Support Migrant Workers, Fight Racism!

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Anarchists believe in equality between all people regardless of where their ancestors may be from, what colour their skin is, or where they were born, as we are all immigrants in one way or the other. Racism is often used by bosses as a tool in dividing the working class and weakening class unity, collective action and class struggle, because this threatens their privilege and authority.Racist attacks, and recent attempts by British fascist groups in working class loyalist areas, are set against a campaign by ‘respectable’ politicians and media to demonise and criminalise immigrants. The term “illegal immigrant” has joined other racial slurs, becoming a general term of abuse for foreigners and people from ethnic communities in Northern Ireland, Britain and the Irish Republic.

In the past we listened too parasites such as Tony Blair and his political class speak of the growing numbers of women immigrants coming to the UK as “maternity tourists” to exploit “our” strained and under-funded NHS (so who’s responsible for the under-funding, eh Gordon?). In the last few years, we have also witnessed the ‘common’ sight of migrants on our streets selling the ‘big issue’, many of which are subject to racist abuse and who are mainly from the Roma community recognised as one of the most deprived and discriminated groups in Europe, who have no official access to any form of benefits and medical care at any time. In challenging racism it is important to dispel some of the myths propagated by the gutter press such as the Sun (owned by the Murdoch mafia well used to using tax havens) and politicians. Migrant workers arriving in the north from eastern countries such Poland have no access to benefits unless they can prove they have been working here for at least a year, often impossible because most tend to work in casual/temporary, low-paid jobs which none of us want to do. In the UK last year there were more people who emigrated than immigrated!

Anarchists believe in equality between all people regardless of where their ancestors may be from, what colour their skin is, or where they were born, as we are all immigrants in one way or the other. We are struggling for a world with no borders were people are free to travel the world and settle where they wish – this is not a freedom that should be extended only to capital and wealthy elites who, supported by nation states, continue to subject humanity to exploitation, domination and coercive authority.

Today Fortress Europe, with border controls, armed guards and concentration camps is alive and kicking. This has brutal consequences for those seeking escape from persecution – often fleeing western sponsored oppressive regimes. Institutionalised racism is occurring in our own backyard. All forms of public transport from Belfast to Dublin and elsewhere are regularly searched by immigration control and Garda carrying out racist government policy and questioning, harassing, detaining and barring entry to ‘Ireland’ from the north on the basis of skin colour. Refugees are shamefully interned in our own local concentration camp at Maghaberry.

Governments utilise racism deliberately to divert working-class people’s anger away from the real causes of their problems. Problems such as poverty, housing shortages, and unemployment have all been blamed on immigrants, rather than those really responsible such as landlords and property developers. Despite popular ‘perception’, a recent report by the Government’s own migration impacts forum claimed that migrants are only allocated 1% of council housing or flats, often crowded into some of most poorest private accommodation due to low wages and ‘tied accomodation’ provided by their bosses. Racism is often used by bosses as a tool in dividing the working class and weakening class unity, collective action and class struggle, because this threatens their privilege and authority.

The real ‘spongers’ and ‘parasites’ who undercut our wages are not immigrants but the tiny boss class who live off other people’s labour, sweat and toil. Immigrants bring a wealth of experience, culture and make a contribution to society and the economy, often suffering harsher conditions and exploitation than ‘native’ working class people. We must also remember that millions of working class people have migrated from Ireland – north and south – in search of a better life, fleeing inequality, injustice and poverty, over the past couple of hundred years.

In confronting racism we must build class unity. We reject cross class alliances simply because there can be no common interests between workers and the bosses. We need to expose and attack the institutions which are legitimising racism in our society, we need to stand up against racist bullies and fascists carrying out attacks on people from ethnic minorities. Central to this is the need to physically and ideologically confront fascism wherever it raises its ugly head and the building of opposition to the system of wage slavery and exploitation which promotes racist scape-goating and the criminalisation of immigration.

Our goal is social equality and freedom for all people. Racism is motivated and perpetuated by greed, promoted by those in power, and is festering in ignorance and misplaced fear. We demand a world free for travel for humanity, not the exploitation of global capitalism, a world free from borders and controls on our movements. We seek to abolish governments, which create and maintain division on behalf of a few wealthy and powerful people, in favour decisions being made by communities and workplaces in mass assembilies which co-ordinate their efforts through de-centralised federations. Doing away with capitalism, bosses and politicians and returning the control of work to those who produce the wealth of society, the working class.

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