Here to Stay, Here to Fight – Home Office protest for Migrants’ Rights Day

International Migrants’ Day on Thursday 18 December happened only two days after G4S guards were acquitted of the murder of Jimmy Mubenga. Sophie Williams of DocsNotCops reports from a protest outside the Home Office.

Photo: Steve Eason

Photo: Steve Eason

This year’s Migrants Right’s Day saw scores of demonstrators take to the streets outside the Home Office. Called by NUS International and Black Students Campaigns, London Black Revs and DocsNotCops, the protest drew in campaigners and activists from many different organisations and struggles.

The crowd chanted “Justice for Jimmy Mubenga”, the political refugee killed by G4S guards during his deportation in 2010. The guards were acquitted this manslaughter this week – showing the state’s indifference to migrants’ lives. But in the Ferguson movement across the US, and protests here in London, people are organising against the racism and injustice in the system, and in maintaining borders. “They are scared of us – you don’t lock up or kill something unless you are afraid of it” said one woman from Movement for Justice by Any Means Possible.

This followed a previous demonstration organised by NUS International Students Campaign and DocsNotCops on International Students Day in November, against the introduction of charges for migrants to access the NHS under new immigration legislation.

Photo: Steve Eason

Photo: Steve Eason

“International students line universities’ pockets – but you treat us like we’re worthless.” Shreya Paudel, NUS International Students Campaign

Photo: Steve Eason

Photo: Steve Eason

“We owe you nothing. Migrants are blamed for everything, even congestion.” London Black Revs Speaker

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“Migrants are not weak, we are strong”. Contributions were made from many groups and individuals, including All African Women’s Group, Zita Holbourne, Federation of Student Islamic Societies, Justice for Sanaz Campaign, NUS Wales President, Young Greens and the Syrian Solidarity Campaign.

Photo: Paul Mattsson

Photo: Paul Mattsson

The march moved on to the G4S headquarters on Victoria Street – “No nations, no borders!”

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