Tuesday, 30 November 2010


It looks like Muammar Gaddafi has the EU over a barrel. After years of having encouraged African migrants to seek their fortunes in his country or to use it as a stepping stobe to Europe, he has come under increasing pressure from the European Union to cut back on the numbers of migrants making for Italy and lucrative deals have been cut with the EU itself, via the International Organisation for (against) Migration, and more recently directly with his fellow autocrat Berlusconi.

At the same time he has launched his own war against his once welcome pool of cheap labour, setting up strings of detention camps and squalid prisons where tens of thousands of his fellow Africans survive some of the worst prison conditions on the continent since international approbation force his regime to quit using his previous preferred method of dealing with the 'problem' - wholesale transportation of migrants in converted container lorries to the desert borders with neighbouring countries where they were abandoned with no food, water or means of transport. Many hundreds are believe to have perished in this low-cost deportation solution.

Now, emboldened by his lucrative deal with Italy involving $5bn compensation for abuses committed during Italy's rule in Libya ($200m a year for 25 years invested in Libyan infrastructure projects) plus the loan of six fast patrol boats as part of an Italian sponsored 'push back' policy, Gaddafi is once again seeking €5bn a year from the EU in order to continue stopping African migrants from leaving Libyan shores in small leaky boats on their perilous trips across the Mediterranean.

Whilst he is right to criticise European countries for their neo-colonial attitudes in demanding that African countries open themselves up to more European exports and embrace neo-liberal free trade policies alongside 'good governance' policies (the EU argues that prosperity can only be guaranteed if Europeans don't have to pay too hefty a bribe in order to 'do business'), tying those demands to preventing "christian, white Europe" from becoming "black" is manipulative racist scaremongering of the lowest form.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Refugee Protest Camp Set Up In Athens

More than 50 Afghan refugees have set up camp next to the Propylaia Acropolis in the centre of Athens to protest against the Greek state's refusal to provide asylum and housing for the tens of thousands of refugees stuck in a Hellenic Limbo, many of them victims of Dublin II and unable to move on to the countries they desire because they have been detained, fingerprinted or otherwise identified as having passed through Greece, a country that grants only 0.04% of all asylum applications.

For more information and pictures on this story check out the Demotix website.

Glasgow Asylum Evictions: Cost-Cutting Negotiation Tactic?

Further details of the farce that has developed around the axing by the Border Agency of its contract with Glasgow City Council to house asylum seekers. It now appears that the termination of the contract on UKBA's part is a negotiating tactic to try and drive down the cost of the contract as it has not even bothered to contact at least one of the two organisations, Ypeople and Angel Group, that it claims are going to take over housing the 1300 people under threat of eviction and forced mass movement to points unknown across Scotland. In a parallel move, Alex Salmond has called upon Teresa May to reopen negotiations with the council.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Israel Plans Massive Internment Camp For Migrants

Following hot on the tail of Israeli plans to deport the children of migrants born in Israel and to erect a 150km long $372m hi-tech fence on its border with Egypt to keep out so-called 'infiltrators', come news that the country's government is planning to build a massive internment camp capable of holding up to 10,000 migrants and asylum seekers in the southern Negev Desert. The idea of such a facility, which could be ready in a matter of weeks and would be used to hold migrants from war-torn African countries such as Sudan and Eritrea that the Israeli state is currently unable to deport, is already drawing comparisons with Nazi concentration camps. But according to Eyal Gabbai, a top aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "Israel is trying to fight a situation in which the state, its citizens, are vulnerable to infiltrators who enter with economic motives" and the threat of internment "will weaken their economic incentive to come to Israel."

MigrationBotch Call For More Emigration

MigrationBotch has called upon the Coalition government to introduce further policies to drive up the number of UK residents leaving the country on a permanent basis following the latest migration figures showing that a jump of 25,000 in the net migration figures was down to only a measly 140,000 British citizens emigrating, down 33,000 on 2008 and the lowest figure since 1999. The thoughtless-tank's supremo Dame Alan Greenbyname-Greenbynature) is quoted as saying: "After the spiffing news of the government's cap on coolie labour, this is a clearly a kick in the proverbials. The government need to made further and deeper cuts in order to drive more people from our shores and stop Blighty sinking under the waves (of dreaded foreigners). If we can return to the sort of sustainable population figure that Britain had at the end of the 18th century (37m) rather than the dreaded and extremely significant figure of 70m that I keep inanely bandying around, then our country will stay afloat and have the extra added bonus of there not being so many darkies around to boot."

Glasgow Asylum Families' Reprieve

After a degree of confusion (not least from us) over exactly what was happening with regard to the UK Border Agency plans to end a contract with Glasgow City Council to provide accommodation for around 1300 asylum seeker families and single people, where people would be given as little as 48 hours notice of eviction, it has been announced that the threat of eviction has been lifted.

In our original piece, based on a Glasgow Evening Times article and comments by Phil Taylor, the Agency's regional director for Scotland and Northern Ireland (which suggested that Glasgow City Council had 'invited' the Borders Agency to cancel the contract) we understood that the new providers of the contract accommodation would be moving the refugees out of Glasgow. But, following UKBA clarification and an emergency meeting between Damian Green and a number of Scottish Labour MPs, the Herald claims that few if any will now have to move as the new providers will merely be taking over the asylum seekers tenancies rather than moving them out wholesale. And where it proves necessary for families to move, at least 14 days notice will be given and the new provider will pay any moving costs incurred.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Kabul Inundated With Glaswegian Refugees

After news that Kabul is now safer than cities like Glasgow, the Afghan capital has been inundated with Scottish refugees seeking political asylum from a despotic British regime.

Nato official Mark Sedwill said the Afghan capital, as a “city of villages”, and was a better environment for youngsters to grow up in than any city found on the west coast of Scotland.

Sedwill continued, “People will point to the violence, the drug trafficking and the religious zealots intent on imposing their way of life on everyone around them, but I would just tell them to leave Glasgow and try Kabul instead.”

“Sure, there are still a few issues, but at least it you get a bit of sunshine here, and you can understand what most of the locals are saying.”

“I’ve never been threatened with a pint glass in Kabul, I’ll say that much for it.”

Kabul Safer Than Glasgow

The queue of Scottish asylum seekers arriving at Kabul airport has stretched local authority resources to breaking point, and raised the possibility of rejecting many applications simply because they can not cope.

Fraser Donald told Afghan immigration officials, “Please don’t send me back! The government wants to take away my freedoms and potentially imprison me, just because I won’t go and do a bit of litter picking.”

“I am in genuine fear for the freedom of me and my family to sit around doing nothing all day.”

Some have already had their asylum applications approved, with Dougal McDonald telling us, “This morning I’ve been shot at twice, and had to run to avoid a couple of IEDs, so yes, I’m feeling much safer here already.”

“I’d recommend it to any Scots considering the move. Just bring plenty of sun-cream.”

[Reprinted from News Thump]

Monday, 22 November 2010

Asylum Seekers: Britain Has Let Us Down

Four refused asylum seekers describe the intolerance, hatred and violence they face on the streets of Britain and how they survive without state benefits, shelter or the right to work on £10 food vouchers from the British Red Cross.

Christmas Island & Villawood Detention Protests

A hunger strike on Christmas Island which has involved more than 200 detainees has entered its second week. The exact numbers involved are hard to ascertain but current estimates vary between 150 and 230, with up to 20 of those involved having sewn their lips shut and currently only taking sugar water.

The protests follow a recent Australian High Court decision that overturns the presumption that off-shore immigration detainees had no right of access to Australian courts and opens up the way for refugees who have had their asylum applications refused to seek judicial reviews and the death of an Iraqi asylum seeker at the Villawood detention centre. The lip-sewers have been dismissed as self-harmers by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship staff, as has one of the hunger strikers who attempted suicide on Saturday.

Protests have also taking place at the mainland detention facility at Villawood following the death of Ahmad al-Akabi, an Iraqi father-of-three committed suicide last Tuesday. Mr al-Akabi, having been held in detention for more than a year and refused asylum for the second time, had apparently begged the Immigration authorities to send him home shortly before his death.

Detainees occupied the roof for several hours and others set fire to wooden furniture in protest against the death and their collective despair at the length of time people are being interned. Whilst 100 or so detainees protested inside the camp 200 supporters held a noisy demonstration outside the perimeter fence.

In a separate story, the plight of one of the Oceanic Viking families has been highlighted in one Australian newspaper. Sumathi Rahavan, her husband Yogachandran, their 2 children, Atputha and Abinayan (6 and 3 years old respectively) and the new baby that Sumathi has given birth to in captivity are languishing in Villawood awaiting medical clearance for the infant before they are returned to Christmas Island* where they will continue their life in indefinite detention limbo. This is because they have been labelled as national security threats by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and cannot also be returned to Sri Lanka as refugees under international treaties.

Under 24-hours surveillance with no access to the internet, limited vetted phone calls and 3 Serco guards employed to constantly watch over them, they too despair of their situation and are thinking of putting the 2 older children up for adoption in order to give them the chance of a better life.

* The Christmas Island detention centre medical unit does not have maternity facilities and the Rahavan family had to be moved to the mainland.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Shock! Horror! Ignorant Woman Can't Make Up Her Mind

Yes, xenophobe, failed politician and ex-chip shop owner Pauline Hanson has decided that she doesn't want to emigrate to to Britain after all. Having spent the past couple of months touring Europe she appears to have decided to stay in Australia:

"I love England but so many people want to leave there because it's overrun with immigrants and refugees. France is becoming filled with Muslims and the French and English are losing their way of life because they're controlled by foreigners in the European Union."

This of course is from a woman who is herself a descendent of immigrants; immigrants who hunted the Native Australians for sport, stole their children and tried to systematically eradicate their culture in what amounted to an official policy of genocide (much along the lines of the one perpetrated on Native Americans).

American History X

From the Pinky Show, an alternative view of the U.S. immigration debate courtesy of a couple of cool cats:

Friday, 12 November 2010

One Down ... Ten To Go

Today see the closure of Oakington detention centre. Opened in 2000 as a temporary so-called fast track facility, it was due to close in 2006 but the government prevaricated on this in the same way as the Coalition is dragging its heels over the continued detention of children. Many who passed through the ex-RAF barracks claimed that it was a shit-hole to put it mildly and the Prisons Inspectorate roundly condemned conditions there in its 2008 inspection report. Unfortunately, its closure comes too late for Eliud Nyenze, a Kenya national who died on 14 April this year after being refused mediacl assistance by the detention centre's G4S guards.


Apologies to Glasgow City Council but we screwed up yesterday's post 'Don't Break Our Communities Apart!'. It was the Borders Agency which cancelled the contract and NOT the City Council.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Don't Break Our Communities Apart!

The latest council, following the like of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, to opportunistically cancel its contract with the Border Agency to house asylum seeker families is Glasgow City Council. In Glasgow's case there are about 1000 asylum seekers who will soon be getting a letter through their doors telling them that they have as little as 3 days notice to leave their homes and be moved to an as yet unknown destination! They will also be told that they are "allowed to take two pieces of luggage per person. In addition, children’s toys, baby care items, medical equipment, buggies and disability aids are also allowed.”

This is all a thinly-disguised form of racist pandering will have a minuscule effect on housing waiting lists but will have a significant impact on refugee families across Britain. We should all oppose it.

Correction: It was the UKBA that cancelled the contract and NOT Glasgow City Council.


Keep the Contract with Glasgow City Council!
Join the Protest:
Monday 15 November
Outside Glasgow City Chambers,
George Square

Today at a meeting in Cranhill it was confirmed that the first asylum seeker families are to be moved out of Glasgow City Council accommodation starting as early as Monday next week.

One family has been told they will be moving on Monday. At least two other families have been told they'll also be leaving accommodation provided by the council next week.

On Saturday last week, the 900 plus asylum seeker families who are currently accommodated in housing organised by Glasgow City Council received letters stating that the housing contract from the UK Border Agency to house them had been terminated.

Staff at the Glasgow Asylum Seeker Support Project were told at 3pm on Friday afternoon after their acting head had received the news in an email. The move has taken everyone involved in supporting asylum seekers in Glasgow completely by surprise and came as a shock to many.

It is still not known where families are going to be moved to and the confusion is spreading anxiety and alarm through the asylum seeker community in Glasgow. Earlier today the UKBA press office was suggesting that, in the short term at least, the other current accommodation providers in Glasgow, the YMCA charity and the notorious Angel Group, would take on the contract.

The letters sent out to the tenants however suggest that they could be relocated to anywhere in Scotland.

Now facing significant disruption to their housing - and potentially facing being moved away from established friends and supporters as well as from services such as GPs and social workers - asylum seekers in Glasgow are extremely alarmed and concerned about this sudden news.

Many are concerned about how their children could be affected if they are moved out of established schools.

Many are also worried that they may have to move away from friends and supportive neighbours and community groups, breaking the strong ties that have developed over months and years in communities across the city.

Other concerns have also been raised about the ability of the YMCA and the Angel Group to provide adequate accommodation at such short notice.

Since taking over part of the housing contract in 2006, both the Angel Group and the YMCA, have received criticism over how they have provided accommodation to asylum seekers. The Angel Group, in particular, have had many accusations of providing inadequate housing and its staff giving poor service, made against it.

UNITY is calling for a protest outside of Glasgow City Chambers of everyone concerned about the sudden ending of the housing contract and against the disruption to our communities and its impact on the lives of our friends and neighbours.

Come to Glasgow City Chambers at 10.30 Monday 15th November to show your opposition to these developments and to call on the UKBA and Glasgow City Council to resolve any difficulties.

Demonstration For Jimmy Mubenga Tomorrow


This Friday, 12 November 2010, exactly one month after Jimmy Mubenga's death, the Mubenga family will march from the Angolan Embassy to the Home Office in central London. They will be joined by members of the Angolan community and a range of campaigners, as well as many other people who simply want to express their solidarity.

The family will hand in a letter to the Home Secretary calling for an inquiry in to the use of force in the deportation process. A letter will also be given to the Angolan Embassy calling on the Angolan authorities to lend their support to help ensure that we learn the full truth about how Jimmy died.

On arriving at the Home Office there will be several speeches, including:

* Mubenga family member

* Adalberto Miranda (Union of Angolans in the UK)

* Deborah Coles (Inquest)

* Emma Ginn (Medical Justice)

* Jeremy Corbyn MP

*Notes to editors*

1. Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan man, died during an attempted deportation after being restrained by guards from the private security firm G4S on 12 October 2010 at Heathrow airport.

2. The family of Jimmy Mubenga will be attending the march but *will not* be giving any interviews.

3. Copies of the letter to the Home Office will be available on the day.

4. The demonstration is expected to arrive at the Home Office by 12.15-12.30.

5. A flyer is attached and a map of the route can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/376mwep

6. For further information please call 07570 218 736 or 07972 850 143.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Phil Woolas...

[A Quick Gloat]

...found guilt of being a lying mendacious racially-motivated scumbag*, stripped of his Oldham East and Saddleworth parliamentary seat, barred from the Commons for three years and suspended from the Labour Party to boot for his election campaign antics. Don't say we didn't warn you.

And to think that Miliband reappointed him as shadow immigration minister!

* Well, not quiet, but you know what we mean.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Surprise, Surprise...

... the Coalition's immigration cap will, as anyone with even a passing knowledge of immigration politics knows, will do absolutely nothing to return the rate of in migration to the UK to the halcyon days of Thatcher, or at least that's what the Home Affairs committee is currently saying. Yes, even their modest desire to return to 1990 levels, whilst seeking in most other areas to take the country back to Victorian era values and standards, is doomed to fail.

It always was a 'pie in the sky' idea* and as the committee point out the only way it would be achievable would be for Britain to withdrawn from the EC, close down most of the universities in the country (it is only the revenue from foreign students that keeps most of them afloat), risk social unrest by ending the right of those already granted leave to remain in the UK to bring members of their family (spouses and children) to the country. Better think again about the defence review and start stationing those gunboats of the Channel coast Dave.

* Still it quietened the frontline party troops during the election campaign.