No to racist scapegoating in Covid-19 Crisis

The Covid-19 Pandemic, combined with the failure of the British Government to properly protect its population, and a major economic crash has created situation where the most abhorrent forms of racism are set to thrive.

• We stand together against the racist scapegoating of all communities in this crisis. We condemn the use of the phrase “Chinese virus” by Donald Trump and others, attacks on migrants from the far-right and violent attacks on Chinese and East Asian communities.

• Saving lives must be the priority. Anti-Chinese racism is costing lives. Instead of racism towards China we must learn from China’s experiences in fighting Covid-19. We support the urgent demands for efforts to halt the spread of the virus to be further stepped up.

NHS Workers and all key workers, including transport, shop, postal, food distribution, police, teachers and carers must be given proper protective equipment (PPE), and testing to allow them to carry out their crucial work without placing themselves and others at risk.

• Testing must be reintroduced for all displaying symptoms and all those entering the country, with quarantine measures focused on ensuring the health of those affected as well as preventing further contagion.

• We call for an immediate amnesty for all unregistered and undocumented people. Qualified doctors and nurses that are not British citizens must be enabled to join the effort to save lives. Denial of NHS care on citizenship grounds must stop, and exorbitant health surcharges abolished.

• Britain and all countries must honour their commitments under UN conventions for refugees and accept those fleeing war and persecution, with all necessary measures to protect their health and provide quarantine where necessary.

• The unsanitary detention of people in removal centres must end, and social distancing measures put in place. Practices such as signing on in overcrowded spaces must end immediately.

• Police powers to prevent gatherings of no more than two people must not disproportionately target African, Asian and Caribbean communities.

• Covid-19 measures must be sensitive to people’s faith and beliefs. No forced cremations for Muslim and Jewish communities.

• More measures must be introduced to allow the population to follow health guidelines without forcing them into destitution. Measures such as proposed by The Peoples’ Assembly Against Austerity, trade unions, opposition spokespeople and others must be introduced including guaranteed and higher rate of sick pay, the same income rights for the employed and self employed, stopping evictions, the same payment break rights for tenants and home owners and the provision of grants.

• We call for all progressive organisations, faith/community groups and trade unions to join together in a coordinated effort to oppose racist scapegoating, demand action to save lives, and campaign for those at risk of destitution during the ongoing crisis.
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