Who are we?
Born in November 2020, Leeds Anti-Raids Action are a community group fighting back against immigration raids in our city. We are part of an alliance of groups and individuals united by the belief that we must oppose the hostile environment and resist immigration raids.
How do we resist immigration raids?
We believe in using a diverse range of tactics to allow as many people as possible to get involved in resistance including:
- Educating people on how to spot an immigration raid and knowing your rights both as a bystander and a victim of ICE.
- Direct action against raids taking place e.g. to challenge raid squads and prevent them from taking place
- Supporting and fostering community resistance against ICE through community outreach.
- Educating the wider community on the impact of the hostile environment and how to resist it
What do we believe?
We follow the principles of the Anti-Raids Network that:
1. We believe that all people should be free to travel and live where they want, whatever countries we were born in, whether we were born rich or poor, and whatever passports or papers we have. In this world the wealthy are free to move wherever they want. They use immigration controls to divide us by labelling us “citizens” and “migrants”, “legal” and “illegal”, “genuine” and “bogus”. We are against all immigration controls. We believe that no one is illegal. We believe in freedom of movement.
2. We believe that all people should be free from violence, attacks, and harassment by the state, its armies, police, and immigration officers. We oppose all state repression.
3. We oppose all forms of racism; from individuals, the state, the media and other institutions. Immigration controls are inherently racist.
4. Immigration controls are part of a vicious global system of capitalism and colonialism. The British Empire and other colonial powers are not just history. Powerful corporations and governments are still colonising and destroying the world for profit, and the entire economy functions on plundered resources such as oil. They use immigration controls to protect the wealth they have looted over centuries, to push down wages, and to stop us from uniting.
5. Our weapon is solidarity. The only way to fight immigration controls, and other attacks by the rich and powerful, is to create networks of resistance that bring together individuals and communities. We need to come together on the streets, in our areas and workplaces, and fight side by side with our neighbours.
6. Immigration checks and raids on our homes, streets, communities and workplaces are violent attacks on us by the racist state. They can have extreme consequences, including lengthy periods of detention, deportation and, in some cases, death. Raids and checks need to be opposed wherever and however we can.
7. We can use the law to oppose immigration controls, by challenging the legality of raids, and by spreading information about our legal rights. However, we remember that the law belongs to the powerful. We only have certain rights because people have fought for them. They will take away legal rights wherever they think they can get away with it. Legal challenges are not our only path, but just one part of creating resistance.
8. The Anti Raids Network is just one network of groups and individuals in London; we are not the only people fighting immigration raids. We encourage everyone to take action in your own areas and in your own ways. We encourage anyone to use and spread our materials (bust cards, posters, videos, etc.), or change them to suit your needs, and fight for yourselves and your communities.
9. Ours is a non-hierarchical network: we have no leaders. There are no officials or central committee. We are individuals and members of different groups who share these aims and principles, and want to work together. We have respect for each other and work together as equals.
10. Fighting raids is one way we can come together with our neighbours and create communities of mutual aid that can challenge racism, capitalism and social control.