On the 16th of June, we joined the ‘Solidarity knows no Borders Network’s call for a nation-wide action week against the Hostile Environment which was declared ten years ago. Subsequent immigration acts cemented ever increasing harsh and racist policies and measures against migrant communities in the UK.
We took the day as an opportunity to…
(a) raise awareness about the hostile environment and its impacts on the communities we work with in forms of a panel discussion. Our guest speakers were Dr. Rachel Rosen, associate professor at UCL who spoke about colonial legacies and racism in the British immigration system and every day bordering, Brian Dikoff from Migrant Organise who introduced the FIRM Charter and their vision for a more humane immigration system and fairer routes to settlement, and our local MP Bell Ribeiro Addy who spoke about the connections between poverty, austerity, and discrimination of migrants. The panel was followed by a powerful discussion where some people shared their own experiences of the hostile environment and how effective the hostile policies are in creating fear amongst migrant communities who are scared to approach vital services as a result. We also spoke about how migrants and refugees continuously help and support each other and that is also an important part of fighting the hostile environment. Thank you for the brilliant contribution of our participants and guest speakers.
(b) celebrate the contributions, knowledge, wisdom, creativity and resilience of the communities we work with at SLRA and fight the hostile environment by building a caring environment of joy, care, respect, and kindness. Under the motto of ‘growing roots’ (amidst the hostile environment) we made up our own song and performance on the day, which you can enjoy in our video.
SLRA will continue to draw attention to the violence of the hostile environment and campaign for local change together with Lambeth Citizens. At the heart of our advocacy work are the experiences and voices of our community leaders, find out more about our community engagement program.
Please sign and share the FIRM charter.