We have a struggle to win and a life to live.

4.8.2020: Inquirer: Filipino playwright seeks asylum, receives prestigious UK theater grant

In his London flat, Rogelio Braga was busy typing on his laptop, in between answering emails, queries, and interviews from his caseworker. Rogelio was writing a play entitled Miss Philippines. No, it is not about statuesque beauties whose feet barely touched the earth. It is about real women, lesbian, and transgender women, barely surviving the life in the slums under Duterte’s war on drugs.

It is the same play he submitted to the Yellow Earth Theater earlier in 2020 and has been awarded £2000 seed commissions to develop new plays as part of the Professional Writers Programme 2020-22.

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Early Day Motion: Leave to Remain in UK

Coventry City of Peace and Reconciliation: It is estimated there are around 1 million undocumented workers living in the UK. Because of COVID-19, many of them are now unable to work and, because they are undocumented, they cannot claim government benefits. They are therefore going without food.

Moreover, because they often live in overcrowded conditions they are highly susceptible to COVID-19. Despite government assurances that the NHS does not carry out immigration checks in hospitals, many undocumented workers are nevertheless worried that seeking medical help will result in their being removed from the UK.

For more information see the BBC report Coronavirus: Undocumented workers an ‘invisible public health risk’.

CARAG therefore requests the people of Coventry to ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion EDM #658 – LEAVE TO REMAIN STATUS, the text of which is shown below. There is also the suggested text of a letter. [Read more …]

PAIH: Deadly accommodation crisis for Glasgow’s hotel asylum seekers & Refugees for Justice Manifesto

From one of our co-signatories: DEADLY ACCOMMODATION CRISIS FOR GLASGOW’S HOTEL ASYLUM SEEKERS – WE DEMAND A PUBLIC INQUIRY

In his response  yesterday to an urgent question from Alison Thewliss MP about support for asylum seekers, Chris Philip MP, Home Office Minister stated that

“among those people accommodated in hotels there has not been a single confirmed case of coronavirus and therefore the steps taken to to safeguard the public and safeguard the asylum seekers in particular, have been successful.”

Mr Philps failed to mention that no-one had been tested, or acknowledge that asylum seekers in the hotels had complained of being denied medical attention and being confined to their rooms. He also failed to acknowledge that the mentally ill asylum seeker who attacked six people including a police officer in the Park Inn Hotel in Glasgow was reported to be isolating from suspected Covid 19 and had been confined for 20 days in one of the hotels.   

Mr Philp’s argument seemed to be ” it turned out good so we must have done something right”.

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Homelessness returning: SNN restates our call for housing, healthcare and food for all:

Housing: As the Government announces further lockdown relaxation measures, SNN is receiving reports from the length and breadth of the UK which are indicating that the State intends – it may have already begun – to evict people previously homeless, or in short term NASS accommodation, back into destitution.  SNN condemns any such intention or action and restates our call for housing healthcare and food for all:  only collective action, based in reality rather than ideology, may enable rational planning for effective pandemic management in the future.

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What, if Any, Legal Liability Does the UK Government Have For Deaths Caused by Covid-19?

Henry Blaxland Q.C,  Garden Court Chambers: What, if Any, Legal Liability Does the UK Government Have For Deaths Caused by Covid-19?
‘The government has faced sustained criticism of many aspects of its handling of the pandemic. Central to that criticism has been the question of whether the government’s decision making has made the requirement to protect life secondary to economic considerations. What has to be faced is the shockingly high fatality rate in the United Kingdom among care home residents and those working on the front-line, including transport workers. That in itself establishes a prima facie case against those responsible for making critical decisions as the pandemic has engulfed us. All the indications are, however, that any question of legal liability at a governmental level will be firmly resisted’

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A chance to feel safe: Precarious Filipino migrants amid the UK’s coronavirus outbreak

Kanlungan Filipino Consortium: We have officially launched our report on precarious Filipino migrants amid the UK’s coronavirus outbreak. Our report focuses on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and associated ‘lockdown’ in the UK on Filipino precarious migrants (a majority undocumented). The report finds that the systematic disenfranchisement of migrants through the “hostile environment” agenda has exacerbated the negative effects of the pandemic and lockdown on this group. The coronavirus pandemic has intensified and highlighted the deadly effects of the hostile environment. But it also reveals the life threatening inequalities that already existed before the outbreak.

Executive Summary: “Give a chance for all [those] without papers, like me, to feel safe” –Shane’s message to policy-makers

This report documents the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and associated ‘lockdown’ in the UK on Filipino precarious migrants (a majority undocumented). It is based on research conducted in May and June 2020, including an online survey with 78 respondents, and 15 follow-up interviews.

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Congo’s Activist in Exile: The Relentless Struggle of Jenny Dakosta Van Mputu

19 June 2020: Blue Shoes Productions: In November 2018, we had the pleasure of meeting Jenny Dakosta Van Mputu. At the time, we didn’t know that we would be meeting someone with a story as incredible as his, one that is as inspiring as it is heartrending.

Throughout his life, Jenny has been an activist for human rights, and a protester against the abuses of the dictatorships in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). As an activist, Jenny founded an organisation, No Impunity for the Congolese State (NICS), to help combat the human rights abuses in the DRC.

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