21 June 2003
OVER 170 people packed into St Alfege school hall in Whitstable in Kent to hear George Galloway speak on Wednesday of last week. He received warm applause after describing the witch-hunt against him by Blair and the Daily Telegraph. Other speakers included Lindsey German from the Stop the War Coalition and Aram, an Iraqi refugee.
21 June 2003
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."
14 June 2003
THERE ARE many hundreds of people who could help solve the chronic staff shortages and long waiting lists in the NHS. They are not being used because the press and politicians treat them with hatred and suspicion. They are refugee doctors. The waste of doctors' talent, skills and energy is just one example of how the skills and willingness to work of all refugees is thrown away by government policy.
31 May 2003
ANYONE WHO believes that the government's assault on asylum seekers leaves the most desperate "legitimate" refugees untouched, should look at Abas Amini's face. The Home Office is appealing against a decision to give him asylum in Britain. He is so desperate he has sewn up his own eyes, mouth and ears in protest.
17 May 2003
"THERE ARE schools, but there's no equipment in them. The shops are open, but there is nothing on the shelves. Afghanistan is a lawless country."
12 April 2003
THE OPEN statement condemning racist hysteria in the media about asylum seekers received a massive boost this week when more than 140 delegates to the National Union of Journalists annual conference backed it unanimously.
05 April 2003
LAST YEAR some 15,000 people from Iraq fled to Britain and applied for asylum. At last count, only 700 had received refugee status. In early March the Home Office deported to Spain an Iraqi family that had come to this country in 1999.
29 March 2003
AN OPEN letter condemning racist hysteria from the media and politicians against refugees will be published as a half-page advert in the Mirror on Tuesday 29 April. This is two days before the May local council elections, where the far right and Tories hope to do well.
22 March 2003
THE FINANCIAL Times carried a report on Wednesday of last week that David Blunkett is trying to reduce the number of people from Iraq who are granted asylum in Britain. Apparently Iraqis make up the largest group requesting asylum. This is hardly surprising given the present situation.
15 March 2003
CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown and home secretary David Blunkett last week competed to fawn over a newspaper editor who has been in the frontline of whipping up anti-refugee feeling. The New Labour duo appeared at the Media Society awards in London's plush Savoy Hotel last week.
01 March 2003
THE LIE that refugees are living a life of luxury in "soft touch" Britain was exposed in the High Court last week. Judge Justice Collins ruled that New Labour was forcing refugees to face destitution in Britain or return to the persecution they fled from.
22 February 2003
THE SUN newspaper is putting people's lives at risk. Billionaire Rupert Murdoch's rag ran a scare story about refugees "bringing deadly diseases into Britain" on Friday of last week. It says the rise in HIV/AIDS and TB cases is down to refugees and immigrants. The Sun is trying to make cheap, racist propaganda out of serious diseases.
15 February 2003
TONY BLAIR wants to force the victims of war on Iraq back into the path of bombs and bullets. He announced last week that he wanted to halve the number of refugees coming to Britain by September. Iraqis are the single largest group of refugees who come to Britain.
08 February 2003
Helen Shooter went to Salford in Manchester to talk to refugees and find out what their lives are really like.
25 January 2003
THE MEDIA have whipped up hysteria against refugees from Algeria after last week's killing of a police officer in Manchester. They paint a picture that those coming here from the North African country are all potential killers, linked to a dangerous network of Islamist terrorists. This is racist nonsense. And the real reasons people are fleeing Algeria are rarely even discussed.
25 January 2003
AS A result of recent changes in government policy, asylum seekers are being evicted from their homes, having all benefits removed and being denied the right to work. Most are Iraqi Kurds. We challenged my local MP and immigration minister Beverley Hughes to say what the government expects Kurdish refugees to do in such circumstances.
25 January 2003
THE WEEKEND'S newspapers had some of the most uplifting coverage for ages-and some of the most disgusting. On the one hand, there was extensive coverage of the mushrooming anti-war movement across the globe. On the other, there was a deluge of bile against asylum seekers, linking them with terrorism and whipping up a frenzy whereby every refugee could be a killer with a vat of ricin in their flat.
25 January 2003
THE MOST right wing and privileged forces in society are trying to create hysteria over people fleeing persecution to come to this country. They are even trying to turn the death of a policeman in Manchester into a campaign against asylum seekers. The logic is barking. The fact that the three suspects arrested at the Manchester house had claimed asylum says nothing about the overwhelming majority of asylum seekers.
18 January 2003
PROTESTERS AGAINST the government's brutal new laws on refugees took to the streets of London, Glasgow and Manchester last week.
11 January 2003
OVER 60 people held a soup kitchen protest last Saturday outside the flats Blair has bought his son Euan in Bristol. It was organised by the Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers Campaign to highlight government policies which will leave refugees on the streets