The lie that migrants are a threat to the UK is exposed for the racism it always has been. Migrants are essential to the emergency response in our NHS, social care, schools labs, research centres, transport , food distrbution and many other parts of the workforce essential to the emergency response. There can be no going back to the denigration of them as low skilled and scapegoated for social problems.
Yet world leaders still stoke up racism. By calling coronavirus the Chinese disease Trump is stoking racism to divert the anger away from the lack of adequate healthcare for the US population he has supported.
Already we have seen a spate of vicious racist attacks against people of Chinese and East Asian appearance.
European leaders closing borders when the virus is already endemic in their countries also sends out a racist message. Implying foreigners are the problem stokes up racism. A UKIP support group is circulating pictures of a Muslim man buying toilet roll calling for mass shaming on social media, ignoring that the real fear that is driving people is prevalent across the population, and that many people are preparing for isolation, believing there will be a lockdown.
The brutal reality of the anti-refugee and anti-migrant racism is about to be amplified by the coronavirus epidemic. The hostile environment means too many people will be frightened of seeking medical support if they become ill. The government is not advertising the fact they can get emergency care. Nor is there a suspension of demands for NHS staff to shop undocumentated migrants to immigration control. This includes members of the Windrush generation and their families. Migrant detention centres could too easily become centres of outbreaks. Migration detention centres need to close to protect the people detained there.
People in low paid unorganised work are less likely to qualify for state support. This will effect Black people, migrants and refugees most. Only a guarantee of wages and sick pay for all can remove this racism.
The potential for a catastrophe for refugees as a result of the coronavirus is all too real. Crowded into unsanitary camps, denial healthcare and hygiene facilities could be a death sentence for tens of thousands.
It is vital at this time of crisis that anti-racist continue to oppose racism in what ever way they can.
Saturday 21st March starts 12 noon
Please click you are going to the event, share on your personal poages and groups, and invite at least ten people
On Thursday Stand Up To Racism took the decision to postpone the UN anti-racism day protests in London and Glasgow until later in the year in response to the coronavirus and its significant threat to public health.
Yet with racism being one of the key challenges for our society we think it is crucial to continue to utilise Saturday 21 March as a day of international solidarity against racism.
Join us for a #WorldAgainstRacism online rally which will hear from key international speakers involved in tackling racism and the far-right. There will be online antiracist video messages from MPs, trade unionists, faith groups and campaigners on the day. Showing solidarity with the fight against racism today and marking the 60th anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre.
Supporting refugees and migrants in the coronavius crisisCare4Calais
We are concerned that if refugees catch the virus they will be particularly vulnerable due to existing poor health from living outside and exposure, the prevalence of chest infections, poor living conditions and general lack of care.
- Due to their living conditions they may have limited ability to self-isolate.
- We are distributing information leaflets explaining what precautions to take in Arabic, Farsi, French and English.
- We do not have supplies of hand gel to distribute and are unable at present to buy any. Donations would be most welcome as for people living outdoors it can be difficult to wash your hands. Please contact email@example.com if you can help.
- We are currently distributing multivitamins and soap at all locations.
- We are also distributing items to keep people as warm and dry as possible, e.g. coats, jumpers, blankets, sleeping bags etc. If you can donate to support this crucial work please go to www.care4calais.org/donate
To maintain the campaign against the rise in racism and fascism we need regular support to cover costs of meeting venues, leaflets, coach hire, speakers expenses and many other campaigning expenses. Please consider making a regular commitment of £1-2 a month to help halt the growth of racism and the far right.