4 August 2020 — FIRM
Covid-19, it turns out, is not the great equaliser. The pandemic and lockdown, together, have exposed the different social realities experienced by those on either side of the race and class divide. One differential is that between citizens and those who crossed borders. Within weeks of the pandemic BAME essential workers started dying in disproportionately higher numbers than white counterparts. The government dragged its feet in acknowledging the problem, and commissioning a review, then refused to publish its findings about structural inequalities that contributed to these deaths. [read more]
Like many others, Migrants Organise spent the lockdown working with our members, whose lives have become a real nightmare. Many described their fear of seeking help, how NHS hospitals are no longer safe places of care and confidentiality, but instead, somewhere that life and death decisions are made on the basis of inhumane hostile environment policies.
But in addition to exposing the systemic, intentional and deadly character of the Hostile Environment policy, the Covid-19 pandemic has also opened up a space for solidarity. The Black Lives Matter movement inspired us to imagine a better, just and dignified future.
After two years of listening and organising, on July 14 we launched the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) Charter – a collective, unapologetically ambitious call for systemic change that is long overdue. The mission of the FIRM Charter is to unite efforts addressing aspects of the hostile environment into a common struggle, reaching out to communities, organisers and supporters in a shared demand for:
2. Legal, historical and international justice
3. Welcome for all people in our society
4. Principled collective action
The FIRM Charter constitutes the collective wisdom of many of migrant and refugee organisers and many organisations and groups we have worked with over the years. It is also the start of a conversation as to how we can create a migrant-led movement with the power to win this fight. A serious change is needed in how we organise to end injustice, racism and hostile environment and repair the extensive damage inflicted on millions of individuals, our communities and institutions.
We invite you to add your voice by
1. signing the FIRM Charter,
2. getting your organisation to endorse it,
3. sharing it on your social media, and
4. joining us for:
- a social media launch on August 5th
- Follow and tag @FIRMCharter on Twitter
- download images for your posts from the FIRM webpage here
- include #SolidarityKnowsNoBorders
Fair Immigration Reform Movement – FIRM
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