Days of Action:Metro targeted by anti-racist spoof

Tagged as: migration
Neighbourhoods: london

London commuters were this morning surprised to find that their usual Metro paper was a bit thinner, yet more interesting and engaging, than usual. Tens of thousands of copies of a spoof newspaper that looked very similar to the free daily were distributed at 20 busy tube stations around the capital during rush hour. Thousands more were distributed in other cities around the country.

Under the headline "Gordon Brown to be deported to Scotland." the front frontpage story claimed the former prime minister was facing imminent removal back to his "home country," as the new coalition government introduced new immigration rules that imposed further restrictions on "non-English nationals."

Updates: Meanwhile "Metro" has responded with an injunction. | Read "A Zero for an O" article published in Nettime, and the Mayfirst/plentyfact statement on METRO vs metr0.

Metr0-medium
METR0

Distributors-medium
Distributor at Tube Station

Web-medium
http://metr0.co.uk

Wearing a white T-shirt bearing the Metro logo and a blue baseball cap, one of the 50 or so distributors, who preferred to keep anonymous, said: "By replacing the word 'British' with 'English' when talking about 'British jobs' and the 'floods of illegal immigrants into Britain,' we hope people will realise how racist and absurd this rhetoric of immigration controls is."

In a witty attempt to highlight the racist and sexual violence experienced by immigration detainees at the hands of private 'detainee escorts', a fake advert claimed that G4S, the private security giant that runs a number of immigration detention centres in the UK and provides detainee escort services on behalf of the UK Border Agency, was looking for "strong men" to "escort women abroad."

The rest of the spoof paper featured a 60-Second interview with a real-life ex-detainee, a 'myth-buster' about asylum and immigration, an 'immigration newspeak' glossary, racist quotes from mainstream press and a couple of more in-depth articles on immigration controls and protests against them.

Many of those who picked up the paper initially seemed confused as to why the Metro had "shrunk." Realising it was a spoof, however, many commented that it was "very funny", "clever", "naughty" and "brilliant". Some even returned back and asked for more copies. Others, however, threw it away and wanted the thicker "real thing."

The Metro website has also been spoofed, with a layout similar to that of the paper's official website but with the spoof paper's content.

The 'spoofing operation' was part of 'two days of action against racist press', called by a coalition of anti-racist and migrant rights groups under the name Press Action.

A spokesperson for the anonymous group of spoofers said, "We are sick of being lied to; we are sick of being lied about. These lies, repeated everyday by free papers, tabloids and other corporate mainstream media outlets, have almost become a reality, where the most vulnerable victims of this screwed-up political-economic system are blamed for it."

Explaining why the group chose the Metro and not a 'more obvious target' when it comes to racist press, such as the Daily Mail or the Evening Standard, the anonymous spokesperson commented: "We wanted to highlight the fact that racism and anti-immigration bias is sometimes more subtle than the Daily Hate rants. Besides, the Metro seemed to provide a better vehicle due to its exploitation of the 'public' transport system, so we thought we'd reclaim that right for a day."


Notes:

1. A pdf of the spoof paper can be found at  http://www.metr0.co.uk/images/metr0-e-edition.pdf
or  http://pressaction.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/metro_spoof.pdf

2. The spoof Metr0 website is at  http://www.metr0.co.uk

3. The callout for the Two Days of Action Against Racist Press can be found at
http://pressaction.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/two-days-of-action/
or http://www.metr0.co.uk/article/days-of-action.html

Metr0
Homepage: http://www.metr0.co.uk

Additions

This is brilliant!

Thanks everyone involved int his amazing action. The paper is brilliant. Keep it up!

why no mention of capitalism and class?

a newspaper on immigration that does not mention capitalism makes no sense imho, sorry. this spoof seems to see refugee and migration in some sort of bubble, with no context. particularly it fails to note why UKInc has become a major immigration destination, at a time of all-time-high unemployment (and with children of previous migrants being the worst affected) the reason being, of course, neo liberalism and the drive to the bottom of wages and conditions.

migration is a key part of modern western capitalism. migration has been actively used to drive down workers (of all backgrounds) wages, terms and conditions. societies of migrants are far weaker in resisting the ultra exploitation of capital than settled organised societies and so are encouraged.

a fundamental use of migration to capital is a a reserve army of labour, in that migration destroys the power of trade unionism, our only power. with no migration, and with the closed shop ( 100% membership) the trade union has power. with migration and the ability to use agency workers at all times the power of the trade unions vanishes. outsourcing, subbing and privatisation now depend on migration

the newspaper fails to look at why ordinary people fall for anti-migrant bigotry, and in doing so fails to understand how millions of people have been affected by migration in terms of worsening conditions and the disempowerment migration has been used to effect

of course this is not to stigmatise migrants who like all workers merely seek to better themselves, but any discussion on migration that fails to discuss the function of migration fails. indeed we must argue that migrants are a key part of the solution ( if they wish to stay here) and must join unions

equally we must oppose state migration controls whose function is to discipline the working class.

but fundamentally we must see these issues within a class/capital perspective not a liberal/moral perspective. For every sad migration story there is one of a british father put on the dolequeue, a mother then abused, a son addicted to drugs, a daughther on the game. moralism gets us nowhere.

capitalism gives us many sad stories. the issue is to understand what it is doing and so how to destroy it

More legal threats from Metro

according to various postings, indymedia UK is now included into the threats:

"Indymedia Threatened with Legal Action by Associated Newspapers"
http://www.indymediascotland.org/node/20105

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/07/05/18652681.php