Lecturers defy government over ID cards
Wednesday May 28, 2008
Lecturers voted overwhelmingly to oppose and defy the government’s plans to introduce identity cards at the University and College annual congress in Manchester today.
The government plans to pilot the controversial identity cards with international students, which lecturers warned could deter them from choosing to study in the UK.
In January, the Tories accused the government of “blackmailing” students into holding identity cards in order to get student loans.
Dave Goode from Cambridge University, who proposed the motion that was passed, talked of the “horror and contempt” of identity cards and called on members to back the NO2ID campaign.
Mike Cushman, from the LSE, had led research into identity cards and called on members to oppose their introduction as “citizens and members of society, as trade union members and education trade union members”.
He said the Home Office would like society to believe that identity cards would “end terrorism … benefit fraud … illicit health service use … identity theft … and there would be no more queues and constant sunshine in Manchester”.
To applause he said the government wanted to “delegitimise dissent” and union members should fight back.
“We know it’s going to be piloted on non-EU international students – another barrier to students coming to our universities at a time when we’re facing greater international competition,” he said.
Malcolm Povey from Leeds University said: “We live in the most disciplined and rigid society throughout the history of human evolution. Every aspect of our lives is subject to control by the state. These cards are yet another step in this direction.
“To me, these cards will form part of the scapegoating and divisive agenda of government and employers. We’re already seeing this as a challenge to academic freedom.”
For instance, he said lecturers in Palestine would be subject to very strict controls if they were to get a job in the UK.
This is great news, but I don’t know about students from other countries being put off from coming here; no Chinese student would see being forced to be fingerprinted and enrolled in the NIR as a barrier of any kind.
Which takes us nicely to this; take a look at these extraordinary clips…uh oh, they have been removed from YouTube ‘TOS Violation’
tap tap tap…
and we find:
here’s a summary:
Foreigner: I’d like to know why you’re taking my photo and fingerprints. Also, could you explain what you’ll be doing with them? What if I refuse?
Japanese Woman: 9/11. MULTIPLE SIMULTANEOUS TERRORIST ATTACKS. MASSIVE CASUALTIES. If you refuse to be fingerprinted or photographed, you will be denied entry into Japan.
Foreigner: That sounds fantastic! Hooray!!!! I’m going to go tell all my friends how awesome it is to get my fingerprints/photo taken and stored away somewhere by Japanese authorities! Banzai!
I was worried about my rights before watching this video, but now I’m totally relieved. Getting fingerprinted sounds like loads of fun, right?!
tap tap tap…tap tap tap…
WTF? Make up your minds!!!!
Japan Ends Fingerprinting of Many Non-Japanese
After years of bitter protests and debate, the Parliament passed a bill today that will eliminate routine fingerprinting of permanent foreign residents, a practice that many non-Japanese have regarded as a humiliating symbol of government-sanctioned discrimination.
While the news was welcomed by many foreigners, especially the Korean residents who will be the principal beneficiaries, many insisted the bill leaves in place an extensive system of unfair controls on non-Japanese residents.
For instance, foreign residents can still be arrested if they are found without their alien registration cards, or face criminal prosecution if they fail to report changes of address or jobs to the Government within two weeks. Permanent foreign residents, many of whose families have been in Japan for generations, also complained that they would still be denied the right to work for the Government or to vote.
“I’m pleased with this change, but if you look at other elements of the law, you will find it still includes many forms of discrimination,” said Sohn Chung In, an official of the Korean Residents Union of Japan. “This is a step forward, but not a change in the society.”
About 602,000 Korean and Taiwanese residents, many of whose families were brought here forcibly when their homelands were occupied by Japan, will no longer have to submit to routine fingerprinting in order to work, study and live in Japan. About 43,000 other foreigners who have qualified for permanent foreign resident status will also be exempted, according to the Government.
The bill passed the lower house of the Parliament last month, and was passed today by the upper house. The changes are to take effect in January.
Immigration officials have wide discretion in determining who gains permanent residence; thus, many foreigners who have been here 10 years or more, and in some instances their entire lives, will not qualify.
The Parliament originally proposed eliminating the hated fingerprinting once and for all, but a compromise was reached after the National Police Agency refused to budge in its insistence that it needed to continue some fingerprinting to insure public security. The bill has a provision that the Government should try to eliminate fingerprinting in 1998.
Thus, for the time being, 320,000 foreign residents still must be fingerprinted. In the past, the Government has sought to lessen the anger over the practice with a variety of gestures.
For instance, prints were once taken of all the fingers, but are now done of just the left index finger; the alien registration cards all foreigners must carry are now placed in a plastic sleeve with a blue seal that discreetly covers the print.
But most objectors have not been moved by these steps, or the law’s revision. Continuing the Battle
Kathleen Morikawa, an American married to a Japanese, has faced prosecution because of her refusal for 10 years to be fingerprinted. She said today that the revision still discriminated against a class that she has fought hard to help — spouses of Japanese — who rarely qualify for permanent resident status.
“The whole issue of how foreigners are treated has not gone away with this,” she said.
Koreans have long faced the most persistent discrimination. Even those who seek Japanese citizenship, which means adopting Japanese names, find they are denied jobs with major corporations and are frequently unable to marry Japanese. There is a whole industry in Japan of private detectives who, on behalf of prospective employers or spouses, try to discover if people are of Korean or Chinese descent.
Mr. Sohn of the Korean association said his group was still struggling to gain the right of Koreans here to vote, work in Government jobs and learn about their heritage in public schools, a course that is not currently taught.
Sticking to the point of the terror hysteria, honestly, the Japanese government and industry MUST be smarter than this. They are already waking up out of the stupor caused by the mythical ‘911’; they should destroy this inhuman, mass violation system and show the world that they are above this degrading, useless nonsense.Advertisements