A recent fortnight provides a snapshot of the work Right to Remain does in communities across the UK.
Starting in Manchester, we participated in the lively and important discussions around the theme of “Beyond the ‘Good Immigrant'”. Hosted by the Migrant Rights Network, a range of individuals and groups came together to discuss the follies in the ‘good immigrant’ narrative and to promote a rights based approach to immigration.
— Right to Remain (@Right_to_Remain) November 27, 2017
The mood of pro-migrant stance in Manchester was further evidenced a few days later, when the City Council became the first local authority in Britain to pass a motion against immigration detention and endorse the These Walls Must Fall campaign.
— Right to Remain (@Right_to_Remain) November 29, 2017
Later that week in Liverpool, the amazing Migrant Artists Mutual Aid (MaMa) launched their brilliant ‘Strategies for Survival, Recipes for Resistance’ book. Containing stories, songs, and the famous ‘1000 Chapatis Challenge’ recipe, the book sales are to raise funds for the group’s legal fund, ensuring all women have representation at immigration tribunals. (Get your copy of the book here!).
Launch of 'Strategies for Survival, Recipes for Resistance' – thanks to all who came! Info on ordering coming soon, all proceeds go to Migrant Artists Mutual Aid to support women out of #detention @Setherfree @DrMonishBhatia @Safety4Sisters pic.twitter.com/qdFMNi7wJs
— Victoria Canning (@Vicky_Canning) November 30, 2017
In Newcastle we spent a snowy night talking with students, activists and experts-by-experience about local action against detention.
There were ideas around university motions, creative writing competitions on the theme of detention for local schools to take part in, information stalls at local libraries, and lots of thought about how to connect with communities and reach those who may know nothing at all about this inhuman practice done by their government, using their taxes.
— Right to Remain (@Right_to_Remain) November 30, 2017
In Swansea we delivered training on ‘fresh claims‘ to a local group navigating the asylum process. Swansea has almost no immigration solicitors in the city (most people travel to Cardiff, an hour away by train) and so a lot of people are trying to get by on their own – or together in groups such as this.
The key point that came up was the importance of taking control over your own claim, and fighting your own corner. People said how friends told them to wait, that contacting the Home Office for updates would go against you. Yet in any city, in it’s vital to be active in the progress of your claim.
As in the words of our friend Patricia: “it’s your life you’re are going to save”.