Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Boris Lidovski wins nine year battle

Boris Lidovski fled Russia nine years ago after being threatened with death by the mafia.

Not long after arriving in Cambridge the Home Office wanted to deport Boris as an illegal immigrant sparking a mammoth struggle that Boris described as like "living on a volcano" where he didn't know if he was to be sent back to Russia, separating him from his Chechen partner and son who had already won the right to stay.

The nine year struggle has been full of set backs, problems and difficulties - and it often looked as if the Home Office would get its way, particularly when the local Labour MP (who was subsequently lost her seat) would not help in the case. For Boris to eventually win his right to stay was something that often looked like an impossible dream.

Boris said "It was a fantastic result and a real surprise. I have so many friends in Cambridge and so many people know me... I would have given up if I didn't know so many people were behind me. It kept me going."

Boris' union the CWU was at the center of his defense team and, in particular, Paul Turnbull, a local SWP member, who managed the "Boris Lidovski Must Stay" campaign. Boris said that "I say he is my brother. The support from the union has been very good."

Across the country there are hundreds of people facing similar circumstances to those faced by Boris - and not all of them are lucky enough to have people around them who are willing to be there for the long haul. I have the greatest admiration for those who campaign and fight for people's right to have a safe and secure existence.

It is not lines on a map that should be our greatest concern, but social justice.

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