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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 November 2016

Hunger strikes, suicides - end detention now

Tamil Solidarity activists marching for refugees' rights, 17.9.16, photo Senan

Tamil Solidarity activists marching for refugees' rights, 17.9.16, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Secretary, Southern Socialist Party

Hunger strikes and suicides have increased dramatically in British detention centres.

A Freedom of Information request showed that out of an estimated 7,500 detainees over three months, 218 were on hunger strike. 109 had attempted suicide, with 649 on suicide watch.

Capitalist wars and economic turmoil have created an unprecedented refugee crisis, with 65.3 million people forced from their homes, over ten million under 18.

This human catastrophe has seen right-wing governments hypocritically scapegoat immigration as the source of shortages in housing, health and education. Meanwhile, their friends in business exploit migrants for cheap labour to boost their profits.

Far from being a refuge for those fleeing war and poverty, British governments have used increasingly draconian powers including refused entry, detention and forced removal.

The Socialist Party stands clearly for the right to asylum and an end to racist immigration laws. Over half the removals in 2015 were to Asian countries. Detention centres should be closed down immediately.

The plight of refugees and migrant workers is a product of the same economic crisis impacting the lives of working and middle class people in Britain. A united campaign to end austerity, led by Jeremy Corbyn and the trade unions, linked to a socialist programme for housing and public works, could cut across the racist poison pedalled by pro-capitalist politicians.

The continued wars in the Middle East supported by the Tory government and their Blairite allies in parliament must be opposed. So too must the arms deals with dictatorial regimes such as Saudi Arabia, carrying out its murderous war in Yemen.

The appalling crisis in British detention centres exposes the fading liberal façade of British capitalism. The horror of the capitalist crisis experienced by millions around the world condemns this system.

It is the task of socialists to show there is a way out through the mass struggle of the working class in Britain and internationally, for a new world society that works for the 99%. Where the huge wealth and resources of society, in public ownership, could be planned to meet the needs of all, to end war and poverty.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 30 November 2016:


Castro dies

Fight for workers' democracy in Cuba


Socialist Party news and analysis

Time to fight low pay

Hands off our NHS!

Hunger strikes, suicides - end detention now

Women bear 85% of benefit cuts

Fight to make letting agent fee ban reality

Hospital admissions for malnutrition rise threefold

Them & Us: Autumn Statement special!

What We Saw


What we think

Brexit spin: demand a real workers' exit


Housing crisis

The housing crisis - a toxic issue for the Tories

Homelessness - capitalism is destroying people's lives

Fight the cuts - victims of domestic abuse depend on it


Workplace news and analysis

London Crossrail workers walk out

Durham teaching assistants determined to win

Strike action across London and South East rail network

Protest to demand pay rise for Sheffield

Young workers in Leeds socialise and mobilise at Unison young workers gig


The fight in Labour

Support the campaign to readmit expelled trade union militants

Conference to debate TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections

Labour Party branch votes for reselection

Southampton Labour councillors vote through more cuts


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Sheffield for sale!

Hands off HRI charts way forward

Reclaim the Night solidarity march

Repeal the 8th protest for abortion rights

Leicester playground protest


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Readmit expelled socialists: a proven record of fighting back

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: militant struggle by Students Union succeeds


 

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Related links:

Detention:

triangleTV Review: Stateless blames mismanagement rather than system

triangleCovid outbreak at Kent asylum detention centre: Napier is not fit for purpose

triangleTears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

triangleJoin the fight for refugee rights

triangleEU lets 200 refugees drown in three days

War:

trianglePrivate equity takeover proposals - Usdaw needs to move to a war footing

triangleReaders' comments

trianglePalestinians need a new socialist intifada

triangleStop the Israeli state terror

Socialist:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Building the membership of the Socialist Party

triangleCumbria Socialist Party: Socialism - from Utopian to Scientific

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

Capitalist:

triangleCuban protests - what do they represent?

triangleRight-wing study concludes youth like socialism

Immigration:

triangleAre Biden's immigration policies a break with Trump's?

Racist:

triangleEngland football team

Housing:

triangleJobs and homes for all

Refugee:

triangle"Rights are won not given" - London refugee wins housing debt campaign

Refugees:

triangleNationality and borders bill

Migrant workers:

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Homes:

triangleStop Pimlico gentrification

Asian:

triangleSocialist Party black and Asian members discuss history

Asylum:

triangleTamil Solidarity asylum victory

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