We are all one working class
|Written by Margaret McAdam, editor International Socialist League|
|Sunday, 21 August 2011 21:02|
|In times of crisis the contradictions of capitalism are transparent; today the working class is told there’s no alternative to the cuts in public services and jobs, while they have no problem spending money to expand a militarised system of control of immigrants.
Besides that, the government is continuing to pursue imperialist wars for oil and greed, including against Libya under the name of humanitarian protection of its citizens, at the sametime refusing to protect anyone fleeing to safety from Libya. Instead the borders of Fortress Europe are raised higher and thousands drown or die of starvation on the Mediterranean Sea.
In this country there are savage cuts in funding seriously affecting organizations that provide crucial services to refugees and those seeking asylum. The result is a devastating reduction of support to the most vulnerable and the poorest in our society. Today single asylum seekersreceive £35.52 a week which is 55% of the Income Support rate – the income threshold defining the poverty-line in this country.
The right to free education including English language lessons is now denied to asylum seekers and other immigrants. 80,000 people across England will lose the right to free language classesand women represent more than two-thirds of those affected. David Cameron said earlier this year that immigrants to Britain must “learn English, so that… they can be more integrated into our country.” Whilst we oppose any move towards assimilationist policies, integration and functioning independently in everyday life is extremely difficult if you are unable to speak English!
The targeting, scapegoating and criminalising of asylum seekers and immigrants serves only to legitimate the governments’ actions and all cuts. Asylum seekers and immigrants live in poverty and fear as they are criminalised and terrorised by a shameless system, they: cannot travel freely around this country as they are asked to verify their ID and immigration status at bus stations and on trains; have no right to health care despite immigrants making an enormous contribution to the health service; are liable to be imprisoned in one of the 17 immigration prisons in Britain, including children; are liable to be forcefully deported back to where they fled from; and are subject to workplace raids and early morning raids in their homes.
In addition workers across the UK are being turned into immigration police as they are required to check people’s immigration status before access to any public service or job is allowed. We must fight this enforced collusion and divisive controls which split workers into ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’, ‘British’ and ‘foreign’.
Anti-cuts campaign groups must involve and include immigrants and the issues that affect them. And reject and oppose the scapegoating of all immigrants by the media and politicians. Its only purpose is to divide the working class nationally and internationally and legitimate these inherently racist policies. People are not illegal but what is happeningto them is criminal.
Concluding the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels called upon the working class to overthrow the ruling class and take control of their destinies saying, “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working Men of All Countries Unite”. As socialists, we have to overthrow capitalism and unite and organise all workers to fight against our oppressors.