For International Migrants Day, on Tuesday 18th December, protestors around the UK will mobilise in solidarity with the Stansted 15. In an effort to prevent the involuntary deportation of 60 people from Stansted airport in March 2017, the group blockaded a Home Office charter flight as it was leaving. After a lengthy trial, earlier this week the group were found guilty of the terrorism-related offence of “endangering an airport”. The Stansted 15 face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for preventing the plane from taking off. A Day of Action has been called to raise awareness of the Stansted 15 case and to rally support for local migrant struggles in cities around Britain.
The ruling against the Stansted 15 is designed to thwart protest and direct action against the UK government’s brutal and violent treatment of migrants. The arrival of migrants in the UK is often rooted in the country’s colonial history and the government’s response involves the institutional mistreatment and exploitation of migrants held in detention, which has resulted in over 43 deaths inside ten immigration removal centres since 2000. When not in detention the ‘hostile environment’, created by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, crosses the everyday lives of all migrants to the UK and in particular those seeking asylum. Reinforced by the news media who whip up hatred and scapegoat migrants to sell a few newspapers, state hostility is further embedded in schools, universities, the NHS, homelessness charities, and housing authorities where employees are forced to act as makeshift border guards. The brutality of the hostile environment is now well documented and it is particularly apparent in Calais, where controlling the UK’s border has been successfully outsourced. Yet, this is a struggle that only begins at the border and across the UK there are people struggling against hostility and in solidarity with migrants.
We demand an end to the hostile environment in the UK, the closure of all immigration detention centres, and the termination of all deportations! Solidarity with all migrants!
On Tuesday 18th December, we will use our collective voice to show our solidarity with the Stansted 15 and with all migrants to the UK. The following cities have local actions planned. People have been asked to wear pink and make signs to show our collective rage. Please follow the links to find out more information: