The Asylum Market - film on G4S and asylum housing pulled by BBC

This short film, made by Brass Moustache Films, is a powerful insight into the housing situation asylum seekers in Britain are forced into, and the role of G4S. It was due to be shown on the BBC on the Victoria Derbyshire show on the morning of 31 January 2017 but was pulled at short notice apparently due to G4S pressure. We are publishing this on our website to ensure as many people as possible can see some of the reality of life as an asylum seeker in Britain, in spite of any attempts to prevent this.

Fight Britain's racist immigration laws! Freedom for migrants! Justice for refugees!

Casey Review: nationalist assimilation

 

In December 2016 the government published the Casey Review into ‘integration and opportunity’, commissioned a year before by David Cameron. The review was led and authored by Dame Louise Casey, formerly the ‘homelessness tsar’, who told people not to give money to homeless people, and now the ‘integration tsar’. Casey also oversaw the 'Troubled Families' programme that followed the uprisings in 2011, and which shifted the blame for police racism, poverty and cuts onto the supposed moral failings of working class families. She has done the same with this review -  blaming Muslims and particularly those of Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent for the inequalities they face and for a whole range of other social problems.

Casey defines integration as ‘the extent to which people from all backgrounds can get on – with each other, and in enjoying and respecting the benefits that the United Kingdom has to offer’. ‘Anti-Western’ attitudes and a lack of nationalist identification with Britain are of particular concern to Casey - in other words, 'integration' means the extent to which all parts of the British population buy into ‘Fortress Britain’ and can be relied upon to stand with the ruling class against the workers of other countries. When questioned, Casey explicitly rejected the idea that integration is a two-way street – instead she said it is a motorway where everybody is moving in the same direction at speed and newcomers need to rapidly learn to follow suit.

Casey is keen to explain inequalities and a whole range of issues – particularly oppression of women and child abuse – as the result of cultural difference. The review expresses concern at the number of Pakistani British people marrying new migrants from Pakistan, and suggests this is reducing levels of spoken English, undermining integration and fostering regressive social attitudes. The idea that ongoing migration undermines integration reflects the assimilationist perspective of the review, reminiscent of the Labour government under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The review also suggests that oppression of women has been ignored ‘in some communities’ because of a fear of being accused of being racist – falsely suggesting that oppression of women is particular to some minority groups.

The recommendations of the review follow its nationalist and assimilationist perspective: more teaching of ‘British values’ in schools, a requirement for immigrants to take an ‘integration oath’, more focus on the English language, and on ‘women’s emancipation in communities where they are being held back by regressive cultural practices’.

The review argues that given a growing population that is increasingly ethnically diverse (although still 82% White British) and less Christian than previously (although still 58.8%), ‘it is not surprising that many communities are feeling the impact of immigration to a greater extent and that this is playing out in wider public attitudes towards immigration’. This excuses racism as a ‘natural’ response to immigration, covering up the role of the state in provoking racism and justifying increasing restrictions as a necessary response to the concerns of the electorate. It also covers up the rise of precarious work and cuts in state support that are the real foundation of many people’s anxiety. The lack of resources for local authorities with rapidly changing populations does get a mention, but the main emphasis is on a large concentration of migrants putting pressure on public services.

The review notes that 34% of all statutory homelessness acceptances in 2015/16 were ethnic minority families, up from 25% in 2008/9, and 18% of homelessness acceptances were foreign nationals. 36.8% of recorded rough sleepers in London were from Eastern and Central European countries in 2015/16, up from 6% in 2005/6. The main concern of the review is not the impact of homelessness on these groups, but the demand this places on public services. When considering the impact on education a submission from the Department for Education is dismissed as ‘inconclusive’ although it suggests multiple ways in which migration may benefit the educational process, and states that any differences in education attainment associated with migration appear to level out by age 16.

Tom Vickers

Calais migrant camp razed

The operation to clear and demolish the ‘Jungle’ camp situated near to the French port of Calais began on 24 October 2016. Hundreds of people were herded towards the warehouse where processing was to take place. They were not told where they would be sent and went because they had been threatened with deportation if they failed to co-operate. Before dawn, the CRS (riot police) closed the gate out of the camp and kettled hundreds of youths, forcing them to sit on a muddy bank. Police vans and fire engines were positioned around the perimeter to control and threaten the queuing people, who were separated into four queues (adults, families, unaccompanied children and ‘vulnerable’ people) and assigned a wristband. Across the three-day operation the CRS attacked teenagers and deliberately destroyed their wristbands, meaning that they would be treated as unprocessed adults. The State of Emergency (see ‘France – secularism becomes racism’ on our website) was used to impose a ban on entry to the camp during the operation. ID checks on anyone suspected of being a migrant were carried out at the train station and in the park in front of the town hall.

Read more ...

Racist Attacks: 1980

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No.2 - January/February 1980

Leeds: The Police, the Courts and Racist Attacks

Today, when we read in the British press of the activities of the racists in this country, the picture that we are being force-fed is that of a mob of ranting degenerates waving their Union Jack and National Front banners, of Willy Whitelaw or Enoch Powell delivering one of their speeches or even of a house-seller advertising his house for sale to whites only. But how much is this picture a true assessment of the increasing acts of racism blacks in Britain have to put up with. The truth is that British institutionalised racism affects black people day in and day out. It affects them in their employment of they are 'lucky' enough to be employed), it affects them in their education, it affects them on the housing market but most of all it affects them in their dealings with the law — British racist law.

As a black man living in a black community, I have witnessed the way that the police and courts are used against us and especially against the youth of our community. There are hundreds of racist acts by police every year. For example: I have witnessed the invasion of our community by 200 policemen on November 5 equipped with riot-shields and batons to face 15 and 16 year olds. There are the arrests of the youth on suspicion of having committed a crime they could not possibly have committed, and the subsequent hours of detention in the police cells for refusing to give a statement before seeing a solicitor. There is the constant stopping and questioning and searching, of the youth in the streets and of car-owners. The latter are frequently harassed for trivialities. There is the near-military invasion of black people's social gatherings whereby whole streets are blocked off by police vans and rows of police, while they invade premises, with dogs, batons and cameras, lifting people at will. There was of course the case of David Olewale, continuously hounded and finally murdered by the Leeds police, who subsequently walked free from the court.

Just recently, six youngsters, having just returned to Leeds from visiting a youth club in Bradford, were stopped by policemen and accused of stealing six polythene bags of fibreglass. The youngsters protested their innocence, which was backed up by a Scotsman who had seen the youngsters making their way home. For his trouble, this witness was told by police in no uncertain terms to keep out of the way. The six explained that they had just returned to Leeds and that they could not possibly have stolen the fibreglass. Nonetheless, under a barrage of racist insults, they were forced into the waiting police van and driven to the police station where they were kept for five hours. While there they were made to stand all the time, without their shoes and socks, and subjected to continual racist abuse. These youths have now been summonsed to appear before the courts on this charge.

Another example shows how the police and the courts collaborate against black youth. A sixteen year old youth, found beaten up, bruised and dazed, by a policeman and policewoman, was driven to the local hospital for treatment. The police waited for the youth to be treated and then offered to drive him home. This he accepted. Arriving at his street, the youth asked the officers to drop him off at the top of the street as he didn't want to alarm his mother. The youth left the police car and walked to the back of his house, as the back door was always left open for him. On opening the gate to his back garden, he suddenly saw a police car racing down the narrow backstreet towards him. The youth hurried into his garden to get out of the way. The police car screeched to a halt, and both occupants jumped out. It was then that the youth realised that it was in fact the same heavily built policewoman and policeman who had just given him a lift. The policeman started poking the youth in the chest and asking him where the Hell he thought he was going. The policeman produced a pair of handcuffs, at which point the youth resisted and then ended up on the ground with both officers on top of him. The youth's mother and sister, awakened by his screaming, came out to see what was happening. Asking the police what they were doing with her son, she was told abusively to get back inside and get some clothes on. The sister told the police to leave the boy alone, at which point she was called a 'black bastard' and told to get back inside before she was arrested as well. The mother was told that she could come to the police station and that she could find out there what he was being arrested for. At the police station she was initially allowed in with her son, but then she was asked to sit outside, while he was questioned in her absence. The mother was then told that out of the goodness of the police officers' hearts they had taken him to hospital. She was told that there would be no charges and that she and her son could go. However, three months later the mother received a summons to court, her son charged with causing actual bodily harm to a policewoman. Both mother and son were very shocked by this. The case went to court and there the policewoman made a statement saying how during the struggle in the boy's back garden, her finger had been bitten. The judge paid no attention to the circumstances under which the youth had been subjected to two unprovoked attacks in one night. The Judge said that he had no alternative but to believe what the policewoman said as he could see no reason why police officers would lie in court!!!!

Again in court a black car-owner was the victim of 'legal' racism when he was found guilty of crashing his car when he wasn't even in it. This man had parked his car in town. A white driver subsequently ran into the back of it. On being breathalysed this driver was found to have over the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, and yet in court the black driver, his car stationary, was the one who was penalised.

These examples are just a small part of the racist onslaught perpetrated on our and other black communities. The whole thing has reached such a pitch that many feel that collective action is needed, against not just the police but all the other agencies of institutionalised racism. It is generally the feeling that we as a community must do something to halt this beast. This now, or death at their hands (as in the case of David Olewale) later.

Leeds Contributor

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Defend The Earlington Family

Racist frame-ups, arrests and assaults are part of everyday life for black people in Britain. In Highbury and Islington, North London, police activity on this score is notorious. The Islington 18 only won their freedom from police trumped-up charges after a long campaign waged by the Defence Committee. Unabashed by this exposure of their racist activities during the case of the 18, local police have continued their harassment of black people in the area. Their racist activities have been highlighted this year by the arrest of five members of a single black family. In April 1979 a total of five members of the Earlington family were arrested by police. Where? In their own home. For what? because, allege the police, Mrs Earlington had been having an argument with a neighbour, it was necessary to arrest first her, then four more members of family in case a ‘breach of the peace' might occur.

Arrest of the Earlington Family

On the afternoon of April 9 1979, Mrs Earlington was at home on sick leave from work. She has been a ward orderly in the local hospital for the last eight years. Mrs Earlington's son, Trevor, on his return 'lame from work, was involved in a short argument with a neighbour's son over a bicycle wheel, which had been removed from his bicycle. Mrs Earlington and the mother of the boy next door joined in. Neighbours have since stated that at this time, no noise or disturbance could be heard.

Then there arrived two policemen (the first of many). They had been 'called', they said in court, but they 'did not know by whom'. And in fact, according to police evidence in court, everyone in the nearby flats refused to speak to them when they arrived. After trying one door, the police arrived at the Earlington's flat where Mrs Earlington was standing in the passage way inside the house. One of the policemen advanced towards Mrs Earlington and said: 'Did you phone for the police you black bastard. Any more noise from you and I'll have you nicked'. Mrs Earlington angered by this provocative racist abuse, protested that she was sick, that she was not doing anything and that the police had no right to be there. The policeman then grabbed hold of her. On hearing his mother calling out for a doctor and for help, Trevor came from upstairs where he had gone to watch TV. Seeing what was happening to his mother, he tried to prevent the policeman from manhandling her. Meanwhile, the second policeman had radioed for help to assist the two in the arrest of this sick woman. Audrey Earlington then arrived. She too was horrified by the scene.

Very quickly, an estimated 18 police in five cars and three meat wagons, arrived outside the flat. Having announced their arrival by knocking down the sitting room door, which was locked, they then proceeded to arrest the family. Mrs Earlington was hand-cuffed and dragged off down three flights of stone steps. It was at this point, neighbours state, that they first heard a disturbance and came out to look. That is, the peace of the neighbourhood was broken only by the activities of the police. Trevor was arrested and so was Audrey. Angela (14) who had just arrived home from school, protested at the sight of her handcuffed mother and tried to prevent her from being dragged off. For her trouble she was slapped on the face, handcuffed and dragged off too. Mr Earlington, who had been dozing in front of the TV, came downstairs and had hardly time to take in the scene before he was punched in the stomach and arrested.

At the police station, all the family were charged with numerous counts of assault etc. Mrs Earlington's thumb had been twisted to a degree where she was unable to work for several weeks. She was refused medical attention at the police station. The blow to Angela's face has since reactivated a childhood illness in her jaw and she is due shortly to go into hospital.

Two of the family, Mrs Earlington and Trevor, charged with both Actual Bodily Harm and assault of a police officer with intent to resist arrest, elected to be tried at Crown Court. However, their belief that this would lead to a 'fairer' trial than at Highbury Magistrates Court, notorious for its racism and the heavy sentences meted out to black people, was shaken. The question of precisely why 18 police had found it necessary to beat up and arrest five members of one family in their own home was never an issue during the trial. The judge's summing up was devoted almost entirely to police evidence. As a result Mrs Earlington and Trevor were found guilty by the jury who failed, however, to reach a unanimous verdict on the second charge. Trevor Earlington lost the job which he had only just managed to get, due to having to take time off for the case.

Defence Committee Formed

Mrs Earlington and Trevor have since decided to appeal against this racist injustice. The cases of Mr Earlington, Angela and Audrey are still to come up at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court. The Earlington Family Defence Committee has been formed by the Earlington Family, friends, Hackney branch of the PNP and supporters of FRFI, to fight the charges and to raise money and support for the Earlington Family. The Defence Committee is determined that police victimisation of black people, in this case the Earlingtons, cannot go unchallenged in this area where such things happen week in week out. The Defence Committee is leafletting the area, holding meetings and other events and collecting money in support of the Earlington Family. Money is urgently needed to pay the fines already incurred, to pay any additional legal costs and to pay for publicity to build up support for the family. Please send money and make cheques payable to the Earlington Family Defence Fund.

Olivia Adamson

November 5th 1979: Chapeltown

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No. 2 - January/February 1980

On November 5 the police launched a violent attack on the black people of Chapeltown. This is not the first time that the police have launched such an attack. In Chapeltown, the police have used Bonfire Night as an excuse to try and terrorise young people because they are black and on the streets. Their record over the past few years proves this.

In 1975, a massive police operation launched against the black youth of Chapeltown failed miserably. Community workers had requested that the police maintain a low profile, since the police presence the year before, coupled with their attempt to extinguish a bonfire, had provoked a disturbance. Despite police agreement, they turned out in force. A police car driven at high speed into a group of youths signalled the beginning of the police attack. But the young people of Chapeltown showed that they were not going to stand around and become hopeless victims of British State barbarity. On the contrary, November 5 1975 will be remembered as a crushing defeat for the police. Four policemen were injured, one of them seriously. At least one police car was a total write-off — several others were damaged. Not one person was arrested at the time, but throughout the night police raided homes, arresting 12 people. Initially they faced minor charges mainly of assault, but nine of the defendants had their charges changed to the more serious one of affray. Undoubtedly, the police were anxious to do in the courts what they had failed to do on the streets. An indication of the lengths they will go to in trying to smash a community came to light later. Younger children at a local school were asked to write essays on ‘Bonfire Night'. The police picked their way through these trying to find 'evidence! However, substantial community protest over the court cases, along with the ease with which contradictory police statements were shown to be largely fictional resulted in a further police defeat in the courts. Out of the 24 charges brought, there were 21 acquittals!

All in all, the police attack resulted in. severe blows being inflicted on them. Throughout the next three years, the police, not wishing to confront such solid resistance, resorted to a low-key approach. This went hand in hand with the development of their 'community relations' police work —their term for gathering information as the ‘friendly community coppers', while continuing and even intensifying their racist oppression.

Hardly anyone is fooled by this rather threadbare velvet glove over an iron fist. They maintained high numbers at each bonfire night, but opted for plain-clothes and unmarked cars — common features at any time in Chapeltown.

The only incident of any note took place on Bonfire Night in 1977 when some cowardly National Front supporters hurled a barrage of racist abuse from a car window while travelling at high speed through a crowd of youths. They disappeared at even greater speed, complete with smashed windscreen. Apart from this incident, these three years were quiet and trouble free, and in spite of the presence of plainclothes policemen, people enjoyed the bonfire night celebrations. Police confidence grew!

The police attack again

1979 saw a return to openly repressive tactics. Police provocation took three main forms. First, there were numbers of uniformed police in almost every single street in the area. Second they were trying to stop people from setting off fireworks. Finally they simply resorted to open violence. A youth on his pushbike, arriving to join his friends, received a completely unprovoked punch in the face from a policeman. This year, it was clear, the police were intent on brutality and intimidation. This is particularly evident in the rapidity with which a military-style operation was launched. The following are extracts of an interview given to a Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporter by 'RJ’, a black youth present when the police attack took place. The extracts outline what happened and also show some of the conclusions reached by this youth and others, following this state assault.

What happened

FRFI How soon after the incident involving the youth on the pushbike did the police arrive with riot shields?

RJ Minutes after. They came with riot shields just then. They went all the way down to the 'Gaiety' (a night-club on the opposite edge of the community — FRFI) and were just starting on people even people who had nothing to do with the bonfires.

FRFI How many policemen were there?

RJ About 12 or 13 were chasing us at first and then they were coming from all over. You know those vans they come in, the blue ones, well they started jumping out with riot shields and lining up on the roads and marching down. I've seen it in Belfast, but it's the first time I've seen it here.

FRFI Didn't the police come in cars this time?

RJ No. I didn't see any police cars. Maybe they learned a lesson from 1975.

FRFI Apart from riot shields, what else did the police have?

RJ Those long batons — the kind they can swing and just hit people, and helmets with glass fronts. You know the bricks that we were defending ourselves with the police were trying to pick them up and throw them back, but when they tried to we just kept up and they couldn't. Anyway people were getting dustbin lids and using them as shields to defend themselves.

FRFI How else did people defend themselves?

RJ People just had to pick up whatever was near. Anything. When the police tried to grab somebody others went up to them and made them go back.

FRFI Did you see any of the police being injured?

RJ Yes. One got a brick in his forehead. Others had leg injuries and ankle injuries.

FRFI One story that was going round was that police told a resident that the reason they were in his garden was that they were looking for an air-rifle which they said someone had been using against them. Do you know anything of that?

RJ They weren't. I know why they were there. A whole heap of them hide in gardens and when they see a black youth coming, they jump out and do what they want. They're smart but they're not smart enough.

FRFI Have you seen that happen before?

RJ I've seen that happen in Manchester and Birmingham — Handsworth. That's the problem with the police. As soon as they're faced with a number equal to theirs, they can't handle it. Only a mob of them can mash one up. But say there's twelve of them and twelve black youths, they won't do it 'cos they know who's gonna come off best, and that's the black youth, even though they've got truncheons. Well what would you do, if they're coming and harassing you, pushing you about, if they punch you in the face for nothing? I won't take it. They've really got it in for people with skin this colour. Same as the Irish. They're really getting a battering, but they're fighting back like Hell as well.

I'm glad IRA are doing that. Like when I hear of a bombing in England, I go 'Yeah Man! Go Deh!' That's their revolution. Why should the next country poke their nose into something which has nothing to do with them. I see some black soldiers in there. All I can say to them is they are a partaker of the beast and that's it, I don't want nothing to do with it. He's dealing with their law. One day they'll bring the army in here for something like bonfire night.

FRFI What about 5 November next year?

RJ Well all I can say is people have realised. If they do it again next year there's gonna be a riot for days, 'cos if they come looking for trouble we'll give them it. Even though I'm dealing in Rastafari, a man of peace, there's one thing you got to fight for — your rights.

The Fight Continues

The immediate result of the attack in 1979 was six injured policemen and no arrests. One ANL supporter trying to take photograph of the attacks was beaten up by the police and had his camera taken.

The significance of the police attack is that it is part and parcel of the countrywide terrorising of black people by the British State. During the three quiet years of 1976-8, police hypocrisy reached the level of putting a message of congratulations in the local press. A cynical pat on the back for the community for its good behaviour on bonfire night. But the real message is abundantly clear: it is the police who bring their brutality to Chapeltown, and the British state which uses all the means at its disposal to attack black people in their homes and communities, on the streets and in the courts. Another message is equally clear — black people are fighting back and will continue to do so.

Alison Scott

Chapeltown Rasta - the persecution continues

Readers of FRFI 1 will remember the case of the young Rastafarian who having been suspended from school for refusing to cut off his dreadlocks was threatened with being taken into 'care' by Leeds Local Authority. His case was taken up and fought by the Chapeltown Rasta Defence Committee. The Committee organised protest actions, including a picket of his school and the Headmaster was forced to allow him to re-enter school.

That was on 4 September 1979. Those who have experienced the racist education system in Britain will not be surprised to hear that since that time he has been victimised and suspended no less than four times.

On each of these four occasions he has been singled out for punishment. The first occurred when, about one and a half weeks after he had been re-admitted to school, another boy took his pencil and threw it across the room. It was the young Rastafarian who got suspended. Then on 24 October, when there was no heating in the school the pupils were ordered to take off their coats and jackets. About half of them did not. The young Rastafarian was again singled out and suspended. On November 28th he was yet again suspended for two

weeks. This time a whole number of pupils were larking about, the teacher called the young Rastafarian to the front and immediately began to fill in a suspension form . Finally, he was allowed back into school on 13th December. He had been in school for just three quarters of an hour when a teacher ordered him to remove his Rasta badges. He took all of them off except one, pointing out that many of the pupils wore badges. The Headmaster told him to get out of school. The youth told him that he wanted to stay and that he would not be denied his education. The Headmaster called the police.

Clearly enraged at the success achieved by the Defence Committee the school authorities have put out the word to persecute this youth. They appear quite determined to rob him of any chance of education. To add insult to injury, Leeds Education Authority have again summonsed the youth and his mother to court for his 'non-attendance' at school. By continually suspending him they obviously hope that he will be taken into ‘care'. This for them would remove an embarrassing reminder that their authority was once successfully challenged and can be so again.

Leeds Correspondent