Over 500 marched in Bolton on Saturday in solidarity with the Sukula family, against Section 9 of the 2004 Asylum & Immigration Act and for an end to all immigration controls.
The Sukula family is one among many who after the proposed introduction of Section 9 is threatened to be separated and have their children taken into care. Their pledge for asylum was rejected and they do not receive any benefits. Bolton City Council still refuses the implementation of Section 9, currently tested in a few northern councils which would oblige them to take the kids of the Sukula family into care on the grounds that their parents cannot support them. The council argues that this would violate Section 20 of the 1989 Children Act and the cost of it would be higher than continuing paying benefits to the family. The support of the Sukula family and the opposition against Section 9 brought together groups and unions from various northern cities and towns. Two unions decided in a consensus vote of their members to refuse to participate in implementing Section 9. Speakers reminded the crowd of the importance to build local and regional networks of solidarity and resistance aganist the racist policies of the British and EU governments.
UK Indymedia feature: Oct 1st: Migrants and Supporters Protest Against Deportations
Sukula Family Must Stay - Stop Deportations
Shoot-to-Kill on Europe's southern border
The introduction of Section 9 is another measure taken by the British governement to stop the influx of unwanted immigrants and comes admit daily reports growing violence and rejection by all European Union states against immigrants. In the last week five African refugees were shot dead in the third mass-attempt of Africans to enter European territory at the Spanish-Moroccan Border in Ceuta and Melilla. The two Spanish enclave towns on African territory were transformed into gated communities over the last 15 years with double border fences as high as 6 metres and high-tech border surveillance.
This seems to be not enough to hold refugees back who are exercising their basic human right of the freedom of movement and the right to settle where they like. Thousands died over the last 15 years in attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea between Spain and Morocco, Italy and Libya and from Turkey to Greece.
The European Union is reluctant to even consider a humanitarian answer to this problem and instead increases the obstacles of people to enter the EU. For years the death of people has been deliberately accepted as a price for this policy.
With the first shooting of refugees in Ceuta last week, still denied by the Spanish authorities despite evidence from rubber bullets the EU seems to start engaging in a military approach to the problem. Spanish army was deployed on the borders of Ceuta and Melilla following Thursday's incident and the message to the African refugees is clear as ice: If you dare to demand justice and an equal share of the world's wealth, you will be shot death.
But whether in our solidarity with the Sukula family in Bolton or our demand to abolish all immigration controls and give the right of freedom of movement to all human beings we are fighting against the European policy of the gated community on all levels.
In Sheffield Iraqi Kurdish refugees are still threatened by deportation on the ground that Iraq is considered safe enough for Iraqis by the British government. CADDI (Campaign Against the Deportation and Detention Of Iraqis) calls for a protest on Wednesday, 5th October at the lobby of Sheffield City Council, Town Hall at 1.30pm.
On 15th October at 1.00pm, Cathedral Square, Sheffield No Borders invites you to learn more about the local borders and zones of exclusion in the Magical Mystery Tour, and to celebrate the 100th anniversary and subsequent funeral of immigration controls in Britain.
Quotes from the demo
The march was enriched by the a group of lovely brides from the Brides Without Borders group. They are protesting against a new legislation by the Home Office that British citizens who are wanting to marry asylum seekers have to ask permission to do so from the Home Office. As a speaker from brides without borders lined out on the rally in Bolton...
“Our campaign aims to raise the profile of all our cases, and highlight the cruel way in which the Home Office's immigration policy affects everyone including British Citizens.”
“Many of us have been told by the Home Office that our partners can go back to their country, and we may accompany them there even though the Foreign Office advise against travel to these countries...”
“Many of us have also been advised that our partners can travel back to their countries and apply for a visa to return to the UK...”
“Also, many of us have even been denied the right to marry our partners. New laws prevent asylum seekers marrying UK nationals.”
“This amounts to a gross breach of our Human Right to a family life in all our cases.”
“We have joined together to start a broad an inclusive campaign to overturn the Home Office's policy in this area. We recognise that there are many couples, straight, gay and lesbian, married, engaged, living together and dating. We all have one thing in common - that is we are being denied our rights to remain together in the UK.”
Read about Jessica & Hossein's story.
Fight Fortress Europe!
For the Freedom of Movement and the right to stay!
Sheffield No Borders