This week Climate Action Scotland members and friends went to London for the Power Beyond Borders camp, learning and taking action for a world without borders.
The culmination of the camp was a day-long rally outside the UK Government Home Office, the department responsible for overseeing the Hostile Environment for migrants.
At the Home Office we heard from speakers from the All African Women’s Group, Women of Colour/Global Women’s Strike, Docs Not Cops, Social Workers Without Borders, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, Black Women’s Rape Action Project, Women Against Rape, Legal Action for Women and End Deportations.
The speakers announced the demands of the World Without Borders coalition:
- An end to detention.
- An independent investigation into claims of rape and other sexual abuse against women in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.
- Immediately stop all deportation charter flights.
- End the hostile environment for asylum seekers, immigrants and refugees.
- Scrap the 1971 Immigration Act, and measures in the 2014 legislation that turn landlords, health professionals and teachers into border guards.
- Violence from guards during deportations must be immediately and thoroughly investigated and those found responsible prosecuted. Jimmy Mubenga and others killed by guards need justice, and will not be forgotten.
- Restore legal aid including for family and private life human rights claims.
- Restore full rights to family reunion with children whose family were forced to leave behind when they fled to the UK.
- Restore the rights of Windrush citizens and their descendants: pay compensation and bring back to the UK those deported who want to return.
- Recognition of rape as torture and therefore grounds for asylum.
- An official investigation into what happens to people who are deported.
- End fees for NHS medical treatment and care for all.
- An end to the apartheid system of benefits, healthcare and housing for asylum seekers where people are forced to survive on 50% of poverty line benefits and suffer slum housing and forced dispersal.
- The right to waged work for people seeking asylum.
- An end to the deliberate policy of destitution for asylum seekers whose cases have been refused.
- Discipline and/or sack immigration officials, lawyers and judges who are shown to be sexist, racist, hostile or discriminatory in other ways.
- Support for the self-help activities of asylum seekers. No collaboration by voluntary organisations and charities in so-called voluntary returns (which are forced deportations by another name) and in providing privatised asylum services.
(You can read more about these demands in the Power Beyond Borders programme.)
Earlier that day activists, including CAS members, shut down operations at Hallmark coaches, a company contracted by the Home Office to transport people to airports where they are forcibly removed prior to being deported.
Further actions against the Hostile Environment will be taking place in October.
At the camp we learned about migrant and climate justice including workshops on detention centres, the prison system, airport expansion, direct action skills, new gas infrastructure, anti-immigration raids, biomass and coal, cultural appropriation, fracking, and loads of other stuff.
We have plenty to do to follow-through on our learning, to make new connections, and find out how we can take it all forward in Scotland. We hope to have more to share about this soon.