The Movement Against Xenophobia is a new campaign aimed at countering the vicious anti-immigrant discourse of mainstream politics in the UK. We are currently in the process of building a coalition of organisations and prominent individuals top mobilise and inform people on the issues around immigration, particularly around the imminent Immigration Bill, the European Elections next year and the General Election in 2015.
Organisations agreeing with and putting their names to the following statement are currently holding regular planning meetings to constructive a viable opposition to the mainstream invective against immigration and immigrants.
On 15 March 2014 we elected a steering committee for MAX. It comprises of:
- Hilary Brown
- Graham Campbell
- Michael Collins
- Phil Cooper
- Zoe Gardner
- Alan Gibson
- Saira Grant
- Steve Green
- Shabab Hamid
- Zita Holbourne
- Lee Jasper
- Ratna Lachman
- Mohammed Khaled Noor
- David Price
- Habib Rahman
- Nazek Ramadan
- Patrick Yu
with Guy Taylor, secretary.
If your organisation would like to join the coalition or you would like to have more information, please email email@example.com phone 020 7553 7469.
Movement Against Xenophobia
It is with alarm that we are witnessing the development of increasing hostility, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance towards immigrants.
We are gravely concerned at the tone of public discussion about immigration which is contributing to a climate of hostility and fear. Government, Opposition and other political parties are directly participating in a race to the bottom in this regard.
Migrants make a substantial contribution to the economy, enrich Britain’s culture and improve the standard of its public services. The multicultural and prosperous Britain that exists today has been created through generations of immigration and accepting refugees, this is not recognized in the mainstream public discourse about immigration and asylum.
We believe austerity measures and public sector cuts are producing real tensions among communities living in deprived neighbourhoods. Those denied access to benefits and services are pushed to the margins of society and are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
British nationals, long-term residents and their families with spouses or civil partners and relatives from non-EU countries are subject to draconian and discriminatory immigration controls that wreck family life. These measures are splitting up ordinary families due to onerous financial requirements.
We reject as unacceptable scapegoating of immigrants that sections of the media and politicians of all mainstream parties participate in. We reject moves to oblige workers and landlords to inform on people’s immigration status, these measures will engender an atmosphere of mistrust and threaten social cohesion.
In this context of growing racism, the threat of racist violence has increased against all migrant communities in Britain — with the number of race hate crimes rising markedly.
- We call upon politicians and the media to end the use of language that could incite racism and xenophobia.
- We call upon the Government to reject the ‘numbers game’ politics of immigration and to pursue an immigration system built on human rights and the needs of the UK.
- We call for the media to show responsibility and to put an end to the publication of sensational and unfounded stories which incite racial hatred and hatred towards migrants and refugees.
- We will defend the right of refugees to seek asylum in the UK under the 1951 Geneva Convention. We insist that while seeking asylum, people should be treated with respect and afforded fundamental rights.
- We will resist any attacks on human rights. Any such attack on the European Convention on Human Rights or domestic legislation would be primarily aimed at immigrants and then used against all.
- We will speak out against racism and xenophobia and to defend migrant communities and refugees.
- We offer our support to those in the political parties and in the media who oppose the cultivation of xenophobia and hostility to migrants.
We want to live in a civilized society where people, irrespective of background, are valued and treated with respect. We are migrants, descendants of migrants and ‘indigenous’ British people. We stand together for a diverse and inclusive society. We believe we can live together with dignity and peace, learning from each other’s differences and contributing to a better place for future generations to live in.
Join with us in rejecting this move towards intolerance, and join the fight for a more inclusive UK.
Get your union branch to support MAX.
Below is a model trade or student union motion which you are free to adapt for your own branch. Get support from everywhere and get people on board saying NO to xenophobia.
This Union notes:
- The Coalition government is rushing its Immigration Bill through parliament.
- The Bill would, if passed, significantly reduce the right of migrants to appeal against deportation; would compel landlords, DVLA staff and bank workers to police the immigration status of tenants and customers; and would undermine the right to family life enshrined in the Human Rights Act.
- Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) has been established as a broad campaign involving over 60 different organisations.
This Union believes:
- The pressure on people’s income and on public services is not a result of immigrants, who are net contributors to the welfare state, but of employers’ attacks on wages and conditions, and cuts being introduced as a result of the austerity drive.
- Pandering to anti-immigrant arguments does not undermine racism, but instead normalises it, helping fuel the growth of right-wing political forces such as UKIP and far-right organisations such as the British National Party and English Defence League.
- Campaigns such as MAX are necessary to counter the scapegoating of immigrants.
This Union resolves:
- To oppose the Immigration Bill and call on MPs to vote against it.
- To call on Labour MPs to undertake to repeal it under a future Labour government.
- To affiliate to Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) and support its initiatives.