FRFI Round Up / FRFI 199 Oct / Nov 2007

FRFI 199 October / November 2007

FRFI supporters have been on the march against racism and in defence of asylum seekers. In Manchester our comrades have been working in the North West Asylum Seekers Defence Group (NWASDG). On 11 August, NWASDG, the Sukula Family, Samina Altaf and Mahoro Must Stay campaigns, No One is Illegal, International Organisation of Iranian Refugees (IOIR), Ethiopia Support Project and Bolton NUT organised a march of over 100 people. At the open-mic rally that followed an Iranian communist spoke of the brutality refugees are fleeing in countries like Iran, how attacks on immigrants are a tool of capitalist domination and division, and how the fight for asylum rights should be linked to the struggle against capitalism and imperialism, and for socialism. NWASDG is now mobilising for a further march on 3 November.

On 22 September London FRFI joined a No Borders march against the building of a second immigration prison at Gatwick airport. On the same day, TCAR organised a solidarity march through Newcastle. TCAR has also continued with the Pledge of Resistance (see FRFI 195) and organised an emergency demonstration for the first TCAR family to be snatched in Newcastle since the New Asylum Model was introduced (see page 16).

FRFI supporters are involved in regular demonstrations at Communications House (London), Dallas Court (Salford) and North Shields (Newcastle) Immigration Reporting Centres (IRCs) and continue to support the struggle against deportations to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (see page 16). In Glasgow from 27 to 28 August FRFI comrades joined an all-night picket of Brand Street IRC followed by a 150-strong mass protest against deportations to DRC. Earlier, they had joined Cameroonian asylum seekers protesting outside the IRC against an attempted deportation.

Urgent assistance required: On 8 September immigration officers arrested Iraqi asylum seeker Sabah Abdul Rahman Kasim after a NWASDG organising meeting. The officers told him ‘we will send you back home’ and for four days none of his family knew what had happened. Sabah is now in Harmondsworth and faces deportation to Iraq where he risks being tortured or killed. Please call Harmondsworth on 020 8283 3850 – ask why Sabah is being detained, and for him to be released immediately.

Stop the war

Around the country activists have been keeping up street stalls on a weekly basis calling for the immediate withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. On 2 September in Manchester FRFI’s Trevor Rayne spoke at a well received public forum on the Middle East. He highlighted the reactionary role played by Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan and reflected on the opportunist actions of the Labour ‘left’ in preventing any real opposition to the war.

Defend the right to protest
On 1 September in Newcastle a Rally for Democratic Rights was organised at Grey’s Monument by FRFI and activists from other political campaigning groups. The rally was a response to the increasing police harassment of political activity under cover of council regulations on collecting money. Despite clear exemptions for collections taken at a street meeting in the written regulations, police have regularly demanded names, addresses and dates of birth of activists under threat of arrest and have issued formal warnings to members of Tyneside Stop the War. On two occasions they have arrested supporters of FRFI and have seized money which has yet to be returned. Despite this, no charges have been brought and no summonses issued. The police are using the regulations on collecting as an excuse to harass activists.

Victory to the intifada
Pickets of Newcastle M&S have continued on a monthly basis in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and on 6 September a public meeting was held in the Yours and Mine Community Café in Arthur’s Hill. Weekly pickets of the company’s flagship store on Oxford Street London also continue.

Student societies
It is the new university year and FRFI has set up student societies at University College London, Northumbria (Newcastle), Durham and Glasgow. There will also be a Freshers Fair stall at the London School of Economics on 4 and 5 October. If you would like more information on these societies or would like to set up a society at your university contact us on 020 7837 1688 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.