Speak out for Asylum Seekers

The backlash to the American atrocity has begun with a vengeance in the UK, with attacks on mosques, physical assaults and verbal abuse directed against Muslims, especially Afghanis and Pakistanis. Feelings whipped up against refugees and asylum seekers over the last few years have already led to murder, arson and assaults. The massacre in America threatens to fuel more violence.

On the day before the attack on New York the Sun trumpeted "One million illegals hiding in Britain!" Over the next few days most of the papers ran stories about Muslim fundamentalists and alleged extremist organisations in the UK with connections to Bin Laden. Attacks on innocent people soon followed.

These are dangerous times for everyone, and the threat of war and military strikes against Afghanistan will generate an even more acute refugee crisis around the world.

The Manchester Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers will be holding a "Speak Out for Asylum Seekers", to tie in with Human Rights Day, on Saturday 8 December from 1pm at Cross Street Chapel. The event will include speakers, politics and music. There are also planning meetings at the Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street on the first Monday of each month at 7.30pm.

Tony Openshaw, National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (0161 740 8206)

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