I attended the AGM of the Labout Campaign for Free Movement (LCFM) over the weekend, here are my notes.
To be honest I got their late and missed the first two plenary speakers, but got there in time to hear, Marena Zukowska, of POMOC, who spoke about the problems of motivating [Polish] migrants to get active in politics; they had found that local elections were important means of engaging Polish people allowing them to express their views. Before this could happen they engaged in community actions of solidarity which often became political, acting as an on-ramp for political activity. (It is clear to me that the hostile environment has made many immigrants fear that registration for the vote will lead to unwanted activity by the Home Office and ICE.)
A statement from Osime Brown’s mother was read out, from which I learn that it’s clear that legal interventions work. This is something that was reinforced throughout the day and leads me to ask, “Has the Home Office become a scofflaw organisation?” Certainly, Patel’s engineering of the dismissal of her Permanent Secretary will not have helped the department ‘speak [legal] truth to power’.
Border Force have been instructed to tow boats back to France, this is called push back and Home Office workers object to this as its inhumane and contrary to international law. Their Union, PCS, objected and the HO investigated if asking the Navy to do it would be feasible. The Navy also asked for legal justification. PCS is funding the legal case against the Home Office over the Rwnada deportations and NEC are under pressure to ballot members for industrial action to refuse to work on Rwanda deportations.
PCS have an open borders policy, I asked for a copy for it. John summarised it as, ‘liberal, progressive and humane’.
Given the progressive response by PCS members working in the Home Office, John was asked about the ISU, which had split from the SCPS, led by Immigration Service staff in 1981 over the latter’s objection to the and call for repeal of the 1971 Immigration Act. ISU have 3,666 members generating £463k, a monthly fee of £9.80, they only pay the accounts officer.
I attended a workshop on Ending detention centres. We heard testimony that they are inhumane and that atrocities occur. They quoted a Panorama…