Campaigners are standing up to the Tories’ racism against immigrants and refugees. Sherrl Yanowitz and Neil Rogall report from the protest at Downing Street on 20 August.
Yesterday our vile Home Secretary Theresa May was in Calais. When the refugees tried to go and join a demonstration in the city centre they were stopped by police. In protest they sat down blocking the motorway for an hour. Here in London a protest was held outside 10 Downing Street by the London-Calais Convoy who took aid to the refugees last weekend.
There were 25 people in total, but it is early days yet. We chanted “throw the Tories in the Sea, let in every refugee!”, “Hey, hey, Theresa May, how many kids have you drowned today?” and “Cameron, May and Osborne, you’re a racist Tory swarm!”
“We are here because the refugees in the ‘jungle’ can’t do it themselves,” said Sadie. “Theresa May has given £7 million to deal with the situation. But not for food, shelter or toilets, but for higher fences.”
Isabel commented, “In Calais the refugees said ‘go and tell Cameron that he’s a swarm’. So here we are. Everyday we get updates. They are so alone. They are terrified.”
“It keeps getting worse. Now we are sending British pigs to help the French riot police,” Mitch added. “What I saw in Calais was incredible. The dignity of people living in shit is astonishing. There is a political reason for this crisis. They are there because Britain and America invaded and bombed their countries into chaos. Tony Blair is a war criminal, he should be in the Hague.”
Matt spoke of his grandfather coming to Britain, a Jewish refugee fleeing pogroms in 1905. “The Jews were described as ‘sewage’ by an East End MP. Today Cameron calls the refugees ‘a swarm’.”
Syed, one of the organisers of the first London-Calais Convoy, called for an even bigger convoy on 3 October. Mona added that if you’d like to get in touch, join our Facebook group and help us build the next convoy.
Protest on Monday
Two weeks ago, Abdel Rahman Haroun, a Sudanese refugee, risked his life walking the entire length of the Channel Tunnel – in pitch darkness with trains whizzing by at 100 miles a hour. When Abdel reached British soil he asked for asylum. Instead of showing any bit of human compassion , British police treated him as a vagrant and charged him under the Malicious Damage Act of 1861 with obstructing engines or carriages on a railway. Abdul is due to appear in court next Monday at 9:30am at Canterbury Crown Court, Chaucer Road, Canterbury, Kent. Join the protest at the court – and even if you can’t make it down to Canterbury, please join the Solidarity for Abdel Rahman Campaign.