Socialist Worker


Why I support campaign

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.

Defend asylum seekers

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.

The Daouds are the human cost of attacks on refugees

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.

The award for best bootlicker goes to...

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.

Tortured on the streets of Britain

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.

Doctors slam Sun's lies about refugees

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.

Resist the attacks on asylum seekers

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.

Kurdish refugee 'I fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq...'

08 February 2003
Helen Shooter went to Salford in Manchester to talk to refugees and find out what their lives are really like.

Why we welcome refugees

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.

Media have ignored Algeria's suffering

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.

Starvation is Labour policy

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.

Terror laws hit innocent

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.

Defending refugees

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

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.

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.

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.

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