Re: UK-based Ghanaian Jailed For Operating 'Forgery Factory'
My attention was drawn to Diasporian News of Thursday, 30 December 2010 in which The British High Commission under the title “UK-based Ghanaian jailed for operating 'forgery factory” portrayed Dominic Owusu-Ansah a 40-year-old Ghanaian national a criminal under UK’s Fraud and Identity Cards Act who has been handed a four-year jail term in the UK following the discovery of a forgery factory in Milton Keynes. I have three problems with this British High Commission story. First, the story unjustifiably links Dominic Owusu-Ansah to all kinds of crime the story did not claim he committed. Second, the story does not make clear that nationality in UK immigration law is a code for race and in usual racist stereotypical fashion links a black man with gangsters, illegalities, smuggling, fraud and crime. Third, the story around Dominic Owusu-Ansah in linking UK’s Fraud and Identity Cards Act and immigration crime is historically partial and without historical context. These are why I am writing a rebuttal. My object is that you will understand the illegitimate historical context of this crime and enjoy a more balanced perspective. A number of organisations in the UK including Runnymede, London European Research Centre and the London Metropolitan University amongst others organised a conference “Crossing Borders: the legacy of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962” on 15/16 November 2002. Dr A Sivanandan delivered the closing speech on British State racism which sheds light on how someone like Dominic Owusu-Ansah a man who simply wanted to make a living in post-colonial Ghana and UK ends up committing a crime because Dominic wanted to help his fellow nationals (read race) survive by making a living. It all started according to Dr. Sivanandan over 50 years ago when post-war Britain was in dire need of black labour. UK passed the British Nationality Act of 1948 which made us all including Dominic Owusu-Ansah British citizens. The Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962 followed which said, in effect, that Britain needed our labour, not us. It was the first step towards dismantling our citizenship. It is the first bit of UK’s racist immigration legislation; UK State racism was born. Racism was thus popularised and institutionalised in the UK in legislation, in government, in criminal justice. The fight against this institutional racism has been ongoing. It was layered within globalisation which Governments helped to penetrate Third World Countries into further dependency through so-called binding aid. This invasion of Third World countries and of Eastern Europe (once Communist Europe) led to repressive regimes, to dictatorships, social disintegration, internecine wars which, in their turn, displaced people and brought them as so much debris to the shores of Europe. The state under globalisation, Dr A Sivanandan continues, under the free market system, under deregulation, privatisation, the move from social welfare to social control was more concerned to serve multinational corporations and big business than the poor and deprived of our societies. Thus the strategy of successive home secretaries in the UK is that the repressive legislation that is being put forward against refugees and asylum seekers and against the deprived generally is on behalf of the UK populace. Following September 11 everybody who was foreign, especially non-whites and Muslims and Arabs in particular, were, perse terrorists and are guilty till proven innocent. Dr. A. Sivanandan asserted “Racism never stands still. It changes shape, size, contours, purpose, function, with changes in the economy, the social structure, the system and, above all, the challenges, the resistances, to that system. The racism we are faced with today is not the racism we faced 40, 50 years ago”. This is the racist strategic immigration game the British High Commission is playing by publishing the story along with the picture of Dominic Owusu-Ansah. In the days of the British Nationality Act of 1948 there was no need for the Dominics to forge identity papers because no laws forced them to in order to get work and live in the UK. Over the years till today our UK British Citizenship has been dismantled through successive racist immigration legislation and we are labelled criminals. Further articles will lay out the full racist legislative story should The British High Commission deny and attack me UK replaced racist colonialism in post-colonial Ghana with racist immigration within UK against Ghanaians. The British High Commission after helping the unlawful overthrow of The Government of Ghana shortly after passing its racist immigration law, backed globalisation. UK’s state racism went hand in hand with globalisation after the overthrow of the Pan African Consensus of 1945 through the murder of progressive leaders and the sponsoring of coups. In trying to make a living like Dominic Owusu-Ansah the historic racist experiences we have suffered in the UK have included our children bussed, black women examined for virginity at ports of entry, being beaten up in police cells, spat upon, degradedon the streets of UK, being burnt out of our homes, being deported at the midnight hour without recourse to family, or friend or lawyer. Many will recall the recent dehumanisationand deportation of Ama Sumani. This is some but not all the historical context that I want Ghanaians to understand the British High Commission story. By black in this article I mean both African and Asian. I want Ghanaians to understand that Ghanaians who come to the UK do not come to commit crimes like people trafficking and sham marriages as the story was indirectly implying. Ghanaians come to survive but are forced into crime by racist immigration laws. The real crimes are the racist laws that create criminals who today underpin the British economy in its powerhouse in London/South East as cleaners, night workers etc. It is this realisation that the Liberal Democrats in the UK Coalition Government attempted to rectify through the provision of an Amnesty, if elected into office, to all the people that Dominic Owusu-Ansah was trying to help. It is this initiative that the Conservatives in the Coalition vetoed. The Coalition’s choice of keeping people like Dominic Owusu-Ansah and those he is helping in crime is how I want you to understand what Immigration Minister Damian Green is saying. Dominic Owusu-Ansah is to be deported long after blacks suffered horrendous racism that was visited on them until they fought back and said, 'We are settlers not immigrants: we are here to stay and here to fight'. The fight for justice is clearly not over yet. What you can do is go online at the foreign and commonwealth office “http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/ministerial-feedback-form” and fill in the feedback form calling for an “Amnesty and end to criminalising Ghanaians as illegal immigrants under racist immigration laws.” Background on Story: The story said that Dominic Owusu-Ansah who appeared before Huntingdon Crown Court on December 22, 2010 where he admitted the charges was among four people arrested and is to be deported at the end of his sentence. According to the story from the British High Commission Officers from the UK Border Agency’s South East Region Immigration Crime Team discovered dozens of fake documents such as blank visas, passports and birth certificates when they raided a property in Oldbrook on October7, 2010. The story even quoted the Chief Immigration Officer Jo Howorth from the UK Border Agency’s South East Region Immigration Crime Team who linked “significant criminal enterprise” to “false identities” that “help people work, claim benefits or stay illegally in the UK.” I noted with careful dismay how in the story the Immigration Minister Damian Green stressed UK Border Agency campaigns against immigration crime and against people and gangs who have been abusing the system through sham marriages, illegal working, people smuggling and document fraud.
Source: Agbodza, Kwame
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