[noborders-brum] Minutes of Birmingham NoBorders meeting - 11.5.2006

Shiar shiar at riseup.net
Mon May 15 02:26:59 UTC 2006

Minutes of Birmingham NoBorders meeting - 11.5.2006

1. Solihull demo on 26th May

Following last month’s demo
it was proposed to make it a regular event, on the last Friday of every
month. Birmingham Anti-Racist Campaign (ARC), who had organised a similar
demo last November (http://www.asirt.org.uk/news/iraqis2.htm), have
expressed their willingness to be onboard.

Shiar is to do a new leaflet, similar to the one we had last time. Nellie
have arranged to put it up in various places such as the Refugee Council,
hostels etc. Alex is gonna do some placards with slogans like: “asylum
rights are human rights”, “Stop the destitution of asylum seekers”,
“Defiance not compliance” etc. Would be nice also to have some chalk.
People are encouraged to bring whistles, pots, pans and any noise-making
stuff. Shouldn’t also forget to bring some sticky tape or anything to hold
the banners in place.

Last demo had a focus point (the hunger strike), so it would be good to
have something like that each time. For this one, we can still read out
some updates on the situation in Colnbrook, but it was agreed that the
main theme would be non-compliance.

For future demos, we can have yellow shirts (like those worn by
immigration officers) and do some creative stuff there. Also to widen the
network of participants, especially uni students.

2. Vouchers

As you probably already know, asylum seekers on Section 4 support get
vouchers instead of cash. These are only valid in designated chains and no
change is given. A good way of helping them overcome this demeaning and
discriminatory scheme is to exchange vouchers for cash with “normal
people”. We’ve already been doing that with a few asylum seekers, but we
need more people willing to take vouchers.

Last Saturday a £50 worth of vouchers was exchanged at the Food not Bombs.
That was really good, but we need to keep that up. A good way of doing
that is to get asylum seekers with vouchers to come down themselves and
interact with people. We also need a leaflet (Shiar to do that over the
weekend). There’s gonna be a feature up on Indymedia about this soon.

3. Refugee week

Which is gonna be soon, in June. Although a good opportunity for refugees
and asylum seekers to reach out and make their voices heard, there are a
lot of issues and problems surrounding it. For example, it’s partly funded
by the Angel group, which’s one of UK’s biggest asylum housing providers
known for evicting people, bad conditions etc; any serious political stuff
is suppressed or compromised etc. etc. So, it would be good to do some
positive stuff in order to politicise it more and highlight the important
issues. Some of the suggestions were:
- Write a critique of the Refugee Week. A proposed title was: “Smile for
the week and to hell with you for the rest of the year”;
- Do a leaflet to be distributed during the week;
- Write a letter to Celebrating Sanctuary (who orgnaise the event) about
the Angel funding (Alex to do this next week).

There is also gonna be the Refugee Sleep-out, organised by ARC. We, as
NoBorders, could do some screenings (which’s what Indymedia did last year)
– apart from participating, of course ;-)

4. Magical Mistry Tour

We’re gonna do a “tour” of the border regime during the week. It has been
done before in Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield and elsewhere, and has
proven very successful, as an action, in many respects
(http://makebordershistory.org/tour.php). Some of the “tourist
attractions” on the list are: the Council, the Refugee Council, British
Airways, Job Centre, Registry Office, Tesco, Labour Club etc. A complete
list will be posted soon. We need to do a map/leaflet.

5. Fundraiser:

Finally :-) we’ve agreed to do one on Friday, 30 June (at the end of the
Refugee Week that is), under the slogan “Party Without Borders”. We still
need to sort out the venue (Skate Park? Squat?) and do some flyers.


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