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Racist oil workers? – Blame Nationalism! (not the people). Lindsey Farm, Total and the Media. A comment.

3 Feb

People are angry about working in an exploitative capitalist system. Fair enough. They were trained to work to produce oil for companies who sell the oil to the consumers and other industries. Much of the functioning in our society is based upon the need for oil. We heat, move, produce energy with oil and the oil pollutes our mother earth. Self-destruction is the principle of capitalism and it is often represented by our way of life.

British workers are angry because, in recent years, many have been sacked and very often only been employed on a contract basis.
The Italian company Irem won the Lindsey contract, because “Irem could supply its own permanent workforce” as Total officials state. The fact that trade union officials now support Gordon Brown’s nationalistic rhetoric and at the same time accuse the spontaneously striking workers of xenophobia does little more than demonstrate the missed actions in recent years and a lack of unions commitment to solidarity. Solidarity that is not transborder, is no solidarity.

Instead of accusing the protestors to be xenophobic (although, some individuals might be racists as a matter of fact), or even misusing the wildcat strikes for nationalistic and racist propaganda as the BNP and the tabloid press has done (Even the BBC misquotes workers to spread the impression of an uneducated nationalistic workforce VIDEO). The anger should much rather be directed towards the very conditions people are made to work and live in.

It is to be feared that the demand for “British jobs for British workers” will promote the demand of similar action throughout Europe as the slogan was published around the continent as well as in other parts of the world.
There are two million British citizens living and working in Europe, the highest number of expatriates of any EU state. Millions more Britons live and work throughout the world.

And what will happen to the hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals in Britain and millions of British citizens of overseas descent? Will they be the next target in the campaign to secure “British jobs for British workers?” Unfortunately, in times of economic recession, nationalistic propaganda (and the acceptance of it) is rising higher and higher. As an example, right-wing Labour MP Frank Field thinks loudly in the Daiy Star that the government made a mistake and should apologize for “being so negligent in protecting our borders”. Well….
The mistake might have been to establish borders in the first place……. But to apologize for all the hate and violence that has been brought to humankind by borders and “border maintenance” might not be enough.

No borders! No nations! – literally.

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“These days are ours, too”

16 Dec

(The following text was distributed at the student picket outside the police headquarters today by people from Athens’ Haunt of Albanian Migrants.
It shows something very important: that ties of solidarity are being formed and strengthened across different sectors of the Greek society – a wonderful thing!)

These days are ours, too

Following the assassination of Alexis Grigoropoulos we have been living in an unprecedented condition of turmoil, an outflow of rage that doesn’t seem to end. Leading this uprising, it seems, are the students – who with an inexhaustible passion and hearty spontaneity have reversed the whole situation. You cannot stop something you don’t control, something that is organised spontaneously and under terms you do not comprehend. This is the beauty of the uprising. The high school students are making history and leave it to the others to write it up and to classify it ideologically. The streets, the incentive, the passion belongs to them.

In the framework of this wider mobilisation, with the student demonstrations being its steam-engine, there is a mass participation of the second generation of migrants and many refugees also. The refugees come to the streets in small numbers, with limited organisation, with the spontaneity and impetus describing their mobilisation. Right now, they are the most militant part of the foreigners living in Greece. Either way, they have very little to lose.

The children of migrants mobilise en mass and dynamically, primarily through high school and university actions as well as through the organisations of the left and the far left. They are the most integrated part of the migrant community, the most courageous. They are unlike their parents, who came with their head bowed, as if they were beging for a loaf of bread. They are a part of the Greek society, since they’ve lived in no other. They do not beg for something, they demand to be equal with their Greek classmates. Equal in rights, on the streets, in dreaming.

For us, the politically organised migrants, this is a second french November of 2005. We never had any illusions that when the peoples’ rage overflew we would be able to direct it in any way. Despite the struggles we have taken on during all these years we never managed to achieve such a mass response like this one. Now is time for the street to talk: The deafening scream heard is for the 18 years of violence, repression, exploitation and humiliation. These days are ours, too.

These days are for the hundreds of migrants and refugees who were murdered at the borders, in police stations, workplaces. They are for those murdered by cops or “concerned citizens.” They are for those murdered for daring to cross the border, working to death, for not bowing their head, or for nothing. They are for Gramos Palusi, Luan Bertelina, Edison Yahai, Tony Onuoha, Abdurahim Edriz, Modaser Mohamed Ashtraf and so many others that we haven’t forgotten.

These days are for the everyday police violence that remains unpunished and unanswered. They are for the humiliations at the border and at the migrant detention centres, which continue to date. They are for the crying injustice of the Greek courts, the migrants and refugees unjustly in prison, the justice we are denied. Even now, in the days and nights of the uprising, the migrants pay a heavy toll – what with the attacks of far-righters and cops, with deportations and imprisonment sentences that the courts hand out with Christian love to us infidels.

These days are for the exploitation continuing unabatedly for 18 years now. They are for the struggles that are not forgotten: in the downs of Volos, the olympic works, the town of Amaliada. They are for the toil and the blood of our parents, for informal labour, for the endless shifts. They are for the deposits and the adhesive stamps, the welfare contributions we paid and will never have recognised. It is for the papers we will be chasing for the rest of our lives like a lottery ticket.

These days are for the price we have to pay simply in order to exist, to breathe. They are for all those times when we crunched our teeth, for the insults we took, the defeats we were charged with. They are for all the times when we didn’t react even when having all the reasons in the world to do so. They are for all the times when we did react and we were alone because our deaths and our rage did not fit pre-existing shapes, didn’t bring votes in, didn’t sell in the prime-time news.

These days belong to all the marginalised, the excluded, the people with the difficult names and the unknown stories. They belong to all those who die every day in the Aegean sea and Evros river, to all those murdered at the border or at a central Athens street; they belong to the Roma in Zefyri, to the drug addicts in Eksarhia. These days belong to the kids of Mesollogiou street, to the unintegrated, the uncontrollable students. Thanks to Alexis, these days belong to us all.

18 years of silent rage are too many.

To the streets, for solidarity and dignity!

We haven’t forgotten, we won’t forget – these days are yours too

Luan, Tony, Mohamed, Alexis…

Haunt of Albanian Migrants

http://www.steki-am.blogspot.com

Tina Moses is not being deported tonight

11 Dec

We found out today that Tina and her daughters have been taken off the flight to Nigeria tonight!!

Activists from TCAR went to government offices today to hand in the petitions and get their update and were told the news. They were handed a letter from Immigration in Leeds that stressed that the decision change had NOTHING to do with the demonstration yesterday, but about the fact she has a husband here.
Yet after the demo the deputy director of government offices north east personally made enquiries about the case and so it definitely had an effect.
Thanks to everyone who did something.
Lots of things are still not clear regarding her status now so we will let you know more information as we get it.
THANKS AGAIN!!