Thursday, 10 January 2013

Sleep Out in the 'Chains of Destitution'

Sleep Out in the 'Chains of Destitution'
College Green
7pm, Monday 14th January 2013
We are a group of destitute asylum seekers. We came to UK to find safety as our lives were in danger in our home country. Our asylum applications have been refused wrongly because the Home Office chooses not to believe us. They ask for more and more evidence. Our families put themselves in danger getting this and they still refuse us. They say many countries are safe, like Iraq and Afghanistan, but we know from our families and the news here that our lives would be at risk if we are sent back. We want to live in safety, free from danger.
We are also not allowed to work. We do not receive any government support. These unjust laws leave us chained up with no shelter or food. This is destitution.

It is inhumane and degrading. We are made to feel inferior and have lost our confidence. The government needs to change this policy. We need to be treated as humans. We want dignity

We are young. We are here. We have many skills. We want to contribute to this society, paying taxes and helping to generate money for the economy. We need to be able to work so we can pay for accommodation and our food. If you won't let us work, then at least we need to receive benefits so we can survive.

We want people of Bristol to stand up with us and say that this is wrong and that it should change. We also want Bristol Council to do the same. On Tuesday 15th January the Council will debate whether or not to take action to challenge government policy on forced destitution of asylum seekers.

We are going to sleep out on College Green to bring attention to this debate.
We are going to sleep inside the chains of destitution to show Bristol our reality. 
We invite friends and supporters, young and old, students, working and unemployed people, people with and without homes to sleep out with us in solidarity and help us raise awareness of the problem and the urgent need for a solution.

Everyone deserves a chance to live. Why should we have destitution in a City of Sanctuary?

We will stay on College Green from 7pm until 2pm, Tuesday 15th when many of us will go in to take part in the council debate. 

For those who can't sleep over, please come and visit us for the evening or join us between 12pm – 2pm on Tuesday.

Please bring: tent, songs, sleeping bags, blankets, candles, food to share, torches, music, stories, hot drinks, poems, banner materials
 
Organised by Dignity for Asylum Seekers
Supported by Bristol Refugee Rights, Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers, Bristol Hospitality Network

2 comments:

  1. I like the idea of a Sleep out, spending a night together with destitute asylum seekers in this freezing weather.

    An asylum seeker friend to me said that in the evening they were planning a celebration with music and food. At first I thought this was weird but then I thought about it more.

    Forced destitution is a form of systemic violence. Turning something that is not a choice into an act we deliberately perform together makes it into an act of defiance and a collective, empowering experience.

    We’ll join forces in celebration of each other, sharing in solidarity and becoming stronger in that destitution.

    It also helps to make visible a culture of solidarity that exists already in BHN and BRR; sharing our homes and spaces. These networks are doing vital work, but there is the danger that they are compensating for the brutal systems, helping the system by hiding the holes and making destitution invisible. Going out to share that solidarity outside is a way of carrying that solidarity out into public space and making it visible.

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