Socialist Worker

Refugee


Blunkett gets it wrong again

11 May 2002
REFUGEE children are not a problem in schools. Government policy and funding cuts are. That finding, in research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, shatters home secretary David Blunkett's scapegoating claim that asylum seekers are "swamping" schools and other public services.

The horror of Israel's murderous rampage

04 May 2002
THE ISRAELI government is trying to cover up its horrific war crime in the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp. Israeli troops sealed Jenin off for 13 days last month and attacked the camp. Three times Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has refused to allow a United Nations (UN) fact finding group into the camp. Socialist Worker spoke to Palestinians from Jenin.

Secure for more profits

20 April 2002
GROUP 4 is set to rake in greater profits from making the lives of refugees a misery. The firm, notorious for transporting (and losing) prisoners, has taken over Wackenhut Corporate Corrections.

Palestine: the evidence nobody can ignore

20 April 2002
They made Jenin a slaughterhouse "A TERRIBLE crime has been committed by Israel in Jenin refugee camp, and the world is turning a blind eye." That was how journalist Justin Huggler, writing in the Independent, described what happened in Jenin last week.

Reports round-up

13 April 2002
Blowing the horn for refugees SOME 80 campaigners protested outside Dover Young Offenders Institution on Monday of last week. This was the day it was taken over by the Immigration Service to become Dover Removals Centre.

Inside the system

13 April 2002
Desmond's lies invade Express The Express under millionaire boss Richard Desmond has been at the forefront of whipping up anti-refugee feeling. It recently ran an article with the headline "Migrant Wave Swamps Tunnel". A picture appeared to show two refugees crawling through the fence near the Channel Tunnel terminal in France.

Meeting calls for national march

27 March 2002
A 350-STRONG conference in support of refugees took place in Manchester last Saturday. Suresh Grover from the National Civil Rights Movement summed up the mood at the opening session. He said:

Did Berlusconi let these refugees drown?

16 March 2002
Italian Prim Minister Silvio Berlusconi stands accused of letting more than 50 refugees drown when their ship sank off the ItaIian coast last week. The right wing Berlusconi is Tony Blair's closest political ally in the European Union.

Refugees: now most desperate to be targeted

09 March 2002
New Labour immigration minister Lord Rooker congratulated the government last week for driving away refugees fleeing poverty and persecution. Vicious measures have stopped people finding safety in Britain. A glance at those who do make it shows that it is the most desperate people who try to get here.

Who is behind Beirut deaths?

09 February 2002
Coincidence? You decide. Elie Hobeika was blown up by a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon, three weeks ago. He was a leader of one of the Lebanese fascist groups which massacred over 2,500 Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Beirut in 1982. Hobeika had agreed to give evidence to a Belgian inquiry into the role of current Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon in the atrocity.

Afghans still suffer

02 February 2002
Murder, mutilation, robbery and starvation-that is the reality of life for those Afghans who survived George W Bush's war on terrorism. The US bombing and the turmoil that has followed has moved hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Many now cling to life in refugee camps. Starvation stalks the country. One camp is home to 150,000 destitute people. International aid organisations admit they are overwhelmed. In the southern city of Kandahar revenge killings and mutilations have become common.

Israel crushes refugee homes

19 January 2002
TWO ISRAELI bulldozers rolled into the Palestinian refugee camp in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on Thursday of last week. Guarded by Israeli soldiers, they crushed the homes of 112 families, leaving over 600 people homeless, around half of them children. The Israelis also tore up the runway of Gaza airport.

Zimbabwe scandal exposes Labour's attacks on refugees

19 January 2002
THE TREATMENT of Zimbabwean asylum seekers has underlined the inhuman way Britain treats refugees. For months, while top government figures denounced Zimbabwe's human rights record, Zimbabwean asylum seekers were sent back to torture and death. Now, after an intense campaign and under huge pressure, the government says it will temporarily halt deportations to Zimbabwe.

Attack on refugees 'sneaked through'

12 January 2002
THE GOVERNMENT quietly pushed through changes to immigration rules last week. Now when an appeal against deportation has been dismissed only the home secretary will be told of the decision. Before last week the asylum seeker and his or her representatives or solicitors were also informed.

Refugee Boy: Refugee magic

15 December 2001
Alem is 14. He is both Eritrean and Ethiopian, and Eritrea and Ethiopia are at war. Alem's father finds that his family is unwelcome in either country. He brings Alem to Britain and leaves him there, where he thinks he will be safe. The book follows Alem as he gets to grips with England, the weather and the immigration system. He suffers many major setbacks.

Defend asylum seekers

01 December 2001
Activists from seven campaigns against refugee detention centres met in Oxford last Saturday to discuss government plans to quadruple the number of asylum seekers locked up in camps.

Kandahar: The heart of Afghanistan

01 December 2001
George W Bush apparently requested a special screening of this film. But don't let that put you off seeing Kandahar, by Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. His concern for the suffering of the people of Afghanistan goes back to at least 1987, with his film The Cyclist, which featured Afghan refugees in Iran.

Anti-Nazi

17 November 2001
The No Place in Burnley for the BNP campaign was launched at a press conference last week in the run-up to the council by-elections set to take place on Thursday 22 November. A representative from Burnley Football Club signed up to the statement, as well as local trade unionists, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors, clergy, residents, and a visitor to Burnley who was a refugee from Nazi Germany.

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.

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