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,