Saturday, June 13, 2009
SOAS deportations posted by Richard Seymour
This is one struggle among many, but for me it also resonates far beyond its own example. In what way? I think this instance makes a strong case that 'Fortress Europe' and the immigration controls associated with it in fact constitute a form of class war. As in the US, while employers are all to happy to exploit immigrant labour, they also rely on the state to discipline and attack that labour when it becomes too assertive and organised. I think it also makes the case that any political slogan that divides the working class, such as 'British Jobs for British Workers', is a valuable tool of employers for defeating it. Finally, I think it is resonant in another sense. Neal Ascherson once suggested that if you want to see how the government would like to treat us, look at how it deals with immigrants. In this case, the almost Gestapo-like tactics deployed by immigration police (which is absolutely routine) provide the model for crackdowns on all kinds of labour organisation.
Update: the cleaners are being fast-tracked for deportation. Campaigners are asking people to come and join the demonstration this morning, Monday 15th, at 8.30am, on the steps of SOAS just off Malet Street.
Update II: the students are in occupation. See their blog for details.
Footage from the occupation: