Fascists and racists are targeting refugees kept in hotels across Britain. Fascist organisation Yorkshire Rose has called an anti‑refugee protest outside one of two hotels in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, next Saturday.
Jill is an activist with the local Stand Up To Racism group, which, along with Rotherham Trades Council and Unite Against Fascism, has called a counter-protest against the mobilisation. “The racist propaganda pushed constantly by the likes of home secretary Suella Braverman is a perfect mix with the situation here,” Jill told Socialist Worker.
“Rotherham is an ex‑mining community with nothing to replace those jobs. Opportunities for young people are diminishing all the time. The transport system is appalling. “There’s lots of stress and strains on schools, as they’re often in areas of high deprivation where children are going in hungry or not clothed properly. And there are foodbanks everywhere.”
Jill says that the Tories work hard to put out a “horrible narrative that refugees are the problem”. “But they’re not,” she explained. “These poor people have the most appalling stories. Yet the Tories cynically use them to create division and deflect anger away from themselves and the absolute misery they’ve caused.”
Life for refugees in Rotherham—and across Britain—is “horrendous”. “People think refugees are kept in five-star hotels—they’re not. They’re like prisons, and the food is crap,” Jill said.
The hotels in Rotherham are run by Mears Group. Here refugees complain they even face racism from some of the staff. Once inside the hotels, Jill says the refugees “languish with no understanding of when their papers are going to be processed. They can be there for years. It’s an utter