PCS is working with campaigners Unite Against Fascism to oppose a planned demonstration on 6 May by the far-right South East Alliance outside Lunar House in Croydon, where new asylum seekers have to present themselves on arrival in the UK.
We have written to new Home Office permanent secretary Philip Rutnam to urge him to take “immediate steps to prevent the demonstration from taking place outside Home Office premises” or ensure that staff – many of whom are PCS members – can work safely from another location without fear of intimidation, harassment or injury.
Risk to public
In the letter PCS Home Office group secretary Mike Jones stresses that the risk to staff and the public of the demo, organised by the ex-National Front members, will not be mitigated by laying on further security staff, as has been the practice for similar far-right demonstrations outside Home Office buildings in the past. These are also employees to whom the department owes a duty of care.
We believe that every employee has the right to attend their place of work without risk of harm or being subjected to harassment on account of race or religion and belief. The South East Alliance and other far-right activists have a track record of members being implicated in race hate crimes. It is therefore entirely foreseeable that they will use the clearly provocative location of their so-called protest to target both the diverse workforce and the public.
Mike highlighted the fact that the far-right demo is a “cynical and inflammatory move by the racists” following the recent disgusting racist attack on young asylum claimant Reker Ahmed in the town, who suffered a fractured skull, a fractured spine and a blood clot on his brain.
There has been a great outpouring of solidarity and support for Reker following the appalling attack, with hundreds marching at a Stand Up to Racism event which emphasised that Reker and all refugees are our brothers and sisters.
Mike wrote: “Many PCS members attended the anti-racism demonstrations that followed this attack, and would be dismayed to see racists being allowed to publicise their poison outside their workplace.”
Opposing fascism and racism
PCS has a proud tradition of being at the forefront of opposing fascism and racism and works alongside a variety of different anti-racist anti-fascist campaigning groups. With the rise in hate crime and the disgraceful racist rhetoric against refugees and migrants in much of the media it has never been so important to oppose racist and fascist ideology and activity wherever it raises its ugly head.
Over the past 8 years Nazi groups have repeatedly held aggressive demos outside Lunar House. Each time the racists and fascist show their face at Lunar House PCS has been proud to mobilise and join with UAF, the local TUC, Unite, the CWU and other campaigners, such as Disabled People Against Cuts, to protesting against their disgusting views.
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