Socialist Worker

Solidarity with refugees

Issue No. 2044

Over 700 people crammed into a meeting last week in Birmingham to discuss defending people’s right to stay in Britain.

The event was organised by Birmingham Citizens, a diverse alliance of over 20 community groups including churches, mosques, gurdwaras, schools, and trade unions.

Speakers included “failed” asylum seekers who had been made destitute or who were imprisoned because of their immigration status.

The meeting was transformed by inspiring stories of how local people had rallied together to stop deportations and raise thousands of pounds for legal costs for asylum seekers.

A motion was passed unanimously by the meeting asking the government to make “strangers into citizens”, giving the opportunity for thousands of “illegal” immigrants to stay and work in Britain.

Salman Mirza from Asirt, a local charity which represents asylum seekers, said, “This was a meeting of hope.

“After all the smears against asylum seekers, people see through the lies and stand up and say they are welcome here!”

Seven demonstrations were to take place this week across Britain in defence of the rights of Congolese refugees.

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Article information

Sat 31 Mar 2007, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2044
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