It’s time to get organised, shut down the Home Office, and hit back against home secretary Suella Braverman’s vile attacks on refugees. Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) has called a Stop the Home Office demonstration on Saturday 4 November to say refugees welcome and Braverman out.
The protest is backed by Mena Solidarity Network, Care4Calais, Peace and Justice Project, Night Pride, Fossil Free Pride and Love Music Hate Racism.
The racism and protest-crushing from the Tories makes the demonstration on 4 November a crucial day of action for anti-racists, climate activists and all who oppose the Tories. Braverman claimed at the Tory party conference that a “hurricane” of refugees is coming. A week earlier, she had denounced multiculturalism using the language of the far right.
Anti-racists are right to say now is the time to stand up. And it’s not just Braverman who is leading the Tories’ onslaught against refugees.
At the head of the racist government, Rishi Sunak is pushing ahead with his promise to “stop the boats”.
Despite Braverman having split the Tories with claims that “multiculturalism has failed”, Sunak said he was “absolutely happy” with her use of the word “hurricane” to describe migration into Britain.
The weak and divided Tories are still set on making racist border policies their key rallying cry.
Sunak built on his April summit with Italian fascist prime minister Giorgia Meloni last week to discuss how to keep their borders shut.
Sunak and Meloni co-hosted a summit on the fringes of the European Political Community (EPC) summit in Granada, Spain,last week.
It included French president Emmanuel Macron, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, Albanian prime minister Edi Rama and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.
The group agreed an eight‑point plan to stop refugees reaching Europe and Britain—and make life as difficult for them as possible.
In the run-up to the Home Office action, the SUTR national conference on Saturday 21 October will be a day to organise and plan the fightback.
SUTR says, “Sunak and Braverman are putting racism and the scapegoating of refugees at the centre of government policy to distract from and scapegoat for the cost of living crisis that it has created.
“Sunak’s ‘stop the boats’ and Braverman’s ‘invasion’ rhetoric has led to a resurgence of fascist mobilisations targeting refugees.”
Anti-racists will gather to hear from Neville Lawrence, Shaka Hislop from Show Racism the Red Card, actor Colin McFarlane and general secretaries from the NEU, Bfawu, Aslef and PCS unions.
From the fascist attacks in Llanelli to the Labour Party’s plan to outdo the Tories’ racism, it’s up to anti-racists to oppose the growing attacks.
And the week after, on Saturday 28 October, the United Friends and Families campaign will hold its annual march in central London. The protest will demand justice for those who have died in police custody.
SUTR’s conference should be a council of war against the Tories—with the Home Office action a day of militant action.
Anti-racists, trade unionists and all who despise the Tories should build both.
Police officer saw racist attack—but did nothing effective to halt it
Racists abused and assaulted Selma Taha, executive director of Southall Black Sisters (SBS), last week—and a cop failed to halt it.
An SBS statement says, “Taha and her friends were verbally and physically assaulted in an extremely violent racist attack on public transport.
“This included pulling clumps of hair off Selma and her friend and biting Selma’s flesh, leaving a deeply embedded imprint of her teeth which necessitated a tetanus injection and antibiotics.
A Metropolitan Police detective constable was present “but did nothing to de-escalate the abuse when the assailant, a white woman, began making monkey sounds, calling Selma and her friends “bitches”, and “slaves” and subjecting them to other vile racist slurs.
“Nor did he apprehend the attacker until it turned into extremely violent physical assault.” The police officer then tried to act in an “even‑handed” way.
“When the train arrived at the station, the police officer made no attempt to arrest the attacker, instead indicating that he wanted both parties to go their separate ways.
“It was only after Selma told him who she was and threatened to report him to the commissioner that he arrested the assailant.”
SBS adds, “Six days on, we have received no updates from the police about their criminal investigation, are still waiting to hear if the attacker has been charged, and no victim support has been offered to our director.
“Instead, the officer in question is receiving welfare support!”
The police officer has now been referred to the tame Independent Office for Police Conduct. SBS is a group that highlights and challenges all forms of violence against women and girls.
It concludes, “Who does the police work for? Certainly not for us. “The Met must answer for its failings. Police apathy amounts to police brutality.”
Sign up for SUTR’s national conference on 21 October at bit.ly/SUTRConf23
United Friends and Families march, Saturday 28 October, 12pm. Meet at Trafalgar Square for march to Downing Street
SUTR’s Home Office Protest, Saturday 4 November, outside the Home Office at 12 noon, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF