Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1106/31512
From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2020
Kent: Chaotic privatised asylum process
photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Eric Segal, Kent Socialist Party
Local Folkestone residents and the South East Kent Trade Union Council rallied in solidarity with 400 asylum seekers housed at Napier old army barracks. The Home Office provides basic accommodation for destitute asylum seekers by placing the lucrative five-year contract out to tender.
The contracts are eagerly snatched up by private companies like Serco, Mears, and Clearsprings, who profit from misery. Clearsprings manages the assessment centre in the rundown Napier barracks.
In the absence of public sector services, asylum seekers are thrown into a chaotic privately run system of religious groups, churches, charities and community organisations who compete with each other for grants or lottery funding to provide well-meaning but often inadequate services.
The 200 people attending our rally were confronted by a handful of far-right protesters, protected by a mass police presence. Their slogan called on the government to house veterans before refugees.
But at a recent rally in Dover, the transport union RMT assistant general secretary, Steve Hedley, said: "The far right say we don't have enough houses to cope with asylum seekers; we say build more houses."
(See 'Dover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class' at socialistparty.org.uk.)
And they didn't read the slogan on the trade union council banner at this protest: "Fight for decent homes, jobs and services."
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In The Socialist 21 October 2020:
Health before profit - Work or full pay
Wales 'firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers
Liverpool lockdown: suspicion and anger
Newcastle lockdown: stress and breakdowns
Leicester lockdown: disillusionment and anger
Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary
Nigeria protests: 'This movement needs to fight the whole rotten capitalist system'
Horrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!
South Africa: Mass day of action for permanent jobs and a living wage
Tories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!
World capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now
Test and Trace U-turn on stopping local case reporting
Oxbridge gets private Covid tests: pool resources to test us all!
Millennials disillusioned with 'democracy'
Under the microscope
RMT: Programme to fight redundancies and cuts
Action on Covid transmission in schools now
FCC dismiss Unison activist Tony Smith
Optare workers strike over pay broken 'promise'
Solidarity with Deliveroo Couriers in York
Students: Give us our money back
Fight for your future at the online rally
Southampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack
Socialism 2020: Will you help our finance appeal?
Selling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger
Truth about Zane: Cover-up Tories crack
Kent: Chaotic privatised asylum process
Teignmouth hospital closure threat ... again!
Books that inspired me: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Beware the billionaires bearing gifts
Disabled students let down by "rotten education system"
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