Migration and NoBorder news.
See also UK Indymedia - Migration
In March 2007 the Home Office published "Enforcing the Rules": stating that its purpose was to ensure that for people seeking asylum, life "becomes ever more uncomfortable and constrained until they leave or are removed." From October this year they have stepped their efforts to make life hard for asylum seekers (and perhaps win some votes from the most ignorant and racist parts of the electorate). In particular: cutting asylum benefits to £5 a day for asylum seekers over 25; attempting (disastrously) to deport people to Baghdad, claiming that it is "safe" (one of the people on the demo had lost a friend to car bomb in Baghdad weeks before); making the process of claiming asylum even more of maze that it already is and announcing their intention to forcibly deport people to Zimbabwe by claiming there were "positive changes" there.
Sheffield's Zimbabwean community felt this attack on them should be resisted. They fled Zimbabwe to find safety here and there is no less danger in Zimbabwe now than before the latest "Unity" Government. Initiated by them and backed by the South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) we decided to speak out against this latest stepping up of the Government's war against asylum seekers. So 100-120 people demonstrated outside the Town Hall: asylum seekers from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Iraq, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Chechnia, Uzbekistan and Sudan joined SYMAAG, Sheffield and Barnsley Trades Councils, ASSIST, No Borders, CDAS, Sheffield Green Party, the Bishop of Sheffield and council leader Paul Scriven to show our opposition. As well as speeches there was dancing from members of the Zimbabwean group. The demonstration received coverage from Radio Sheffield, Sheffield Live and The Star and passers-by took 200 leaflets explaining why we were protesting. We left, cold but proud that we stood up for asylum rights in our city.
Next SYMAAG meeting: Monday 7th December 7pm at Scotia Works, Leadmill Road, Sheffield S1 4SE
The "Dignity Not Detention" 3 day march on Lindholme started on Friday 26th October with a demonstration outside the Home Office in Sheffield, and a march, via the Town Hall [photos] to Ellesmere Green, Burngreave [photos]. They stayed the night in Rotherham and spent Saturday marching to Doncaster. On Sunday 28th the march arrived at Lindholme where about 70 people demonstrated solidarity with detainees and called for the centre to be shut down.
An international campaign to prevent the UK government deporting Pegah Emambakhsh to Iran, where she fears persecution, for being a lesbian, has so far succeeded in getting her deportation delayed.
Pegah sought asylum in the UK in 2005, her claim failed despite appeals, and she was arrested in Sheffield on Monday 13th August and is being detained in Yarlswood detention centre.
Her case has been taken up by the Iranian Queer Organization, who have said: "If she is going to be returned to Iran, there is much of possibility that she, due to her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran, will be sentenced to death, or, in a most optimistic view, be prosecuted and tortured in some of the ways that are all common among Iran's religious officials when having made the decision to chastise the so called 'corrupted' citizens.".
The global anti-deportation campaign, which has included approaches to the British ambassador in Rome and the Deputy Consul General in San Francisco has resulted in her case getting coverage in the local media, the Iranian media and the gay press [ 1 | 2 ] around the world. However there has been no coverage of her case in the mainstream media in the UK but it has made the TV news been in and la Repubblica in Italy.Pegah now has excellent legal representation and support from Outrage!. Suggestions of ways to protest against her deportation include contacting the Home Office and signing a petition.
Articles: Urgent help needed to save the life of Pegah Emambakhsh | Appeal for the life of Pegah Emambakhsh | Pegah Emambakhsh Must Stay | British Ambassador promises: "We will not deport Pegah Emambakhsh" | Who wants Pegah’s Blood? | Urgent! - Save Pegah From Death. Don't Alow That Pegah Goes Up On The Airplane | Lesbian facing Deportation to Iran needs your Support | URGENT: Don't Deport Pegah Emambakhsh
On 21st April 2007, protestors marched through the city centre to oppose the Government proposals to cut the provisions of free ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes.
At the moment, some ESOL classes are free to those on benefits, and can be accessed by asylum seekers and newly arrived refugees and others, such as migrant workers, who have an immediate need to begin learning English in order to manage their daily life-not to mention dealing with the bureaucracy of the Home Office, JobCentre, and other organisations.
Food Not Bombs had a stall in Bakers Pool and fed many of the protestors.
The first Social Forum on African soil took place in January in Bamako, Mali [Photos | Video]. Around 10,000 activists from Africa and Europe mainly discussed issues of global trade justice, migration and neo-colonialism during the four-day get-together. A large-scale demonstration marked the opening the WSF. The Youth Camp and some media activists participated with a soundsystem bus. Slight troubles were caused by clashes between Moroccan and Western Saharian nationalists at the end of the ceremony [Video].
Before this the stadium witnessed the opening talks of Malian associations, remembering the quest of WSF to tackle the poverty in the world and create solidarity among the people.
"We have to talk about why our young people dreams are all about leaving Africa, why do they want to go to Europe and prefer the risk to die?"
Migration related workshops played a major role in the WSF and several statements were published about the pressing issue.
On 12th January 2006, after two well attended protests in Sheffield on the 7th [ photos: 1 | 2 ] and 11th January Mohammed Arrian was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK with his family. It is expected that he will be released from Dover Immigration Removal Centre today (13th January) and return to his friends and family in Sheffield, he was scheduled to be deported to Afghanistan on 17th January.
Mohammed Arrian has been living in Sheffield for the last three years, he fled Afghanistan 12 years ago, he feared for his life in Afghanistan — his father was murdered there and the rest of his family who live in Sheffield had already been granted indefinite leave to remain.
Earlier coverage: Sheffield People Campaign Against the Deportation of Mohammad Arrian.
Mohammad Arrian, who has been living in Sheffield for the last three years, is scheduled to be deported back to Afghanistan on 17th January despite concerns that his life is danger if he returns. Twelve years ago Mohammad fled from Afghanistan, initially to Iran. Prior to fleeing Afghanistan Mohammad had spoken out against the regime then in power and his father was murdered for working for a previous Government. Mohammad believes that the Warlords currently in power in Afghanistan would kill him if they knew he had returned. Mohammad is currently being detained in Dover Immigration Removal Centre awaiting deportation. However, while Afghanistan has been deemed safe for Mohammed's return, the rest of his close-knit family in Sheffield have been granted protection and indefinite leave to remain in the country because of safety concerns about returning.
On Saturday 7th January, family, friends, colleagues and supporters of Mohammad Arrian assembled outside Sheffield Town Hall to express their belief that Mohammad is in grave danger if he returns to Afghanistan and to demonstrate their support for his right to asylum and to stay with his family in Sheffield. [Photos: 1 | 2] Before this family and supporters had sent a petition of 400 signatures to the Home Office to demand a rethink on the decision. There are other demonstrations planned ahead of the rapidly-approaching deportation date.
Over 500 marched in Bolton on Saturday in solidarity with the Sukula family, against Section 9 of the 2004 Asylum & Immigration Act and for an end to all immigration controls.
The Sukula family is one among many who after the proposed introduction of Section 9 is threatened to be separated and have their children taken into care. Their pledge for asylum was rejected and they do not receive any benefits. Bolton City Council still refuses the implementation of Section 9, currently tested in a few northern councils which would oblige them to take the kids of the Sukula family into care on the grounds that their parents cannot support them. The council argues that this would violate Section 20 of the 1989 Children Act and the cost of it would be higher than continuing paying benefits to the family. The support of the Sukula family and the opposition against Section 9 brought together groups and unions from various northern cities and towns. Two unions decided in a consensus vote of their members to refuse to participate in implementing Section 9. Speakers reminded the crowd of the importance to build local and regional networks of solidarity and resistance aganist the racist policies of the British and EU governments.
UK Indymedia feature: Oct 1st: Migrants and Supporters Protest Against Deportations
The 28th August saw the Government's plans come into being that allows for the forced deportation of Iraqi Kurds to Iraq, based on the claim that it is now safe for return.
Following a meeting of local Kurdish and Yemeni communities, protests against this policy of forced deportations were organised in Sheffield by the Campaign Against Detention and Deportation of Iraqis.
It was agreed at the meeting to hold demonstrations every Saturday at 2pm in the Peace Gardens. Over 100 people turned out for the first demonstration on August 27th.
The Sheffield No Borders group is hosting a film night and benefit gig on Friday 9th September. A film about the European joint efforts to create a system of detention centres and the resistance against it will be shown, along with clips from no border actions in Scotland at the G8 summit this summer. Funds raised will go to support the Magical Mystery Tour action which seeks to highlight to people in Sheffield the government agencies and private companies involved with (and profiteering from) asylum seekers and migrants, and their subsequent detention and deportation.
Naseh Ghafor a resident of Burngreave, Sheffield, was on hunger strike for six weeks from the 8th July to oppose his deportation to Iraq. He had sewn up his lips and was refusing medical attention. He has now removed the stitches from his mouth and stopped his hunger strike.
He believes he will be killed if he is deported to Iraq. His father and brother were killed there and his sister and mother are missing. There is more detailed background information on the NCADC web site. Local and national politicians are offering no hope to Naseh.
Local activists had organised a 24 hour rota to watch over Naseh while he was on hunger strike. Direct action, in the form of road blockades resulted in coverage in the local media and there was a demonstration from Burngreave into the centre of Sheffield on 21st August.
Daily vigil: 5pm, every day, on Ellesmere Green (top of Spital Hill) for Naseh Ghafor's right to live, stay and work in this country.
Saturday 21st August: Don't Let Naseh Die - Demonstration, from Ellesmere Green, Burngreave to Sheffield Town Hall | Photos: .
17th August: Milton House protest
12th August: Burngreave Road protest [video] | [photos]
7th August: Burngreave Road was blocked in a spontaneous protest by friends and supporters of Naseh for nearly an hour [ photos: 1 | 2 ] after a protest at Chatsworth where Sheffield MP David Blunkett was opening a scent garden.
Public sector cuts
April 2006 No Borders Days of Action
Art and Activism Caravan 2006
Climate Camp 2006
French CPE uprising 2006
G8 Russia 2006
Lebanon War 2006
March 18 Anti War Protest
Refugee Week 2006
Transnational Day of Action Against Migration Controls
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