An avoidable tragedy: Our collective grief and anger

The devastating news of 27 people drowning crossing the Channel has left us angry and heartbroken. 

Through the usual media circus these lives will be debated in relation to their immigration status: were they genuine, deserving, or not? Our politicians will whip up their rhetoric based on fear, border security and patrols. 

Yet, these were people with names, family, hopes, futures and dreams. And, we will learn those names, learn their dreams and continue to share them as we continue the fight for migrant justice. 

Image Taken outside the Home Office in 2020 Vigil – Photo by Angela Christofilou

The fight for migrant justice 

Let’s be clear: this is not a migrant crisis.

This is a crisis of humanity. 

No single policy can turn things around, make things better or change things. There is no one “safe route” that can transform this system.

It is in the moments of tragedy, we see how this immigration system is functioning exactly as it was intended: violent and hostile by design. After all, the clue is in the name: Hostile Environment.

All year we’ve heard nothing but violent threats of pushbacks at sea, criminalising rescue operations and even offshore processing centres in Rwanda. The Nationality and Borders Bill will only increase the hostility of our borders and make it harder for people to reach safety. It prevents safe and regular routes of entry, criminalises migrants on arrival, and expands the already cruel and inhumane hostile environment policies. 

Now is the time for solidarity, community resistance and structural change. 

Last night we joined a vigil outside the Home Office. And over the next few days there will be actions and vigils taking place across the UK. Through these actions we stand together and call for a fairer, safer system that prevents tragedies like this. Together, through our tears and anger we demand justice. 

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1. Join the growing #SolidarityKnowsNoBorders community of resistance- a community organising for dignity and justice for all migrants and refugees. Sign the Fair Immigration Charter: https://firmcharter.org.uk

2. Share our Nationality and Borders Bill Explainer and write to your MP to oppose

3. Donate to our Winter appeal: all money going directly to migrants and refugees facing destitution

4. Above all else, go out and build your community of resistance at local level. Connect with your community, speak out and meet with decision makers. It’s time to organise!