60+ Migrant groups stage nationwide week of action to demand justice: “We’ve had enough! End the Hostile Environment”
- As Boris Johnson and Priti Patel rush through their inhumane Rwanda deportation plan, over 60+ migrant groups and allies are mobilising for a Week of Action (June 13-19th) demanding an end to the Hostile Environment
- Thousands are expected to take action at more than 40 actions in 11 cities and towns. Actions include demos and direct action demanding an end to the Rwanda Plan, as well as stalls, art exhibitions, film screenings, public lectures, trainings and community gatherings in an act of solidarity and grassroots resistance
- This year marks 10 years since Theresa May announced the creation of a ‘Hostile Environment’- a “cruel plan” to make life unbearable for migrants and refugees. The Nationality and Borders Act, which received Royal Assent in April 2022 and dramatically expanded Hostile Environment policies
- Research has shown that these policies force people into destitution, restrict access to healthcare and housing, and contribute to racism and discrimination(1).
Over the course of the last decade, migrant communities have faced an increasingly restrictive system which has embedded immigration controls across society, including into education, housing, and healthcare.
The Week of Action is organised by Solidarity Knows No Borders – a network of 60+ migrant organisations and solidarity groups who are calling for the ‘end of the Hostile Environment’ amidst renewed attacks by the Home Office on migrant and refugee communities. The network maintains that the UK immigration system is ‘violent by design’ and working as intended. They are calling for wholescale system change and demanding a humane approach to immigration, based on the values of dignity, justice, solidarity and welcome.
Actions will take place online and in cities across England including Brighton, Birmingham, Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester, Halifax, Hastings, Wakefield and London. Details of the actions are available to download(2).
Zrinka Bralo, CEO of Migrants Organise says:
“We have had enough. The Nationality and Borders Act and the Rwanda plan is the latest cruel expansion of the Hostile Environment. This year marks ten years since the Hostile Environment was embedded into policy, building on a colonial legacy of state racism to criminalise migrants and deny us our dignity and freedom.
But the state’s legacy of violence is matched by our legacy of resistance. We know that when we take action together, a better world is possible. We need every person who believes in dignity and justice to take action now- there can be no bystanders!”
Loraine Masiya Mponela, Chairperson of Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG) says:
“It’s shocking that our political leaders have chosen to not listen to us again. They instead have continued to advance with their hostile policies. They have instilled fear and uncertainty again and again. They have no idea what it feels like to live in fear day and night for years on end thinking that every footstep or knock on the door symbolises your forced return to the place you ran away from. We will continue to fight against these injustices until we’ve won”
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Notes to Editors
- More about the impact of the Hostile Environment https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/access-denied
- List of actions (Solidarity Knows No Borders Website): https://firmcharter.org.uk/week-of-action/
About Solidarity Knows No Borders
Solidarity Knows No Borders (SKNB) is a community of 60+ migrant organisations and groups working in solidarity, to end hostility and racism against migrants and refugees. Together we organise for a world where everyone can live in dignity and have access to justice.
The network includes: Migrants Organise, South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG), Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG), The Refugee Buddy Project, Leeds Anti Raids Action, Voice of Domestic Workers, Women Seeking Asylum Together Manchester (WAST), Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, These Walls Must Fall, Right to Remain, Patients Not Passports, Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), Medact, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and more