Socialist Worker

Fight Tories’ return to racist deportations + Protest in support of Azeem Rafiq

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2780

Protesting over deportations to Jamaica in 2020

Protesting over deportations to Jamaica in 2020 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The Home Office was planning this week to deport up to 50 people to the Caribbean, including some who came to Britain as children.

A flight to Jamaica was set for Wednesday this week. The list of those targeted included one person who arrived when he was three months old.

The Home Office’s deportation flight includes people with no criminal convictions, busting its own myth that these flights contain dangerous criminals.

The mother of a man scheduled to be on the flight said there is “no one back home for him”.

“He went to school, he went to college, he has four kids and they still want to deport him,” said Marvalyn Williams, whose son Akeem Finley is facing deportation

Bella Sankey, the director of Detention Action, said, “The Home Office has spent Black History Month planning a mass expulsion of black British residents.

“This government’s current citizenship and deportation laws build on colonial injustices and are inhumane.

“Until they are brought in line with basic human decency, airlines should refuse to collaborate.”

According to a survey by Movement for Justice, of 21 Jamaicans detained in for the flight 15 of them have lived in Britain since childhood.

One man came 31 years ago at the age of nine and was raised by his Windrush‑generation aunt after his mother’s death in Jamaica.


Seth Ramocan is Jamaica’s high commissioner in London. He said, “I am deeply concerned about cases in which persons are being removed having lived in the UK since childhood and have no known relations in Jamaica or familiarity with Jamaica.”

Before a previous charter flight to Jamaica in December 2020, a deal was made between the Home Office and the Jamaica high commission.

Jamaica deportation flight shows how Home Office ‘dehumanises people’
Jamaica deportation flight shows how Home Office ‘dehumanises people’
  Read More

It agreed that no one would be on the plane who had come at the age of 12 or under.

Movement for Justice also reports that a man trapped in a detention centre was denied medication for HIV for over a week.

It also claims that at least four of them have a history of sexual and physical abuse as children in Jamaica.

And others are potential victims of trafficking and grooming.

At least 24 children are also facing separation from their fathers.

But already some people have been pulled from the flight after legal challenges.

Covid cases are also being reported in the detention centres.

The Tories’ racist and arbitrary deportation flights must be resisted.

Protest in support of Azeem Rafiq

Around 80 people joined a protest in solidarity with cricketer Azeem Rafiq outside Yorkshire cricket club’s Headingley ground last Saturday.

Speakers denounced the racist culture at Yorkshire that destroyed Azeem’s career, and the club’s dismissal of sustained racist insults as “banter”.

Local campaigners, including cricket coach Taj Butt, university lecturer Dr Abdul-Bashir Shaikh and Sam Kirk from Stand Up to Racism called for the resignation of the entire board at the club.

They demanded wider action to root out institutional racism throughout cricket and sport in general.

Barry Pavier

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