Skip to main content

One World, One People - For World Socialism


The Tory prime minister declared he has no regrets about his recent use of the “swarms” to characterize migrants trying to reach the UK. David Ca-moron goes on to criminalise them further by alleging that they are trying to “break-in” to the UK although as refugees many have a legitimate and legal right to seek asylum in the UK without going through the proper channels and by any means possible. The government is purposefully trying to create an atmosphere of fear by stigmatizing vulnerable people as a threat to the UK’S security and sovereignty.

In a corner-shop near the Scottish Home Office, the Unity centre has been fighting for several years to protect refugees and asylum seekers who have made their home in Glasgow. Asylum seekers come in and report to Unity before signing in at the Home Office building nearby. If they are detained during their visit to the Home Office, activists can swing into action to try and get them released. It’s a system that has helped hundreds stay in Scotland since asylum seekers started arriving in Glasgow at the end of the 1990s.

“Glasgow has stood against the Home Office in lots of ways,” said one Unity activist. “We help anyone in their struggle for papers, it’s about emotional solidarity as well as practical.” He talks about a flight full of migrants that has only this morning left Heathrow for Nigeria, stopping en route in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “Charter flights are a way of expelling people en masse, where nobody can hear you scream. We know several of the people who have been sent out on this flight and many of them have legal processes open, they have families and children here. The Home Office just grab as many people as they can,” the activist added.

The Unity centre is only one part of a vibrant network of support for migrants and refugees across Glasgow, rooted in local communities and bringing together people from around the world with their Scottish neighbours. When the Home Office decided to start sending asylum seekers out of London to cities around the UK, Glasgow city council was the first to sign up.

The asylum seekers were placed in empty flats in long neglected high-rise estates. Neighbours appointed by the council to welcome the new families took the job seriously, bringing the new arrivals from Kosovo, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, into their communities, holding parties, bringing families from across the world together. When families were told they would not be given asylum their Scottish neighbours refused to let the Home Office remove them from the UK. Immigration officials who arrived in the early hours for “dawn raids” on families were met by enraged Glaswegians who refused to let the Home Office take their new friends away.

The demonstrations became widespread and saw the end of the dawn raids. Many thousands of people who had been threatened with removal, including many families, were allowed to stay in Scotland.

Remzije Sherifi runs the Maryhill Integration Network where people from around the world come together in award winning dance and music projects.
“We have established great links between new arrivals and local people. This grows organically from the heart if people can understand why someone would have to flee their country. It’s still hard, there are still people struggling, but there are always doors open where they can get a cup of tea.”

The world is on the move. Tens of millions are displaced. Around the world much the same question is being posed: “How are we going to absorb all those hordes of immigrants?” All across the globe nationalist, xenophobic groups and movements are busy attacking and intimidating defenseless refugees. George Orwell defined un-Christian, un-white and un-Western people simply as “un-people”, in the eyes of the West.

The overwhelming majority of the refugees are forced to leave their homelands because of political and economic consequences of capitalism. Only a few Europeans or North Americans are capable of detecting connection between their continents’ wealth, those hundreds of millions of ruined lives all over the world, and the latest wave of immigrants. Glasgow's commercial wealth was built upon the slave trade, for example. Great Britain, responsible for the loss of millions of lives worldwide through its colonial genocides and triggered/orchestrated famines, is now pretending that it is facing a serious “refugee crises”.  While tiny Lebanon is now a host of over 2 million Syrian refugees, one of the main global bullies, the UK, has lesser than 25,000 registered asylum applicants on its territory. Immigrants are being portrayed as some menace, or pest, not as a group of desperate human beings – victims of the British Empire and the neo-colonialism that followed it. Much of the blame can be placed on the politicians and the toadying media. Even the liberal voices only offer concessions out of charity and not recognise solidarity as an obligation and so they do little to throw open the gates or knock down the walls of Fortress Europe.

As long as capitalism reigns supreme, as long as profit-seeking rules over the planet, the refugees will be crossing dangerous seas to seek safety and security. Many will die in the process but some will make it to be defined as “illegal” and persecuted and where victims will have to lie, in order to just survive. The Socialist Party as part of the World Socialist Movement stands with the exploited and the oppressed of all parts of the globe.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What do we mean by no leaders

"Where are the leaders and what are their demands?" will be the question puzzled professional politicians and media pundits will be asking when the Revolution comes. They will find it inconceivable that a socialist movement could survive without an elite at the top. This view will be shared by some at the bottom. Lenin and his Bolshevik cohorts argued that we couldn't expect the masses to become effective revolutionaries spontaneously, all on their own. To achieve liberation they needed the guidance of a "vanguard party" comprised of an expert political leadership with a clear programme. The Trotskyist/Leninist Left may remix the song over and over again all they want but the tune remains the same: leaders and the cadres of the vanguard can find the answer; the mass movements of the people cannot liberate themselves. The case for leadership is simple. Most working-class people are too busy to have opinions or engage in political action. There’s a need for some…

Lenin and the Myth of 1917

A myth pervades that 1917 was a 'socialist' revolution rather it was the continuation of the capitalist one. What justification is there, then, for terming the upheaval in Russia a Socialist Revolution? None whatever beyond the fact that the leaders in the November movement claim to be Marxian Socialists. M. Litvinoff practically admits this when he says:In seizing the reigns of power the Bolsheviks were obviously playing a game with high stake. Petrograd had shown itself entirely on their side. To what extent would the masses of the proletariat and the peasant army in the rest of the country support them?”This is a clear confession that the Bolsheviks themselves did not know the views of the mass when they took control. At a subsequent congress of the soviets the Bolsheviks had 390 out of a total of 676. It is worthy of note that none of the capitalist papers gave any description of the method of electing either the Soviets or the delegates to the Congress. And still more cu…

No More Propertyless

Socialism is the name given to that form of society in which there is no such thing as a propertyless class, but in which the whole community has become a working community owning the means of production—the land, factories, mills, mines, transport and all the means whereby wealth is created and distributed to the community. The first condition of success for Socialism is that its adherents should explain its aim and its essential characteristics clearly, so that they can be understood by every one. This has always been the primary purpose of the Socialist Party's promotion of its case for socialism. The idea of socialism is simple. Socialists believe that society is divided into two great classes that one of these classes, the wage-earning, the proletariat, is property-less the other, the capitalist, possesses the wealth of society and the proletariat in order to be able to live at all and exercise its faculties to any degree, must hire out their ability to work to the capitalis…