One hundred and fifty people protested outside the Angolan Embassy on 12 November at the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who died whilst being forcibly deported back to Angola on a British Airways flight. Jimmy’s family were amongst the protestors.
The Angolan Embassy has been silent since Jimmy’s untimely death a month ago and the protestors handed in a letter to the Ambassador expressing their anger at this silence.
The protest then made its way to the Home Office Headquarters. In the course of the long walk these slogans were shouted: “No Borders! No Nations! Stop Deportations!” and “What do we want? Justice! Why do we want it? Jimmy Mubenga!”
At the Home Office we heard speeches from Jeremy Corbyn MP, Deborah Coles from Inquest, Emma Ginn from Medical Justice, the inspiring Adalberto Rosário de Miranda from the Union of Angolans UK, Ciaron O’Reilly who spoke about being deported from the United States, Ayo Omotade who told a horrific but eventually triumphant tale of his own experience on a BA flight, Dashty Jamal who spoke about forced deportations to Iraq, Guy Taylor, and many many more, especially from the Angolan community in the UK — many pointing out the hypocrisies of international politics, with particular reference to the oil interests that Britain enjoys in Angola.
Tyneside backs refugees
Tyneside Community Action for Refugees campaigns for asylum seekers' rights and against racist policies which divide the working class. On 20 November TCAR organised around 150 people to a march against the Government’s policy of detaining asylum seekers and refugees.
The march was joined by Congolese campaigners from Manchester who sang Congolese protest songs.
A few BNP supporters had set up a stall by the Monument in the city centre, as a counter protest to the demonstration but these five had no impact. Heavy rain forced the protest to adjourn to a local pub. At this point the EDL arrived.
However the demonstrators left the square unmolested, and gathered in the pub to hear speakers from the Harmondsworth support campaign and other groups campaigning against detention.
UK Border Agency tears lovers apart
On Monday 29 November, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teachers and migrant rights activists established a “temporary border” at the Home Office to test the language and citizenship knowledge of civil servants.
The action marked the day that the government has introduced a pre-entry language requirement for spouses of migrants from outside the EU. The legislation is not designed to help migrants integrate. Instead it serves to deter people from marrying a non EU partner, and will keep families apart.
Campaigners challenged passers-by to take part in the new English and Citizenship tests. Most were surprised by just how difficult the tests were.
This law will affect those from areas of the world where English classes are not available, or who can’t afford to pay for such classes.
Along with the new cap on numbers of migrants, this law will ensure that few people other than the rich will be able to get into the UK.