Dauti Family Campaign petitions are available from Hackney Law Centre, Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, London E5 0PD.
LAST SATURDAY 30 supporters of the Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers Campaign asked shoppers in the town centre to send messages of support to the children of asylum seekers locked up in detention centres.
People responded brilliantly, filling in a giant card and covering a sheet with colourful painted handprints, names and messages. We collected nearly 200 signatures on a petition condemning Blunkett's plans for the separate education of asylum seekers' children.