English for speakers of other languages ‘Defend ESOL’ rally in Nottingham – report and photos

Cartoon picture of people on a globe speaking different languages - ESOL campaignAt 3.30pm on Thursday 24th March 2011 staff and students of courses for ‘English for speakers of other languages’ gathered in the Old Market Square, Nottingham for a protest rally against the cutting of ESOL funding, along with many supporters including those in the University and College Unions who were on strike the same day.

Full story and photos: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1074
Petition and more information about the campaign: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/defend-esol.html
See also, Notts Save Our Services articles on education cuts: http://nottssos.org.uk/tag/education/

Hicham Yezza and the new issue of Ceasefire

On August 12th Hicham Yezza was released from HMP High Down after more than 5 months in prison following a year-long ordeal of first being arrested at his workplace University of Nottingham as part of a terrorist scare fiasco, subsequently incarcerated and moved around various detention centres facing immediate deportation but managing to prevent this and to take his case to court in spite of vigorous opposition from the Home Office, then being found guilty of a criminal charge and imprisoned again.

More details about his case and welcome release are forthcoming. In the meantime, his campaign website carries details of the new issue of Ceasefire, the magazine of Nottingham Student Peace Movement he edited whilst at the University. This one is a special 68-page limited edition edited in Cell 213, HMP Canterbury.

Hicham is due to speak at this weekend’s Beyond Borders event in Nottingham.

Two events in Nottingham this week: 21st & 24th July

‘Tuesday Night Project’ Barbecue followed by No Borders meeting: Tuesday 21st July from 6pm at Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum (Square Centre).

Amdani Juma support rally in the Market Square on Friday 24th July at 5.15pm. Click on Read More for the latest Press Release with background to Amdani’s campaign to stay in Nottingham.
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Notts Indymedia ‘Riseup Radio’ highlights refugee activism by local students

An all new show on Riseup Radio from Notts Indymedia is provided by the Nottingham Student Peace Movement (based at University of Nottingham). It covers some of the recent activism by students in Nottingham and plays music from student bands. The show includes the lowdown on the Say No to Racism and Free Hich campaigns, an interview with STAR (Student Action for Refugees), and talk to student protestors about E-ON and the Full Circle demo, plus an interview about climate camp. Listen to the internet audio show at: http://riseupradio.wordpress.com/the-student-show/
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Two Nottingham events: ‘Creating Harmony’ party @ The Square Centre (Sat 6th Dec) & Small World Cinema @ The Sumac Centre (Wed 10th Dec)

Two Nottingham events: 'Creating Harmony' party @ The Square Centre (Sat 6th Dec) & Small World Cinema @ The Sumac Centre (Wed 10th Dec) Two Nottingham events: 'Creating Harmony' party @ The Square Centre (Sat 6th Dec) & Small World Cinema @ The Sumac Centre (Wed 10th Dec) The Nottingham STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Group is holding a party Creating Harmony at The Square Centre, Alfred Street North, this Saturday 6th December, from 4pm to 11pm. The party will feature drums, dance, poetry and food. If coming please bring some food to share. All welcome.

Then, on Wednesday 10th December, the next Small World Cinema event will take place at The Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, Nottingham, starting at 7pm. The film night will be hosted by Adam and Ayman from NNRF’s Food Group and this month’s film will be about Darfur (Sudan). The film will be followed by a discussion on the current situation in Darfur.

Click on posters for full details.
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Independent video of demonstration in support of Hicham Yezza and Academic Freedom

A moving video which speaks for more action: Independent video of the demo – interviews, speechs, march in the rain, support from students & co-workers, phone call with Hich in detention centre, etc.

Hich on mobile phone: “thank you … and hopefully we can all join in another demonstration to celebrate my release … you are a credit to Nottingham, a credit to Nottingham University, and a credit to students and student activism, and community activism”.

Free Hicham Yezza!

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SUCCESSFUL Immigration bail hearings for Hich and Amdani on 16th June 2008 – but campaigning continues

By coincidence the bail hearings of two high-profile Nottingham detainees both took place today via video links from Dover citadel (for Hicham Yezza) and Campsfield in Oxfordshire (for Amdani Juma). These hearings were to allow them to be released from detention while they fight their respective immigration cases. Latest news – after 31 days inside and one deportation flight cancelled, Hich is bailed! (although Home Office tried to make out he should be kept locked up because he has no ‘absence of close ties’ to the UK – clearly nonsense). Amdani’s hearing finished a couple of hours later and he is also bailed (in spite of HO opposition) after 18 days and two cancelled deportation flights. Hoorah!!

See also: Land of no return. Article in Guardian newspaper on Jun 13th 2008 about community anti-deportation campaigns.
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No deportations to Zimbabwe – protest in Nottingham Fri 27th June

No deportations to Zimbabwe - protest in Nottingham Fri 27th JuneA protest NO DEPORTATIONS TO ZIMBABWE has been called by the Nottingham Zimbabwe Community Network on Friday 27th June at 4pm in Nottingham Old Market Square. Come and join it!

Read an Indymedia report following the showing of Zimbabwe film FLAME at the Sumac Centre on 18th June. Also find more NZCN news on the new blog-site:

Refugee Week 2008 events listing (14th ? 22nd June):
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Campaigning continues as Hicham & Amdani remain incarcerated

These are two very different stories, and by no means the only ones in Nottingham or anywhere else in UK that show up the distress caused by state border and immigration policies.

Amdani Juma, refugee advisor and HIV/AIDS professional (and all round wonderful guy from Burundi, under humanitarian protection in Britain for 5 years) has had his deportation on Wednesday delayed, but only until evening of Tuesday 10th June. He has been moved from Lindholme detention centre near Doncaster to Colnbrook removal centre at Heathrow airport. The pressure on him must be insummountable. We must stop his removal. More (including news that Noam Chomsky has signed Amdani’s petition) is at: http://www.nottsrefugeeforum.org.uk/ &
See http://friendsofamdani.wordpress.com/ and sign the e-petition.

Hicham Yezza, Nottingham University employee (and peace activist from Algeria, settled in UK for 13 years) has had his deportation cancelled pending a judicial review application but he continues to be held in a detention centre in Dover. He has bravely gone to the press about his experience inside and his resistance to constantly being moved from one detention centre to another (click here to hear MP3 of him speaking). More at:

Continued campaigning on these two high profile cases is vitally important, and we can only hope this results in Amdani and Hicham coming back to Nottingham soon, but let’s not kid ourselves that there are not thousands of others who are in need of support. Huge numbers (around 20,000) forced deportations take place a year which destroy livelihoods made or remade here in Britain. The situation in detention (or so-called ‘removal’) centres is horrific and punative. People are subjected to terrifying dawn raids by the immigration police. After periods of detention sometimes of many years, our neighbours are being transported to frightening and uncertain futures and for some, to their graves. Amdani and Hicham know this as much as anyone.

Britain seems like a strange place at the moment. Whilst anti-immigrant hysteria continues in the press and for political expediency, online projects like Moving Here celebrate and also recognise the hopes, experiences and sacrifices of voluntary migrants like Hicham who choose to live, study and work in Britain. Living projects like City of Sanctuary in Sheffield and our own Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum work towards a long term future for refugees and asylum seekers in our communities. But still this will only reach a minority of those being victimised by government policies which mean even more detention places are being created at this very moment (from 2,600 to 4,000). Therefore, the momentum gained in these excellent high-profile campaigns must be maintained to build a movement against incarceration of any person just because they happen to be born on other soil. We may even be able to take the next step and begin to build a mass movement against the very ideas of nation states and their methods of control.

Find out more about No Borders at our event on 13th June, details at:

Also read: The truth behind the deportation statistics,

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Hicham Yezza refuses to be transported to fifth detention centre

Following the cancellation order on his deportation and despite being unjustly incarcerated for over two weeks, Hicham Yezza has received news that he is to be transported to a fifth detention centre. He released this statement today from Colnbrook immigration removal centre saying, “I am […] refusing to go. I am not a piece of luggage, but a human being and deserve to be treated as such.? Read more on Indymedia:

Also read interview with Hicham and a damning article about the current climate of ‘self-censorship’ in universities in Guardian newspaper today:
Please note Hich is a a respected anti-militarist activist who has been in Nottingham for 13 years.
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