‘Are we going to be allowed to stay here?’ Migration, Discrimination, Resistance

‘Are we going to be allowed to stay here?’ Migration, Discrimination, Resistance
Thursday 19th March, 7pm
The Drum
144 Potters Lane, Aston
Birmingham B6 4UU

Immigrants are being blamed for pressures on housing, jobs and infrastructure, in a context of austerity which is hitting the poorest hardest. Vulnerable people are being encouraged to blame their problems on other vulnerable people, while the government introduces ever harsher measures that directly discriminate against immigrants and people from immigrant backgrounds. Politicians state that ‘it’s not racist to talk about immigration’ at the same time as using the language of Enoch Powell and telling people to ‘Go Home’, while ordinary people such as landlords, teachers and doctors are being required to ask people they suspect may be migrants to prove their right to housing, education and health. All the main political parties are promising harsher treatment of immigrants in their election manifestos.

This meeting will address the questions:

What are the consequences of this for immigrants themselves and for British citizens?

Are new forms of racism, xenophobia and discrimination emerging?

How can we resist this?

A panel of invited speakers will address the questions above with reference to their own experience and expertise, and invite lively debate and contributions from the meeting.


Kirsten Forkert, BCU on findings from the Mapping Immigration Controversy research project which examines the effects of government anti-immigration campaigns on migrants and non-migrants, including activist resistance, in Birmingham and nationally.

Saqlain Shah and Boniface Mambwe from Birmingham Asylum and Refugee Action on their project to expose the housing conditions faced by asylum seekers in housing managed by G4S in Birmingham, and on particular self-organising and campaigning by migrants themselves

Speaker from Movement Against Xenophobia on their organisation and campaigns, in particular the ‘right to rent’ pilot requiring landlords to check the immigration status of tenants being piloted in the West Midlands and their survey about its effects

Shreya Paudel, National Union of Students, on how immigration policy changes are affecting international students in Birmingham, and how students, migrants and others can work together

Speaker from UCU (University and College Union) on trade union organising and equalities, and in particular attendance monitoring of international students and how it can be resisted

Chair: Hannah Jones, University of Warwick

The evening is designed to bring together community activists, trade unionists and those with an interest in social justice. If you just want to find out more and/or share your views on these burning issues please join us.

The event is co-sponsored by the New Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at The Drum and the National Union of Students (NUS).

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