Many of us will have been shocked and saddened during the last few months over news of people dying in the Mediterranean, suffering mistreatment in immigrant detention centres, facing police brutality on the border between Greece and Macedonia, suffocating in a van in Austria or living in desperate conditions on our border in Calais – simply because they are seeking a safe place to live.
It’s time for us to turn these events round and take action to make sure that we are confronting all the pieces that have created this refugee crisis in Europe. This week alone there are two important steps you can take:
- Write your MP and ask them to attend the Parliament debate into Immigration Detention on the 10th of September. An end to detention would not only end the inhumane imprisonment of 1000s of people without them having caused a crime but would also cause a massive shift in the refugee rights debate. You can find who your MP is by going to theyworkforyou.com and use the draft email below.
- Join the Shoreditch Sisters as we take part in the Solidarity with Refugees demonstration on the 12th of September. This demonstration is to put pressure on Theresa May as she prepares to take part in a meeting of the EU’s 28 member states for emergency talks on Europe’s escalating refugee crisis. It is vital that she takes with her the conviction that the British people that she represents are open to helping refugees and that we can’t continue to allow thousands to die trying to reach the EU and their legal right to claim asylum. We will go as a group so even if you haven’t taken part in a demo before come join us. More info and to attend here.
Subject: Important Parliament debate on 10th of September
Dear [MP NAME],
This week on the 10th of September there is an important debate in Parliament about immigration detention, which I would very much like you to attend and advocate from the point of view that private sector run immigrant detention centres should have no place in our asylum and migration system.
I am a member of the Shoreditch Sisters WI group and we have been campaigning against the use of detention centres, most notably Yarl’s Wood detention centre for women, over the past two years, with great media success. Read about it here: https://shoreditchsisterswi.com/tag/cake-bakers-and-trouble-makers/
At the moment, around 2000 women who seek asylum are locked up in Yarl’s Wood detention centre each year. Many of them are survivors of rape and abuse who have already made dangerous journeys to seek safety. Being locked up is traumatic for them, as well as inefficient and expensive for the government.
If you would like more information on the alternatives available for immigrant detention centres, please contact Women for Refugee Women: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to hearing your response.
[YOUR NAME AND POSTCODE]