Quite simply the most inspiring and life affirming thing I have read/seen in ages, a brilliant article with video documentary at Guardian Online of people organising resistance to thwart immigration police from arresting and deporting asylum seekers and migrants. This is people, local and migrants working together to fight state authorities from pursuing inhumane activities. Fuck me this is just great, what the Guardian should be doing and living up to its promise from its Manchester Guardian beginning. It’s better than drugs legal, prescription or otherwise reading/seeing this, a natural high of humanity and solidarity and doing the right thing whatever the uniformed goons and heartless suits of the state say and do. Just some brief excerpts but do yourself a favour and go and read/watch the whole piece –
All across the country, communities are organising themselves to stop their friends and neighbours from being deported. From lobbying the Home Office to foiling dawn raids, the resistance will stop at nothing to keep failed asylum seekers safe in Britain. By Rachel Stevenson and Harriet Grant
“We had been really going downhill – a lot of antisocial families were being put here. But after a year of the asylum seekers coming, the atmosphere became completely different,” Donnachie says. “These people couldn’t do enough for you, and I thought this was wonderful – it was like going back to when I was a child and you could leave the key in the door and if you needed help someone would come round.”
She got together with her friend Noreen and organised the residents into daily dawn patrols, looking out for immigration vans. When the vans arrived, a phone system would swing in to action, warning asylum seekers to escape.
The whole estate pitched in, gathering in large crowds in the early-morning dark to jeer at immigration officials as they entered the tower blocks. On more than one occasion, the vans left the estate empty – the people they had come for had got out in time and were hidden by the crowd. The estate kept this up for two years until forced removals stopped.
At the back of the Asda car park in Bury, Greater Manchester, is the Mosses community centre. Inside, along with the sewing group and the creche, Sue Arnall is working hard to protect the asylum-seeking families in the area. Born and bred in Bury and proud of it, the retired teacher was horrified to learn that children in her town were living in fear of being sent to countries some of them had never even visited. Like Donnachie, she felt compelled to act.
This belief is echoed in other parts of the country. In the Shetlands, islanders came together to stop a resident Burmese family being deported, spending months demonstrating until the Minn family won the right to stay. “We won’t put up with this sort of injustice here,” Brian Smith, one of the campaigners, says. “The Home Office only seems to care about what the gutter press thinks, and doesn’t want to listen to the rest of us.”
But Donnachie, Spooner, Jones and Arnall, and many more like them, believe the asylum system is fundamentally unjust. They say Britain is denying asylum to people genuinely in danger. Senior bishops are similarly critical of the system, as is the Independent Asylum Commission, headed by a former appeal court judge, and the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which have both described Britain’s asylum system as shameful. Outrage at the government’s asylum policy spans Britain’s social and political spectrum. (ht2 Lenin)
While this could lend itself to being read in political ways, socialism, anarchy even libertarianism, and make a point about the counter-productive atheism of Hitchens (many of these are church groups, I would venture to suggest they represent the left wing of religious faith, not about sex obsessed bigotry but of helping fellow humans. I’d rather some mythical being was not essential to their activism but they are doing good work so live and let live). It is inspiring because it rejects the fantasises of neoliberals who view society as self interested consumers, it rejects authoritarians who follow whatever law is laid before them because authorities must have a good reason so trust in them, it rejects the racist hysteria of the gutter press (and that sadly includes much more of the media than it used to) it shows self organising for resistance based on…well basic and essential elements to human existence, empathy, kindness and integrity. It resonates in the quote which lent this blog its name, in Aldous Huxley’s ultimate conclusions-
“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than “try to be a little kinder.”
–Aldous Huxley, novelist, philosopher, psychedelic pioneer (1894-1963)
And without having to specify and subdivide what political aspect this exemplifies surely we can agree that this is simply and purely correct and those who would oppose it are to be opposed. Whatever they may call themselves, or what party or ideology they clothe themselves in, what they really are is a cruel person, who would seek to make the world into their own pitiless image. Well fuck that. Join the resistance, join the human conspiracy.