Socialist Worker


Israel: a state based on violence from its birth

03 April 2004
In 1987 an Israeli historian called Benny Morris published a book, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem. It caused a sensation at the time. Using official Israeli military archives, it confirmed the Palestinian case that the foundation of the Israeli state in 1948 had depended upon armed terror-resulting in the forcible "transfer", or expulsion, of three quarters of a million Palestinian Arabs. This was something that the Zionists - the ideologues who advocate an exclusively Jewish state in Palestine - had always denied.

Labour's scapegoating feeds the right wing

03 April 2004
NEW LABOUR ministers have poured fuel on the fire of racism with their lies about asylum seekers. They branded refugees and migrant workers a "problem" and a "drain on resources". It should come as no surprise to them when they get their fingers burnt. The Tories and right wing press have gleefully seized on the issue of asylum to attack New Labour, calling for immigration minister Beverley Hughes to resign.

Refugee protest

27 March 2004
AFTER 28 days on hunger strike, and at the urging of their friends and supporters, the "Glasgow Three", Faroq Haidari, Fariborz Gravindi and Mokhtar Haydary, have ended their hunger strike. The three, Kurdish refugees from Iran, have been heartened by the growing support for their fight against deportation from across Scotland and beyond. They were also strengthened by a protest in their support at the Scottish Parliament last week.

Shielding refugees

06 March 2004
Some 100 people in South Shields on Tyneside protested outside local Labour MP David Miliband's office on Sunday in support of a Colombian family threatened with deportation.

Dutch protests over plans to deport refugees

28 February 2004
THE RIGHT wing Dutch government plans to deport 26,000 refugees during the next three years. The move is opposed by a majority of people in the Netherlands. A poll showed over 80 percent of people support allowing more refugees to stay. Protests against the government's plan began in the north of the Netherlands, organised by the group Van Harte Pardon (Wholeheartedly Pardon).


31 January 2004
A RECENT report in Socialist Worker (17 January) about the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum included an error in editing. It suggested that Gary Freeman, a member of the forum, is an asylum seeker on £54 per week.

Defending refugees

17 January 2004
AS NEW Labour steps up its attacks on refugees, campaigners have been organising protests.

New asylum plan to rip children from parents

29 November 2003
"LEAVE THE country or I'll snatch your children." That was the threat this week from home secretary David Blunkett to refugees in Britain. He wants to rob parents of their children and their meagre benefits to force refugees out of the country.

Defending refugees

15 November 2003
OVER 100 people joined a protest in Manchester last Saturday against the government's harsh treatment of asylum seekers.


08 November 2003
About 100 people attended a march round Bicester town centre on Saturday after the Bicester Refugee Support Group called a demonstration against racism and fascism. The demonstration was called after the National Front intimidated people not to shop at a French farmers market.

Tragedy is ignored to bash refugees

25 October 2003
THE RIGHT wing press seized on a judge's ruling last week against a refugee family from Lithuania living in Southwark, south London. The family were appealing for adequate housing. The Daily Express called the case "asylum rip-off number one" and its front page screamed "Proof Britain is a soft touch". But the story will be familiar to ordinary people across Britain desperate to be rehoused.

We deserve better than Gordon Brown

04 October 2003
TONY BLAIR got his standing ovation on Tuesday at the Labour Party conference. But that won't be enough to deal with the disgust and disquiet millions of Labour voters feel at what his government has done at home, and abroad. The disquiet even found some reflection in other parts of Labour's conference. And Blair's invocation of Margaret Thatcher's "I'm not for turning" speech, and his threat of even harsher treatment for refugees, will fuel the anger against him.

Driven to suicide by New Labour's racist asylum laws

20 September 2003
ISRAFIL SHIRI poured petrol over himself and set himself alight in the offices of Refugee Action in Salford three weeks ago. After five days in agony, with 70 percent burns, he died in Manchester's Wythenshawe Hospital (see last week's Socialist Worker). What could possibly drive a man to such a terrible act?

Standing up for refugees

13 September 2003
OVER 2,000 people joined the biggest, and angriest, demonstration yet last Saturday against the Dungavel refugee detention centre in Lanarkshire (right). Scotland's "asylum prison" has been the subject of protests since it opened two years ago. Saturday's demo began with furious demonstrators banging on the huge metal barrier around the centre chanting, "Shut it down!"


30 August 2003
THE DEFENCE campaign for the Yarls Wood refugees who were put on trial after the fire has produced cards to raise funds. These attractive, bright cards are emblazoned with the words "Peace, justice, compassion" and the scales of justice.

Why jury cleared refugees of arson

23 August 2003
The trial of 13 men accused of burning down the Yarls Wood detention centre ended last Friday with Group 4 being condemned by all

A tidal wave of lies about refugees

23 August 2003
THE SUN fell to new lows with another sickening campaign against refugees this week. Monday's poster front page ranted "Halt The Asylum Tide Now", labelling asylum as "Britain's biggest crisis". The Sun used a loaded online poll to claim over 80 percent of the population agree with its witch-hunt. But the poll only measured how well the Sun spreads its filthy racist message to its readers.

They slashed this refugee's throat

16 August 2003
THE PHOTOGRAPH on this page is of 16 year old Alhassan Kamara. He is an asylum seeker from war-torn Sierra Leone, West Africa. He did not want his full face photographed for fear of being singled out in the future. Known by his friends and family as "Alaska", this young man escaped a brutal civil war.

Group 4 slammed at Yarls Wood trial

09 August 2003
THE JURY was still out in the trial against the Yarls Wood refugees as Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday. The five defendants left at the end of the three-month trial faced prison terms if found guilty. They were charged after the fire that swept through Yarls Wood centre in Bedfordshire on 14 February last year.

Refugees 'locked in as fire blazed'

26 July 2003
THE TRIAL of the men charged after last year's fire at the Yarls Wood refugee detention centre has already exposed the myth that refugees have an easy life in Britain. Yarls Wood was Labour's flagship centre, built to hold 900 men, women and children. But it was destroyed by a fire last year. In a document presented at the trial, a custody officer claimed he and his colleagues were ordered to lock the refugees in as the fire swept through the building.

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