A new network

Despite the sunny weather, on the 16th March representatives from 18 groups working to support migrants in Brighton gathered at the BMECP to share information about what they do and what is happening in the city. The meeting was inspiring. It turns out that despite the hostility in the media towards migrants, a wide range of projects are taking place in Brighton to make our city a diverse and welcoming place.

Present at the meeting were: Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project (RASP), Marea Granate, Brighton Sol Fed, Stop the March for England, Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group, Rwandan Youth Information Community Organisation (rYico), Brighton Natural Health Centre, Brighton Antifascists, Sussex Interpreting Services, Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS), Corporate Watch, Stop G4S, Refugee Radio, Sailboat Project, Migrant English Project (MEP), Brighton Antiraids Network (BARN), Migrants from Columbia, and Brighton Minority Ethnic Community Partnership (BMECP). Band Bazi, Mosaic and Brighton Voices in Exile were there in spirit sending info but not people. If you want to know more about any of the projects write to us, brigmigsol@riseup.net, or do a web search. If you know of other groups who we might have missed, then do inform us.

The meeting was productive. In the short term, on 27th April Brighton is facing another visit from the not very friendly far right as they ‘march for England’. We mooted the possibility of marching through the city on the same day under a ‘migrants welcome here’ banner. In the medium term the new immigration bill will make life harder for migrants whilst funding cuts have already made life harder for groups supporting migrants.

We set up a new network, brightonmigrantnetwork@lists.riseup.net, to share information, resources and coordinate activities. Send us an email if you would like to join it. We hope that the network will be useful in mitigating the worst excesses of the new bill, and will allow us to coordinate fundraising efforts. BMECP are leading the way in making Brighton and Hove a city of sanctuary and that is another project we can all get behind. In the long term, who knows? But, hopefully we will be able to buck the isolationist trend and make our city a place that anyone can call home.

For information or to join our mailing list, write to brimigsol@riseup.net

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