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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 September 2016

Refugee crisis: fight for homes, jobs and services for all

The Jungle, Calais photo Paul Mattsson

The Jungle, Calais photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin

It is one year since Alan Kurdi drowned in the Mediterranean.

Heart-breaking images of the toddler's body lying washed up on the beach spread around the world. It led to powerful calls for European governments to do more to help those fleeing war and oppression in Africa and the Middle East.

Yet a year later the plight of refugees trying to enter Europe is still a humanitarian disaster. Around 3,000 have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year. The Italian coastguard rescued over 1,000 people from the sea in just a single day last month.

Desperation is still forcing refugees into the hands of people traffickers. They risk everything to make the dangerous journey.

Arrival in Europe is often not the end of their ordeal. They're greeted with high fences, camps with appalling conditions, and the harassment that comes with being used as a political football.

As the wave of sympathy died down last year, right-wing politicians cynically reverted to scapegoating migrants. But the problems come from their policies and the capitalist system.

'The Jungle', the infamous refugee camp in Calais, is reportedly home to over 9,000 people and growing daily. Residents live in squalor, reliant on the charity of ordinary people, and under constant threat of eviction by French authorities.

Worst of all, the camp is home to over 800 children, the vast majority unaccompanied. They are at severe risk. Police estimate that almost 9,000 refugee children have gone missing in Germany alone.

A House of Lords report in July found child refugees were being "systematically let down" by the UK, and by the EU and its member states. However, last month the Home Office won a court case to prevent unaccompanied children from joining families in the UK.

Refugees, especially children, must be housed and helped, not vilified. Reverse austerity and invest in homes, jobs and services for all workers - not racist scapegoating while the super-rich rake it in.

The Socialist Party fights for a socialist world, free from war, terror and poverty, where people can move around freely, not be forced to flee.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 7 September 2016:


#KeepCorbyn

#KeepCorbyn: build the movement against austerity

Break with Blairites essential to defeat split Tories

Should socialists give electoral support to Labour right?

#KeepCorbyn: reports from the campaign


Socialist Party news and analysis

Apple told to pay 11bn: nationalise all the tax dodgers!

Refugee crisis: for homes, jobs and services for all

Women lose out in the workplace

London bailiff use soars by half

Them & Us

What We Saw


TUC congress 2016

Organise mass working class resistance to austerity


International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: impeachment farce only serves big business

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors plan to continue contract struggle

Rail workers fighting back!

Premium pay cuts are not just any cuts, they are M&S cuts

Royal Mail wildcat strike against bullying bosses

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Letter: back the docs!

Socialism, black liberation and cricket - the life of CLR James

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Huge turnout in support of Huddersfield NHS campaign

Grantham on the march against 'life and death' cuts to health service

London fighting fund BBQ success


 

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