Roundup of recent events - August

Comrades in Manchester have been working hard to build the anti racist movement through the North West Asylum Seekers Defence Group (NWASDG). This involves more and more going out to working class areas to promote protests and campaigns against the government's racist policies of impoverishment, imprisonment and deportation of people seeking asylum.

Halima Aboubacar, a 20 year old refugee from Cameroon with two children, was made to attend a hearing on 15 May. The appeal has since been rejected and Halima, her 1 year old son Bailey Jr and her new baby daughter Farida (both born in Britain) now face deportation to Cameroon, away from Halima's partner in Swinton. If this is allowed to happen Halima fears that her children may be taken from her, as was her first child before she fled. NWASDG is continuing to fight alongside Halima and her children for their right to live in Britain. At the same time we must continue to draw the links: Halima's case is one in thousands, all victims of racist immigration controls which must be scrapped.

NWASDG has continued to support protests organised by Congo Support Project. Most recently this included the Congo Independence Day march on 30 June and demonstrations outside Dallas Court reporting centre in Salford, where asylum seekers are forced to sign on every month, every week or in some cases every day, not knowing whether they will disappear and be deported. NWASDG held a picket of Dallas Court on 18th June, an event supported by the International Organisation of Iranian Refugees, who pointed at the hypocrisy of the British government in its hostility to Iran while at the same time refusing asylum rights to Iranians fleeing the theocratic regime.

At the invitation of Tameside African Refugee Association NWASDG were invited to speak about 'fighting 3rd world poverty' at the organisation's conference in Gorton on 23 June. An NWASDG/FRFI speaker spoke in detail about imperialism as the biggest cause of human suffering, especially for oppressed nations, talking about the role of US, British and other multinational companies and banks exploiting the peoples and resources of Africa, the Middle East and beyond. He gave this as the context of masses of refugees fleeing the war and poverty this creates. The speaker concluded by showing Cuba as representing the socialist alternative to the iniquities of global capitalism.

On 24 June RCG/FRFI joined the Stop the War Coalition's demonstration in Manchester on the day of Gordon Brown's coronation as Prime Minister. We formed a small but noisy contingent on the march and were joined by the CPGB(ML) and others in chanting slogans in solidarity with the Iraqi resistance and against Labour imperialism. The demonstration's organisers, using the slogan 'Change the policy, not just the leader,' kept opposition to the Labour Party off their platform. Stop the War's pre-demo statement, signed by Lindsey German and Andrew Murray, claimed that 'this view is shared by many people in the Labour Party itself', and called on 'the British government to break from George Bush's wars.' Its statements like these, excusing the parasitic role of British imperialism in the world, which explain how the anti-war movement has demobilised to a turnout of just 3,000 people for a national demo in Manchester.