These Walls Must Fall Campaigners against the Hostile Environment in Sheffield ‘Voice for Voiceless Immigration Detainees Yorkshire’ are calling for an end to mandatory reporting at Vulcan House and for others to join their campaign, and call for an end to the Hostile Environment and to halt Priti Patel’s ‘New Plan for Immigration’ .
Sheffield says: We are here, we are not going to stand for the ongoing harassment and detention of our friends and neighbours! We stand in solidarity to fight this racist practice in our city!
We call on the management at Vulcan House to end mandatory reporting for migrants.
We call on them to stop using racist raids vans.
We demand an end to the hostile environment and a halt to the “new plan for immigration”.
Next Friday 18th June, local campaigners are organising a day of action in Sheffield as part of Refugee Week 2021. These Walls Must Fall supporters will be taking action across the whole day outside Vulcan House, the Home Office building in Sheffield.Sheffield says:
You joining the fight can make a real difference, so we ask you – will you come down and join the action on the Home Office to stop in-person Reporting on Friday 18th June?
From 4pm there is a big after work rally outside the building starting with a ‘letter hand in’ at 4pm and carrying on with Speeches, food and music until 6:30pm. Please Join!
There are other actions throughout the day:
8:30-9:30am, a group of protestors will be picketing the office with banners as the managers arrive at work, with banners showing that Sheffield will not stand for the harm and violence to our friends by the decisions made in this building every day.
12:45pm-1:15pm – Noisy Demo! Bring pots and pans, vuvuzelas, anything that makes a loud noise.
4-5pm – Letter Hand In. We will be handing in a letter to Vulcan House management showing the harm they cause to us and our community. Join us to hand in the letter!
5pm-6:30pm – Rally hosted by South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group with speeches, music and snacks. Speakers with experience of the hostile environment and allies will be speaking outside Vulcan House. We will share some food and drink and come together. Please join us! Updates will be posted on the Facebook event.
It would be good to know you’re coming, let us know by sending our organisers an email with which parts you can attend along with your name and phone number:
This local day of action is organised by South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG), These Walls Must Fall Campaigners , and ‘Voice for Voiceless Immigration Detainees Yorkshire’ (VVIDY), ASSIST, Sheffield Trades Council, Sheffield Against Asylum Evictions, Anti Raids Sheffield, Amnesty Sheffield, Sheffield Against the Policing Bill, Mount Pleasant Park Football Club, Hope and Dignity Hearth (Ubuntu Emotional Healing Initiative), One Rainbow Bridge Network
We invite other groups to also co-host the event with us, join our movement and show a strong local opposition to the intimidation of migrants in our city.
WHAT IS MANDATORY REPORTING?
Vulcan House in Sheffield, like many Home Office reporting centres, is a site of state monitoring, intimidation and trauma for migrants in Sheffield, that serves only to fuel the hostile environment. Our friends and neighbours have to come into the office to ‘report’ on a weekly, fortnightly, or less frequent basis. At any point they could be detained in a detention centre, and racism, intimidation and bullying from staff is rife.
Shifts in practice to phone/text contact during the pandemic showed that mandatory, in-person, reporting is an unnecessary and overreaching form of control on the lives of Sheffield people who already face marginalisation and illegalisation. Migrants who switched to text or phone reporting under the first lockdown reported massively reduced stress, and now demand that in-person reporting and other types of surveillance are stopped, for good.
We also demand an end to the use of immigration raids vans in our city. Our friends and neighbours are regularly locked in vans and attempts are made to deport them – but statistics show this doesn’t even serve the function the Home Office claims it should. It is simply a form of intimidation and we say –
LEAVE OUR NEIGHBOURS ALONE.
We call on the management at Vulcan House to end mandatory reporting for migrants. We call on them to stop using racist raids vans. We demand an end to the hostile environment and a halt to the New Plan.
We are planning a whole day of action to make our demands heard and show the staff we mean business. Join us, join the struggle!
Find out more about the campaign to Abolish Reporting here.
WHAT IS THE NEW PLAN FOR IMMIGRATION?
The Home Secretary Priti Patel recently announced her intention to completely overhaul the Asylum System. We await the full details, but the draconian proposals will cause untold harm for future people seeking refuge in the UK. A summary by one our local activists at One Rainbow Bridge of some of the issues with the proposals (we recommend more from this Migrants Organise guide):
- Increasing the use of HO immigration bail powers such as reporting, monitoring and residence conditions,
- Increasing sentencing for those forced to seek asylum through clandestine routes to up to 5 years, as well as having draconian life sentences for those who ‘facilitate’ such forms of entry,
- Implementing the same push back policies in the Channel that have increased deaths in the Mediterranean,
- Creating discrimination within the asylum system on the basis of how people enter the UK, making it harder for those who were forced to seek protection through unofficial means to receive the right to remain, and allowing them fewer rights and protections if they do receive status (under Temporary Protection Status: no recourse to public funds, regular reassessments for deportation, reduced rights to family reunion),
- Increasing burden of proof of ‘genuine fear of persecution’ for an already inhumane asylum system,
- Threatening to reduce visa availability for countries that do not facilitate UK deportations,
- Restricting the right to appeal unjust Home Office and lower Tribunal decisions despite systemic oversight, injustice and discrimination within the HO decision process, and blocking the introduction of new evidence,
- Introducing ‘recovered and wasted cost orders’ that are based on a vague and arbitrary basis and can act to make appealing unjust decisions financially prohibitive for many
- Making it more difficult for victims of modern slavery to claim protection, and proposing to allow the HO to withhold protections for victims of modern slavery,
- Blocking evidence from experts who are not ‘pre approved’ or agreed to by the Home Office,
- Blocking asylum for those who travelled through ‘safe countries’, implementation of rapid deportations for them and reduced rights for those who the UK cannot deport,
- Blocking asylum for those from EEA countries despite rise the of far right and oppressive regimes in many EEA states,
- Deporting people while their asylum claim or appeals are still ongoing,
- Offshore processing and externalisation of borders; opening the way for offshore centres as with EU externalised centres in Libya which are sites of extensive violence, exploitation and human rights abuses,
- Expanding the detention estate, that are sites of trauma, abuse and human rights abuses for those detained,
- Harsher age assessment system for children seeking protection; meaning children seeking safety from conflict and persecution will be treated with hostility and needless, invasive, assessments and reducing rights to appeal against the administering of such checks, ‘an individual will be treated as an adult where their physical appearance and demeanour strongly suggests they are ‘over 25 years of age’.’ The decision would be made by immigration officers whose determination may be influenced by racial prejudice,
- Closing route to citizenship for children who were born in the UK and have lived here for 5 years,
- “Discretionary assistance” from Home Secretary for groups which is opaque and risks being granted on racial and ethnic lines