Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers | 07.11.2000 06:25
Saturday 11th November 2000
Called by Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers
"Once we accept that anyone in Britain can be treated as inferiors, we damage our society and betray our values. Vouchers and closed reception areas are steps on the road to degradation." John Edmonds, General Secretary GMB trade union
Home Secretary Jack Straw devised the voucher system to deter people from claiming asylum in the UK. Asylum seekers are forced to live off a paltry £36.54 per week and are stigmatised, like Jews were in the 1930s. If we allow the government to stigmatise asylum seekers, who is next? Sodexho Pass, a French multinational, is responsible for administering the voucher system. In Belgium, Sodexho has been granted a contract by the government to administer voucher schemes to the unemployed and students.
The government should scrap the voucher system for asylum seekers and replace it with full benefits. We need to put pressure on shops and supermarkets to refuse to use the voucher system, which in turn can put pressure on the government to replace the vouchers with cash.
What You Can Do: - Immediate:
"You can take action now and sign the 'Online Petition' against the Voucher scheme."
- Organise a protest outside your local supermarket.
- Get local shopkeepers and managers of local supermarkets that are using the vouchers to sign the open letter** to their directors demanding an end to the voucher system.
- Use a petition** to encourage shoppers to sign and to explain to them what is happening - send this off to Jack Straw at the Home Office.
- On the day of protest organise rallies inviting MPs, councillors, refugee activists and anti-deportation campaigns.
Cash not Vouchers - Scrap the Scheme!
Organise a Picket of These Stores: Asda, Bensons Shoes, BHS, British Red Cross, Budgens, C&A, Co-op, Costcutter, Farm Food, Iceland, Littlewoods, Lloyds Chemist, Londis, Mace, Mothercare, Nucare, Peacocks, Poundstretcher, Oliver Group, Outdoor Group, Safeway, Sainsburys, Salvation Army, Shaw Trust, Somerfield, Spar, Specsavers, Stead & Simpson, T&S Stores, Wm Morrisons.
Asylum seekers must have the right to work and the right to Income Support
Abolition of detention of asylum seekers
Scrap the voucher system
No to dispersal
Full legal rights and representation
Scrap the Immigration & Asylum Act
**Model letters and petitions can be downloaded from NCADC web site
as PDFs. All you need is Acrobat 4, which is a free download from the site.
Let NCADC know if you are definitely organising something and we will post a list of actions on Thursday 9th November.
National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
110 Hamstead Road
Birmingham B20 2QS
Phone: 0121-554-6947 Fax: 0870-055-4570
Web site: http://www.ncadc.org.uk/