THE ANTI-IMMIGRANT LOBBY claims overwhelming popular support for its demands for fierce restrictions on certain kinds of foreigners (ones from “low-GDP countries”, as the UKBA puts it). Setting aside the assumption that it is ever OK to oppress people “by popular demand”, it appears even that assumption is wildly wide of the mark.
The YouGov poll commissioned by Lush for No One Is Illegal (NOII), and carried out on 19th May 2011 asked 2,056 people whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement (which you can support here):
“People should be free to live and work wherever they wish, and enjoy all the same rights as all other residents.”
• 54 percent of them either agreed (35 percent) or “strongly agreed” (19 percent)
• 31 percent either didn’t know (8 percent) or “neither agreed nor disagreed” (23 percent)
• Only 16 percent disagreed (12 percent) or “strongly disagreed” (4 percent)
The sample was then split in two: half were asked more specific questions about whether their own travels should be subject to various restrictions; the other half were asked whether the same restrictions should apply to foreigners visiting Britain. This revealed a definite (but not massive) bias against foreigners – but more than that, how important “framing” is.
The first of the sub-questions asked Group A whether “you” should be free to live and work in a foreign country, and Group B whether foreigners should be free to live and work in Britain. Both groups replied in favour – although Group A’s majority (72 percent) was much bigger than Group B’s (46 percent).
i.e. a majority in both cases for freedom of movement for all, wherever they come from.
DON’T LET INITIAL GET AWAY WITH ATTACKING THE RIGHT OF UNDERGROUND CLEANERS TO ORGANISE!
Demo this Thursday 26th May, 10am, outside the hearing at the Initial Office, 13-27 Brunswick Place, London, N1 6DX (2 mins from Old St station)
Clara Osagiede is an RMT representative employed by Initial Cleaning Services on London Underground. On 4th March 2011 Clara witnessed members being forced to clean graffiti off a tube train in the ‘acid shed’ at Hainault Depot. Aware that the staff involved had no appropriate training to carry out what could be a very hazardous task she raised concerns with the manager on duty who told her it was none of her business and to get out of his office.
Clara explained she was a Health and Safety rep and that it was her business. The manager became aggressive and shoved her out of the office, slamming a door behind her. She reported the incident to other management and to British Transport Police. The manager was suspended but not for long. A few days later Clara reported for work to find the manager back at work without due internal processes being completed. Terrified she withdrew to a safe place of work locking herself in an office. Clara is now suspended for standing up for vulnerable workers being made to undertake dangerous duties in the acid shed for which they are not trained.
Please come and show support outside the disciplinary hearing this Thursday. Bring banners, placards and noisemakers!
Right now, out of sight, out of mind, in Britain, around 3,200 people who haven’t harmed anybody are being held in 11 special prisons, not knowing what’s going to happen to them, or when.
They’re people of all kinds – refugees, foreign workers, the foreign-born spouses or children of British people, overseas students, and even babies (the government promised in 2010 to stop doing this, but didn’t).
They’ve been snatched off the street or dragged out of their workplaces, schools or homes, even from their beds in the small hours of the morning, by special “border enforcement” squads that have legal powers even the police don’t have, and put straight into prison without any trial. If they do eventually see a judge, it’s not a real judge but an “immigration judge”, in a special “immigration court”, which isn’t subject to the same regulation as a normal court, and of whose existence most British people are quite unaware.
So what’s their crime? Being the wrong kind of foreigner: an asylum seeker, an “illegal worker”, an “overstayer”, a partner in a “sham marriage”. Which in general means: black (or at least, not exactly white) and not very well-off. Continue reading
Ethical cosmetics company Lush is dedicating all of its 95 UK stores to promoting the cause of open borders and freedom of movement for all, from Friday 20th-Friday 27th May 2011.
Customers will be given a free NOII newspaper and invited to sign the No One Is Illegal Declaration:
“People should be free to live and work wherever they wish,
and enjoy all the same rights as all other residents.
No One Is Illegal.”
… and make a donation to help publicise it.
Lush have produced 50,000 copies of the 4-page tabloid newspaper, and a special passport that any human being can issue to any other human being.
The passport (download yours here!) affirms that its owner is a human being, and not an alien (or a corporate entity, or a figment of some racist’s imagination), and should be treated like one.
We hope to test the passport at a national border somewhere in the London area during the next few days.