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Birmingham Indymedia | 14.06.2004 12:33 | Migration | Birmingham

The Anti-Racist Campaign, in combination with the Iranian Refugeee
Association are organising an overnight 'sleep out' from 6.00pm, Monday 14
June, in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral on Colmore Row for Refugee

Iranian Refugees protesting 2 years ago against evictions and dispersal
Iranian Refugees protesting 2 years ago against evictions and dispersal

This event is an initiative of Birmingham asylum seekers and refugees, who
want to highlight the problems of destitution, homelessness, and lack of
access to legal support that they face as a result of government policy.
Participants will spend the entire night in the grounds of Birmingham
Cathedral together with supporters and friends including parishoners from
the Cathedral.

Asylum seekers in Birmingham are also concerned about having their children
removed, arbitrary imprisonment, the months and years many are waiting for a
decision about their status, and the daily incidents of racism. Some local
asylum seekers have even attempted suicide because they could not face
current conditions, many more have developed mental health difficulties.

This local situation is backed up by national research published by the
Refugee Council in April 2004.

Arash Shakib of the Iranian Refugee Association says,

"Asylum seekers are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society today.
Yet we have a government that is initiating policies resulting in asylum
seekers being treated inhumanely. If we do not stop this inhumane
treatment, a precedent will be set that the government can then apply to
other vulnerable groups."

Long standing cammaigner for the rights of refugees and migrants, and a member of the Anti-racist Committee, Dave Rogers of Banner Theatre, added,

"Refugees want to celebrate the massive contribution they make to
Birmingham. Sadly, at the moment many refugees are left without any support
and are struggling to find the food and shelter. The Government should be
welcoming victims of torture and war, not forcing them into
poverty and destitution."

The organisers are asking the public to join them in the sleep out, to donate tents for participants or to provide monetary donations to support destitute asylum seekers/refugees.


Notes to Editors

For further information contact: Dave Rogers on 07958671520

The sleep-out starts at 6pm on Monday 14th June and ends at 10am on Tuesday
June 15th. Asylum seekers themselves will be available for interview.

This event is held with the support of Birmingham Cathedral and the
official permission of Birmingham City Council.

Birmingham Indymedia


Display the following 2 comments

  1. There'll be films and an open mic there hopefully... — Birmingham Indymedia
  2. Sleep-out of Refugees on 14 June 2004 — Zarina Bhatia