Speak Out

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It is July 2014: As a Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention launches, several Migrants Organise members gather in West London. All have experienced immigration detention – humiliation, handcuffed to a hospital bed where people take photos and laugh; stress, as brutal behaviour by guards brings back memories of violence, prison and torture; fear, not knowing how long we will be held. We share our stories, safe in the office, and draw strength from others who understand our experiences. Together, we write up our evidence and send it to the inquiry. More and more people come forward; we decide to launch a campaign.

Together we train and prepare to tell our stories. First, we speak at a vigil of 150 people, then at a summit in front of 400 people, moving the audience to act and write to their MPs. We speak in oral evidence sessions in parliament. We share our stories in the papers, in TV interviews and in meetings with prospective MPs in the run up to the general election in 2015. Finally, a dozen of us stand on stage at a General Election Assembly organised by Citizens UK. In front of 2,200 people and Conservative minister Sajid Javid, two members tell their stories and say, ‘it’s time for a time limit’ on immigration detention. We see the room react.

It’s 2016. We’ve spoken in parliament, in front of Jeremy Corbyn, in schools and colleges, and outside detention centres. An unprecedented parliamentary consensus is building to overhaul immigration detention – and a movement is growing. Without our voices, we would not see this change. Speaking out has taken us from being people who have suffered at the hands of the system, to becoming active citizens and campaigners. Our experiences are now our source of power.

Hope In Unity: With support from Poet Ben Okri, North Kensington Youth Remember Grenfell

Hope In Unity: With support from Poet Ben Okri, North Kensington Youth Remember Grenfell

Jul 10 2018

On June 14th, one year since the fire that gutted Grenfell Tower, the people of North Kensington came onto the streets to…

Migrants Helped Save My Life: Denying Them Healthcare Hurts Us All

Migrants Helped Save My Life: Denying Them Healthcare Hurts Us All

Jul 09 2018

In our latest staff blog, Eleanor Weber-Ballard, Communications Coordinator at Migrants Organise, describes how international workers are crucial to the functioning of…

MPs Not Border Guards Campaign with Global Justice Now

MPs Not Border Guards Campaign with Global Justice Now

Jun 26 2018

Guest blog by Ed Lewis Global Justice Now’s Groups Officer  Last Saturday we witnessed a chilling upsurge of the far right on our…

Grenfell, one year on: Has anything changed in North Kensington?

Grenfell, one year on: Has anything changed in North Kensington?

Jun 14 2018

Before last year’s horrific fire at Grenfell Tower, North Kensington was grappling with the slow but steady gentrification that had been occurring…

A Welcome Walk: Migrants Organise Covers 10km to Support Community Programme

A Welcome Walk: Migrants Organise Covers 10km to Support Community Programme

May 29 2018

We did it! On Monday 21 May, Migrants Organise staff, volunteers, members and supporters traversed 10km across the capital as part of…

Speaking Out: Migrant Communities in Peterborough Unite Against Hate

Speaking Out: Migrant Communities in Peterborough Unite Against Hate

May 23 2018

Over the past few months, a small but significant shift has been taking place amongst migrant communities in Peterborough. People from diverse…

We’re Doing the London Legal Walk – And We Need Your Help to Reach Our Fundraising Target!

We’re Doing the London Legal Walk – And We Need Your Help to Reach Our Fundraising Target!

May 17 2018

On Monday, 21 May, Migrants Organise staff, volunteers, members and supporters will be participating in the London Legal Walk, an annual initiative organised by…

Building Power for a Better Society: Community Organising Against Hate

Building Power for a Better Society: Community Organising Against Hate

May 11 2018

By Sian Drinkwater. I come from a political family where there’s always been a lot of discussion about injustice and inequality in…

‘My Voice, My Vote’: Supporting Political Participation in North Kensington

‘My Voice, My Vote’: Supporting Political Participation in North Kensington

May 02 2018

North Kensington, where Migrants Organise has been based for the past 25 years, is a diverse area with a strong community spirit.…

Amnesty, Not Apology: Regularisation of Immigration Status as the Answer to Hostile Environment

Amnesty, Not Apology: Regularisation of Immigration Status as the Answer to Hostile Environment

Apr 23 2018

Migrants Organise members at a Strangers Into Citizens march. Photo: Beth Crosland. In a free and fair society, amnesty for all migrants…