Campaign updates - migration, Trump and trade
Bridges not walls - solidarity with migrants
These are worrying times for migrants. Trump’s attempts at a ‘Muslim ban’ and proposed wall with Mexico are some of the most extreme expressions of a new wave of anti-migrant politics. In the UK, Theresa May has already abolished the post of refugees minister, broken her promise to end the detention of migrant children and is looking likely to take a strongly anti-immigrant stance in the Brexit negotiations. But anti-migrant politics aren’t new – over 25,000 migrants have died in their attempt to reach or stay in Europe since 2000.
Global Justice Now is campaigning in solidarity with migrants and arguing in favour of freedom of movement. Recently we helped to expose the companies that profit from the detention of asylum seekers and we supported the international Bridges Not Walls banner drops on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Right now taking on the hate speech in our press – our latest campaign is demanding that Marks & Spencer stop advertising in the Daily Mail. A supposedly ethical company shouldn’t be funding headlines which call ‘tidal waves’ of migrants ‘the biggest threat since the war’, or which ‘warn’ us about a ‘migrant meltdown in the UK’.
Get involved in our campaign by ordering an action pack and take to the street – or M&S stores – with your friends. Share your actions using the hashtag #StopFundingHate.
Global Justice Now is a founding member of the Stop Trump coalition. We oppose Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK and commit ourselves to one of the biggest demonstrations in British history, to make very clear to our government, and to the world, this is not in our name.
Trump’s short period in office has been deeply worrying. His repeated attempts at a ‘Muslim ban’ show the willingness to use state power to massively repress free movement and civil liberties. Meanwhile, his administration’s attempt to massively cut funds for environmental protection, to defund abortion services and massively increase military spending are grave signs for those who believe in a more equal, sustainable and peaceful world.
Of course, it isn’t just Trump. The UK government has helped to fund its own anti-migrant wall in Calais, recently capped the Dubs scheme for accepting child refugees at just 350, instead of the projected 3,000, and is locking up more migrants than ever. In standing up to the politics of Trump, we’re standing up against May as well.
The protest movement sparked by the first Muslim ban and the UK government’s decision to stand by its invitation to Trump for a state visit has already had an impact – the planned visit has been delayed from July until October. The government seems to hope that popular outrage will have died down by then. So it’s crucial that whenever or wherever the visit goes ahead, we organise resistance on a mass scale to stand up against the rising tide of racism and right-wing populism, and ensure that these politic are not normalised.
Join the Facebook event against Trump’s state visit (the date will change when a new date for the visit is set) and mobilise in your area to make sure that we have a tide of protestors out on the streets.
Trade deal stitch-up
On 15 February the EU made a bad call. Over four hundred MEPs chose to vote through CETA, a trade deal between Canada-EU, choosing to back corporate power over democracy.
CETA has been rattling through the EU’s decision making process for four years. Over this time, just like its ugly brother TTIP, it’s been met with fierce criticism from activists across the EU and Canada. In the weeks up to the vote there were protests across the EU and Canada against CETA’s investor protection courts – special courts that will allow corporations to sue governments in if they pass laws or make decisions that are harmful to their profits. Trade unions came out en masse declaring that CETA will damage workers’ rights. During the vote itself, 1,000 protestors assembled in Strasbourg to ensure the decision did not pass lightly.
The pressure we had been putting on Labour MEPs ultimately paid off, with a majority of them voting against the deal, but this wasn’t enough to sway the outcome in the end. CETA will now be provisionally implemented in the EU from 1 March but it’s still got a mountain to climb before it becomes full EU law. CETA will have to go through national debate in EU decision making bodies so we’re expecting to see big debates in places that have been resisting CETA from the very beginning, like in Belgium.
In the UK, due to the way that trade deals become law, unless MPs request a debate, it will automatically be passed through. But after Brexit, there is a danger of a raft of future corporate-driven trade deals on our doorstep. Now is the time to get our house in order and campaign for a trade policy that is actually based on transparency and democracy. Watch this space – we’ll be developing campaign actions around this soon.