Welcome to the second 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.
Our September film screening event focused on Syria. We screened a series of short films and film clips showing some of the history behind the initially peaceful protests and calls for revolution in the spring of 2011 and aspects of the situation today – a bloody civil war, the threat of ISIS, the refugee situation in neighboring countries and how the UK and Europe are responding to the crisis. Notes and links to the films will be available from our website shortly: http://brightonmigrantsolidarity.noblogs.org.
We hosted a sell-out gourmet fundraising vegan roast dinner on September 28th, raising money for both BMS and our activist friends over in Morocco, working to support migrants on the ground at one of Europe’s most violent borders.
Friends from the Sussex Kurdish Community recently staged a four day hunger strike in Brighton’s Old Steine Gardens to raise awareness about the current situation in Rojava (Syria). The hunger strike culminated in a lively demonstration, marching from Old Steine to Hove Town Hall.
Brighton Migrant Solidarity is in solidarity with the Kurdish people in Brighton and in Kurdistan. We wish to offer our continuing support to the Sussex Kurdish Community and invite people wanting a better understanding of the situation to attend our upcoming Kurdistan and Kurdish Struggles Film night (see below).
Various members of BMS have been hosting people who have been shafted by the immigration system and are now homeless. We are working towards setting up a community hosting scheme similar to what our friends over in Cardiff Migrant Solidarity have set up. We are hoping to work with BVIE who already have a small local network of people who can provide short-term accommodation to destitute migrants. We welcome anyone who may at any time be able to provide such short-term accommodation to people in their homes to contact us. No specific time commitment necessary.
We are working with friends from the Migrant English Project to set up a literacy project to support a woman living in Brighton who has very low literacy and learning difficulties. The idea is to give daily classes to create continuity and better support her learning ability.
Supporting Asylum Seekers
Members of BMS recently went to London to support a young asylum seeker in his immigration tribunal. Although he has been living in the UK for several years after arriving as an unaccompanied minor and his home is now here, this person is facing deportation to Afghanistan. The purpose of our support was to show the immigration judge that he has friends and a support network here in the UK. The tribunal was adjourned.
Calais Migrant Solidarity
Activists from BMS and Brighton Anti-Fascists took a van full of donated food (thanks Infinity!), tents, warm sleeping bags, clothes and bicycle repair equipment (thanks Cranks!) to Calais, where activists continue to support an estimated 1,500 people on the wrong end of Europe’s increasingly draconian border regime. Police repression, a shortage of supplies and a surge in far-right violence are making the situation increasingly harsh in Calais.
Members of far right groups recent held a small but extremely racist demonstration in Dover, ostensibly demonstrating on behalf of “the truckers”, but holding mostly banners with National Front, BNP, Nazi and far-right symbols on them. BMS wrote to the United Road Transport Union to ask them to publicly distance themselves from this protest. We have so far received no response. We will continue to monitor far-right activity in both Dover and Calais. [Vice News report]
Detention Forum is doing a twitter tour of the immigration detention estate and would like people to support it.
Retweet Unlocking Detention tweets – we need these carefully tailored messages to go as far and wide as possible. You don’t have to be on Twitter at the same time as us to do this – you can just look at the @DetentionForum timeline, or search for #unlocked, or even more simple, go to the Unlocked website and retweet the messages in the Twitter column
Brighton Migrant Solidarity Monthly Film-Screening
Monday 20th October, 7-9pm
an information and discussion evening about
Kurdistan & Kurdish Struggles
A series of short films, talks by people from the region and a chance for discussion.
The Cowley Club, 12 London Road, Brighton
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.