As we go to press, thousands of refugees are being herded out of the Calais “Jungle” camp and transported to other parts of France.
Amid harrowing scenes, we have seen people rightly resisting this forced relocation, riot police teargassing refugees, and unaccompanied children being left to wander alone — only to find that, if they weren’t yet “registered”, they were to be arrested.
The campaign by Lord Dubs to let in the unaccompanied refugee children is more crucial than ever.
Dubs was one of the speakers at the resoundingly successful Stand Up To Racism conference last month, which saw 1,500 activists gather in central London to plan for action to welcome refugees, confront institutional racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and fight for the rights of EU workers after Brexit.
Out of the conference came some very clear next steps:
» November is Islamophobia Awareness Month. SUTR is working with MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development) and FOSIS (Federation of Student Islamic Societies) to organise events, especially in universities, during the week beginning 21 November.
» 10 December is a Winter Aid day of action for refugees in Calais and Dunkirk. Despite the clearing of the camp, refugees will still be arriving in Calais and living in even worse conditions. Delegations will go out to deliver aid collected in their communities.
» 27 January 2017 is Holocaust Memorial Day. SUTR is encouraging local groups to organise events alongside Jewish organisations and anti-fascist activists.
» Finally, all roads must lead to the national demonstration on 18 March 2017, which has to be big enough to set the agenda as Theresa May triggers Article 50 and the Brexit negotiations.
The spike in racist attacks after the referendum shows how toxic this debate can be — socialists must be at the heart of putting an alternative vision of post-Brexit Britain.