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Mayday 06: London No Borders Statement

London No Borders | 24.04.2006 16:40 | Mayday 2006 | Anti-racism | Migration | Workers' Movements | London

Meet 12pm Clerkenwell Green
& join the Autonomous Bloc on the TUC march


May Day is International Workers Day, a day that should recognize that the working class is an international class; that the oppressed and exploited throughout the world have everything in common with each other and nothing in common with 'their' nation, 'their' government and 'their' bosses. So migrants, refugees, those deemed 'illegal immigrants' by the State, those facing deportation, people in detention, should be at the center of what May Day is all about.

The Trade Union movement has had a sorry history in relation to immigration controls. At the beginning of the 20th century the TUC agitated for the first immigration controls against Jews, which helped bring about the introduction of the 1905 Aliens Act. At various times throughout that century trades unions have organised against migrant workers and for greater controls.

So not only have migrants confronted with the physical and legal borders, they have to contest the borders that exist within the workers movement itself. On May Day we must challenge that and call for a world without borders.

There has always been a voice within the trade union movement in support of migrant rights and against controls starting with the 'Voice from the Aliens' over a hundred years ago. More recently trades unions have opposed new legislation strengthening immigration controls. Today some unions such as Natfhe and NUJ have come out against immigration controls.

Immigration controls are in your work place and the union ought to be fighting them. People in the caring professions are supposed to act as immigration officers; reporting migrants to the Home Office, denying people services because of their immigration status, evicting them and taking their children away. We say DEFIANCE NOT COMPLIANCE!

People in your union are rounded up, detained and deported. We say NO DEPORTATION! NO DETENTIONS! Set up or support a campaign against their deportation. Take industrial action to oppose their deportation.

'Illegal' or precarious immigration status makes many workers vulnerable to super-exploitation paid well below the minimum wage with no health and safety conditions. The tragic consequences of this have been seen on the sands of Morecambe Bay. It is a duty of the trades union movement to organise, support and defend all workers regardless of their immigration status and say loud and clear IMMIGRATION CONTROLS KILL! NO ONE IS ILLEGAL!

WHO ARE LONDON NO BORDERS? London No Borders are a group of people who are opposed to immigration controls. As well as putting forward the arguments against immigration controls, we are involved, often with alliance with others, with practical activities against the various aspects of controls.

We are working to support people detained in centers around London – Harmondsworth and Colnbrook, Yarlswood – organising visits, campaigning for their release and against their deportations. We have organised demonstrations at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook.

We are currently supporting the self-organised struggles against detention centres by people detained inside Colnbrook, Haslar and Harmondsworth detention centres, who have formed a new movement called ‘Cry Freedom’ to demand their release. Their dissent has taken the form of hunger strikes, mass food refusals, and sit-down protests, and many of them have faced severe repression from guards as a result of this.

We leaflet at centers where asylum seekers have to sign-on and could be detained and taken away, with information about their rights.

We support and encourage people in the caring professions to refuse to carry out immigration control duties.

We disseminate information about campaigns around the country and around the world and will work in concert to make international days of action.

We meet every two weeks.

If you want to get involved you can contact us at


London No Borders
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Display the following 2 comments

  1. colonisation — pedant
  2. S.X.F.X. — S.X.F.X.