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Public meeting: 'Still in chains? The experience of African asylum seekers and f

No Borders | 23.10.2006 19:54 | Anti-racism | Migration | Repression

Next year, 2007, will see the commemoration of the bicentenary of the
parliamentary abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in the British
empire. But has African enslavement really ended? Leeds No Borders & School of Geography have organised a public meeting this Friday to debate the issue.

Leeds No Borders & School of Geography present...

'Still in chains? The experience of African asylum seekers and forced
migrants in Leeds'

Public Meeting
6-9pm (we start bang on 6pm!)
Friday, 27 October
Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre
University of Leeds

Leeds is host to thousands of African people who have been forced to flee war,
persecution and poverty in their mother continent and come to Britain in search of refuge and a better life. Yet most are living in day to day destitution, fear of arbitrary detention and brutal deportations. Many are trafficked as slaves, others are forced to work illegally to survive, while work carried out by immigration detainees is exempted from the minumim wage rule, benefitting the global private companies operating detention centres. Worse still, the recent Report by HM
Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers exposed the shocking conditions inside Britain's private-run detention centres with African women rape survivors routinely locked up for months while fighting efforts to deport them back to Sierra Leone, Uganda and the Congo.

Why do Africans come to Britain to claim asylum? What is happening in Africa? How are Africans treated when they arrive here? Do the legacies of enslavement and colonialism continue today? How is Britain still profiting from the exploitation of African people in the 21st century? This public meeting aims to explore the issues routinely hidden by the mass media and politicians, and create much needed public awareness on the appalling system of asylum and immigration in the UK - and the particular experience of African people - in the run up to the slavery abolition hype in 2007.

Speakers and performances so far include:

Theatre under Fire (TUF), exiled Zimbabwean group
Kofi Mawuli Klu, Global Justice Forum for Reparations
Emma Ginn, National Coalition of Anti-deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
Steve Cohen, author 'Detention is Freedom!'
George Mwangi & Baba Bari, ex-Colnbrook detainees and hunger strikers
Open mic for Africans to share their experiences

Plus films, stalls, campaigning information

Organised by Leeds No Borders and School of Geography
For more details, please contact Stuart Hodkinson
( or Leeds No Borders on 07748010691

How to get to the Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre:

No Borders
- e-mail:


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“We, therefore, need to formulate and reformulate state inquiries through radica

14.12.2006 02:00

“We, therefore, need to formulate and reformulate state inquiries through radically different vocabularies, and in different dimensionalities in terms of the state as a force, a subject and as an entity in the overlapping fields of history as “fields of struggle.” And since this would involve constant power struggles, state’s identities, meanings, and images remain incessantly contested – always in a constant state of flux. That is one of the ways the state will maintain certain viability (ibid.:). History and the skills of statecraft must be seen as multiple fields of syncretic activities. The sovereign state must be reconceptualized as being produced in a “polyhedron” of fields of activity of relations.”

John Moffat Fugui

George Mwangi's text 'Still in Chains!' fulfils an important role in begining to traces the development of slavery into colonialism and onwards into what we now face, i.e. wage slavery. I refer to a text by John Moffat Fugui, which critiques the 'sovereign state' as a development of colonialism - which includes a critique of nationalism that derives from a myth of 'independence'. (Which also refers to the book "State and Strangers: Refugees and displacement of statecraft" by Nevi Soguk). Another strength of this text is that it stresses the need to privelidge those discourses and cultures which have been eroded and attacked by eurocentrism and colonialism.

The problems we have with that text as well as with 'Still In Chains' is the polarisation between 'foreign' and 'native', which continues through constructions such as 'black/white' 'east/west',which become inprecise, interchangable and open to manipulation.

We have therefore put forward a critique of this polarizing and imperial effect of what we term as 'psychopathic geometry'. We draw from the Scandinavian situationism of Asger jorn. Scandinavian situationism, operating in the 1960s, rather than being a nationalistic construction, it should be noted, works against European hegemony - i.e. against a Eurocentric perspective, within what is conventionally received as 'Europe' itself - i.e. Paris.

We have, along with this, used the ideas of Hindu Islamic 'yogic telepathy' (*as laid out by Agha Ashraf in his book "Complete Telepathy", published in urdu in Lahore, Panjab ) to create a notion of semantic (or social) space. Contra to psychopathic geometry this book posits a telepathic pschogeometry based on yoga and the concepts of 'wahad' or unique one point of thought and 'kathir' or many/fragmented thought.

Thus we have put forward a triolectic dimensionality of space, time and meaning - i.e. we agree with the fact that while spatial or physical chains maybe removed, temporal and semantic chains are still in place. i.e. we are bound within spaces, such as detention centres, but also in time, such as in events which may include temporal constructions such as debt as well as being trapped within social or semantic spaces of constructed meaning such as racism (including spaces of subliminal or institutional racism like, for example the “no borders” network).

* "State and Strangers: Refugees and displacement of statecraft" by Nevi Soguk

* "Complete Telepathy", by Agha Ashraf published in urdu in Lahore, Panjab

Neo-Slavery, No Borders and Anarcho-Racism

"How could so many people have been so stupid as to cause the in Kenya the explosion we called the Emergency? Why even now do the British haver and dither apparently creating a similar situatrion in Rhodesia? These are the big problems only those who really understand the complex origins of political manoeuvers can begin to fathom. But there are the smaller questions. What turns a weak creature into a sadistic bully behind a barbed wire fence? What strange twists of thought made the security forces think they always had God and Right on their side whatever crimes against humanity they committed? What obstinate streak in their make-up forced experienced and hitherto reasonably righteous administrative officers to pursue policies of torture and brutality leading to the Hola Massacre? How could the Kenya Government ever think it could permanently exile 12,000 of its citizens? The future historian of these times may well find it difficult to get our side of the story. Many documents vital to his task will be burnt before independence. But in my narrative of the camps and our strange life together inside them he perhaps well see some glimpses of the truth and justice of the movements of unity, and he may begin to understand why we do not regard the soldiers of the forest as 'hard-core', 'terrorists', or 'murderers', but as the noblest of our fighters for freedom."

Conclusion to "Mau-Mau" Detainee by Joseph Mwangi Kariuki London, OUP 1963

My message titled SMASH PSYCHIC SLAVERY OF ANARCHO RACISTS was infact a reply to [name 1 edited out] of the Colnbrook Detainee Forums speach to Leeds No Borders, entitled STILL IN CHAINS!

I would again like to refer to that speech, and highlight the concluding condemnation the "incorporation of violence in the movement".

In [name 2 edited out]' reply to [name 3 edited out], below, he also mentions the violence of the Anarcho-Racists, although not in such terms. I would like to draw this out and remind people that after we were expelled as members of Voice Forum and despite other foruym members protests, not only were we both physically attacked with an iron bar and broken bottles, and [name 2 edited out] racially abused for his African ancestry, by LARC Anarcho-Racists, so has another African member of VOICE, but [name 4 edited out] from Voice has been repeatedly abused - having a computer stolen and then, after been told he cannot be a Director of LARC, because he is a refugee, eventually, the VOIUCE forum was fully hounded out of LARC.

I would also stress that Anarcho - Racism is charecterised by a confusion of the personal and the political realms - like other racists and chauvenists, the anarcho-racist imagines inferiority within himself which he denies and projects onto the other. however the anarcho-racist, instead of creating the myth of the nation or race, the Anarcho-racist creates the myth of the Anarch- the ideal individual. In the ever decreasing circles of [name 2 edited out], [name 5 edited out], [name 6 edited out] etc, this is the self - increasingly identified as western european - simultaneously repressing the undesirable aspects of their personality and projected onto the imagined 'other' (the slave which need liberating byu the anarch master) this process is exacerbated by the psychic bakuninism that AnarchoRacism is based in which creates the Anarch as a secret vanguard of the personality! This is why, rather than discuss issues, these people have to expel us as the 'other' - they have an irational fear of the truth - it is shocking that their image of their self is differnet from reality - this is the essence of denial andf the violence it engenders.

We, however, are precise in both theory and practice, and see both of these in a unified communist praxis which we seek to make conscious, deliberate, international revoltionary (proletarian) praxis - we have alwys made our criticisms upfront and to peoples faces - this is why we write any criticisms of No Borders, direct to the NoBo mailinmg list - and not to other discussion lists etc as ionek etc suggest we do.

Asim Butt, Solomon Islands, South Pacific, The Formner British Empire

The [name 3 edited out] School of Falsification

I was sorry, but not surprised to see that [name 3 edited out] is up to his usual tricks of debasing the politics of those who disagree with him. This something he has been doing for sometime.

The problems that we encountered with [name 3 edited out] and his chums at the London Action Resource Centre/London section of Peoples Global Action are not personal as he alleges, but quite clearly political. [name 3 edited out]'s efforts to dismiss them as 'personal' is common strategy implemented by those who wish to forestall a critique of their discriminatory practices.

The facts can readily be attested by those interested:

[name 7 edited out] and I were heavily involved in developing the London Action Resource Centre (LARC), and in 2004 became involved in preparations for the Peoples Global Action (PGA) conference scheduled for that year in Belgrade. One issue of disagreement which arose between us and [name 3 edited out] and Co. was the whether having meetings from which women were banned was appropriate. We accepted the argument that as women are oppressed under the patriarchy which is a living reality in our society and hence their organisation without men was something to be encouraged, we refused to accept the non sequitur that therefore there should also be men only meetings. Indeed furnished our viewpoint with political and historical parallels e.g. The advent of women only meetings during the struggle against slavery in the USA. For us, this gave very important lessons – how the struggle against slavery had a positive effect on Women's struggles, and how the depiction of the anti-slavery movement as a uniform movement belied the fact that it was heterogeneous movement, which included some reactionary tendencies which expressed both sexist and racist views. We also affirmed our conviction that racism is very much a product of patriarchy, whereby White men prohibited sexual relations between White women and Black men, something which reached its psychotic climax with lynch mobs.

During the preparations for the conference a preparatory meeting was held in London. Rather than deal with our arguments, [name 3 edited out] and his PGA cronies simply organised meetings behind our back where our views were ignored despite a so-called commitment to consensus. This was also accompanied by attempts to restrict the conference to Europeans and highly offensive remarks by one [name 8 edited out] of the Eurodynsie collective in Holland, who said he would reject applications to attend from Africa as he considered them as bogus attempts to gain access to the EU. Unfortunately [name 3 edited out] and co. did not take our protests about this seriously.

In the process of organising the conference we saw another face of our erstwhile comrades who we realised were expressing a neo-colonial attitude to our comrades in eastern Europe and Yugoslavia in particular. We found that our working class comrades were being excluded by [name 9 edited out], an academic with ambitions to further his career outside Serbia. We analysed this as classical neocolonialism and denounced it as such.

As it happens when we got to Belgrade we were able to lay a very positive role, ensuring that our Resnik comrades were not isolated and developing a relationship with the Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative there, despite the manipulations of the PGA apparatus. We also published critical material in Mute Magazine ( further elaborating our politics. We missed the final plenum of the conference (we were visiting some striking minors that day instead), and read the minutes with great interest when they were published later that year. We were shocked to read that the meeting had decided that it was acceptable for members of fascist organisations to participate in PGA events, as long as they were not from the leadership or openly offensive. We we asked some people who attended the plenum about this, instead of serious concern about a real issue we were told that it was not important. [name 5 edited out] was prominent amongst these people. We also saw how the PGA rumour mill functioned. We were told that the person taking the notes didn't understand English. This blatant lie (the notes were in good English) also showed how as an organisation they were happy that people were excluded from the decision making process due to their limited English. We call this racism, we call this neocolonialism.

The response of LARC and the PGA London crowd – in which [name 3 edited out] played a prominent part was to organise a show trial for us. This was based in part by blaming us for some posting made to a wiki by someone else, and because we had spoken out against the danger of fascist infiltration of the PGA particularly by New Right Duginists. The PGA rumour mill then went into full flood reviving some smears by [name 10 edited out] as regards a criticisms of Green Anarchist a magazine which advocated the indiscriminate bombing of people on public transport back in the nineties. [name 3 edited out] and [name 6 edited out] played prominent parts in all of this. Yet despite their attempts to isolate [name 7 edited out] and myself during the Dissent! process organising protests against the G8 in Gleneagles. This had little effect outside London, and indeed contributed to the isolation of the Dissent! London Assembly.

If the story stopped there it would be bad enough, but it gets worse. Yes indeed, there had been fascist infiltration of the PGA. Working with comrades in Poland and Russia, we were able to uncover a certain [name 11 edited out] as Ukrainian chairperson of the Duginist Eurasia Youth Organisation. However we did not receive any sort of apology from LARC, Lndon PGA or even [name 3 edited out] himself – our concerns having been proved based in reality. All that happened was that I waqs attacked by one of [name 3 edited out]'s colleagues at LARC with an iron bar.

When [name 3 edited out] suggests that none of this is political, just personal, he is belittling every time someone has stood up against racism and fascism. How often has it been dismissed as issues of personality? How often have so-called 'illegal immigrants' been dismissed as individuals simply seeking to improve their personal circumstance, who can understandably be excluded by racist laws.

We have seen similar behaviour to [name 3 edited out]'s if we turn back the leaves of history. We all know how the Stalinist Communist Parties did an about face, abandoning their self-proclaimed position at the head of the anti-fascist movement only to cheer lead the Nazi-Soviet partition of Poland. [name 3 edited out], [name 7 edited out] and their pals in the PGA apparatus are political manipulators of this ilk who should not be allowed to poison the No Borders network.

Web addresses: Resnik Comrades PGA Process public e-mails (includes Leonid Savin offering to translate texts into Russian PGA public gender discussion Duginist website featuring Leonid Savin (in Russian)

We do not use the expression Anarcho-Racist without careful consideration.

Smash Psychic Slavery of Anarcho Racists No Platform for Fascists

Fabian Tompsett, November 20th 2006, Limehouse

“We, therefore, need to formulate and reformulate state inquiries through radica

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