Public Order Bill is a threat

28 May 2022: Read about the Bill below Follow the Public Order Bill as it makes its way through Parliament here: Dates and related documents are here:

Quakers: The slide to authoritarianism: what’s next in parliament?

As one parliamentary session comes to an end and another begins, Grace Da Costa reflects on what we’ve learned and what lies ahead.

The government crammed a huge amount of legislation into the last parliamentary session. Most of it passed through the two chambers without being changed very much in the process.

Civil society came together in an incredible way to campaign against some of the government’s worst proposals and promote an alternative vision. These alliances will continue into the next session, as we prepare to tackle the next large batch of bills coming our way.

[…] What’s coming up in 2022–2023?

The government announced its next swathe of legislation in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday 10 May. The speech contained more plans to centralise power and make it harder for civil society to campaign for positive change.

The measures the Lords scrapped from the Policing Bill will return in a Public Order Bill designed to make protest even more risky.

Continue reading “Public Order Bill is a threat”

QARN at Yearly Meeting 2022

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network: Unmasking and unmaking the hostile environment – let us see what love can do – 25 May 2022, 11:00 AM to  12:30 PM, on zoom

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network talking with Friends about the current hostile environment and our plans going forward; current development (as best we can) and where members of our network are particularly engaged.

The hostile environment and its impact on everyone involved in or engaged in working against it are very challenging to consider. Not great for those with a strong empathy.

Comments, questions, ideas from the YM Faith In Action meeting on 25 May are below :

Continue reading “QARN at Yearly Meeting 2022”

Responses to the war in Ukraine

See comments also here: QARN members’ thoughts on Community Sponsorship

Updated 25 May 2022: LocalGov: MPs warn Ukrainian refugees are being forced into B&Bs

MPs have written to the Government to raise concerns about the Homes for Ukraine scheme in light of reports of Ukrainian refugees being forced into temporary accommodation.

Clive Betts, chair of the ‘Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee’, has written to Lord Harrington, minister for refugees, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, concerning recent reports of problems with the operation of the scheme.

These problems include delays in criminal records checks for UK hosts and of accounts of Ukrainian refugees being forced into temporary accommodation such as B&Bs.

Mr Betts said: ‘There continue to be concerns about how the Homes for Ukraine scheme is operating, about the speed in helping refugees arrive, around delays in DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service criminal record] and accommodation checks, and concerns that Ukrainians who have arrived in the UK are finding themselves homeless after their initial place fell through or family members could not host them.’

Mr Betts’ latest letter follows an earlier missive, sent 4 May, which expressed ‘significant concerns’ about support for Ukrainian refugees and for local authorities.

‘There is a glaring disconnect in the current matching process which means the hospitality being offered by sponsors is not being taken up,’ Mr Betts said today.

‘The Government needs to up its game and speed up data sharing with local authorities so they can match refugees to suitable sponsors as quickly as possible and so councils can line up the resources and services to support those fleeing from Ukraine.’

Continue reading “Responses to the war in Ukraine”

Michael Morpurgo on A Point of View speaks about welcoming refugees and migrants

BBC: Point of View:

‘Over the centuries’, writes Michael Morpurgo, ‘we have been a safe haven to so many, and they have helped make us the people we are today – at our best, a deeply humanitarian people. I fear we are not at our best today’. Michael argues that, although we need to address the issue of people smuggling and deaths from dangerous Channel crossings, we must not lose our capacity for kindness and ‘generosity of spirit’ towards those who need our help.

This talk is worth listening to..

Released On: 20 May 2022 Available for over a year

‘The other side of hope’

the other side of hope: journeys in refugee and immigrant literature

SUBMISSIONS OPEN until 31st of May 2022 – ​please read updated submissions guidelines below

new email address for submissions:

​We admire, respect, and are friends with writers and poets from all walks of life. However, the other side of hope exists to serve, bring together, and celebrate the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide. To help promote and showcase writing from these communities, fiction and poetry are open to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants only. We accept non-fiction, book reviews, and author interview submissions by everyone on the theme of migration. Please see categories below.

We publish twice a year, one print issue and one online issue. Continue reading “‘The other side of hope’”

Some good news:

6 May 2022: BBC: Former Glasgow Girl refugee Roza Salih becomes a councillor

Roza Salih has become the first refugee to be elected to Glasgow City Council.

The 33-year-old has been elected for the SNP to represent the Greater Pollok ward.

Ms Salih has campaigned for the rights of refugees since she was a teenager and with school friends formed the activism group the Glasgow Girls.

They protested against the dawn raids by immigration officials in Drumchapel in 2005 and inspired a BBC musical drama.

The Glasgow Girls were formed by a group of pupils at Drumchapel High School who came together to protest at the detention of a friend.

From a school petition, the campaign grew and soon attracted national attention, highlighting wider concerns about the treatment of asylum seekers.

Roza Salih took to social media after her election on Friday to thank “the wonderful city I love so dearly”.

Read more:


Updated 1 May 2022: Guardian: Immigration officers placed in 25 local authorities by Home Office, FoI reveals

Embedded officials can pass the details of undocumented people to immigration enforcement

The Home Office has placed immigration officers in child social services and dozens of other local authority departments, in an arrangement that has raised concerns about the ability of the most vulnerable to seek support, the Guardian can reveal.

Continue reading “Surveillance”