Saturday, 31 May 2014

Battling bushes and crossing the bridge to Wales - Day 2

Triumphant arrival at Old Passage - We made it!
This was our first full day walking, it was tough! We walked from Shirehampton to Old Passage, which was around 9 miles, on overgrown and muddy paths, the goat's head and bum had to be separated and carried for some of it, because she just didn't fit. We were very pleased to arrive to Old Passage, a hamlet near the Severn Bridge, to meet with some others who came to join us. 

We had lunch and a group meeting to plan our crossing of the bridge, before setting off.
 Crossing the bridge felt amazing, it was noisy, with amazing views and we had a holiday feeling.

When we arrived on the other side of the bridge we celebrated with dancing, singing and playing drums.

These signs welcomed us to Chepstow!

We celebrated our arrival to Chepstow Methodist by dancing outside of the church, before going inside to enjoy the homemade cakes they had made for us. We are so blessed and grateful by their amazing hospitality and especially their shower!

We have walked far before, but you didn't see and I didn't tell

One walker says the last time they walked for many days was when escaping the war in their country and doing this walk is reminding them of that. But this journey isn't a secret, we don't need to hide, we walk together in solidarity, we want everyone to see us, to hear us, to know how we exist and to see our journeys.

We are crossing borders...

We talk about how by crossing the bridge we are crossing the border from England to Wales and exercising our freedom of movement without needing any permission, also shows how our freedom of movement is prevented by having to claim asylum in the first EU country you arrive in and looking at the messages of the 450K march from Strasbourg to Brussels, which inspired our march.

Our other Journeys

With our scapegoat, costumes and signs we are actively challenging people to notice us and engage with us, being in a public space, walking under our own steam, we invite people to empathise with us. They are impressed by our big journey to Cardiff and worried for the discomforts and difficulties we could face along the way.

But we ask what about our bigger journeys when we came to here, what about the hardships we suffered and the terrible, difficult, even deadly journeys refugees face when they flee and the ongoing perpetual state of waiting, not for 5 days, but even 5 years or more of waiting, discomfort and hardship. Our journeys to safety are long, difficult and not over yet, please emphathise with this and help us move closer to the finish line.

Look out for more posts about this throughout today.

Friday, 30 May 2014

March leaving Bristol - loud and proud

Walking, Singing, Chanting and Rain! Day One Complete

On the Downs!

We set off from Malcolm X after some speeches with lots of energy and enthusiasm!

We stopped at the bottom of Park Street for a photo, before going up Park Street and along Whiteladies road in the pouring rain, but still smiling!

Post by Bristol Dignity For Asylum Seekers.

We didn’t get photos on the last leg to Shirehampton as it was just so wet, but today we are walking along by the River Severn and over the Bridge so look out for photos from that!

Thanks to everyone who supported us!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Walking Together to End Injustices against Asylum Seekers

In the many countries we come from our lives were in danger. We were forced to leave to seek safety. We have walked long dangerous journeys to get here. Many people lost their lives along the way. We are walking to the Home Office in Cardiff because we need them to change the unjust laws that cause us much suffering.
Asylum Seekers have the right to be safe.
We are an advantage to the UK. Instead, we have to wait too many years for an answer to our asylum claim, not allowed to work in the meantime. We have to live on £5 a day, in temporary housing, not allowed to work, which is all very difficult and many of us become unwell.
We want a Just Asylum System
The home office wrongly refuses our asylum cases, all support is cut and we are not allowed to work. We are made destitute – left with nothing, yet we cannot return to our country of origin as we fear for our life. We are scapegoated for problems we did not cause.
End Forced Destitution of Asylum Seekers
We fear being locked up in a detention centres and deported to danger. They are imprisoning and punishing people for seeking asylum.
Stop detentions and deportations