Workers whose jobs are at threat were applauded by the protest. Photo: Swansea and West Wales Socialist Party
Workers whose jobs are at threat were applauded by the protest. Photo: Swansea and West Wales Socialist Party

Fight for jobs, homes and services not racism

Swansea and West Wales Socialist Party

Swansea and West Wales Socialist Party members supported and participated in the Furnace Action Committee’s protest march against the Tory government’s ‘hostile environment’ strategy of inappropriately housing 241 asylum seekers into just 77 rooms at the Stradey Park Hotel in Furnace, a small residential area of Llanelli. (See ‘Tory Government wants to create a hostile environment for asylum seekers’ on

The protest march was called in support of the 100+ workers who have just been issued with redundancy notices from 10 July, to defend local services.

The Socialist Party leaflet was well received by the majority of participants and snapped up by residents supporting the march from their doorsteps en route to the hotel.

Inevitably, a small number of far-right racists were present, spreading their poisonous propaganda and holding a couple of home-made placards. In no way did they represent the views of most local residents and the Action Committee organisers.

Despite a clear, prior demand from the Action Committee that “anyone intending on using racist or offensive attitudes is asked not to attend”, three members of the racist, so-called ‘Voice of Wales’ a far-right media group, attempted to get video interviews at the beginning of the demo, and ran up and down the sides of the march intimidating protestors, who mainly refused to speak to them.

Another handful of racist and far-right supporters mingled in the march while a few stood pathetically with a racist placard outside the hotel car park.

When the hotel workers joined the closing rally in support of the demo they received a rapturous welcome with a promise of solidarity from the residents and trade unionists present to help them fight to retain their jobs against the millionaire hotel owners, whose only concern is making a profit out of the misery of asylum seekers!

To the credit of the Action Committee organisers, when the obnoxious ‘Voice of Wales’ reporters attempted to disrupt the rally at the end with their racist questioning, the main organiser not only dismissed them outright but the local residents also surrounded them and pointed the way out, to big applause from the crowd.

Trade unionists and socialists fight to defend all who are victims of this Tory government and their rotten, racist and divisive capitalist system. We also have a responsibility to address the genuine concerns of local residents, who have seen their living standards, jobs and services disappear down the plughole of a capitalist system in crisis. We fight against the cuts, for jobs, homes and services, the right for asylum seekers to work and join a trade union, and a mass council house building programme.

It would be a mistake to allow a handful of far-right activists to go unchallenged. The role of trade unionists and socialists is to offer concrete demands and to unite working-class people around a socialist programme that can end the ongoing misery of capitalism.

The Socialist Party leaflet included demands to

  • Unite and fight for jobs, homes and services to defeat racism
  • End Tory fearmongering and hostility to refugees and asylum seekers
  • Workers’ unity against any racist attacks on asylum seekers
  • For the right to asylum, no to racist immigration laws
  • Investment in services and housing that working-class people rely on
  • Resist far-right opportunists sowing division
  • Tories out! Build a new mass workers’ party