The border regime manifests itself in our everyday lives. Home Office “Immigration Enforcement” teams – working hand-in-hand with the police and local authorities – attack us on our streets, in our homes and workplaces.
Whitechapel – and Tower Hamlets more generally – is one of London’s most racially diverse areas, with large Bangladeshi and Somali communities. This working-class neighbourhood has not escaped the growing wave of racist state repression and fascist activity. Over the past few years, Whitechapel High Street has counted among the growing list of places systematically targeted by UKBA and police operations – as well as recent “flash-mobs” by far-right bully-boys Britain First.
At the same time, Whitechapel is on the front-lines of social cleansing in London. Property developers and landlords are fast making the area into another yuppified wasteland. Immigration raids have served in parallel to gentrifying forces, damaging and undermining the local economic base of Black and Asian working-class communities.
Against this backdrop, we have come together to form Whitechapel Anti-Raids. Over the past few weeks we have been busy leafleting the shops and market stalls in Whitechapel. The first of weekly Saturday stalls was set-up last weekend at Whitechapel market – with multilingual bust cards and information about immigration raids, worker’s and housing rights. The response has been overwhelmingly positive; many individuals, workers and small business owners have welcomed the initiative. In conversation, many expressed their frustration and anger at the racist targeting of their shops and community.
We aim to promote a culture of neighbourhood self-organisation, solidarity and collective self-defence against all forms of state repression and racism. We don’t want to reform immigration enforcement, but to resist and eventually end it. For every raid and fascist “flash-mob”, we need a response.
To get involved contact us at email@example.com or pop down to our weekly Saturday stall (2-4pm) in Whitechapel Market.
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