Channel 4s Immigration Street is a dead end. Join the campaign for jobs and housing in Solidarity Street!
Tonight, Channel 4 will broadcast their infamous Immigration Street series, now cut to just one show and one hour. Whatever the result, their intentions to sensationalise and profit by exploiting tensions in society over immigration, have been severely limited by the solidarity in the Newtown community to boycott the show.
Like its notorious cousin, Benefits Street, produced for Channel 4 by the ironically named Love Productions, Immigration Street seeks to denigrate and sow prejudice, part of the establishment tactic of scapegoating sections of society for the problems we face.
They rightly fear the united opposition of all working people, regardless of race or nationality, fighting the government’s austerity programme and building support for real answers to the problems we face. Tonights programme won’t show the struggles of Southampton communities to stand together in defence of jobs, pay and services at Southampton City council. It won’t show the victory of low paid cleaners at the General Hospital who united in strike action to defeat the attempts of Medirest to underpay their staff, cleaning staff made up of workers from seven different countries.
In the last few months Southampton has seen strikes of the local fire fighters, council workers and health workers united on picket lines fighting to take their families out of the poverty of 5 years of wage restraint. Will Immigration Street report how austerity has left a quarter of Southampton’s children growing up in poverty?
Anti-cuts campaigners have fought to stop cuts to the NHS in the closure of the Bitterne Walk-In Centre as well as threats to the future of day centres and care homes in the city. Plans to close the Bitterne Walk-In Centre were put on hold due to the strong opposition from the community.
It is essential we reject any attempts to blame the problems of the city’s housing shortage, cuts to jobs and pay at the hands of migrant workers. Who closed the Fords factory, who cut the wages of council workers, who sold all the council homes off? The problems we are facing stem from the attempts to make ordinary people pay for the economic crisis created by the bankers, their friends in big business and their bought politicians in Westminster.
That is why the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition is opposed to Immigration Street and has backed the community boycott of the programme. That is why we are campaigning against the council cuts and fighting for the restoration of council funding, stolen from the city since 2010. We need to build a united campaign of the trade unions, all workers and our local communities in a mass campaign to pressure the next government to provide the necessary funding to meet the needs of the city. To end the housing crisis, to tackle poverty and provide services for young and old that see everyone flourish and enjoy the benefits of prosperity, we need to campaign for a real alternative to austerity that sees the wealth we create used for the benefit of all. Join the campaign of you agree.