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This article was first published by Platform.
UK people, are you angry about Trump’s attempts to deport people from the US? Did you perhaps go to the Women’s March, or sign that oddly-worded petition about cancelling Trump’s visit? Well, we’ve got more work to do; join a protest against the #MuslimBan this week, and more importantly, get involved in the work we need to do at home.
Muslim lives, the lives of Black and Brown people, the lives of migrants are under attack in the UK too. Many in these communities are fighting for survival amid racist policing and surveillance, gentrification, violence in prison and mental health institutions.
So, if you joined the protests against Trump, great, but don’t stop there. Let’s take our anger and put it to work. Support, and be led by, those whom racism and islamophobia hit the hardest. Below are some suggestions of things to do, groups and campaigns to support. Feel free to add your own suggestions below or tweet @PlatformLondon or post on the Platform Facebook page.
Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary is fighting to have UK’s racist immigration prisons shut down. We march today, we march tomorrow, and we keep marching to build a new Britain: diverse, integrated and equal. We aim to win. You can come to Surround Yarls Wood demonstration in May, follow Movement for Justice on Twitter and Facebook, and donate.
Look for a local detainee support group (check out SOAS Detainee Support in London) or volunteer through Detention Action. Join an asylum seeker hospitality network and support women’s refugee groups.
Prevent is a racist, islamophobic UK government programme of surveillance billed as “tackling extremism” – in fact obliging teachers, lecturers, social workers to spy on their students and service users, and call the police on Muslim schoolkids for drawings, toys, and spelling mistakes.
If you work in higher education – join ‘Educators Not Informants’ and put up a poster. If you’re in a union, pass a motion against Prevent, (More guidance from UCU here). If you’re at school or in university, write to your teachers, professors, and management using the resources above, and get them to resist Prevent. Check out these other actions you can take, courtesy of NetPol. And here are many more resources, courtesy of Together Against Prevent & Islamic Human Rights Commission.
Last year Byron (the burger chain) took their staff to a training that turned out to be a trap, where immigration officials snatched and detained anyone who they deemed to not have the correct documents on them. The Home Office raids homes, workplaces and even marriage ceremonies every day, and sometimes charters flights to deport people it has detained. You can join a local group who help protect people against these racist attacks.
Here’s what you can do if you spot an immigration raid. You could get involved in the Anti-Raids network. Put pressure on airlines through phone-calls or emails to help stop a person from getting deported, and buy invaluable time for someone’s asylum claim. Check for updates on deportations here, and email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to receive alerts about them.
The Home Office has said that it will “create a hostile environment” for migrant children using data from the obligatory UK school kid census. But parents can refuse to enter their kid’s nationality in the census. Join the boycott here.
Feel free to add your own suggestions below or tweet @PlatformLondon or post on the Platform Facebook page.
Further reading: Ten things you can do to combat racism and xenophobia, a response to #PostReferendumRacism