Immigration, asylum and anti-deportation

Why and how trans people exist, work and struggle

Review of Transgender Marxism by Jules Joanne Gleeson and Elle O’Rourke (Pluto Press, 2021). Marxism offers many tools necessary for any radical fight for trans liberation to succeed — but the theoretical basis for this is rarely fleshed out. Transgender Marxism collects several insightful articles and threads on topics of particular interest for transgender people and activists, using broadly Marxist perspectives. As a collection, it is less a coherent whole, more a sometimes contradictory canapé selection. Yet it is one of the first books attempting to approach this issue from an openly...

Afghan sportswomen abandoned

Kelly Lindsey, former head coach of the Afghanistan women’s football team — and before that, US international player — spoke to supporters before Lewes FC women’s home friendly against West Ham on 22 August. She has been working to secure safe evacuation of footballing women and girls from Afghanistan, along with the director of women’s football, a human rights lawyer and FIFPRO (the international professional footballers’ federation, their trade union body). “For seven days straight we’ve created a team in the US, a team in Australia, a team in Europe, we have passed the baton all day and all...

Run

A verse by Janine Booth Her cover drive and how she ran are now haram under the rule of the Taliban Can she stay in? For sure she can She can’t be out without a man in ancient, new Afghanistan She’d tackle assumptions and she’d score but won’t be playing any more She’s fallen foul of holy law Her parents murdered, house burned down She grabbed her sisters, fled the town and walked two hundred miles of ground To reach a place they might take flight to wait at the gate and hope despite the odds that there’s an end in sight While those who gave the battle orders to storm across a nation’s borders...

Open the door for Afghan refugees!

Imagine fleeing a blood- soaked, misogynistic, racist dictatorship, being promised a new life in a safe country — and then having those who promised it lock you up, deny you basic rights and refuse to tell you what happens next. That is what is happening to the Afghan refugees “welcomed” by the UK. The name of the government’s resettlement programme, “Operation Warm Welcome”, is a sick joke.The Guardian reports that conditions for the refugees are so bad that many have started saying they want to go back. 7,000 Afghan refugees are stuck in hotels, with Home Office officials saying they may be...

High wages? Start with strong unions

The Tories want to present anti-migrant policies and the labour shortages caused by those by policies, by Brexit and by poor wages and conditions in key industries like road haulage and social care as a boon for workers. That was the pitch of Boris Johnson’s speech to Conservative Party conference, promising a “high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy” in place of “the same old broken model with low wages, low growth, low skills, and low productivity, all of it enabled and assisted by uncontrolled immigration.” The Tories are being aided in this misdirection by the lack of serious...

Leftists who agree with Johnson?

Johnson has hit on the idea of posing as the friend of workers and the champion of higher wages. For weeks ministers have been insisting that shortages had nothing to do with Brexit, but now Johnson claims that it was all part of the Brexit “plan” to push higher pay by restricting the supply of labour: he claims his government wants to make Britain a high-wage economy by ending supposedly “uncontrolled” immigration. . With typical opportunism, Johnson has seized upon a few limited and short-term wage rises to suggest that Brexit and tighter immigration controls benefit British workers. It is...

Poland-Belarus: end the blockade on refugees!

On Sunday 17 October, Polish groups in Britain are organising a protest at the Polish Embassy (4pm, 47 Portland Place, London W1) about the Polish government’s refusal to allow entry to asylum seekers caught on the Poland-Belarus border. They is their statement. We protest against the violation of Polish and international law by the Polish authorities by using illegal push-backs against people who are in the area under a state of emergency, and who are seeking asylum in Poland or safe passage through Poland. These people are not illegal! What is illegal is pushing adults and children into the...

The World Transformed: scratching the surface

A lot of radical things were said at this year’s The World Transformed festival. As one participant said, many speeches only scratched the surface. Clear political conclusions or concrete demands weren’t always drawn out. For example, at a panel on “Kill The Bill,” speakers said that we cannot support police reform and that we must instead “abolish the police” – all the while talking about the negative implications of the police bill. Occasional jibes were made at “white people talking about Trotsky or whatever, telling us how to do a revolution.” Nevertheless, TWT was an informal, accessible...

Kino Eye: Greek refugee experience

I'm not sure how much relevance Greek director Theo Angelopoulos’ filmTrilogy: The Weeping Meadow (2004) has to the notion of the “right of return” which has been discussed in the pages of Solidarity recently, but there are some parallels. The film demonstrates the precarious nature of the migrant experience even in a country considered to be their “motherland”. It is 1919. The long-established Greek community in Odessa is displaced by the Russian Revolution and they eventually land on the shores of Greece, near Thessaloniki. However, there is no welcome for them and they are forced to build...

Turn back Patel, not the boats

France’s right-wing government, whose leader Emmanuel Macron has called for Europe to “protect itself from waves of Afghan immigration”, has opposed Priti Patel’s plans to forcibly turn back migrant boats in the Channel as incompatible with “safeguarding human lives”. The MP for Calais, from the even more right-wing Les Republicains, calls it a violation of human rights “that should not be tolerated in a modern society”. Of course right-wing French politicians do not want more migrants kept in France. Still, the Tories are putting themselves in the vanguard of European anti-migrant politics...

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