Author: CEREN SAGIR
MIGRANT rights campaigners protested outside the Home Office in London yesterday evening against the government’s “attempt to divide communities” over people crossing the Channel in small boats to claim asylum in Britain.
Following the reports that around 100 refugees had crossed the Channel since Christmas Day, anti-racism campaigners said the Tories were trying to “whip up racism and scapegoating” to distract from “their own current state of political crisis.”
Weyman Bennett of Stand Up to Racism, which organised the protest, told the Star that the so-called crisis of refugees flooding into Britain was “completely manufactured.”
“The Tories are playing with fire by manipulating the narrative of the channel crossing in this way.
“Every time mainstream politicians act to legitimise and normalise racism, it breaths oxygen into the far right, and fascists who are seeking to build a toxic far-right street movement here in Britain fuelled by racism, bigotry and attacks on Muslims, migrants and the left as a whole.
“We have to say loud and clear, refugees and migrants welcome here, they are not to blame for the broken Britain the Tories have created with austerity.”
Rabbi Lee Wax of Jewish Women’s Aid said she was “horrified” by the treatment of refugees as though they were “illegal criminals.”
“The Jewish community is all too familiar both with being refugees and with being scapegoated.
“It is morally unconscionable to use fear and xenophobia to whip up anti-immigration sentiment.
“We are standing together to protest and to remind people that humanity, decency and morality in how we treat the most vulnerable is the hallmark of a civilised society.”
Of 504 migrants who sought to cross the Channel last year, 276 managed to get to British waters and coasts and 228 were intercepted by the French authorities.
Most of the people were Iranian, according to the French Interior Ministry.