March takes place in London from noon on 27 Feb in protest at ‘classic far-right playbook’ of ‘racist, repressive’ legislation, as part of national day of action
A coalition of grassroots human rights and anti-racist groups is mounting a march in London next week and has called for a national day of action against the racist and anti-human-rights legislation the Tories are pushing through Parliament to little or no opposition from the current right-wing Labour regime, which is too busy trying to persuade billionaires that it is no threat while appealing to right-wing racism.
The Citizenship is a Right coalition brings together join campaigners opposed to the controversial Nationality and Borders Bill and is calling on supporters to take part in a national demonstration against the proposed legislation on the last Sunday of this month.
The much criticised Bill which is currently winding through Parliament gives the Home Secretary the right to to strip Britons with foreign ancestry of their nationality without notice. The Citizenship Bill, as it has been dubbed, furnishes Priti Patel with an ill-defined, easily abused power to make a deprivation order without notice and with fewer safeguards for those it targets.
There is no test or clear definition for exercise of the proposed powers. The Home Secretary is judge, jury and executioner. In case readers have forgotten Patel’s recent history, she:
- was at the centre of several ‘tsunamis’ of bullying allegations in 2020, including one scandal that led to a large government payout to a senior civil servant
- criticised the England football team for ‘taking a knee’ against racism
- set up a phone line for callers concerned about loved ones affected by the UK’s rushed exit from Afghanistan that directed them to a washing machine repair hotline
- went AWOL at the height of the coronavirus crisis
- was forced to resign from Theresa May’s government after being caught attending off-book meetings with the Israeli government to divert UK international aid to the Israeli military
An estimated six million people in the UK could be affected if the law comes into force – with a disproportionate impact on those born overseas or who have a parent born abroad. Racism is written into its very fabric.
The Bill also targets migrants by giving Border Force officers powers to turn refugees away from the UK while at sea – so-called ‘pushback powers’ – and makes it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK without permission.
This creates a punitive and inhumane barrier for genuine asylum-seekers trying to flee situations of desperate danger and leaves them at the mercy of human traffickers. Even the Government’s own lawyers have warned that they would likely lose a case on the lawfulness of forcing migrant boats to reverse course. But the Tories are pressing ahead anway, further entrenching hostility to migrants and to those with migrant backgrounds.
The demonstration is supported by 21 civil society organisations:
- BARAC UK
- Association of Muslim Lawyers
- Cube Network
- Sikh Council UK
- BLM Coalition
- Jewish Voice for Labour
- BAME Lawyers for Justice
- Society of Black Lawyers
- Labour Black Socialist
- Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK
- Society of Asian Lawyers
- End Violence and Racism Against East and Southeast Asian Communities (EVR)
- Muslim Association of Britain
- Finsbury Park Mosque
- Islamic Human Rights Commission
- Save Our Citizenships
- Sikh Human Rights
- Stop the War
- Restless Beings
- Friends of Al-Aqsa
- Windrush Lives
The London march will assemble at noon on Sunday 27 February at the Home Office (SW1P 4DF) and march to Parliament Square. Details of marches in other locations will be published as and when received.
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