September 2014 Newsletter
Welcome to the first of our new monthly news bulletins.
Brighton Migrant Solidarity is a grass-roots community and campaign group, focusing on freedom of movement and supporting migrants. Our intention is to build a strong and diverse movement. We warmly welcome people with experience of fleeing conflict or seeking sanctuary to all of our meetings and events.
BMS was formed earlier this year. So far we have focused on building links with other campaign and support groups here in Brighton, as well as being part of a broader Migrant Solidarity Network in the UK, and further afield.
What We Do
Brighton Migrant Network Email List
An email list has been set up to connect activists, NGOs, charities and service providers who work with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers across the Brighton and Hove area. Please feel free to use this list to post relevant events, as well as requests for help across service providers. Examples might be: ‘Where can I get advice about housing asylum seekers in Brighton?’ or ‘Does anyone know how to find low cost immigration advice services in Sussex?’ The list has so far been successful in helping people get access to services such as legal advice and counselling services.
To join the list, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the following web page: https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/brightonmigrantnetwork
Film Screenings and Discussions
Each month we put on a film-screening and discussion evening. Over the past few months we have focused on raising awareness about the situation at Europe’s borders: Calais, Morocco/Spain, Greece and Lampedusa/Italy, as well as some of the issues surrounding migration and the criminalisation of migrants in the UK. Our upcoming film screenings will explore some of the conflicts people have left behind.
Fund-raising and Calais Migrant Solidarity
We raise money and scavenge resources to support migrants in Brighton and migrants in transit. You might have seen some of the news reports coming out of Calais. The situation is bad and getting worse. Who would have known that people don’t magically disappear if you impose strict border controls? At the moment we are fund-raising for Calais Migrant Solidarity and No Borders Morocco. We are also gathering together bike stuff, warm clothes, cooking equipment, tents, sim cards, mobile phones and other useful bits and bobs to send over to Calais in the near future.
Here in Brighton the UK Border Agency (UKBA) have been spending the summer looking for anyone they can lock up or throw out of the country. We have been spending the summer looking for the UKBA and trying to prevent them from completing their draconian task. We have also, in conjunction with Brighton SolFed, been providing information about the limits of the border agency’s power, and your rights with respect to the agency to some of the people most at risk of harassment by the UKBA, namely workers in the hospitality industry. We are hoping to offer some anti-raids training to community groups just as soon as we feel more up to speed on the issues.
Changing the Discourse
We want to start providing positive messages about migrants and countering the xenophobic myths dominant in that which passes for public debate about migration. Three of us are going up tonight to London to join up with the Movement Against Xenophobia, https://movagxen.wordpress.com/. We will be joining their media representation work group. Hopefully will learn a bit more about public relations and be able to help them combat the anti-migrant press. In addition, we are planning to join Brighton SolFed’s Saturday stall in the North Laine to help get the message out there that migration is a human good.
Brighton Migrant Solidarity Monthly Film-Screening, Syria
Tuesday 16th September, 7-9pm
The Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton
Short films, eye-witness reports and discussion about the crisis in Syria.
The civil war in Syria is one of the most complex conflicts in the world today. In the span of five years, Syria went from being the world’s second largest refugee-hosting country, to the world’s second largest refugee-producing country. The UNHCR is calling this “The biggest humanitarian emergency of our era.” How does this affect people in Brighton, and what can we do about it?
“It seems we have left one war to enter another” – Syrian refugee, attempting to enter Europe.
Sunday 28th September, 2-6pm
The Cowley Club, 12, London Road, Brighton
We will be hosting a vegan Sunday roast at the Cowley club. We like to think that our Sunday roasts are superior to many others, partly because we like to put a little bit of pomegranate molasses into the nut roast mixture. Who said vegan food was dull?
Confused? Questions? Suggestions? Want to join us?
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