I am angry, and I am angry for a very good reason, so I am sick of people telling me to “calm down”.
Brexit is already hurting the UK, and the sickening anti-immigration policies of this government will hurt the economy, and are hurting real people.
If the referendum was held now it would probably go the other way, so the “will of the people” argument is null and void. It’s also a classic symptom of fascism. Furthermore, the referendum question was too simple. We are members of the EEA, the EU, the ECHR, etc. Those may turn out to be inseparable, but at least the question of membership of each of them should have been asked. Even the people who voted for Brexit were probably not voting for the hardest of hard Brexits, which is what it looks like we are going to get.
And no, I will not ever “calm down” when this anti-immigrant racist hate machine is hurting my actual friends. This whole racist mess is affecting real people – very badly indeed in some cases. And for anyone whose country of origin is overtaken by fascism or despotism, there is no “home” to go to.
I’m not going to calm down about the biggest disaster to be visited on Britain since the Civil War. Brexit and the far right government currently running this country with very little to stop its excesses is enabling anti-immigration racism and xenophobia on a scale exceeding anything since the 1970s. Yes, sure, it’s always been there and BME people have been on the sharp end of it, but now it’s consciously part of government policy, and has been for some time. They are deliberately setting out to create a climate that is “hostile to migrants” – a policy explicitly stated by Theresa May, as far back as 2013, who wants to bring the nett immigration figures down to less than 100,000 people per annum. That’s people who are MY FRIENDS. Things that hurt my friends make me extra angry.
So NO I WILL NOT “calm down”.
Sure, ranting on Facebook, or even on my blog, won’t change the situation. I rant on Facebook to relieve my feelings. Then I go and take action.
I have been writing to the Home Office and MP’s to stop deporting asylum seekers back to the countries that persecuted them for the last five years, possibly longer. If you want to help with this, the organisation is Movement for Justice.
Governments do actually respond to demonstrations – think of the poll tax riots, the civil rights demonstrations to get Black people the vote in the US, the Suffragettes. Eventually it worked. Every right we have in this country is because people demonstrated or rioted, or because trade unions fought for them. That, and demonstrations help to build networks of activists who work on changing things at grass roots level. If you don’t believe this, read Hope in the dark by Rebecca Solnit, which gives examples of successful activism and campaigns.
That’s why I am in a trade union and working as an activist and caseworker, which is the most effective thing I can do whilst working full time. The other day, I organised an event for One Day Without Us, which helped several people from elsewhere feel less alone and marginalised. And the national show of support for this event was very helpful.
That’s also why the Nazis came for trade unionists… because trade unions are effective at creating positive change.
Theresa May and her cronies are evil racist bastards who will stop at nothing to turn this country into a dystopian nightmare. People think I’m exaggerating when I say they are fascists – I am not exaggerating. They are turning the heat up more slowly than Trump, as they hope no one will notice. It’s working on most people but the Jews are already thinking about leaving because they’ve seen this stuff before. That in itself should give people pause.
Check out what happened to Pinakin Patel, who died because of this racist horror show – he came to the UK on holiday with his wife, they were accused of trying to apply for a job without a visa, carted straight off to Yarls Wood immigration detention centre, where he collapsed and died from the stress of it all a few months later. He was 33.
There are 3450 people detained in immigration detention centres around the country at any one time; 25000 in a year. Many are deported and then more immigrants are rounded up, detained and deported. Not “illegal immigrants”: asylum seekers, people whose visa conditions have been arbitrarily changed, even people who were born here.
That’s why I am angry, and I am not going to calm down till this injustice has ended.
What you can do
- Read the Detained Voices blog. Share the posts on social media.
- Write to your MP to say that you want immigration detention centres to be closed, and for refugees and asylum seekers to get a fair hearing.
- Take part in the Movement for Justice letter-writing campaign to ask for individual migrants not to be deported (this is often successful)
- Donate to Close Campsfield
- Volunteer for the Bail Observation Project.
- Tell everyone you know about this massive injustice. Get them involved too.