United Rally Against Racist Attacks, Edinburgh, 24 September 2016

24 September Hunter Square

Recent days, weeks and months have seen an escalation in racist street attacks. Edinburgh Central Mosque firebombed, fascist stickers across Leith, a Polish family attacked in Wester Hailes with Police Scotland failing to respond to calls for help, an asylum seeker violently attacked on Thursday, as well as ‘white only’ soup kitchens and a community ‘hub’ run by fascists in Glasgow. The deaths of overwhelmingly black people (such as Sheku Bayoh) in police custody and the cover up that follows to deny the families justice.

On Wednesday 21 September the weekly stall by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, was threatened and attacked by racists including a Scottish Defence League (SDL) thug. In response to this, and the increasing attacks, we exposed the SDL fascist responsible and called for a solidarity demonstration at our weekly stall against ‘Racism, War and Austerity’ at Hunter Square, Edinburgh, on Saturday 24 September. Defend anti-racist spaces and fascists off our streets!

As well as gaining lots of support from the passing public our stall got support throughout the day from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, Migrant Solidarity Network supporters, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), Young Communist League, a Socialist Workers Party supporter and other socialists, anarchists and anti-fascists. We also received supportive messages from the International Marxist Tendency and anti-racists from around the country.

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Fight Racism! stall attacked by SDL fascists, Edinburgh - Call out for solidarity Saturday 24 September

Fascist glasgow

On Wednesday 21 September the weekly stall by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, was attacked by a Scottish Defence League thug. 

Displaying our ‘justice for immigrants’ banner and black lives matter placards we were approached on three separate occasions by different fascists. The first, after calling black people ‘monkeys’ and physically threatening the stall, was moved on by a policeman who happened to be patrolling the area. The second stood growling at the stall and a third, who we can name as Andrew R Jenkinson (pictured), verbally abused a South African woman on the stall before physically attacking one of the stall helpers with chants of ‘SDL’. Jenkinson also stated ‘we are hunting people like you down’, called us ‘anti-white racists’ and that ‘we love Islamists’.

He asked the stall helper ‘to come around the corner’, moved to head-butt him and then after refusing to move on repeatedly punched the helper, almost throwing him in front of a bus, before he was physically taken down and restrained by the helper in self-defence. A concerned member of the public witnessed the racial abuse and assault and called the police. The incident is now being investigated by police as an ‘Assault (Racial)’.

Recent days, weeks and months have seen Edinburgh Central Mosque firebombed, fascist stickers across Leith, prompting the ‘United colours of Leith’ walk, and ‘white only’ soup kitchens in Glasgow in an attempt to exploit the homelessness crisis. Byron Burger immigrant workers were raided and deported by the racist UK Border Agency. With state racism being ramped up to deny immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees a chance of peace and dignity and to divide and rule any opposition to worsening austerity the presence of organised racists  on our streets is becoming a lot more common. The vote for Britain to leave the EU on a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment has only added fuel to the flames. We call on all democrats, progressives, socialists, anarchists, communists to stand together against these attacks.

Join us for our weekly stall against racism, war and austerity at Hunter Square, 1-3pm, this Saturday to defend the anti-racist space on our streets. An open megaphone will be available for all speakers, bring banners, newspapers, leaflets etc.

Defend Anti-Racist Space! Fascists off our streets!

Saturday 24 September, 1-3pm

Hunter Square (just off Royal Mile)

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!

The people united will never be defeated!

Byron Burgers - shame on you! Edinburgh RCG join the protests

Byron protest1

On 5 August Edinburgh Revolutionary Communist Group joined the picket of Byron Burgers on North Bridge by the Royal Mile. The protest had been called by the Edinburgh Migrants Solidarity Network and followed actions against Byron Burgers all over Britain. Protestors walked into the store leafleting staff and customers about the collaboration of Byron bosses with the racist immigration controls of the UK Home Office and UK Borders Agency.

On 4 July fifty migrant workers from Byron restaurants across London were called by their bosses to attend a bogus training session. When they arrived thirty five workers arrested by the UKBA immigration police waiting for them. Some of the workers had been working at the store for four years - sixty or seventy hours a week in some cases, contributing to Byron’s record profit and growth in the last year. At the time of writing thirty five workers from Albania, Brazil, Nepal and Egypt - have been deported.

Despite the aggression of the store management and the presence of police, the picket held its ground for over two hours, blocking the entrance to the store. RCG comrades led an open megaphone with chants and speeches against Byron Burger bosses, immigration controls and deportations, highlighting the racist, imperialist nature of the British state. Crowds of over a hundred people gathered to listen and give their support. To defend the rights of migrant workers is to defend the rights of all workers, to stand with refugees is to stand against racism, austerity and war orchestrated by the British ruling class at home and abroad. We reject the notion that one worker is ‘legal’ and another ‘illegal’ whilst migrants and refugees are driven from their lands by war, systematic under-development and exploitation and then refused the right to work and welfare when they arrive. We demand papers for all or no papers at all!

Protests have been taking place across Britain to punish Byron Burgers for collaborating with the racist immigration act and stabbing their workers in the back. The next Migrant Solidarity protest against Byron Burgers in Edinburgh will be Saturday 13 August, meeting at 1pm outside Usher Hall, Lothian Road. Join us!

Byron protest 2

Byron protest 3

Shut down Dungavel immigration prison – Immigration is no crime!

On Saturday 7th May, FRFI supporters from around Scotland joined the ‘Shut down Dungavel immigration prison’ protest called by ‘We will rise’ an activist group led by former immigration detainees in Glasgow. The event formed part of a transnational day of action against immigration detention and joined 20 protests at immigration prisons across Britain, France and Greece.

Dungavel holds 249 prisoners and is run on behalf of the Home Office by private US firm GEO Group, expanding their network of profit making prisons across the globe. Suicide attempts, protests and hunger strikes are common, with many detainees being held indefinitely in cramped conditions with little access to healthcare or legal advice. After a noise protest of drumming and banging on the towering perimeter fences, activists managed to make contact with immigration detainees who had assembled in the small exercise yard to join the demonstration. From a hill directly behind the prison we were able to make phone calls to detainees and broadcast their message to the rest of the protest ‘one message, one slogan, end all immigration detention’

The Revolutionary Communist Group demands the closure of all immigration prisons and stands in solidarity with all migrants. In an imperialist nation like Britain, which wages war and exploits oppressed peoples around the world, all forms of immigration control are, by their very nature, racist and imposed in the interests of capital, irrespective of whether they target refugees and asylum seekers, ‘economic migrants’, students or any other type of migrant. Nor can anyone who comes to Britain or any other wealthy nation from a country ravaged by imperialist plunder be dismissed as an ‘economic migrant’, rather than a ‘real refugee’. Imperialist oppression is both political and economic and fleeing it always has a political dimension. We campaign against all British immigration controls and opposes all detentions and deportations.

Scrap Britain’s imperialist immigration controls! RCG Scotland joins 19 March UN day against racism

On 19 March, Revolutionary Communist Group members and supporters from Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh and Falkirk participated in the Stand Up to Racism march at George Square, organised in coordination with the UN day against Racism. Our anti-imperialist contingent joined the thousands of people who took to the streets.

With our banners and open microphone, we called attention to the fact that racism and fascism cannot be fought without fighting immigration laws, imperialism and capitalism. Many young people around us joined our chants, raising a wide range of issues: the murder of Sheku Bayoh and Police Scotland's racism, the role of the SNP and Scottish Labour in enforcing racism and austerity, immigration laws which murder thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean and subject migrants in Britain to terrible conditions, and British imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa, which underlines all these issues. We say the movement of people is not the problem, imperialist intervention and racist border controls are responsible for the refugee crisis – No more blood for oil! Safe passage now!

We made sure to keep our microphone open, in contrast to the “official” microphone for MPs and campaign leaders used at the rally, where all the speakers were determined beforehand. We say that if you want to build a genuine movement against racism and against imperialism, your movement must be democratic, and this means having an open microphone to allow anyone against racism to speak.

Join us at our regular speak outs against Racism war and austerity across Scotland – open microphone, all anti-racists welcome.

Dundee - Saturday 21 May 12-2pm

Mary Brooksbank Memorial, Murraygate,

Glasgow Saturday 28 May, 11-1pm

Outside Primark, Argyle Street

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Contact us

Get in touch with your local Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! group:

Glasgow: glasgowfrfi@gmail.com

Tel: 078 2620 3476

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