Following a recent legal setback, Zimbabweans living in Leeds have called a city-centre demonstration for Saturday 16 September in protest at the UK government's renewed efforts to deport all "failed asylum seekers" back to Zimbabwe. The protest has the support of several groups and organisations in Leeds, including No Borders, the Refugee Council and members of the Common Place social centre.
On 2 August, Zimbabweans taking refugee in the UK were dealt a terrible blow as the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal overturned its previous ruling (last year) that Zimbabweans who claimed asylum in Britain automatically faced persecution if returned as they were considered “traitors and Blair’s spies by President Mugabe’s regime”. The new ruling stated that Zimbabwean asylum seekers were not in automatic danger – each case had to be treated on its own merits, paving the way for thousands of ‘refused’ asylum seekers from Zimbabwe to be forcible returned there.
In response, the ‘Zimbabwe Refugee Community in Leeds’ has called for an unprecedented demonstration in Leeds on SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 12PM ASSEMBLE OUTSIDE LEEDS ART GALLERY ON THE HEADROW.
The aim is to gather the Zimbabwean, African and migrant communities of Leeds together with local people to say STOP THE DEPORTATIONS - ZIMBABWE IS STILL NOT SAFE.
There will be speakers, music, and resistance. Bring your friends and families.
A Banner-Making Day is taking place all day in the Common Place Social Centre on Sunday 10 September.