'Still in chains? The experience of African asylum seekers and forced migrants in Leeds'
6-9pm (we start bang on 6pm!)
Friday, 27 October
Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre
University of Leeds
Next year, 2007, will see the commemoration of the bicentenary of the parliamentary abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in the British empire. But has African enslavement really ended? Leeds is host to thousands of African people who have been forced to flee war, persecution and poverty in their mother continent and come to Britain in search of refuge and a better life. Yet most are living in day to day destitution, fear of arbitrary detention and brutal deportations. Many are trafficked as slaves, others are forced to work illegally to survive, while work carried out by immigration detainees is exempted from the minumim wage rule, benefitting the global private companies operating detention centres. Worse still, the recent Report by HM Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers exposed the shocking conditions inside Britain's private-run detention centres with African women rape survivors routinely locked up for months while fighting efforts to deport them back to Sierra Leone, Uganda and the Congo.
Why do Africans come to Britain to claim asylum? What is happening in Africa? How are Africans treated when they arrive here? Do the legacies of enslavement and colonialism continue today? How is Britain still profiting from the exploitation of African people in the 21st century? This public meeting aims to explore the issues routinely hidden by the mass media and politicians, and create much needed public awareness on the appalling system of asylum and immigration in the UK - and the particular experience of African people - in the run up to the slavery abolition hype in 2007.
Speakers and performances so far include:
Theatre under Fire (TUF), exiled Zimbabweans
Kofi Mawuli Klu, Global Justice Forum for Reparations
Emma Ginn, National Coalition of Anti-deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
Steve Cohen, author 'Detention is Freedom!'
Open mic for Africans to share their experiences
Plus films, stalls, campaigning information
Organised by Leeds No Borders and School of Geography
For more details, please contact Leeds No Borders on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07748010691
How to get to the Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre: http://tldynamic.leeds.ac.uk/campusmap/detail.asp?ID=193