arizona passes racist law attacking immigrants

Kasandra Dalton reports on the situation in the United States as Arizona passes a law allowing the arbitrary arrest of immigrants

Last week the state legislature in Arizona and the Republican governor Jan Brewer signed the anti-immigrant law SB 1070. This is essentially a racist law to criminalise immigration and creates the legal power for police to arrest people upon mere suspicion of illegal immigration status.

There has been significant political fallout from this quasi-fascist decisión on the part of the Arizona Republicans. Even Barack Obama, Mexican president Felipe Calderón, the Bishop of Los Angeles and Shakira have protested and made their views public. Continue reading “arizona passes racist law attacking immigrants”

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please, stop deceiving our community

Colombian lawyer Miguel Puerto looks at the mainstream parties’ attitude to Latinos in Britain, undocumented immigrants and in particular the Liberal Democrat ‘amnesty’ proposal.

London Citizens and the Lib Dems are for a very restricted 'amnesty'

The electoral campaign in this, our second country, is in full swing and with this comes further deceit, manipulation and taking advantage of our community. It is saddening, sickening, that our community is seen as up for auction to the highest bidder, on offer to the political parties who always combine against the interests of our community, as they have done historically.

These parties – all of them – have passed laws and directives in the House of Commons and European Parliament to hunt down and punish  immigrants ‘without papers’, holding back and closing the door on legal immigration and thus denying the existence of political refugees. Continue reading “please, stop deceiving our community”

UBS worker detained by UK borders agency

by Chris Kane

We have received shocking news that Lancaster Cleaning Services, a contractor for Union Bank of Switzerland, has once again colluded with the UK Borders Agency against cleaners. On this occasion Lancaster, having taken over the contract at UBS, has provided the Borders Agency with information on one of their workers who had just left their employment.  Acting on this information the worker’s home was raided and he is being held at an as yet unknown location.

The only crime this worker has committed is coming to this country and getting a job!  This is not first time Lancaster and cleaning companies have utilised the Borders Agency to attack migrant workers and attempt to intimidate others from organising to improve their working conditions. Deportations have taken place at SOAS and Willis specifically against union organised workers. UNITE activist Alberto Durango was arrested at the behest of Lancaster Cleaning company. This is however the first time it has been used by Lancaster’s in connection with the contract at UBS contract. Continue reading “UBS worker detained by UK borders agency”

migrant women on hunger strike at yarl’s wood

by Victoria Thompson

Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre was opened in 2001 and is the main detention centre for families and children. Run by a private firm, Serco Group plc who also manufacture nuclear weaponry, it has 405 bed spaces, and at any time scores of young children are detained within the grey prison walls. Yarl’s Wood has courted controversy since its opening, with hunger strikes, riots and even suicide attempts commonplace amongst the prisoners.

Yarl's Wood in Bedfordshire is a prison for immigrants

Several investigations into the detention centre have concluded that the prison is “not safe” on a basic health and safety level, as well as the site of sexual and racist intimidation and violence. Continue reading “migrant women on hunger strike at yarl’s wood”

why does unite employ ISS at its HQ?

A number of migrant cleaners employed by cowboy cleaning contractor ISS in the City of London have approached The Commune, concerned about the fact that their own union UNITE has its offices cleaned by… ISS.

Well known for terrible conditions and sacking workers who tried to organise on the London Underground and elsewhere, ISS was also complicit in the immigration raid and deportation of SOAS campus cleaners last June.

One such cleaner in the City wrote to UNITE asking why they employ ISS, and received this remarkable response… Continue reading “why does unite employ ISS at its HQ?”

immigration in britain today: london forum, 22nd march

The Commune’s next London forum is from 7pm on Monday 22nd March at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street. Click here for leaflet.

The economic crisis has worsened anti-immigrant sentiment in British society. Not only has it created a breeding ground for the BNP and English Defence League to win support, but establishment racism is also on the up. Continue reading “immigration in britain today: london forum, 22nd march”

english defence league march on parliament

by Amanda Latimer

On March 6th, the fascists marched on Parliament.  More disturbing than their actual presence or message, however, was the fact that someone let them in the front door.

The English Defence League’s (EDL) march on Parliament was called with three days’ notice to welcome the visit of the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders to the House of Lords.  Somewhere between the “free speech” placards carried by the 200 or so EDL supporters, the predictable mire of nationalist and fascist salutes and equally predictable targets of their racism, was a feeling that, as one anti-fascist demonstrator put it, “This shouldn’t be happening.”  The march flew in the face of a long-standing rule that no one can march on Parliament whilst it is in session; a rule that was not simply broken by the EDL, but accommodated by the State.  What kind of message does it send when a far-right group is not only given permission for such an extraordinary action, but when their right to “deliver their message” is accompanied by a police presence in the hundreds, also convened over three short days? Continue reading “english defence league march on parliament”