As reported on BBC East Midlands Today television news earlier this month (see video clip), frustrated asylum seekers along with the local charity, Refugee Action, have exposed an example of how a housing association “Refugee Support” is taking vast amounts of public money whilst providing worse than ‘sub-standard’ accommodation through private landlords.
Refugee Support is one of the Metropolitan Support Trust’s (MST) refugee ‘services’ that provides housing for many asylum seekers in Britain. MST in turn is part of the of the vast Metropolitan Housing Partnership. According to the Refugee support website, “MST was created in April 2007 from four organizations (Refugee Housing Association, StepForward, Threshold Support and Walbrook Support) coming together to provide a wide range of specialist services to vulnerable people.”
Well, this news report shows not only how some of these ‘vulnerable people’ spoken of by MST were forced to shame them by getting Refugee Action and the local BBC involved to make public just what a terrible state their house was in, but also how one of them was threatened with being made homeless for complaining when offered it. The ceiling was leaking and falling in and the heating did not work.
Typically, the BBC also concentrates on ‘cost to the taxpayer’, although at least they remember to say that government policy won’t let asylum seekers work, so their housing has to be provided by the state. The report also explains that this is not an isolated case, mentioning other complaints in Leicester (with 12 people sharing one shower). So next time someone goes on how asylum seekers are costing the taxpayer, remind them that it’s rip-off merchants like Metropolitan, and the private landlords they deal with, that are taking the piss here.
Come to a meeting on Tuesday Nov 27th 7pm at Transport House
128 Theobald’s Road
London WC1X 8TN
In November 2006 detainees at Harmondsworth immigration detention centre (close to Heathrow airport) protested against conditions inside the centre and their treatment by the guards. The centre was damaged and the detainees were moved to other detention centres and prisons. Three detainees were charged with criminal damage and a further detainee was charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
The trial of these “Harmondsworth 4” is due to start in January and we are inviting people to a public meeting to discuss how we can support them before, during and after the trial. In previous years there have been defence campaigns following similar incidences at Campsfield (Kidlington, Oxfordshire) and Yarl’s Wood (Clapham, Bedfordshire).
Asylum seekers, refugees, trade unionists and supporters from all over the North marched from the Home Office in Sheffield to Lindholme Detention centre near Doncaster between 26-28th October. The marchers were demanding “The right to work for asylum seekers” and stating that “Seeking asylum is not a crime.” They finished at Lindholme immigration removals centre, the nearest such centre to Nottinghamshire, where asylum seekers are often held without having committed any criminal offence. The demonstration there on Sunday 28th was joined by supporters from Nottingham.
A rally was held at the fence of Lindholme and the marchers could hear detainees inside chanting in response to them. A candlelit vigil for those who’d died in detention centres was held and speakers from many countries, including the Congo, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Iran, Iraq and South Africa spoke. The demonstration is the latest in a series of protests at Lindholme making the demand to “Shut Down Lindholme!” Continue reading Dignity not detention – report from march to Lindholme prison in October→
For freedom of movement, Against nationhood and prevention of migration by nation states, Welcoming asylum seekers and migrant workers, Against capitalist exploitation