The cast of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Snow In Midsummer in rehearsal holding One Day Without Us placards. From left to right: Katie Leung, Andrew Koji, Lucy Sheen, Wendy Kweh, Andrew Leung, Jonathan Ragget, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Daniel York, director Justin Audibert, Richard Rees, Kevin Shen. At the front in the red jacket is Jaqueline Chan and (kneeling) Sarah Lam.
Chinese British support UK One Day Without Us National Day of Action in defence of migrant workers, Monday 20 February
Monday is Britain's turn to host a National Day of Action as part of an international protest in defence of migrant workers who have been used and abused for too long. Even now, they are being treated as a political football by this squalid government. We are declaring our support and solidarity with a vital strand of workers who have kept this country going.
If you stripped out our migrant workers, Britain would fall apart. One Day Without Us should give us a taster of what life would be like without immigrants.
There are 15,000 fewer teachers in further education than we had in 2009. Science teachers are in such short supply that they will have to be recruited from abroad. This year we're expected to experience an exodus of EU migrant workers from the UK. And we'll all have to work harder for longer because we won't have the replacement workers to pay for pensions.
As is the rest of the developed world, the UK is suffering a shrinking workforce as baby boomers start to retire. We simply don't have enough workers to replace them.
It is clearly bad for the UK to exclude the people who pick our veg, build our infrastructure, run our buses, cook and serve our food in the lovely Chinese and Indian restaurants and takeaways we use all the time, look after us in the NHS or in care homes, or study and teach in our universities. Did you know that there are tens of thousands of Chinese students paying fees to study in our higher education system right now? In total, more than 150,000 overseas students contribute more than £2.3 billion per year to the exchequer, £8 billion to the British economy.
It's particularly relevant to Chinese in Britain as restaurant workers have been targeted by the Border Patrol in fishing raids.
A banker, a worker and an immigrant walk into a bar. On a table there are ten pies. The banker eats nine of the pies and says to the worker: watch out for him. He's after your pie. That's what the government and the Brexit movement are saying. And the government and Brexit are joined by Lexit — leftists for Brexit who dangerously accommodate 'alternative facts' about migrants taking 'our' jobs.
Remember: it was the bankers who crashed the economy in 2008. And it was China who was able to take up some of the slack and give us time to get the system back on track. Unfortunately, instead of steadying the system in everyone's interest, the West bailed out the bankers with public money and set us on course for disaster yet again. US markets are all a-quiver as hugely over-priced stocks seem to defy the laws of physics — the next crash may be as bad as the 1920s. It's like playing pass-the-parcel with a live grenade and everyone's waiting for the music to stop.
In the meantime, the poorest paid the bill through George Osborne's vicious and thoroughly discredited austerity measures, targeting those least able to afford it. What was the point of a bedroom tax that cost as much to administer as it collected? What did the cruelty of PIP cuts achieve except to cause pain, misery and even death for the disabled? Which migrants stopped much needed housing being built?
The billionaire class would like us all at each others throats — it takes our attention away from "Sir" Philip Green's third mega-yacht or "Sir" Richard Branson's private Caribbean island and his publicly subsidised rail service. The top percentage quadrupled their wealth since 2000, and tripled it since the 2008 crash while general incomes haven't even made it back to pre-2008 levels — we are far from all in it together.
The usual suspects have been rounded up: the disabled, those on benefits, ethnic minorities, pensioners, women, and people who come here to work (remember: immigrants yield a net benefit to the nation's coffers). But none of them chose to stop building homes (and handily keep property prices elevated), or to slow investment in education, or to run the NHS into the ground for privatisers to pillage.
The EU referendum has boiled down to a bogus debate about immigration that is dependent on the lie that migrants take 'our' jobs. Employers, who do the actual employing and the paying, are rendered invisible. No-one criticises – say – Dyson for closing its UK factory and pursuing cheap labour in Malaysia. If any Lexiteer tells you it's the migrants' fault, they are – to put it mildly – misinformed. Or misinforming.
Brexit means getting Trump. We're being delivered out of the EU frying-pan and into the Trump fire by both the government and the Labour opposition. The NHS is on offer for predatory US business — how does this mean 'taking back control'? Labour and the rest of the left should be holding the line, rather than capitulating to the specious immigration debate that's been whipped up by the mainstream media.
On Monday, the Ensuring We Remember campaign, set up in memory of the more than 140,000 in the Chinese Labour Corps who served in the Allied forces in Europe in World War I doing the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs, will be tweeting support using the hashtag #1DayWithoutUs.
Anyone in London who would like to take part should get to Parliament Square at 12:30pm and join the FLAG MOB with your national flags in time for the 1pm linking of arms in symbolic solidarity with migrants.
Please join us across the country on Monday 20th February and stand by your fellow working-class human being. You have more in common with them than Farage, Boris Johnson or any of the purported (c)leftists who are failing to stand firm on basic principles and folding like origami. Which, like shampoo, pyjamas, paper, mathematics and science, has its origins in that there "Abroad".
A banker, a worker and an immigrant walk into a bar … TED Talk by Anna Chen
Snow in Midsummer at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford on Avon
What happens to a minority when the government needs a scapegoat: the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak
One Day Without Us — London
One Day Without Us
Migration stories at
Upstairs at the Ritzy
Brixton Oval, SW2 1JG London, United Kingdom