Tag Archives: refugee

Journalist arrest after Kent refugee camp protest shows how the Tories put down dissent

Napier barracks: I believe this is one of the images that led to the police arresting Andy Aitchison. But if he was behind a camera, how could he have been carrying out criminal damage?

Whoever would have predicted that the United Kingdom would descend to this?

The Conservative government, under xenophobic Home Secretary Priti Patel, has opened a series of concentration camps where they have dumped hundreds of asylum-seekers.

I wrote about them in December last year.

The camps have inadequate and poorly cooked food, no privacy, and inadequate shower and toilet facilities.

Camp residents are unable to socially distance, or to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

They have to sleep in dormitories of up to 28 people – which is probably why more than 100 people at the Napier Barracks camp in Kent have contracted the virus in the last two weeks.

The Home Office reaction was to blame people living in the camp, saying residents (inmates would be a better word) refused to self-isolate or follow social distancing rules that they could not have followed because of the conditions forced on them by the Home Office.

Conditions there led to activists protesting outside the site on Thursday morning, where they allegedly threw buckets of food colouring, water and shampoo or conditioner – fake blood – at the gate and on the ground in front of the gate.

Demonstrators had signs reading: “Close Napier now” and “Priti Patel: there will be blood on your hands”.

Freelance photographer Andy Aitchison attended and took photographs, some of which appeared in local press reports of the protest.

Around six hours after the protest, matters took a sinister turn when police arrived at Mr Aitchison’s house and arrested him for criminal damage.

Really? Criminal damage? He took some photos of a demonstration that was embarrassing to the Conservative government and to Priti Patel and this arrest looks like suspicious use of the police for political purposes.

On Friday afternoon (January 29), a fire broke out in the camp – cause unknown. Fortunately Mr Aitchison can’t be blamed – one of his bail conditions is not to go to the camp.

Patel herself had the cheek to publish a statement accusing people at the barracks of vandalising property, threatening staff and putting lives at risk.

She actually told us that this behaviour was “deeply offensive to the taxpayers of this country”:

No, Priti Patel. You are deeply offensive to the taxpayers of this country. You have made us complicit in providing facilities of such poor quality that they actually endanger the lives of the people you force to live there.

This Writer thinks there should be an investigation into what is happening at Napier Barracks and any connection between that and Patel.

I think the use of the police to intimidate a photojournalist for doing his job must also be probed.

Sadly, I know the UK’s institutions are as corrupt as they come. No such investigations will happen and if there has been corrupt behaviour, those responsible will be protected. Over the last 40 years, it’s what we’ve all been voting for.

Source: ‘It’s censorship’: Journalist arrested after photographing protest outside controversial asylum camp | The Independent

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Patel plans concentration camp for 300 refugees with no mains water

Devil in a dress: Priti Patel is building a concentration camp for asylum seekers in the UK.

Priti Patel – Tory Home Secretary and Boris Johnson’s version of Heinrich Himmler – has demanded that a concentration camp be ready to have asylum seekers dumped in it from January 1.

The minute the UK completes its exit from the European Union, this daughter of refugees intends to have refugees thrown into a camp with no drainage, mains water or sewage and no on-site doctor near Barton Stacey, Hampshire.

Water will have to be brought in by tanker, meaning the 300 male inmates may be subjected to shortages whenever Patel feels like it problems occur.

Even fellow Tory – and local MP – Caroline Nokes is against it:

“It will be like a prison camp and conditions will be appalling. There are no plans to provide healthcare services on site, which will add to the strain on local GPs. I am shocked anyone could think this is a good idea.”

According to the Home Office, the plans have not been finalised, but all accommodation provided is required to be safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped.

By whose standards?

Source: Priti Patel ‘plans to dump 300 refugees in “prison camp” with no mains water’ – Mirror Online

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#Nazi-thinking #Tory: #PritiPatel wants to deport asylum-seekers – to the South Atlantic

Yes, the devil horns again: Does anybody have an image of Priti Patel in a Nazi uniform?

The UK’s Home Secretary goes from dire to diabolical.

The latest chapter in her descent to damnation is this, from the Financial Times:

Here are some details:

This is Nazi thinking:

Patel’s Nazi sympathies are becoming increasingly pronounced; consider her attack on travellers, only days ago.

And nobody in the Johnson government – or the wider Conservative Party – has lifted a finger in question.

Still, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.

The parallels between the Tories and Nazis are strong.

Just look at the way they treat people who have disabilities.

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Corrupted morals: men who allegedly toppled Colston statue to be punished but Priti Patel goes free

Over it goes: the toppling of the Colston statue, back in June. By a curious coincidence, nobod involved in pulling it down could be seen in this image.

People who toppled – and then sank – a statue glorifying slavery during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the summer are to be offered a bizarre punishment.

The five, who pulled down the statue of slaver Edward Colston in Bristol, will have to pay a fine that would go to a charity supporting people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in Bristol – which is more than Colston ever did.

They will also have to complete a questionnaire by Bristol City Council’s history commission, explaining their reasons for attacking an exploiter who considered black and minority ethnic people to be property during a week of protests against their mistreatment.

That’s going to be an uncomfortable read for these history commissioners.

This Writer would be unsurprised if every answer contained harsh criticism of them for even asking such a stupid question.

Worse still is the fact that four more people – three men and a woman – may face criminal charges over the incident:

Avon and Somerset police said its investigation had been completed.

It said: “Following a review of the evidence, detectives will now approach the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision against four people – three men, aged 32, 25 and 21, and a 29-year-old woman.”

Meanwhile, the Home Office is reportedly resuming deportation of asylum-seekers after it was prevented from sending a flight to Spain a few weeks ago.

Lawyers for the deportees demonstrated that the government had rushed the flight in order to deny the refugees their right to appeal.

It’s a direct correlation with the attitude of slavers like Colston, who also refused to allow foreign people any rights.

So we have to ask ourselves:

Who should really be explaining their actions – the protesters who tore down a statue of a historic slaver, or Priti Patel, the home secretary who treats people like slaves today?

Source: Men allegedly involved in toppling of Colston statue offered cautions | UK news | The Guardian

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Priti Patel has ashamed us all with her mistreatment of asylum-seekers

Remember this?

The Guardian has reported on what happened to these people – and it reflects very poorly on Priti Patel and her Home Office.

The 11 men were left destitute after being dumped in Madrid, Spain, by the Home Office chartered flight:

Barbara Pomfret, an adviser to corporate companies about social responsibility, who is based in Granada, said she wanted to offer support to the asylum seekers, especially when she learned they had been left in the street. The 40-year-old paid for food and a few days of accommodation for the group and set up a crowdfund page with her husband, Thomas Pomfret, to help support them.

“As a UK citizen I am ashamed that our government would leave asylum seekers on the streets with absolutely no support. As I see it the only difference between me and this group of people is luck. And if I was ever so unlucky as to find myself in a similar situation I hope that someone with more luck would be willing to help me.”

Several of the asylum seekers told The Guardian they had close family members in the UK. All had fled persecution and some had experienced torture.

All but one of them say they were removed from the UK without having their identity documents returned to them. Home Office sources said they were looking into this.

The Home Office has said it is under no obligation to monitor the treatment of asylum seekers it has returned to another country.

In other words, Patel and her cronies would have been happy if these people had starved, as long as it was on the streets of some other country.

I am reminded again of the words of Tony Benn: “The way a government treats refugees shows how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it.”

I am also reminded of the way the Tories have treated sick and disabled people they have unfairly cut off from receiving benefits; they never bothered to check up on the well-being of those people so we have no idea what happened to them.

So Ms Pomfret is right: we should all be ashamed of living in a country whose government turns its back on people who need help.

Source: Woman who helped deported Syrians ‘ashamed of UK government’ | UK news | The Guardian

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Patel resumes refugee deportation – and attacks on ‘activist lawyers’. Why aren’t her own legals on strike?

The Home Office tweet about ‘activist lawyers’ that was released only a week ago. Officials have been barred from using the phrase but the Home Secretary continues to do so.

If I was a lawyer working for the Tory government, I would be on strike from today in solidarity with my “activist” colleagues whose only interest is in ensuring that the UK’s government does not break the law.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has tweeted that deportations of refugees who came to the UK by small boat have resumed with a flight to Spain.

She stated that this happened in spite of “activist lawyers” – in an act of defiance against those who achieved a ruling from her permanent secretary that the use of the phrase by Home Office officials was inappropriate.

Unfortunately Matthew Rycroft’s pronouncement does not apply to the Home Secretary herself, so she broadcast this on Twitter:

The tweet has provoked a wave of protest, which This Writer expects was exactly what Patel wanted:

Yes, I think it’s what she wanted – because for every tweet in protest, she’ll have roused people like this commenter:

It creates division.

And division allows Tories to act without inhibition – and the rule of law is diminished in favour of Tory dictatorship.

The tweeter who complained about migrants moving into the North of England has received angry replies, meaning that smaller arguments are breaking out, diminishing the larger point against Patel:

You see how it works?

That’s why I say the best response to Patel would be a strike by people in the legal profession working for the government.

But will it happen?

Or are government lawyers far more interested in fat salaries than in upholding the law itself?

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Victim of its own success: Banksy-funded migrant rescue boat is itself rescued

A ship funded by Bristol street artist Banksy to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean was so successful that it had to call for help itself after it became too loaded with migrants to move.

The ship, the Louise Michel, ended up with more than 200 traumatised migrants on its deck, meaning it was unsafe to move, while it was in the see near Malta.

The Italian coastguard responded to calls for help and took 49 people, and another rescue ship, Seawatch4, arrived to help as well.

But the ship’s 10-strong crew poured scorn on the lukewarm attitude of most European countries who, they said, had been “ignoring our emergency calls for immediate assistance”.

The Italian coastguard finally responded after the crew warned Maltese and Italian authorities: “Don’t let it become a body count. Do your job. Rescue them.”

It seems the UK’s is not the only European government for whom humanitarian aid is a foreign concept.

Source: Banksy-funded refugee rescue boat in distress helped by Italian coast guard

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Home Office ‘migrants’ clip: “It’s like Dad’s Army but WE’RE the fascists”

Priti Patel: I was going to paint a Hitler-style moustache on her upper lip but let’s be honest – there’s no need.

[Note: The Home Office has taken down the offending tweet. However, that’s no reason not to know what was in it. Let’s discuss:]

Priti Patel’s Home Office has taken a (goose) step too far with it’s latest anti-migrant video.

It says – well, see for yourself:

Wow.

The graphic really is like the opening titles of Dad’s Army, but the message is perverse.

Behind graphics reminiscent of the old TV sit-com, that represented the UK’s older (and younger) citizens fending off the Nazi hordes, the Home Office comes across as having been taken over by the Nazis,

“We are working to remove” – take note of that language, remove. It means the Home Office is sending people back to the home countries they fled to seek asylum in the United Kingdom – “migrants with no right to remain in the UK”. Migrants like Mercy Baguma who, rather than being removed, was starved to death in her Glasgow home after the Home Office removed her right to remain but then did nothing, leaving her in limbo without any way of feeding herself?

“But current return regulations” to which the UK signed up “are rigid and open to abuse…” If they’re “rigid”, then it shouldn’t be possible to abuse them; they’d mean one thing only. Is it not more likely that the current regulations simply don’t allow the Home Office (as run by Priti Patel) to just kick people out willy-nilly?

“… Allowing activist lawyers” – activist? Activist? Apparently an “activist” is a person who campaigns to bring about political and social change. The use of the word suggests that this is a bad thing. But if the current regime is keen to expel innocent people to an uncertain future – on the basis of questionable information (what are the facts on which the Home Office seeks to deport these people, anyway?) then it seems to me that political and social change is not only desirable but demanded.

“… to delay and disrupt returns…” Good for them!

Then it starts to get really sinister: “Soon we will no longer be bound by EU laws and can negotiate our own return arrangements.” Doesn’t this suggest that the Tory-run Home Office, overseen by Priti Patel, is looking forward to the freedom to treat Johnny Foreigner with extreme prejudice? To treating migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers as people with no rights at all?

I fear for the future of anyone falling into the clutches of such a regime. Fascism comes very strongly to mind.

Of course, we are British – and the clip is already getting the treatment it deserves:

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Refugee woman found dead by malnourished baby after UK asylum system left her to starve

 

Would people be so keen to cross the channel to the UK in dinghies if they knew the Tory government is likely to leave them to starve?

It seems our asylum system’s problems are twofold: getting into the UK is one part and the other is the way people are treated once they are here.

Mercy Baguma, originally from Uganda, was discovered by police in a Glasgow flat on August 22, after friends said she had not been seen since the previous Tuesday.

Her malnourished baby boy was found next to her. He was rushed to hospital for treatment and is now with his father.

Ms Baguma, aged in her 30s, had lost her job after her leave to remain expired, meaning she was no longer allowed to work.

She had contacted the charity Positive Action in Housing after making an application for aid to MigrantHelp.

Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing said she would have been a high priority for a crisis payment – had she lived:

“The fact is there is no safety net if you’re a refugee or migrant. You are left destitute and without resources. And you’re left silenced by far right rhetoric for being forced to ask for help.

“Would this mother be alive if she was not forced out of her job by this cruel system that stops you from working and paying your way because a piece of paper says your leave to remain has expired? I’m sure Mercy’s son will want to ask this and other questions once he is old enough.”

Clearly there is more to this story. We don’t know why the government decided Ms Baguma should not have leave to remain in the UK any more or what was being done about it.

But the evidence we have is clear: she died, and her son nearly starved to death too, because our Tory asylum system said they should.

Source: Mum found dead beside malnourished baby in Glasgow flat – Glasgow Live

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Labour members: why revolt over Starmer’s ‘blind eye’ for refugee rights? Does he have a SEEING eye, in that case?

Still apt: Keir Starmer reckons he was named after original Labour leader Hardie – but can anyone doubt that his illustrious forerunner might have said these words, if confronted with evidence of Starmer’s abysmal performance? [I’m astonished to discover, after using the image on another article, that I need to clarify that he didn’t.]

Don’t get me wrong; it’s great that Labour Party members are challenging Keir Starmer over something.

And his failure to voice a coherent party policy on the people coming across the channel in dinghies – because they aren’t legally allowed to demand asylum in the UK without physically being here – is indeed shameful.

It seems the sticking-point for party members is that Starmer has criticised the government for incompetence in failing to carry out its own policy to deflect refugees away from the UK, because it is not Labour’s job to support the Tories in their cruelties.

And the protesters are right to point out that international law is clear: the migrants’ right to come to the UK for asylum is protected.

But there are so many other issues on which Starmer has disgraced himself – and brought Labour into disrepute.

Where is the party’s condemnation of Israeli’s bombing attack on Gaza, that has been ongoing for, I believe, 11 days by now?

Related to that, where is his apology to all the party members Labour has been persecuting with false allegations of anti-Semitism? This is linked to the party’s attitude to Israel because Labour under Starmer seems to think that opposition to that nation’s policies is the same as hatred of Jews – a clear fallacy.

Still on an ethnic theme, isn’t the Labour leader due a kicking over his frankly racist attitude to the Black Lives Matter campaign?

Or, going back to support for the Tories, why is he getting a free pass over his demand that schools must open again in September – in line with Boris Johnson’s own comments – when it is still not clear whether this is putting our children, and ourselves, in danger?

In fact it seems all-too-easy to challenge Keir Starmer over failings in his leadership.

Has he done anything that party members can wholeheartedly support?

Source: Channel crossings: Keir Starmer faces Labour revolt over stance on refugees | The Independent

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