As with all non-essential gatherings our ‘Asylum Seeker Rights’ everyday activism event had to be postponed. In these strange and isolated days we are not powerless, these could be times of learning, reflecting, preparing and even taking some small actions on important topics. So here is the workshop we had planned in blog form, although we can’t be together we hope it will help you draw nearer those in our asylum system today in Leeds and your own cities.
‘Lift the Ban’ is the campaign for those seeking asylum in the UK to be allowed to work as they go through the system. The UK has strict laws on this, stricter than many other countries and there are good arguments for why these individuals should be allowed to work, especially as it can take years to gain asylum.
Mary from Asylum Matters has shared a couple of videos which we would have shown at the event. This one shows the powerful stories of people living in our asylum system and why being allowed to work would be so important to them:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ644lY8ItU&w=560&h=315]
Here is a video of all the arguments you could need as to why lifting the ban is so important in 60 seconds:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwUQlZ2gi6w&w=560&h=315]
At our everyday activism events we encourage reflection alongside learning and action. So I invite you to write down:
-the reasons why work is or has been important to you or those you know
-the kind of welcome you would like to receive if you were an asylum seeker coming to a new country
We would usually have a craft activity but I appreciate this is not the time when we will can go out and browse the shelves of Hobby Craft so I suggest writing a letter to your MP on this topic, perhaps sharing some of your reflections on the above. Find out more about this on page 6 of this pack. And use the parliamentary briefing and Draft Letter to help you. Good luck!
Thank you for taking part in our workshop in a blog, please let us know how you found it. We hope to run this as a workshop at some point later this year so keep an eye on our website and social media.
“When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of them. Love them like one of your own.”
If you would like more information about this topic please visit:
Or for a Christian perspective the JPIT website