Anti-racists rallied outside the Home Office in central London on Monday night in a show of solidarity with refugees and migrants.
Around 150 people joined the protest supported by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), XR London, several unions including the PCS, and others.
Weyman Bennett, SUTR co-convenor, said, “While our hearts broke watching the news of more lives lost as a result of racist borders policy—on the Bibby Stockholm prison barge, in the Channel, and the Mediterranean sea—Sunak forced through legislation seeking to override the court’s ruling that the Rwanda plan was illegal, he met with fascists in Italy, and then spouted the racist lie about immigration threatening to ‘overwhelm European states’.
“This was echoing the endorsement of the far right Great Replacement Theory from Suella Braverman in recent months.”
The protest came after a refugee boat sank in the English Channel last week. Charlotte Khan from the Care 4 Calais charity said, “The deaths on the Bibby Stockholm and in the Channel are the responsibility of the government.”
Aziz, who came as a refugee from Sudan in 2021, added, “Many of us have had terrible experiences. We say thank you to those who say refugees welcome.”
The protest was backed by a coalition of forces, including environmental groups. Melissa, an Extinction Rebellion supporter, told Socialist Worker, “The environmental crisis and racism are linked. They are two aspects of a way of life that amplifies money and then divides those who protest. We need to resist together.”
Sunak had vowed on Sunday to work with Italy’s fascist prime minister Giorgia Meloni to review international rules on asylum, claiming that a wave of clandestine migration threatens to “overwhelm our countries”.
Sunak was speaking at a far right festival in Rome, organised by Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party. Previous speakers have included Donald Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon and Hungary’s far right prime minister Viktor Orban.
Sunak demanded changes to international treaties that allow people to claim asylum. He also claimed that hostile states would use mass migration as a weapon to overthrow the West.
“Our enemies will see how unable we are to deal with this and so they will increasingly use migration as a weapon, deliberately driving people to our shores to try to destabilise our societies,” Sunak said. “If we do not tackle this problem, the numbers will only grow. It will overwhelm our countries.”
Across the world ruling classes in trouble are seeking to divide the opposition. In November 2024 the US presidential election could see Donald Trump re-elected. That’s due to Joe Biden’s failures over the economy, his support for Israel’s obliteration of Gaza, his billions for war in Ukraine, and much more.
Trump is using racism to boost his campaign. At a rally last Saturday he accused immigrants of “poisoning the blood of our country”.
It’s crucial to fight for unity among working class people against their real enemies, and not be divided.
Saturday 16 March, anti-racist demonstrations in London and Glasgow
Sunday 17 March, anti-racist demonstration in Cardiff