Sudanese unions and community organisations in Britain have joined MENA Solidarity Network, trade unionists and activists in calling for mass mobilisation on 18 March in solidarity with refugees and against racism. Read their joint statement below and scroll down for details of how to join the protests in London, Cardiff and Glasgow.
Statement of Condemnation of the British government’s attacks on refugees and solidarity with the Sudanese Revolution
The British government’s proposed “Illegal Migration Bill” is an attempt to shift the blame for the country’s chronic problems onto refugees and immigrants and mask its own role in creating these crises. The bill is laden with racism and xenophobia, which will only serve to embolden far-right groups and increase violence against already vulnerable communities.
Large numbers of Sudanese refugees are among those who risk their lives crossing the Channel by so-called “illegal routes”. The British government has shut down legal means for them to reach safety, and at the same time is deeply complicit in creating the conflicts, poverty and repression they are fleeing.
Starting in late 2018, the Sudanese Revolution is a brave and determined movement seeking to end a 30-year dictatorship and create a civilian-led government committed to freedom, peace, and justice. In 2019 the revolution led to the downfall of dictator Omar al-Bashir, who relied on the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), created out of the Janjaweed militias which were responsible for ethnic cleansing and genocide in Darfur. The governments of the European Union and the British government were happy to see the RSF act as their proxy border guards, empowering them alongside elements of the dictatorship’s security agencies through agreements to provide training and institutional support.
The fruits of this policy of empowering the security agencies and militias could be seen in the rise of the RSF’s leader, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti) to the top of the Sudanese state in partnership with General Abd-al-Fattah al-Burhan. Hemedti and al-Burhan overthrew the civilian government installed after the downfall of al-Bashir in a military coup in October 2021 and have remained in power since then.
The British government’s claims to support democracy in Sudan stand in contrast to its actions. It has continued to treat Al-Burhan as a legitimate head of state, even issuing an invitation to him to attend the Queen’s funeral. It has said and done nothing to stop its allies including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt stir up conflict in Sudan through providing military and political support for counter-revolutionary forces such as the RSF.
The British government’s backing for military and militia bodies which want to crush the movement for democracy exacerbates the effects of the long history of British colonialism on Sudan.
In addition, Britain’s historic role in fossil fuel emissions is fuelling climate breakdown which has a major impact on Sudan, destroying livelihoods and homes through floods and droughts.
Despite facing brutal repression, including the killing of thousands and the rape of many, the people of Sudan remain steadfast in their struggle for justice and freedom.
We must unite against the British government’s “Illegal Migration Bill” and stand in solidarity with refugees and the Sudanese Revolution.
We must recognise that refugees are not the problem; they are victims of the same crises that affect us all. The fight for justice and equality is a global struggle that requires us to stand together in solidarity with oppressed people everywhere.
By taking collective action, we can create a world that is genuinely welcoming and supportive of refugees and immigrants.
We will not back down, we have demands!
Signed by the following organisations:
Sudanese Engineers Union – UK
Sudanese Diaspora Roundtable – UK
Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad in the UK
The Sudanese Community Association in Cardiff & South Wales
And the following individuals:
Almahdi Abdurahman Sudanese community in Glasgow, Member; Abobaker Adam; Awadh Al Kareem Ada; Hassan Altahir A former Primary school Sudanese teachers union; former General Secretary of Berber branch in the Nile province in Sudan, Zakaria Alzubair, Sudanese Engineering Union, UK, George Arthur, Barnsley TUC, Secretary; Olivia Biggs, UOP; Alan Burgess Unite community Press Secretary; Marian Carty Goldsmiths UCU Executive member; David Chapman; Simon Clear; Inas Dafalla, SWP; Christine Davies, Unite; Clive Dixon, Unite; Mohamed Elnaiem; Amal Elsheikh, Sudanese lawyers and legal practitioners Association; Heather Falconer, Unite; Penny Foskett NEU Retired member; Alaa Galgal Sudanese Engineering Union in UK and Ireland General secretary; Birair Ismail Yousif Hamad The Sudanese Community Association in Cardiff & South Wales Chairman; Jim Hignett Unite Member; Elham Ismail; Muna Khugali, 1990’ Sudanese Martyrs Families Organization Founding Member; Jackie Lederer, Unite Community and PCS ARMS; Anna Liley; Michelle Lincoln UNISON Branch Steward; Mary Littlefield Unite Norfolk Community Branch Secretary; Sue Meyers Socialist Workers Party Member; Hannah Minns Unite the Union; Yousri Mohamed Ahmed SMA Member; Rosie Moore SWP; Philippa Pettitt; Zeynab Peyghambarzadeh; Christopher Price Unison; Miriam Rathore UNISON Shop Steward; Louise Regan NEU National Officer; Mark Sage Unison Branch International officer; Ali Salih; Miriam Scharf NEU International Solidarity Officer Newham District; Dave Sherry Unite Branch committee and Area Activists Committee Glasgow; Khalid Sidahmed Unite member; Dermot Smyth; Linda Spence Unison; Laurel Spencer-Kent; Stephen Thomas GMBunion@work Member; Sallam Tutu Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad in the UK Deputy Chairperson; Stella Wallac; Thomas Woodcock National Education Union Health and Safety Rep; Jon Woods UNISON Branch Chair; Jennifer Woods Unison Member; Elhussein Yassin Sudanese Diaspora Roundtable UK Member, Board of Trustees
Join the Trades Union Congress and other trade unions at the #ResistRacism demonstrations on 18 March!
- London: Assembles 12 noon: Portland Place, London W1A 1AA
- Cardiff: Assembles: City Hall, Cardiff, 11am
- Glasgow: Assembles: George Square, Glasgow, 11am
Details here: https://standuptoracism.org.uk/