Glasgow anti-deportation action in 2021. Photo: Socialist Party Scotland
Glasgow anti-deportation action in 2021. Photo: Socialist Party Scotland

Fight for jobs, homes and services for all

Deji Olayinka, Croydon Socialist Party

The Tories’ racist Rwanda policy has led to a surge in deportation raids and innocent asylum seekers being detained when ‘checking in’ to mandated appointments with the Home Office. In response, brave activists have put their bodies on the line to stop deportation vehicles from taking them away, similar to sit-down actions taken to stop police vans taking anti-war protesters to jail.

While some instances have succeeded, others have not, mainly because of insufficient numbers to prevent the police overwhelming and often arresting protesters.

Community mobilisation

It’s important that organisations of working-class communities, like local trades councils and union branches, take the initiative in mobilising to support these interventions. Union members could use their experience from stewarding protests and picket lines to support organising the resistance. But most importantly, these organisations could enable quicker and larger mobilisations to get the numbers needed for success.

In 2021 I received a message in my union branch group chat that attracted me and other trade unionists to a successful anti-deportation raid action involving around 200 people in Peckham. Similarly in Glasgow in 2021, hundreds of protesters prevented police detaining two people prior to deportation. (See ‘Peckham mass resistance stops immigration raid’ and ‘Glasgow mass action defeats Home Office deportation attempt’ at

When working-class communities mobilise and take action collectively, we can stop the state taking action against one of our own. The mass non-payment of the poll tax and bailiff-busting campaign is another example.

Additionally, mass mobilisations are a show of strength and help widen support for the cause. They play an important role showing that it’s not just a minority of people that are against racist deportations. Instead, it will act as proof that entire communities, including those not directly affected, are against racism, as was shown in the huge Black Lives Matter protests across the country in 2020.

Mass actions and protests put pressure on the Labour leadership to reverse the Tories’ racist Rwanda law when they get into power later this year. But to end all racist migration laws we need a socialist programme, and people to fight for it. The Socialist Party’s Black Workers’ Charter (see includes demands such as:

  • End the hostile environment – end all racist immigration laws. For community and trade union oversight of border controls. No deportations
  • Grant all refugees and asylum seekers the right to work
  • Close all detention centres – these are run by profit-driven companies that further exploit detainees and use them for cheap labour
  • The right to asylum – including the right of families to be reunited
  • Fight for jobs, homes and services for all
  • Take the wealth off the 1%. We can’t control what we don’t own. A democratic socialist plan of production based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of people
  • A socialist foreign policy based on genuine democratic workers’ cooperation, international solidarity, and peace. No to capitalism, imperialism, colonialism and war
  • No trust in capitalist politicians. Join the fight to build a mass democratic workers’ party to represent our interests and fight for these demands