Oscar Cousins reports from an emergency protest outside Parliament opposing the Tories’ racist new legislation attacking refugees and asylum seekers

For countless years the left has said very loud and very clear, refugees are welcome here. However it seems that with the new anti-refugee bill being put forward by the government, now is more important than ever to take a stand against another government (and corporate media) attempt at placing the failures of the state on some of the most vulnerable, desperate and marginalised people in the world today. 

‘We stand with the victims, not the oppressors’

On 13 March in Parliament Square, hundreds rallied in Parliament Square to oppose the government’s ‘Illegal Migration Bill’. Protesters filed into the square, angry and determined. Within only a few minutes did a small group next to Churchill’s statue become a large gathering of hundreds of protesters. 

The main stage for speakers was a fire truck provided by the Fire Brigades Union, which arrived approximately 10-20 mins after the start of the demo at 6pm. Notable speakers included Jeremy Corbyn (MP for Islington), Nadia Whittome (MP for Nottingham East), Stephen Flynn (leader of the SNP in the commons) and Kolbassia Haoussou (co-founder of SSO). 

‘This bill will not stop refugees trying to cross the channel, it will only create more dangerous routes for these people to take’

The Gary Lineker debacle exposed the popular sentiment against the government and media’s behaviour, but throughout the reporting of his effective suspension and then reinstatement, the actual issue he raised was deliberately brushed under the rug. When prominent Tory figures like Suella Braverman come out with rhetoric that would be parroted by organisations like the National Front and the BNP, the corporate media’s response seems to be to let it go unchallenged. 

The left have to say louder and clearer than ever, not only are refugees welcome here, but it is the 13 years of Conservative rule that has brought the UK into some of the worst suffering in its history, not the people seeking asylum who make up only 0.18% of the population.

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