Socialist Worker

Refugee


Australia: Why Howard snatched win

17 November 2001
Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his Liberal-National (Tory) coalition won the general election last Saturday, giving him his third term in government. Even in August few people were predicting Howard could win. His government was deeply unpopular. It had driven through massive attacks on workers, privatisation in the benefits system and education cuts. His supporters claim his popularity increased because he opposes refugees and is a vocal supporter of the US war on Afghanistan.

Asylum: Vouchers go but harsher rules to come

03 November 2001
New Labour finally caved in to pressure over one of its key policies towards asylum seekers this week. The home secretary, David Blunkett, announced the government is planning to scrap the voucher scheme that forces refugees to live off just £26.54 a week, plus £10 cash.

New Labour's 'snatch squads' for refugees

27 October 2001
NEW LABOUR'S plans to step up its draconian attacks on asylum seekers are even worrying the Metropolitan Police. The government is to unleash "snatch squads" across London next month to round up asylum seekers whose claims have been refused. A pilot scheme in east London is already seeing people snatched from their homes in the middle of the night and bundled off to be forcibly deported. Refugee campaigners in the area have told Socialist Worker they are receiving reports of at least two people a day being snatched. They are then deported on a plane chartered by the government.

Refugees

29 September 2001
Dungavel Over 100 protesters demonstrated last weekend outside the Dungavel detention centre in south Lanarkshire, Scotland, calling for the closure of the camp. Many of the protesters had travelled from Glasgow, where they had taken part in an anti-war rally

New Labour's series of shameful attacks on asylum seekers

22 September 2001
AMAZINGLY, Tony Blair launched a vicious attack on refugees at the very start of the speech he refused to give to the TUC. In the week when we faced the prospect of a war that could create thousands more refugees, Blair attacked those trying to flee persecution and repression. At the same time his friend John Howard, the prime minister of Australia, was still refusing to let hundreds of refugees, who have suffered the most life threatening conditions at sea, land in Australia.

Australian Tory prime minister's message to refugees: 'Let them drown'

08 September 2001
THE AUSTRALIAN government has set new standards for callous treatment of refugees. Its attitude to the 460 desperate refugees rescued by the Norwegian freighter Tampa from their sinking boat on Sunday 26 August was "let them drown". John Howard, the Liberal (Tory) prime minister of Australia, has ignored the refugees' pleas to be allowed to come to Australia.

Refugees' desperate defiance

11 August 2001
"WE ARE not animals. We are not criminals. We are human beings," cried hundreds of desperate and defiant refugees last week. They were fighting back against the treatment they suffer because of the policies of Tony Blair and other European Union leaders. Over 900 refugees are at a Red Cross centre in a giant hangar outside Sangatte, near the French Channel port of Calais.

Hands of friendship

11 August 2001
AS NEWSPAPER editors and politicians ignore the tragic consequences of their anti-refugee statements, some of our best dramatists are responding with brilliant plays about the experiences of asylum seekers. The latest drama to combine great theatre writing with a commitment to telling the truth about the asylum issue is Hannah and Hanna by Company of Angels. The play was a huge hit at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Solidarity with hunger strikers

11 August 2001
AROUND 70 people protested outside Liverpool prison in Walton last Saturday in solidarity with refugees detained there.

Letters

03 March 2001
Refugees: Their fight is ours The new immigration law passed in Spain last December is a clear attempt to undermine immigrant rights, leaving them in inhuman conditions. The law cuts their right to vote, strike, meet and unionise. The right wing Spanish government wants to keep the "sans papiers" in a situation of slavery.

The Bogus Woman: A refugee's pain

24 February 2001
The play The Bogus Woman, written by Kay Adshead and solo performed by Norma Dumezweni, is an extremely powerful and moving political drama. It takes you on a painful journey through the state of the asylum system under New Labour.

Their friend has nuclear weapons

24 February 2001
The bombing of Iraq last weekend was soaked in hypocrisy. Bush and Blair talk of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his evil rule. But this week the US was involved in joint military exercises with the one certain nuclear power in the Middle East-Israel. The Israeli government is now headed by Ariel Sharon, a war criminal. He was responsible for the murder of 2,000 Palestinians in 1982. They were raped, knifed or shot as they washed their clothes and cooked their food in refugee camps in West Beirut.

Israel elects war criminal Ariel Sharon

10 February 2001
Ariel Sharon, the man responsible for the massacre of 2,000 Palestinian refugees in West Beirut in 1982, is now the head of the only nuclear power in the Middle East.

Defending asylum seekers

10 February 2001
Around 250 people marched through Leicester last Saturday in solidarity with asylum seekers following the death of Ramin Khaleghi, the refugee who took his own life two weeks ago.

Why Refugees are not our enemies

10 February 2001
There were many important issues that New Labour could have homed in on this week. They included job losses, privatisation, low pay and the state of public services.

Refugees in 'hell'

13 January 2001
The trial of 12 Afghans charged in connection with a hijacked plane that flew into Britain last year was due to begin on Thursday. But New Labour should be put in the dock over its treatment of the remaining 88 Afghan passengers who have asked for asylum in Britain.

Refugees: No festive spirit from Straw

06 January 2001
JACK STRAW'S seasonal greetings were bogus. They did not stretch as far as those seeking asylum. Solomon was told that he had to sign on at the police station on 25 December, between 7pm and 8pm. His crime? None. Solomon was a hard working student. He worked to keep himself and was successful in his studies. Then the government had a crackdown on asylum seekers. Now Solomon has been criminalised.

Nail Tory lies on refugees

06 January 2001
MICHAEL HESELTINE last week joined Tory leader William Hague's filthy campaign to play the race card in the run-up to the election. The man Tony Blair claims is a "one-nation Tory" launched a vicious attack on asylum seekers. "Let's not mince our language here," he said, claiming that most refugees were "bogus".

The roots of Russia's war

20 November 1999
RUSSIA IS pursuing a brutal and relentless war in Chechnya, deliberately copying the tactics used by NATO to devastate the Balkans. Last weekend Russian leaders ordered the entire population of Grozny, the Chechen capital, to leave the city. The military is ready to destroy the entire city. The evacuation of the city will add tens of thousands of refugees to the 300,000 already fleeing the fighting.

Nightmare continues

06 November 1999
THE HORRIFIC result of NATO's war in the Balkans continues. Last week a column of Serb refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing was set upon by Albanians. Dutch troops stopped the attack. But a UN representative with the Serb convoy said, "I'm surprised I wasn't burned alive in my car."

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.