rs21 podcast, episode 1: refugees and the rise of the far right

Episode 1 of the rs21 podcast is finally here! Duncan Thomas introduces the show.

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Image credit: Kate Evans

Comrades: the day has been a constant battle against technology. Never has machines’ description as crystallisations of “dead labour” been so apt. I had intended for this to be available for leisurely consumption on a Sunday afternoon; instead, you can nibble at it over the week.

But a victory is a victory, and a podcast is a podcast. This one’s much longer than it was meant to be, but that’s what happens when the guests all say so many good things and audio editing software begins to drain your will to live.

All together, it’s two hours of wholesome socialism. But if this is too much for one helping, I’ve put the timings of the different sections below, so you can dip in and out to your hearts content. Ideally, of course, there would be separate files for you to click on if you just wanted to listed to individual interviews. But there ain’t, and that’s that. It would take a braver man than me to attempt to make them at this stage.

4mins-45mins: Mitch Mitchell, Kate B, Isis Aurora Mera, and John T (trouble-causers from rs21, London2Calais, Defend the Right to Protest, and other similar outfits)  on the origins of the crisis and grassroots responses. We also talk border regimes under global capitalism, austerity, and media manipulation.

45mins-1hr 35mins: Following events in Dover, we cover the re-appearance of openly fascist street groups in Britain – for whom a resurgent racism and xenophobia provide a fertile breeding ground. Two anti-fascist activists discuss how to organise effectively against fascist violence, while David Renton, author of several books on British fascism, provides a more historical perspective.

1hr 39mins-end: The fantastic Kate Evans, graphic novelist and author of the recent (and brilliant) Red Rosa, a graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg, is in the house. Kate has spent years documenting activism in the UK and beyond, and recently spent time in the Calais camp. She produced a wonderful short comic strip in response to what she saw (sampled in the image above). You can order copies of this free (just pay P&P) and sell them at meetings and events: donate the money to any organisation helping refugees anywhere in the world (plus, you get to help Kate get to the beer in her fridge, currently buried under comics). Click here to see how.

Since these sessions were recorded, the situation for refugees both within Europe and at its borders has only become more dire, with the French police evicting residents from the Calais camp using their customary violence and disregard for human dignity.

Events are moving quickly, but to keep up with what’s happening and see what you can do to help, the London2Calais Facebook page is a good place to start. Upcoming events include:

  • A London2Calais fundraiser at Richmix on March 11.
  • The ‘Surround Yarlswood’ demo on March 12.
  • The national demo in support of refugees and migrants on March 19.

Volunteers in Calais have also used up ALL of their supplies dealing with the recent evictions. They desperately need donations. A message from them to you below:

The warehouse for Calais/ Dunkirk is totally empty. Please help!

Providing emergency supplies to refugees having their homes demolished in Calais and creating packs for everyone in the camp in Dunkirk has wiped out all our stock. We need EVERYTHING!!!!! Sleeping bags, blankets, roll mats, shoes, jackets, jeans, jogging bottoms, underwear, hat, gloves, coats, toiletries, food – THE LOT. (Detailed list below)

No donations have arrived in days. If you have stuff to bring, PLEASE still come, and come soon!

Email for more info and for warehouse address

You can also buy items online here which will automatically be delivered to the warehouse:

Or donate funds so that we can buy essentials:

Thank you


gloves (URGENT)
thick socks, Men’s underwear s/m (URGENT)
waterproof coats s/m
joggers s/m (URGENT)
long sleeve tops s/m, hoodies and fleeces s/m, trainers and walking boots 40-43

women’s underwear, leggings and joggers

YOUTH ages 13-17
long sleeve tops, hoodies, joggers, underwear

roll mats (URGENT)
Thick sleeping bags
Thick blankets

shower gel
toilet roll
baby wipes
hand soap (liquid far better and more hygienic)


No to borders, no to racism, solidarity with refugees.

If you would like to contribute in any way to the next episode, please get in touch!


  1. Hello, I downloaded this a while ago and just listened to it. Really enjoyed it! If you could get some more done some time, that would be brilliant. Thanks!


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