CIAR Coalition and BLM Coalition call for action and resistance to protect our rights – and will march on Downing Street later this month
Ahmed Hussain of Citizenship is a Right (CIAR) writes:
Silence is not an option.
Our airwaves are dominated by the opinions of bigots whom we have allowed into power, and who are desperate to hold on to it. Desperate enough to throw the human rights of British citizens under the bus of an electorate that is driven to a cliff-edge of social collapse by a compliant right-wing press.
Take the Nationality And Borders Act, which has put the power of stripping citizenship in the hands of the Home Secretary – including the criteria for judging who ‘deserves’ such punishment. This immediately puts those of us with migrant parents or grandparents in the firing line and makes us second class citizens in all but name by hanging a threat over our heads that does not exist for others.
This is not an abstract concern, there are have been cases where individuals are put on file and stripped of citizenship during a trip abroad – cases like “E3” who was stranded abroad for five years after his citizenship was removed whilst he was in Bangladesh. The Home Office believed E3 was “an Islamist extremist” who posed a threat to national security; and yet his lawyers were never presented with any evidence of this claim. E3 was able to win back his citizenship before the Borders Act became law, but in this new context the judicial process has been hijacked totally in favour of the Home Secretary’s political whims, versus a stranded ex-citizen who is fighting to get back home after losing everything they have.
On top of that, this Act criminalises desperate refugees simply for taking the step of landing on our shores in hope of a better life than that destroyed by wars, famines or economic collapses – extreme situations out of the control of any individual refugee, but which oddly enough benefit profiteering governments like ours.
Then there is the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Act, borne out of an incompetent government’s desire to shut down dissent instead of responding constructively. In reaction to the successful awareness efforts of Black Lives Matter and climate activists in 2021, this Act gives broad draconian powers to Police to minimise or even criminalise protest. In conjunction with the Nationality And Borders Act, a repeat protestor of migrant background could eventually find themselves receiving a letter that will expel them from this country. Our voices would be cowed into silence.
The passage of the Public Order Bill is further proof, if any were needed, that this government has authoritarian ambitions. Claiming to listen to the needs of Police overstretched by a growing number of protests, ministers ignored the underlying causes for said protests and instead aim to make voicing dissent harder, by stripping protestors of the tools needed to run the most disruptive – and, consequently, effective – kinds of protests.
This government wants to shut your mouth and silence your dissent with one hand, whilst signing off privatisations of utilities that our society depends on with the other. Your quality of life will collapse and you won’t have any way of voicing disagreement.
Want to point out that refugees from British pillaging abroad are left to drown, whilst Ukrainian refugees are welcomed like heroes who fought Putin himself? Won’t be able to do that.
Want to demand an asylum system that doesn’t dehumanise desperate refugees to the point of suicide? Won’t be able to do that.
Want to stop the hateful anti-refugee rhetoric which also inflames racism against global majority citizens of the UK? Won’t be able to do that.
Our collective voice is being silenced, because that is what this government fears: and that is why this coalition of coalitions is coming together on Saturday 29th April outside the Home Office to protest these laws.
Silence is not an option – it never has been.
Delia Mattis of BLM Coalition adds:
Once these rights are lost we may never win them back. We urge everyone who can to join us on 29 April to march and show we’re not accepting it.
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