||In 1996 the government
introduced a number of new rules targeting asylum seekers, including taking
away many of their rights to benefits and housing.
In this way asylum
seekers were set up both as a media target and a problem for local councils.
The loopholes found to force councils to take on responsibility for destitute
asylum seekers meant that they had to do so out of funds not set up for this
purpose, and for people who would otherwise have moved on to areas more used to
In particular Dover council suddenly had responsibility for
asylum seekers when previously they would have passed through to somewhere with
existing immigrant communities. So the artificial problems of Dover council
gave joy to fascists, the media and the government, and all stepped up their
scapegoating. From then on we have seen a vicious circle of increasing attacks
creating increasing problems.
NASS (National Asylum Support Service) was
set up to disperse people away from where they might find community support and
then "support" them, but this "support" merely created new problems. One result
of NASS was the killing on 5 August 2001 of Firsat Dag in Sighthill in Glasgow,
followed 3 days later by the stabbing of Davoud Rasul Naseri in the same place.
People trying to escape Sighthill were returned there by NASS, and
threatened with removal of "support" if they left again. Not that others had it
easy 300 people were dumped in a condemned tower block in Liverpool
until mass protests got them moved out.
Now the plan is to concentrate
asylum seekers in camps, away from community support and obviously marked out
for attack by any hostile neighbours.
The three places currently planned
include one used for burying foot & mouth infected cattle, and all lack
facilities for large numbers of people. For more information on dispersal check
out National Coalition of Anti Deportation Campaigns: www.ncadc.org.uk For a
report on the bureaucratic nightmare that is NASS:www.jcwi.org.uk/campaign/nass.html