You may be familiar with the high street cosmetic chain Lush – the one where you walk in and get knocked out by the pungent smells from huge slabs of soap which look like you could eat them. However you may not know that Lush is also a supporter of a number of radical campaigns. A bit like Bodyshop but more daring – more Joe Strummer than Bob Geldof.
One of their campaigns is linking up with ‘No One Is Illegal’, which calls for the scrapping of all immigration controls. As they explain on the Lush website:
Our campaign with No One Is Illegal hopes to….show that immigration controls are inherently unjust and inhumane and that the abolition of immigration controls is not only possible, it’s preferable.
Although there are some complicated elements to this issue, at its heart this is a campaign about human rights and human dignity. It is about equality and justice. It calls into question policies rooted in racism, which punish people for being poor or uneducated, for being born in one place and not another, and for crimes which have been committed against them over centuries. It is a system in which people become illegal, not because they have committed a crime but because they are ‘foreign’. It is a campaign where we stand tall and say that you cannot make a person illegal, that all people are born free, with dignity and rights that should be universal.
As part of the campaign Lush and ‘No One Is Illegal’ commissioned a poll on attitudes to immigration which has some surprising results:
“People should be free to live and work wherever they wish and enjoy all of the same rights as all other residents”. In a YouGov survey commissioned by Lush and No One Is Illegal, 54% of respondents agreed with this declaration. When asked in more detail, 72% of the people asked thought they should be allowed to live and work in a foreign country, whereas 46% of those polled separately thought people from foreign countries should be allowed to live and work in Britain. In spite of two decades of anti-immigrant rhetoric, ever tougher anti-immigrant laws, and an escalating competition between politicians over who can be toughest on immigrants, most people still have no problem with the idea of freedom of movement, and nearly half believe this should apply to everyone, wherever they come from.
Visit the Lush website to read about the campaign in full.
As part of the campaign Lush are promoting the second edition of Teresa Hayter’s classic book Open Borders: the Case Against Immigration Controls, described by Red Pepper as, “a formidably comprehensive book on the history, mechanisms, and debates surrounding immigration controls in Britain…essential reading”.
The Case Against Immigration Controls
Sheds new light on the issue of asylum and immigration and opposes immigration controls in their totality.