There was a warm response from others on the march, and generous donations were made to support the work of TCAR. Unfortunately this was marred by one of the Communist Party of Britain organisers from the 'May Day Committee', who despite previously agreeing to allow a TCAR speaker on the platform, tried to prevent it at the last minute. He justified this by saying that a TCAR speaker had been called for earlier without a response, and now it was apparently impossible to change the schedule. This was despite the fact that the programme was running ahead of schedule, and that somehow none of the TCAR members present had heard this apparent earlier call. When discussions between this organiser and a group including a wide range of asylum seekers, communists, anarchists, trade unionists and other activists failed to move him, the TCAR speaker from Zimbabwe took to the stage anyway, and received major support from the crowd. This showed that many present had a more genuine commitment to internationalism than one of the organisers of this International Workers Day event!
TCAR is now building for the day of action against reporting centres on 22nd June, and wants to hear from anti-deportation activists in other parts of the country who are interested in coordinating and organising their own action against a local reporting centre for that day.
TCAR is also engaged in work organising together with the local community to defend against persistent racist attacks on an estate in the West End of Newcastle, and to fight for decent and safe housing for all. If you're in the North East, TCAR needs your support, get involved!
TCAR meets every Wednesday at 7pm, downstairs in the Amnesty bookshop at the bottom of Westgate Road (near the big gold clock), open to all. The next monthly general meeting is on Wednesday 24th May. Pickets of North Shields Reporting Centre take place every other Wednesday. Contact TCAR for details.
Tyneside Community Action for Refugees (TCAR)