A new London Catholic Worker project offering hospitality to refugees and other vulnerable people has opened in East London.
Named Giuseppe Conlon House, wrongfully imprisoned as a member of the Maguire Seven in 1975 and father of the Guildford Four’s Gerry Conlon, the house has already been functioning as a refuge for undocumented migrants in need of shelter and support. The main building, however, has now been officially opened as a shelter and community facility.
The opening was attended by around 200 people, from lawyers to hippies, refugees to musicians, who were entertained by music from the Bow Street Ramblers Old Time String Band before the formal ceremonies began. Gareth Peirce, renowned human rights’ lawyer who represented Gerry Conlon, attended the event and made a speech to wish the project well and to offer insight into her experiences of the justice system during her work for the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven.
Also in attendance at the opening was Angolan journalist Rosario Miranda, who has been actively involved in the campaign for Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan refugee who died aboard a passenger plane in October while being deported by G4S security guards, employed by the UK Border Agency.
The house is run by London Catholic Worker, a nonviolent anti-war movement that began in New York in the 1930s, and the launch was hosted by long time Catholic Worker, Ciaron O’Reilly. Other Catholic Worker houses in the UK include the Dorothy Day House in Dalston, London, and St Francis House, Oxford.
View photos of the opening on Indymedia London
Read an IRR News story on the recent Jimmy Mubenga demonstration
Read an IRR News review of Gareth Peirce’s book: ‘Dispatches from the Dark Side’