October 10, 2020 – October 11, 2020 all-day
Hastings Beach
Rossana Leal
A Weekend of Celebration: A Community Stands Against The Hostile Environment @ Hastings Beach
The date commemorates the tenth anniversary of the death of Jimmy Mubenga, killed by G4S deportation guards onboard a charter flight forcibly removing him from the country.
Like Joy Gardner 27 years ago, and the 39 Vietnamese migrants found in a lorry in Essex last year, Jimmy was killed by the state racism of Britain’s immigration policies. These deaths are representative of the brutality of the system, and the names of those killed synonymous with the experience of thousands denied justice and dignity. Those kept in detention, deported, drowned at sea, denied healthcare or whose lives were destroyed by the Home Office’s callous disregard for human life – all those whose name will never be publicly known – share this common experience.
To commemorate those killed, and to rally together as a movement, we are joining a weekend of action on 10th & 11th October 2020.
We are joining in with this weekend of action and celebrations to make visible the names and lives of those taken by this unjust system, and to mobilise together to bring an end to the hostile environment. The day will involve a series of local actions taking place around the country, coordinated together around the slogan ‘Solidarity Knows No Borders’ #SKNB
The day’s demands will centre on:
  • the removal of obstacles to safe passage
  • the expansion and extension of government resettlement programmes.
  • sign up to the recently launched FIRM Charter
Positioned as we are on the South East coast, the removal of obstacles to safe passage is especially pertinent. The lack of safe passage, of safe and legal routes into the UK to claim asylum, is the cause of the dangerous journeys across the Channel being made by people seeking sanctuary.
As a community, we have benefitted greatly from Hastings Borough Council’s involvement in the Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme over the last four years, welcoming over 20 families in Hastings, and a further 10 in Bexhill and Wealden. Although currently on hold because of COVID19, the Home Office intends to end the scheme as early as 2021. As this scheme comes to an end, we demand expansion and extension of this and other schemes to help those seeking sanctuary settle safely in the UK.
On Saturday 10th we will organise “banner drops” along the beaches in Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill which will be filmed by drone. These banners will be unfurled by groups of up to six people (to ensure compliance with COVID regulations) and will be on the theme of welcome, and the above two demands. The designs have yet to be finalised, but we will share these with you when they are. We will invite the local community to participate in these “drops”. The footage of these drops will then be edited and released the following day on social media and our website.
Would you like to make you own banner and get together a group of 6 people? Let us know so we can allocate a groyne to you.
There will also be a food collection for Calais organised by Hastings Supports Refugees, and a poster display organised by Hastings Community of Sanctuary.
On Sunday 11th we will be asking people to tweet and email Sally Ann Hart MP and Huw Merriman MP with the two demands from the FIRM Charter.
The Plan:
Saturday 10th:
We will be dropping one banner per groyne along the seafront, from Fairlight, Old town and along to towards St Leonards, Bulverhythe and Bexhill.
Your banner should say:
Hastings Welcomes Refugees
And then we ask that each banner has a sub-slogan based on the theme of the day. Examples include:
  • Seeking Refuge is a Human Right
  • Safe and Legal Routes NOW
  • Stop Militarising the Channel
  • End Illegal Deportations
  • Solidarity Knows No Borders
  • End Detention
  • No Detention Camps
Sunday 11th:
We will release the video footage from the previous day, and encourage people to contact their MP on Social Media and/or by email. Suggested text for these will be supplied beforehand.
For more info please contact Rossana Leal or Alex Kempton on info@therefugeebuddyproject.org or visit the Facebook Event Page

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