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Monday, 1 December 2008

The BNP and Bristol No Borders

picture: Colin Pantall

The Horror, The horror leads naturally to Nick Griffin and the BNP, whose almost-but-not-quite membership list was leaked last week.

The BNP complained they were living in a fascist state. That's the same kind of complaint which the campaigning group No Borders make. They have been backing up their complaints with some direct action such as last year's blockading of regional headquarters (Bristol No Borders found their local HQ in Portishead) of British immigration snatch squads, something of concern for so many reasons, but especially with regards to Britain's shameful record on children's rights. From the website...

Dawn raids are used to gain custody of whole families in order to imprison them. Every day, doors are kicked in and families are snatched from their beds and taken to detention centres, where they are punished for seeking refuge in this country. They are taken away from their houses, jobs, schools and communities - their lives. Immigration Enforcement Officers come in the middle of the night as the children and their parents sleep in bed, and have not left to go to school or work. It also ensures no witnesses are present. There are no official statistics as to the number and regularity of these raids because the government will not release the figures. But the fleets of vehicles which have been blockaded this morning and the harrowing personal accounts of families indicate large-scale capacity. Today No Borders have highlighted just a few of these bases, which are hidden around the country.

Asylum seeking children are denied the human rights that all other children have. These rights include the right to go to school, the right to privacy, the right to family life (as established by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989). Under UK laws, children seeking asylum can be sent to jail and are often denied the right to education. No Borders maintains that a legal system which divides between children that have human rights and those that do not, is institutionally racist. To deny a child the right to education because of their background is racist, just as to deny an adult the right to work because of their background is racist.

Nikki Dickinson of No Borders: "This is institutionalised child abuse. They take kids who have already been traumatised and cause them even more distress. The effects of snatch raids, detention and deportation on children are unmeasurable. The families have often been settled in an area for years, and their removal affects the community around them- family members left behind, friends and teachers at school, neighbours."

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