Jimmy Mubenga died on 12 October while on a deportation flight to his native Angola. Mubenga was being physically restrained by three security guards. According to other passengers, minutes before he collapsed Mubenga complained of not being able to breathe.
Jimmy Mubenga was a journalist who feared he would be killed upon his return by the Stalinist MPLA regime.
The Guardian’s extensive report on the case was sympathetic to the human suffering wrought by the border regime, and that should be welcomed.
The Guardian has done a pretty good job documenting the facts here, what is this article for? Most readers of the Guardian will have read about Jimmy Mubenga’s death as passive recipients of information — it may result in them raising an eyebrow, shaking their heads or possibly having a conversation or writing a letter.
For thousands of these readers, whether knowingly or not, immigration controls are far from remote from their place in society.
They may work in an industry where migrants are some of the most super-exploited and battered sections of the labour force; or in a public service used as an extension of the border regime (they all are). They may be active in a trade union, whose effective mobilisation against immigration controls could play a massive role in ending the system that causes deaths like Mubenga’s.
No One Is Illegal, a network based on community, anti-deportation campaigns and the labour movement, has produced a broadsheet paper to provide an overview of the issue of immigration controls. This, unlike the Guardian, has been done in order to agitate and organise as well as to inform.
Get involved in fighting these barbaric restrictions on freedom of movement, freedom to escape persecution, freedom to seek a better life!
• A free copy of the broadsheet will be distributed with the next issue of Solidarity.