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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2019

'Stansted 15' deportation protesters could face jail

Defend the right to protest! Defend the right to asylum!

Refugee Rights campaigners marching, photo Mary Finch

Refugee Rights campaigners marching, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Linda Taaffe, secretary, Waltham Forest Trade Union Council

At the time of going to press, 15 young people will be anxiously facing the judge at Chelmsford Crown Court, waiting to be sentenced. Many fear it will be jail.

In March 2017, the 15 felt so outraged by the injustice being meted out to desperate migrants by the Home Office that they took direct action to stop a Stansted plane bound for Africa from taking off with 60 deportees.

"We took action"

Melanie Strickland, one of those convicted, said: "We knew people on that flight who were in fear of their lives. We took humanitarian action in peacefully stopping that plane to assist them.

"As a result, eleven people were able to secure legal representation and file legal papers to prevent their unlawful deportation. These people include trafficking survivors, parents of dependent children and those who seek asylum here.

"They are human beings and they did not deserve to be treated that way. We did what we could, because we know if we were in their position, we'd want people to act to assist us."

Initially arrested under trespass laws, the charges were then inexplicably changed to charges under the terror-related Aviation and Maritime Act 1990, which carries harsh jail sentences, including life imprisonment.

Socialists say our fight is not only against unjust deportations. It's also about the right to protest that is increasingly under threat.

Despite an avalanche of protest letters from all quarters, and masses of young people demonstrating their support, the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to proceed. Coaches bringing supporters to the court have been organised with the help of the local trade union and labour movement.

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In The Socialist 6 February 2019:


What we think

Corbyn must prepare for a general election: Remove the pro-capitalist saboteurs - fight for the socialist alternative


Workplace news

College lecturers strike for a pay rise

University and College Union elections

PCS: Campaign for Chris Baugh for AGS

Traffic wardens' strike is just the ticket

Unison: Democracy and the right to speak out are under threat

Historic strike of nurses in Ireland

Backing for the Birmingham homecarers


News

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Them & Us


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Victory! Campaign reverses Wallasey fire cuts

Sheffield tree campaigners' legal win

Southampton by-election

Worcestershire: save the libraries, reverse all the cuts

'Stansted 15' deportation protesters could face jail

North West Socialist Party conference


International socialist news and analysis

United States: LA teachers' strike defeats privatisers

France gilets jaunes' backed by mass strike action

Sweden: dock strikes test new government

United States: strike ends federal shutdown


Opinion

Film: Vice - Dick Cheney - a cold and calculating opportunist

Theatre: Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Protest:

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleCommunities condemn Tory handling of crisis - with safe protests

triangleAdding demands to the weekly claps

triangleIrish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

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Deportation:

triangleMass pressure wins light sentence for 'Stansted 15'

triangle'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict

triangleLeicester socialists fight poverty-paying sweatshops

triangleWindrush scandal: Tories and Blairites must go

Asylum:

triangleImmigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite

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Crown:

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Waltham Forest:

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