On Saturday 29th June more than 250 demonstrators marched through Eastern Bristol and Bristol center in order to protest against the working and living conditions of the asylum seekers and refugees. Asylum seekers were forced to leave their countries and families because their lives were at risk by the imperialist development of the Western developed nation-states in order to exploit the natural and economic resources of these countries. This people arrived in the European Union (EU) seeking safety and a better future. But once they arrive here the big majority of them don´t receive support and they face many problems in their efforts to be part of our communities. They are not allowed to work (although are all blamed as lazy), they can´t receive any benefits (like housing benefit) and they have to report to a police station regularly.
The refugees are marginalized from the EU states. They are refused rights that the rest of the people should enjoy. They are blamed by the governments and media with lies like that they get housing before local people or that they only come here because of the benefits system. Also they are blamed from the European governments to be criminals and terrorists while these governments participate and support the most violent wars in Asia and Africa.
The increase of Nazism and Nationalism in the whole of Europe (Golden Dawn in Greece, English Defense League in United Kingdom, ELAM in Cyprus, The National Alliance or The New Force in Italy, etc.), together with the huge austerity and the barbaric measures that send hundreds of thousands to unemployment in the Periphery of the EU and not only (especially in the UK this austerity has largely increased in the last two years) damage even more the asylum seekers´ situation in EU countries.
The Governments in the EU have taken advantages of this crisis and they have used it as a pretext, in the name of confronting the economic crisis of capitalism, to apply racist policies in a shift towards conservatism and xenophobia. The EU is pioneer in this development: “The Dublin 2” Treaty, the creation of FRONTEX (European border policy already guardian the border between Greece and Turkey to prevent new immigrants entering the EU) and other are some examples. But such laws have led to a contradiction. On the one hand we inhabit an increasingly integrated and “borderless” world in which national barriers against the movement of money have been dismantled, on the other governments across the world have gone to extraordinary lengths to reinforce their frontiers with physical barriers, new technologies and personnel in order to restrict the movement of people.
We cannot close our eyes to the thousands of dead immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, women and children, being hunted by the guards of FRONTEX. The immigrants need legalization and the refugees need asylum, victims as they are of the imperialist wars, the dictatorships and the annihilating measures of austerity by the IMF. Denied to this people basic rights it is a lack of democracy.
In Bristol, in 29th June we showed our solidarity and support to the Asylum Seekers, demanding from their recognition of their rights and their dignity as people and a real integration in our societies!
We will not pay for their crisis! We will not pay for their wars! We support our brothers and sisters!