Monday, 27 October 2008

Titan IRC Plans Revealed

The UK Borders Agency have revealed the plans for the latest co-called Immigration Removal Centre at Bullingdon near Bicester, on ex-military land next to HMP Bullingdon according to the BBC. The land had previously been flagged as the site for one of a series of propsed 'immigrant accommodation centre', plans that were dropped in June 2005 following various planning appeals, a judicial review and a final Court of Appeal decision in its favour.

The new IRC is to be twice the size of the soon to be opened Brook House at Gatwick Airport and 4 times the size of Campsfield, the other IRC in Oxfordshire, holding 800. It will also be built to the same standard as the Category C prison it will stand next to. Bullingdon will be the next stage in the government's massive expansion of the immigration arm of the prison industrial complex by 1300-1500 places and stands alongside the planned new 2500 place titan prisons.

No Borders Brighton Film Night

ROMA IN ITALY (provisional title)

With an Introduction by the Director John Sinha
A New Film About The Living Conditions And Persecution Of The Roma People In Italy


A Film About The Lives & Struggles Of Migrants Working In The London Underground

Tuesday 28th October 7.30pm

We hope to also have some food available for those of you coming hot foot
from work and play.

Monday, 20 October 2008

The World According to Phil Woolas

Well it was only a matter of time before the right-wing knee-jerk (or should that be right arm elbow-jerk?) kicked in and the mainstream parties made a dash to the right over migration in light of the economic downturn. The last refuge of the scoundrel anyone?

In a Times interview on 18 October long-time Labour Party apparatchik Phil Woolas, who has recently been handed the poisoned chalice of the position of Immigration Minster, broke party ranks and called for a 70M limit on the UK population (though he appeared to back track the next day).

Despite nailing his anti-racist credentials to the mast, he claimed that dealing with immigration was his "lifelong purpose"!? “I've been brought in to be tougher and to change perceptions,” he boasted.

His argument seems to be that in times of increasing unemployement racial discrimination and right-wing aggitation increases, therefore the Labour government should pander to this by limiting immigration and ensuring employers put British people first.

He also hailed the new points based immigration policy for non-EU migration as the ideal tool for this purpose. This policy, rather than looking upon migrants as human beings, sees them as economic units to exploit. If they have the requisite skills then they can come to the UK until they are no longer wanted, then they are out on their ears.

Not satisfied with having plundered the rest of the world through the British Empire and continuing to exploit the Third World for after its demise through the offices of multinational companies, the World bank and massive debt, now we have the modern equivalent of the slave trade - the skills drain. The developing countries have for a long time supplied doctors, nurses and other skill bases that the UK have been unable to satisfy itself. Now it is just being made more explicit.

Needless to say Frank Field, the Labour Party's own Enoch Powell, welcomed the government's change of tack and even managed to out 'sound bite' the chair of Migrationwatch Andrew Green (has anyone ever heard of anyone else being a member or spokesperson for this reactionary organisation?).

Not to be outdone, the Tories made their own bid of the amoral high ground by highlighting the fact that 80 per cent of migrants to Britain since 1997 have come from outside the EU. Dominic Grieve, shadow home secretary, claimed that there had been a " failure to control economic migration from outside the EU" and of course called for a " fundamental change in approach." (See)

See also the excellent analysis of the Woolas coverage on Indymedia.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Doublespeak About New EU Migration Centre

Louis Michel, the EU's development commissioner, has opened the new Migration Management Centre in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Mali is the world's fifth poorest country and an estimated 4m of its 12m population are abroad.

The Migration Management Centre is part of a pilot scheme allegedly to try to dissuade Africans from taking the hazardous routes to Europe. Mali was chosen as a venue as it is a hub for tens of thousands of Africans who try to get to Europe every year via boat to Spain's Canary Islands from the west coast of Africa. Last week, for example, Spanish coastguards intercepted a group of 230 Africans, the largest single boat load detained so far.

The aim of the centre in the eyes of the European countries that financed it is to offer seasonal work for temporary legal migrants as part of a network of European migration centres across west Africa.

The Association of Malian Deportees however, which operates as an aid organisation for returned immigrants, claims that the new centre was being established simply to strengthen the EU borders against so-called 'illegal' immigration and to facilitate the more efficient expulsion of immigrants from Europe.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

3 Days of Anti-Racist Iniatives in Italy

Yesterday (4 October) saw the first of three days of anti-racist actions in Italy against the increasing attacks on the migrant communities in Italy [Link in Italian]. In Rome thousands of people demonstrated against racism near the Coliseum in the wake of a series of violent assaults on immigrants in Italy. Hundreds of Chinese immigrants were among those who took part in the demonstration, two days after a 36-year-old Chinese man was beaten up by a group of teenagers in the Italian capital. Demonstrators also held pictures of six African migrants who were killed by mafia gunmen on September 18 in the southern town of Castel Volturno.

Meanwhile, another 15,000 people demonstrated against racism in Caserta (a southern town near Naples) close to Castel Volturno where the murders took place. The Italian police claim that the deaths were a result of the local Camorra attempting to protect their lucrative drugs trade. Meanwhile, the Italian government responded by sending in 500 troops to the area as part of the 'state of emergency' [see 14 August post below]

At the Rome demo, placards were also held up in memory of Abdul Salam Guibre, a 19-year-old Italian of Burkina Faso origin, who was beaten to death with a metal bar on 14 September in Milan by two bar managers who accused their victim of stealing some biscuits. [Link]

One of the most recent racist attacks was on a 22-year old Ghanaian student who was beaten up by local traffic police in Parma. He was arrested by plain clothes cops who failed to identify themselves but did manage to kick and brutally assault him, leaving him with a black eye. [Link]

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Stop Racist Government Attacks on Roma People in Italy

2 Noon Friday 3rd October 2008

Demonstrate at the Italian Tourist Board
1 Princes Street, London W1B 2AY (near Oxford Circus)

Roma people in Italy are facing the worst persecution since the Fascist era and the Italian state is complicit in these attacks. The state’s lies encourage Italians to view Roma as illegal immigrants, as part of a generalized right-wing response to migration into Italy.

Whilst we believe anyone should be able to settle wherever they want, it is important to point out the deliberate lies of the Italian government. Roma are not recent arrivals. Many have settled in Italy for 40 years and are Italian citizens. Those who have recently arrived have done so as part of the wider process of perfectly legal and natural economic migration within the EU. Some wish to travel, others wish to settle. They should have the same legal protection as other EU citizens.

Read the full callout here