Sorrow at another childs death fuels Stand Up To Racism campaign’s determination to show solidarity with asylum seekers

Article published: Thursday, October 15th 2015

Migrants being rescued in the Mediterranean during Operation Triton. Photo: Irish Defence Forces

Migrants being rescued in the Mediterranean during Operation Triton. Photo: Irish Defence Forces

The baby boy who was recently washed up dead on a beach in Kos is further strengthening Greater Manchester’s commitment to extending solidarity to people who are refugees.

This death echoes the tragedy of Alan Kurdi, who was found dead on a Turkish beach over a month ago, he and his family were trying to cross over to Kos. The body of the  boy recently washed up on the beach in Kos has still not been identified, and perhaps never will. This Autumn, 169 people including 44 children are reported to have drowned or be missing in the Aegean Sea. On Saturday the 17th October, Greater Manchester Stand Up To Racism will take a delegation to Calais to show solidarity to the asylum seekers who have made it to the refugee camps in the North of France.

a Stand Up To Racism spokesperson shared his misgivings of the attitudes adopted toward migrants:

‘This government, along with their friends in the media, have done their utmost to dehumanise the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing war and desperate poverty in the Middle East and North Africa. They have focused their venom particularly on the thousands of refugees camping out in terrible conditions in Calais’.

Tens of thousands protested at the Tory Party Conference which took place in Manchester on the 4th October, demonstrating a strong, and growing, social cohesion against austerity and racism. This demonstration of collective unity seems to contradict the Home Secretary, Theresa May’s claim that Britain’s ‘socially cohesion’ is threatened by mass immigration. May also blamed migration for the current lack of housing, jobs and hospital beds during her conference speech

Rhetta Moran from the Manchester human rights organisation RAPAR, and organiser for the Stand Up To Racism campaign, was dissapointed in the governments attitude toward migrants. ‘Their sentiments, that are intended to divide and rule us, are astonishing. The fact is that our government’s economic policies pose a far greater threat to the population’s standard of living than the refugees seeking safety here.’

Manchester Stand Up To Racism now calls on: anti-racists,tradeunionists, politicians, academics, students, youth, faith, refugee and community groups to stand in opposition to the dehumanisation and scapegoating of those fleeing wars, famine and repression. Support the convoys taking much-needed items to Calais, and take part in local activities welcoming migrants and refugees to our cities and towns.

This call for action has resulted in many local organisations signing up to support the campaign (see list below). The delegation leaves at 4am Saturday morning, if you want to contribute before then details are included below.

Dan Issac

Donate to the Calais convoy by:

sending_cheques to Mike Killian,‘Unite Against Fascism Manchester’

If you have items you wish to give, cash or interested in joining the delegation contact Nahella on 07988 572976
Initial signatories of support so far include:
Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) – Ian Hodson, National President
Beja Congress of Sudan – Abu Mohamed Abu Amna, Chair, Sudanese Paediatrician (ret.)
Bolton UNISON – Bernie Gallagher, Branch Secretary
Bury Committee in Solidarity with Refugees and Asylum Seekers – Rick Coates, Chair
Crescent Community Educational Trust, Manchester – Dr. Abdul Aziz
Exiled Journalists Network – Amitt Bhatt, Manchester
Gaskell Garden Project – Dan Isaac, Rusholme
Greater Manchester Stop The War Coalition – Ron Senchak, President
Hideaway Youth Club, Moss Side, Manchester – Zahra Alijah, Chair
Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Supports Refugees and Migrants – Liss Hulme
Love Music, Hate Racism (LMHR) – Martyn Lewis, Salford
Manchester and Salford National Union of Journalists (NUJ) – Chris Rea, Chair
Manchester City Council (MCC) – Cllr Dzidra Noor, Levenshulme
Manchester City Council (MCC) – Cllr Daniel Gillard, Withington
Manchester City Council UNISON – Mike Killian, Transport for Gtr Mcr (REP-pc)
Manchester City Council UNISON – Lesley Lancelott, Women’s SOG (pc)
Member of Parliament – Angela Rayner MP, Ashton-under-Lyne
Member of European Parliament – Julie Ward MEP, North West Region
Mental Health Researcher, Karen Machin
Michelle Ayavorro, Longsight, Manchester
Oldham Unitarian Chapel and One World Centre – Bob Pounder, Reverend
Refugee and Asylum Participatory Action Research (RAPAR) – Zeinab Mohamed, Matron
Rethink Rebuild Society – Yasmine Nahlawi, Advocacy and Policy Coordinator
Salford City Council – Cllr Howard Balkind, Swinton South
Salford City UNISON – Ameen Hadi and Steve North, Treasurer and Secretary
Social Work Action Network (SWAN) – Susan Gillet, Independent Social Worker with Unaccompanied Children
UNISON National Executive Committee (NEC) – Karen Reissmann (pc)
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) – Nahella Ashraf, Greater Manchester
University College Union (UCU) – Pura Ariza, NW Regional Secretary, MMU Branch Secretary

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