Socialist Worker

Refugee


Face at the Window: gripping TV drama on side of refugees

04 January 2003
An angry demonstration gathers outside a detention centre to protest against the deportation of refugees, chanting "To send them back is murder!" A young refugee, traumatised by war, sits in a stark room being screamed at by insensitive officials. These are just two of the powerful scenes from the first episode of a new BBC TV drama, Face at the Window.

Immigrants make us all better off

21 December 2002
THE IDEA that refugees in Britain drive down wages and cause unemployment has been blown apart by research released last week. "Immigration is found to have, if anything, a positive effect on the wages of the existing population. Using the most robust data source available, an increase in immigration of 1 percent of the non-migrant population leads to a nearly 2 percent increase in non-migrant wages," says the research summary.

What scum did these attacks?

21 December 2002
TWO DISGUSTING attacks this week brought home the reality of what the "racial problem" is in Britain. It isn't the failure of immigrants and refugees to "fit in". It's the racism and violence they face.

Defending refugees

14 December 2002
ON THE anniversary of the declaration of Human Rights last Saturday, 100 asylum seekers and their supporters joined the annual "speak-out" in Manchester. Young asylum seekers read articles from the declaration, and through poems and songs, dance and drumming showed their strength of spirit. This government excludes many asylum seekers from even the most basic rights - a home, family life, work and refuge.

The new group that lies about refugees

14 December 2002
A BOGUS group posing as an authority on immigration in Britain has become the toast of the right wing press and Tories. Migrationwatch UK is constantly quoted in the Times, Sun and Daily Mail. These are the papers that relish attacking workers on strike as much as they enjoy bashing refugees. The group's name is supposed to make you think it is a respected think-tank, like Human Rights Watch.

Refugees left to starve on streets

14 December 2002
THOUSANDS OF asylum seekers will find themselves on the streets and starving in bitterly cold weather over the coming months. That is the only present from New Labour this winter for people fleeing war, persecution and torture.

No refuge here for Iraqi victims

07 December 2002
THE SUN and Daily Mail were cheering this week at the closure of the Sangatte refugee camp in France. The same papers that attacked the striking firefighters also run hate campaigns against refugees.

Refugees

26 October 2002
AN INTERNATIONAL protest against the closure of the Sangatte Red Cross refugee camp and the detention of refugees in Europe took place last Saturday. Beginning in Dover, delegations from Britain, France and Belgium crossed the Channel to protest outside the Sangatte camp.

Asylum seekers

12 October 2002
A REFUGEE from Kosovo, Elvis Leka, has had his appeal for asylum rejected. Elvis now lives in fear of deportation. He works at a hostel for refugees and is a valued member of staff. He is supported by Bristol Defend the Asylum Seekers Campaign.

Defend refugees

12 October 2002
OVER 50 people took to the streets of Fishponds, Bristol, last Saturday to show their disgust at the recent attack on a refugee hostel.

New assault on refugees

12 October 2002
DAVID BLUNKETT, the home secretary, kept up his attacks on refugees as the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill went to the House of Lords for its third reading this week.

Refuge in friendship

21 September 2002
The experience of refugees in British society has given rise to a number of plays in recent years. One of the best has been John Retallack's Hannah and Hanna, which is about to go on an extensive tour. Set in Margate, on the Kent coast, it follows the relationship between two teenage girls - one from the town itself, the other a refugee from Kosovo.

What's happening in Sunderland?

14 September 2002
THE MURDER of an Iranian refugee in Sunderland two weeks ago has shocked many local people. Peiman Bahmani was stabbed in the street he lived in at 3.40pm. He died later in hospital. A man has been charged with murder and racially aggravated assault. The tragedy shows what happens when the Nazis gain a foothold in an area by whipping up racism, and provide a false focus for ordinary people's frustration and discontent.

The bloody price of racist hatred

07 September 2002
PEIMAN BAHMANI, a 29 year old Iranian refugee, was stabbed to death on Wednesday of last week. It happened on the street where he lived in Sunderland. Peiman Bahmani arrived in Britain around two years ago after fleeing from persecution in Iran. Under New Labour's refugee dispersal scheme he was forced to live in the run-down area of Hendon in Sunderland.

Blunkett in court snub

31 August 2002
Home secretary David Blunkett was dealt a blow in court last week in his campaign against a refugee family. When Blunkett threw the Ahmadis out of Britain he claimed they could settle in Germany instead.

Blunkett condemns Ahmadis to new agony

24 August 2002
DAVID BLUNKETT, the home secretary, lied through his teeth to get a refugee family deported at top speed from Britain. That scandal was revealed last week in a Home Office letter about the Ahmadi family, who fled from Afghanistan to Britain last year. The letter was a key piece of evidence used in a court hearing on Tuesday of last week.

Jenin faces a new struggle for the truth

10 August 2002
REPORTS OF war crimes began circulating within days of Israeli tanks rolling into the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in April this year. There were dozens of eyewitness accounts of people buried alive as their homes were bulldozed, and of women and children shot dead in the streets. The friends and families of the victims had to wait for four months until the UN produced a report on events in Jenin. The report has serious weaknesses.

Home Office report trashes Labour's lies

10 August 2002
THE KEY myths about refugees in Britain have been trashed in a recent report that was commissioned by the Home Office. Vaughan Robinson and Jeremy Segrott from the University of Wales produced the report that investigates why asylum seekers end up in Britain. The report takes on the arguments poured out by press and politicians that refugees flock to Britain because it is a "soft touch".

Woomera anti-detention protests: a great escape

03 August 2002
OVER 1,000 protesters converged on the Woomera detention centre for refugees in the south Australian desert last Easter. This video is an inspiring account of what happened. Woomera is one of six privately run camps used by the Australian government to detain all "illegal entrants".

Outrage as refugees dragged from mosque

03 August 2002
IMMIGRATION MINISTER Beverley Hughes ordered a police deportation squad to smash down the doors of a West Midlands mosque and snatch two traumatised asylum seekers on Thursday of last week. The abduction of Farid and Feriba Ahmad has created outrage.

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