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Alternative Refugee Week

 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:25 am    Post subject: Alternative Refugee Week Reply with quote

from IndyMedia: In an attempt to rejuvenate the watered-down offical Refugee Week, with the more serious issues regarding asylum and immigration often being muffled or overlooked, many grassrooots groups throughout the country organised alternative events and actions during and around the Week (19-25 June) to bring these issues to the fore.

On the main day (17 June) of Celebrating Sanctuary, Birmingham's version of Refugee Week, Birmingham NoBorders distributed leaflets exposing The Angel Group, the housing providers who provide "core funding" for the event, and criticising Celebrating Sanctuary for, among other things, being "funded by such dodgy asylum profiteers." On 20th June, the Birmingham Anti-Racist Campaign (ARC) held a vigil in the grounds of St. Philip's Cathedral in Birmingham to commemorate asylum seekers who took their own lives while awaiting the Home Office's decision or incarcerated in detention centres. June 30th saw a day of NoBorders events, starting with the monthly picket of the immigration reporting centre in Solihull, followed by screenings and a Party Without Borders benefit gig in the evening.

Similarly, Leeds Noborders marked the Week by organising a series of activities, including a demonstration outside Waterside reporting centre, which forced the Home Office to contact asylum seekers beforehand and tell them not to report that day; an evening of film and food at the Common Place as well as leafleting hundres in Leeds city centre.

June 22th was a national day of action against reporting centres, called by Newcastle-based Tyneside Community Action for Refugees, who stageded a noise demonstration outside North Shields reporting centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There were similar demos outside reporting centres in Leeds, London and Manchester. In London, about 20 people from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, All-African Women's Group, the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns and others demonstrated outside the Communications House in central London, where most people who walk past have no idea what the building is. On 1st July there was another picket at the same place organised by London No Borders. In Manchester, the North West Asylum Seekers Defence Group organised a picket of Dallas Court. They had also held a day of action, with stalls and leaflets, on Market St. in Manchester on 17 June.

On June 24th, a demostration to close down Tinsley House detention centre near Gatwick Airport, called by London Against Detention, was held as part of nation-wide action to highlight the number of deaths in detention centers. This comes at a time when over 100 people are on hungerstrike in Campsfield detention centre near Oxford, and the hungerstrike in Colnbrook detention centre, near Heathrow, is still ongoing since 8 April, 2006.

Other events included an evening to welcome refugees at the Community Base in Brighton on 19th June and a social evening of Nigerian food and music at The Basement in Manchester on the 25th, organised by Defend Eucharia and Timeyi Campaign.



Links: NoBorders UK communication channels | National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns | IndyMedia
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