Hundreds of people attended a meeting in Manchester last weekend to learn how to help build support for asylum seekers.
‘I GOT PASSPORT!’ was the text message I received on Monday. The Congolese man who sent it had just won his campaign to stay in the UK. He was one of 225 people from all over the North West, many of whom were facing deportation, who had crammed into the ‘2005 Solidarity and Planning’ meeting two days earlier in Manchester. Organised by the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, Manchester Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers, City Centre Projects, No Borders and the National Union of Journalists, the all-day meeting included workshops, video and speeches by people who are running their own campaigns, and those who had won the right to stay. A string of events has been planned, leading up to a rally and demonstration in Manchester, as part of the Europe-wide Day of Action on 2 April 2005.
One of those who attended, a mother of five whom the Home Office says it will deport, has been doing a demanding voluntary job in the community and her life is still being threatened by her husband from back home. But at the meeting, she offered to organise a fundraising event on 11 March 2005 for women in North Manchester who want to set up support campaigns.
The Congolese man, who had won his campaign to stay, said: ‘I’ll be coming back as one of those doing a speech about how I won my campaign.’
For more information on the Day of Action on 2 April 2005 and events leading up to it, please phone Emma Ginn on 0161 740 6504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.