Sheffield Council Supports Asylum Seekers’ Right To Work


Sheffield Council is calling on the Government for asylum seekers to be given the right to work in the UK

Sustainable Communities Act 2007

Under the rules of the *Sustainable Communities Act 2007, the Government has a duty to review proposals from all local authorities who have opted into the scheme, and Sheffield people are ready to make their voices heard!

Press release from Sheffield Council

Asylum seekers are often highly skilled and want to contribute to Sheffield city’s economy. As a city we are not able to make use of the skills and qualifications of asylum seekers living in Sheffield.

Under the sustainable communities act — a law which obliges central government to listen to public proposals submitted to local authorities — Sheffield Council is calling for asylum seekers to be given the right to work in the UK.

A list of proposals has been sent via the local government association for consideration by central government.

Refuge Council have welcomed the move

Sheffield City Council’s Sustainable Communities Panel has voted to submit a new proposal based on the Sustainable Communities Act to allow asylum seekers to work. In an unprecedented move, the Panel agreed that the current rules were not morally defensible, did not support the city’s aspirations as a City of Sanctuary, and did not help to achieve community cohesion. In fact the Panel held the view that the current rules may contribute to community tensions, and therefore act as a problem and challenge to the continued wellbeing and sustainability of Sheffield. The move is a direct result of the work done by the Sheffield City of Sanctuary group with Sheffield City Council to improve the lives of refugees living in Sheffield and foster greater understanding and friendship between them and the local community.

The full proposition is as follows:

“The proposal of the Sheffield Sustainable Communities Panel is to allow asylum seekers the right to work in the city once their application for asylum has been received and they have been dispersed to the city. Asylum seekers who do not seek (or do not find) employment would still be eligible for the same support that is available at the moment. The right to seek employment would be open to any asylum seeker aged 16 or over.”

The Globalised Network Of Misery

The ‘private security guard’ (or ‘mercenary’) arrested for killing two colleagues in Iraq is an appendage of the global immigration prison and enforcement network. Danny Fitzsimons is employed by ArmorGroup, which is a subsidiary of the multi-billion pound G4S ‘Securicor’ transnational.

In Who Protects the Guards? The Facts behind G4S in Southern Africa (7.9MB pdf), it was reported that G4S supervisors refer to guards at the Johannesburg airport as ‘kaffirs’ and ‘monkeys’, that white guards were provided with keys to the company toilet while black guards are forced to use the toilet in a nearby mall, and that G4S maintains ‘policies that keep guards in poverty’. G4S are also accused of violating workers’ rights in Indonesia, Panama and elsewhere.

G4S runs a network of immigration prisons in Britain, including Dungavel, Oakington, Tinsley House and Brook House, where adults and children who have committed no crime can be detained indefinitely without charge. Conditions endured by inmates in Britain’s immigration prisons have been consistently and repeatedly criticised by human rights advocates and prison inspectors. The 2008 report Outsourcing Abuse (2MB pdf), alleges G4S employees assaulted and racially abused detainees.

G4S is an arm of the global private paramilitary industrial complex, which includes corporations like Blackwater (now renamed Xe). In recent sworn testimony, former employees claim that Xe/Blackwater boss

Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with [US] federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes.

The testimony further alleges the ‘random’ killing of Iraqi civilians and buck a suck child prostitution in the company’s ‘man camp’ in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

Brutality, degradation and oppression follow the outsourcing of imperialism at every step, as private armies provide the muscle to defend Capital, all the while profiting from human suffering. Current circumstances are a modern refinement of the phenomenon described by Lenin.

The enormous dimensions of finance capital concentrated in a few hands and creating an extraordinarily dense and widespread network of relationships and connections which subordinates not only the small and medium, but also the very small capitalists and small masters, on the one hand, and the increasingly intense struggle waged against other national state groups of financiers for the division of the world and domination over other countries, on the other hand, cause the propertied classes to go over entirely to the side of imperialism.

Danny Fitzsimons, the G4S prison guard, the chubby Xe ‘contractor’ in designer urban camo and aviators, and the apologists for imperialism at freakshops like Harry’s Place are part of the same ugly continuum.