SOAS Unison, the University and College Union (UCU) and Stand Up to Racism, have come together to host a meeting calling for politicians and the media to end the demonisation of migrants and refugees.
Taking place in London on 14 March in the Torrington Square headquarters of SOAS, the public event will discuss why migration is not a crime, and how we can put an end the ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy introduced by Theresa May when she was home secretary.
The Windrush scandal highlighted by the Guardian’s investigative journalists has revealed the inhumanity of our government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy. Yet, despite the damage, including death, it has caused to thousands of British citizens from the ‘Windrush generation’, the prime minister has steadfastly refused to apologise for putting it in place.
Detention and deportations are destroying the lives of people that are part of the fabric of our society, and thousands of refugees remain stranded in northern France. Moreover, in the turmoil of Brexit, Theresa May is using the rights of migrants as a bargaining chip.
Added to this, Islamophobic hate crime is continuing to grow, with Muslim women at the sharp end. And there has been a major resurgence of antisemitism across Europe with France reporting a 74 per cent increase in the number of offences against Jews last year and Germany pointing to a surge of more than 60 per cent.
From Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Marine Le Pen in France, to the right wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and Austria’s anti-immigration Freedom party (FPO), racists and fascists are moving off the political margins to centre stage. The threat is huge, but together we can turn the tide.
Speakers include Melanie Strickland, one of the ‘Stanstead 15’ anti-deportation activists who were convicted of a terrorism-related offence for chaining themselves around an immigration removal flight at Stanstead airport, Paru Raman, SOAS Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, and Naima Omar, Stand Up to Racism.
Come along to the Wolfson Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Torrington Square, London WC1H 0XG (Paul Webley Wing, Senate House North Block), 14 March, 7pm, and join in the discussion. It takes place in the run up to the national United Against Fascism and Racism demonstration which is on the following Saturday, 16 March.
Migration is not a crime: end the hostile environment, 7pm, 14 March, SOAS, Torrington Square, London WC1H 0XG (Paul Webley Wing, north block, Senate House )
National anti-racism demonstration, 16 March. Assemble 12 noon, Park Lane London W1, near Dorchester hotel (nearest tube Hyde Park Corner). March to Whitehall