QARN is a signatory to Together With Refugees: please get involved in the Orange Hearts campaign at their your local level.
Updated 14 February 2023: Call for a clear stand from political leaders after attack on Knowsley hotel
180 organisations have signed an open letter to leaders of all parties in response to the attack on Friday 10th February on a hotel in Knowsley where asylum seekers are housed. The letter calls on party leaders to ‘take a clear stand and condemn any further violence against those who come here to find safety’.
Coordinated by Together With Refugees, you can read the letter and full list of signatories below:
Dear Party Leaders
The scenes of hatred and violence against people seeking asylum on Friday were horrifying. We stand in solidarity with them and with all those who have come to the UK to find protection. These awful acts do not represent the people of Knowsley.
Those in the asylum system have already suffered terribly. Most have fled places like Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Iran and Eritrea due to war and persecution. They have made terrifying journeys to reach safety. And now, due to shocking delays and a failing system, they are forced to experience even more anxiety and fear, in a place they do not know, placed in accommodation not of their choosing, unable to work and with no control on where they live or what their future holds.
Their lives are in limbo as they wait, sometimes for years, for a decision on their asylum claim. And it is clear that these massive delays are directly leading to the use of hotels for people seeking asylum – a completely inappropriate form of accommodation and a glaring confirmation that the system is broken.
Having already experienced great hardship, these men, women and children who come here for protection are now faced with violence, fuelled by inflammatory language of ‘invasion’ and policies that demonise them. The responsibility to create a system that is fair and compassionate, and brings cohesion instead of division, lies with our decision makers.
With the high risk of more premeditated extremist attacks around the country, leaders of all parties must now take a clear stand and condemn any further violence against those who come here to find safety, and set out the action they will take to prevent it. Those who incite this anger and violence bring shame on this country, on the vast majority who are proud of our history of helping those in danger around the world. This does not reflect the people of Britain. This is not who we are.
Updated 28 April 2022: After the government forces through the Nationality & Borders Bill we fight on…
Today, in the face of overwhelming opposition, and forced to resort to strong-arm tactics in the House of Lords, the Government has managed to steamroller the catastrophic Nationality and Borders Bill through Parliament.
[…] Kindness and compassion will win …
We should take a moment to celebrate all that we’ve achieved together over the last year. We will be drawing on the vitality and breadth of our coalition of over 400 organisations, and supporters up and down the country, who have shown their resolve to fight the bill every step.
Updated 19 March 2022: Landmark action update– 21 March 2022
We need to show the depth and breadth of support for a more compassionate approach to refugees.
Those of you who have already presented your public signs of support in great big orange hearts at local landmarks could build on your efforts with a bigger show of support. If you’ve already collected signs of support from your communities, assemble them into huge orange hearts and place them on a local landmark on 21 March. Of course, any interpretation of this action works, so long as it helps to demonstrate public support for the fairer, kinder and more effective approach to refugees that we all want to see.
Updated 13 March 2022: One last push on Nationality and Borders Bill
We still have a short time to secure some concessions before the Nationality and Borders Bill passes into law. Please join us for one last push in these final weeks. Even if we fail to deliver substantive defeats on the bill, we need to demonstrate that the UK government is on its own, and the bill does not reflect #WhoWeAre.
Landmark action – 21 March
We need to show the depth and breadth of support for a more compassionate approach to refugees.
We would be very happy to display your Quaker hearts on our website – please send them by email to email@example.com and include a line which could be included, about which Quaker Meeting they are from.
Updated 16 February 2022:
and some inspiration from children in Birmingham: Birmingham Schools of Sanctuary 🧡@BrumSchOfSancEncouraging schools across the region to promote welcome, inclusion and awareness for people seeking sanctuary #LearnEmbedShare @SchsOfSanctuary
Report: A bill at what price?
The taxpayer will pay an extra £2.7billion a year (1) to fund schemes to block people fleeing war and persecution from finding refugee protection in the UK under the Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill, reveals a new report released today (Monday 14 February 2022).
‘A Bill at What Price?’ is being published by the campaign coalition Together With Refugees, just ahead of the first vote in the House of Lords, where the Government is facing the growing threat of defeat.
With the Government also under mounting pressure from MPs to publish a long-promised Impact Assessment for the Bill – as is required for proposed new legislation – Together With Refugees has calculated the additional spending needed to pay for five major new components of the UK asylum and refugee system proposed in the Bill. These are:
· £717.6 million a year to set up and run new large, out-of-town accommodation centres to house up to 8,000 people seeking refugee protection, instead of in the community (2).
· £1.44 billion a year to set up and run a completely new offshore processing system to send people seeking refugee protection to another country to be detained while they are assessed and wait for a decision on their claim (3).
· £432 million a year to imprison people seeking refugee protection who arrive via irregular routes – such as in a small boat across the Channel – a method of arrival criminalised in the Bill (4).
· £117.4 million a year to remove people seeking refugee protection from the UK to another country if the UK government says they should claim asylum there instead (5).
· £1.5 million a year for the cost of extra bureaucratic processing for people allocated Temporary Protection Status who have already passed a rigorous assessment recognising them as a refugee but to be required an additional assessment every two and half years (6).
Updated 16 January 2022: City of Sanctuary: Make this Valentine’s Day count
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Avoid the naff gimmicks this year and instead do something that really matters.
The Anti-Refugee Bill is expected back in the House of Commons in the middle of March. If it is passed, this bill will be the largest roll back of refugee rights that this country has ever seen.
The most important thing for our movement is to push some key amendments that we want to see changed in the Bill.
So this Valentine’s Day show your heart. Let’s make a stand against the bill, call for a more compassionate approach and get a little bit imaginative when we engage our MPs…
How you can get involved:
- Wear your heart on your sleeve. Put orange hearts (the symbol for solidarity with refugees) in your window and on your walls. Bake heart shaped cookies and sell them at work, hang heart banners around the town – the only limit is your imagination. This is perfect for families, schools and other community projects. Remember to invite local journalists to cover your actions. The aim is to spread the word and get more people opposing the Bill.
- Send a Valentine’s Day card to your MP. Make your own or modify a shop bought one. Get imaginative with your messaging. Some suggestions…Rose are red
Violets are blue
I oppose the Bill
And so should you.I love ̶y̶o̶u̶ Refugee Rights
Inside the card call on your MP to firstly, oppose the principle of treating refugees differently based on how they arrived here rather than their need for protection. Secondly, there should be a target to resettle 10,000 refugees a year. For more information and guidance see this Together With Refugees briefing.
3. Send your MP a Valentine’s Day e-card, with a twist. Right click on the below images to download. Just insert the image into an email or tweet along with your own text calling them to support the amendments mentioned above.
The Nationality and Immigration Bill (Anti-Refugee Bill) went to committee stage in the week beginning 18th October and Together With Refugees and City of Sanctuary are launching a campaign whereby all over the country people will join in the Show Your Heart activities, showing their support for refugees by displaying orange hearts in public places. The orange heart represents compassion for people fleeing war and persecution. Inspired by the refugee nation flag, and the colours of a lifebelt, the heart symbolises hope and kindness. By recreating and sharing the heart on your social media channels you can show your support for refugees.
On 6 December 2021, there will be a big reveal of orange hearts at landmarks around the UK. You can coordinate your efforts around these dates and share your pictures on social media using the #TogetherWithRefugees and #WhoWeAre hashtags. You will also soon be able to submit them to an online exhibition on the Together with Refugees website.
If you are a local group and would like inspiration and ideas of ways to show support please check out our campaign guide.
QARN has signed up to the Together With Refugees campaign
‘We are calling for a kinder, fairer and more effective approach to supporting refugees in the UK. Be part of a shared movement for change’.
How we treat refugees reflects who we are. At our best, we are welcoming to those facing difficult times. Yet too often people fleeing war, persecution or violence are treated with hostility in the UK, rather than compassion.
Together With Refugees brings together people and movements to stand against the divisiveness and hate directed at refugees. It will show that most people support a fairer, more effective and compassionate approach – and that refugees have always been part of the UK. It’s who we are.
With your support, we are calling for a kinder, fairer and more effective approach to supporting refugees.
Read more here: https://togetherwithrefugees.org.uk/