Peter Norman reports from Friday’s action at London Eurostar terminal in solidarity with refugees in Calais.
As I walked around Kings Cross station on Friday evening, alongside but separate from other small of groups of demonstrators, I wondered what on earth was going to happen. Twenty minutes later, 300 people, nearly all young, many BME, many women, representing a diverse number of anti-oppression, anti-state and pro-refugee campaigning groups and political organizations, had cohered outside the international travel section of the station, accompanied by loud and confident chanting.
Solidarity, anti-racism, pro-refugee, pro-migrant, anti-imperialist and anti-EU slogans epitomised the politics. The pouring of red liquid, the forming of pickets and the gluing of protesters to static objects in the station were among the actions used to symbolise and oppose the system’s treatment of refugees and migrants.
As ever, the police were toxic, heavy-handed and violent, completely indicative of their unchanging role in protecting the interests of the capitalist state and its dominant ideas. As if there were any doubt.
As the broader left and anti-austerity movement grows, as the outpourings of sympathy and solidarity toward migrants and refugees grow, from moral outrage to liberal humanitarianism, as the tactical options adopted in the current crisis expand, from mutual aid to not-so-mutual-aid, to occupations and demonstrations – so does a harder, more uncompromisingly radical edge of pro-migrant, #NoBorder, anti-capitalist politics. Any viable communist left should see itself as a part of that.
This sort of solidarity is even more important when we witness the collective action of refugees storming Eurostar trains in France and actually, like the slogan says, shutting shit down.
Salute to the organisers.