Saturday, April 26, 2008

Latin Americans targeted at Elephant and Castle

We have received this call from the Ecuadorian Movement in the UK for a protest against a Borders Agency raid at the Elephant in which 15 people were arrested:

ALERTA! ALERTA!

ECUADORIANS ARE BEING TREATED LIKE TERRORISTS BY THE HOME OFFICE.

On Thursday, April 24th, in Elephant and Castle – the heart of the Latin American community – the HOME OFFICE and BRITISH POLICE entered Ecuadorian business in an unprecedented operation.

The police forced their way in hunting for undocumented workers. This is happening in the country where human rights are supposedly respected. Children looked on as armed police pushed their parents against the wall, broke through doors and intimidated all those they found in spots known to be frequented by Latin Americans, the majority of whom are Ecuadorians. This unusual scene is something that has only been observed to date in cases of “terrorism.”

This must be rejected by the Ecuadorian community. We need to use all the possible channels open to us within the law to denounce this act of abuse of authority against immigrant communities such as the Ecuadorian community.

We are placing the entire community on alert. We must join in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, and unite also with the campaigns that are unfolding [in various migrant communities now under attack.]

We will express our protest this Sunday at Fusion, in front of Elephant and Castle, starting at 15h00, where the candidates are scheduled to debate proposals for the Mayor of London. We will take banners and flyers condemning this stance by the British government.

WE ARE NOT CRIMINALS! WE ARE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WORK!

WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS AND WANT TO BE RESPECTED!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

No mention on what they'll do to help weed out the illegals?

Transpontine said...
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Transpontine said...

No one is illegal, and people aren't weeds. Seriously, in law only acts can be defined as criminal, there is no such thing as the status of an illegal person. And to define someone's identity as illegal simply because they don't have papers is denial of their humanity.

Anonymous said...

Try getting away with that one at the immigration office. To suggest that 'no one' is illegal is hippyish nonsense.

Transpontine said...

Well aware that the current state of immigration control does define people as illegal who have actually commmitted no crime, as do the Daily Mail, BNP etc. I don't think opposing this has got anything to do with hippies, there are hundreds of thousands of people living their lives in defiance of these laws, probably cleaning your office and serving your food.

Nigel said...

Wake up! No nation state can survive without some kind of control over it's borders, and rules about who can and cannot enter.
To complain about the police doing their job in such a way is pathetic and does millions of law abiding legal immigrants a great disservice.
I suspect that Ecuadoreans' efforts would be better directed towards making their own country a better place to live [and I gather that it is currently politically progressive], rather than breaking the law here by entering the country illegally [and all the lying and people trafficking that that entails] and then complaining about police carrying out their job in enforcing the law.
There are plenty of reasons to criticise the police - forcing people to remove t-shirts and confiscating flags from peaceful Tibetan protestors, or harassing photographers for taking pictures of buildings, for example - but this clearly isn't one of them.

Nigel said...

PS. I have always found this blog entertaining and informative, but your last comment equating the current state of immigration law with the BNP and the Daily Mail makes you appear both hysterical and foolish.
You were not responding to a troll, merely someone who made a fair point - it's no good complaining about the police carrying out their job if you are aiding or abetting people breaking the law. The people employing these illegal immigrants are certainly not paying the minimum wage. If you have a problem with the immigration laws, then campaign on that issue and do something about it. Don't profit from it and then complain when you are targeted by the police.

Transpontine said...

Nigel, I am glad that you find Transpontine entertaining and informative, perhaps you can now add provocative to this list. I know people read this site with all sorts of views and I don't expect them to agree with everything that's on it. For me though, migrants are very much part of what makes London, including the undocmumented ones. I do, as it happens, campaign against the current immigration laws and I am happy to debate this with anyone - hopefully with a level of debate that can rise above terms like 'hippysh', 'foolish', 'hysterical' and 'pathetic'. I don't generally use Transpontine to rant on about my political views but given the centrality of this question to London life I think I will do a proper post setting out my position on immigration controls. Incidentally I note that both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson have supported calls for an 'amnesty' for undocumented migrants.

Anonymous said...

This really make us all very sad to know children were witness of such inhuman act to our people in Elephant and castle.


Amgox Television

Anonymous said...

There are two extremes in the immigration debate - no immigrants or no limits on immigration. Most people are somewhere in between.

For the last century (arguably since the first welfare state acts of the early 1900s), the entwined nation state has been built up on the principle of a defined community.

(Previously, it would be difficult to argue that the nation and the state were in any way contiguous.)

We still live in that welfarist state, despite (London-centric) claims that immigrants do all the dirty work. Mostly, they do not.

What keeps the benefit system being socially acceptable - in its current form - is that nation-state entwining. Mass immigration does threaten societal cohesion, at least as society is currently envisaged.

Unpick that and you put much of the nation-reciprocity concept that supports the welfare state at risk. Do you agree?

Anonymous said...

And emotive claims about being 'treated like terrorists' are just that - emotive claims.

My friend had the same treatment when the police (mistakenly) knocked down his door because over drugs.

Unsurprising fact: the police can use force, and the threat of force, when they arrest people.

Anonymous said...

And ... (finally) ... there is a mixture of language about rights here.

The Latin Americans are asking for 'human rights' but largely what they are asking for are economic rights.

The established community also have economic rights (that of the reciprocal welfare state), and these rights have to be balanced against the rights of outsiders (ie the six billion or so people outside of this country).

It saddens me that the Left has lost its faith in social democracy, replacing it instead with uncritical thinking, slogans and unhelpful grand-standing.

If that offends you Mr T ... well, you did provoke it.

Anonymous said...

Enoch Powell combed the earth for cheap Labour, he found it in the West Indies and thus the NHS, London transport and many other Low paid jobs British people would never do were filled by migrant workers.

AS have British workers in America and Australia

Just how many old people Britain have we living in Spain, and what impact is it having on Spanish health care system

Obviously, we need immigration control, but its how humane we are when enforcing them, that is the issue with this raid.

And of course any progressive blog should highlight injustice as well as the joy of living in London

Give us Bread and Roses

Transpontine said...
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Transpontine said...

I have fairly thick skin and am not in the least offended, Nigel/earlier anonymous (assuming they are one and the same), by the last few points raised, even if I do not agree with them.

What I objected to was the emotive tone of the original comment about 'weeding out illegals' - a turn of phrase that I am afraid is very Daily Mail. Just to reinforce the earlier point, lots of people break criminal and civil laws from shoplifters to speeding motorists. Some undocumented migrants may also have broken laws - though not all, many have entered the country legally and overstayed on student visas etc. The point is we don't refer to the former as illegals - a word that implies that people's whole being can be reduced to their breaking of a regulation, and can and does lead to people being treated as second class human beings.

As for your wider points, all I did originally was post a statement put out by an Ecuadorian community group. I might not have used exactly that language myself, but if they're emotive it is not surprizing in the immediate context. It is a big leap from me posting this and grand statements about the left and social democracy, I don't claim to speak for the former and haven't so far expressed a view about the latter.

In historical terms I do agree though with your identification of the 1900s as a turning point- it was then that the anti-jewish agitation by the British Brothers League led to the first modern anti-immigration legislation of the Aliens Act 1905.

There is a bigger debate here about the nation state in the era of globalisation but I'll leave that for now.

Ramiro Alejandro Olmedo said...

No immigrant is illegal because they want to be therefore why do they treat us worse then criminals..i heard about this incident. and it is appalling that the police are doing this.. they not only scaring people who are here to work (to serve english people specially so that they live more comfortable) but also badly affecting the businesses which they raid.. something should be done!