Sutton 4 Sanctuary at the Environmental Fair

Sutton 4 Sanctuary will be at the Environmental Fair in Carshalton Park on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August 2018.

We will have a joint stall with Sutton for Peace & Justice at stall K03 and K04. Visit us to speak to members and find out about Sutton 4 Sanctuary and the issues that we are campaigning on.

Throughout the day at the stall Sutton for Peace & Justice will be hosting ‘The Colloquium in Carshalton Park’ – a series of informal and open discussions on a range of peace and justice issues. Please come along and hear about these important issues, have your say and join the debate:

11.30 Refugees welcome here
Helping refugees find a welcome and establish a new home in Sutton.

12.00 The plight of Palestinians today
Human rights violations and house demolitions in the occupied territories.

12.30 Injustice by a thousand cuts
The importance of an effectively functioning justice system.

13.00 Stop war – stop the arms trade
Military investment and the arms trade encourages war – it should be stopped.

14.00 Refugees welcome here – as 11.30.

14.30 The plight of Palestinians today – as 12.00.

15.00 Injustice by a thousand cuts – as 12.30.

15.30 Stop war – stop the arms trade – as 13.00.

Colloquium – an informal gathering for the exchange of views, from the latin ‘to talk together’; a seminar usually led by a different academic or expert speaker at each meeting.

 

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Why do Eritreans flee their country

Report by Mike McLoughlin.

On the 6th April Sutton for Peace & Justice invited a settled Eritrean refugee Fessahaye Gebregiorgis, know as George, to speak about the present situation in Eritrea and why so many young people risk their lives by trying to escape the country. He brought an Eritrean friend, Gabriel, who has worked in the Ethiopian refugee camps for “Save the Children” and also contributed to the discussion.

George started by saying he was very grateful to the UK for twice accepting him as a refugee, first when Eritrea was invaded by Ethiopia and then after the present president tore up the independence constitution and became a dictator controlling every aspect of Eritrean life and ridding himself of his previous co-fighters.

After 30 years of war for independence, Isaias Afwerki became the first president of Eritrea, and has held that position ever since its independence in 1993. In 1994 he got rid of the UN peacekeeping force on the Eritrea/Ethiopia border and in 1998 declared war on and invaded Ethiopia. Then using this as an excuse, he declared a state of emergency, suspending the constitution, imposing military rule and arresting his deputy and some cabinet members. None have been seen since and they are all believed to be dead. Afwerki has removed all possibility of a challenge to his regime of fear and divide-and-rule, and dictates everything concerning life in Eritrea.

In Eritrea there is no freedom of speech, no right to assemble, religious freedom is restricted and young people are conscripted into indefinite military service, many being used as, in effect, slave labour. In a country which now has a population under 4 million there are 300 prisons in which no visitors are allowed and if a prisoner dies no-one is informed. If a person is arrested their family realise it is the end for them.

In view of all this it is not surprising that there are 150,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia and many more in Sudan, despite the Eritrean army’s shoot to kill policy at the border.

Gold is mined there but as there is no official budget no one knows how much revenue is generated or how it is spent, except that some of it goes to the president’s supporters. The Country is rich in other minerals and there has been a recent discovery of significant amounts of potash. The UK wants to do business with the regime and is particularly interested in the potash.

The UK Government refuses to acknowledge the real situation in Eritrea and has adopted a harsh policy towards Eritrean asylum seekers, even giving as an excuse that the Eritrean government encourages its young people to try to get to Europe in order to benefit from money sent back to their families. As a result, many young Eritreans in this country, who are allowed to remain but not allowed to work and have no access to government funds, are despairing; their mental health is deteriorating and the suicide rate is rising.

The true situation in Eritrea is verified by  the UN Human Rights Commission report, the second part of which was presented in June 2016, and the Human Rights Watch Report of June 2015 – both available on the internet. There are also many videos featuring Eritrean refugees on YouTube which show the conditions there and their escape journeys, two of which were shown at the meeting.

Public meeting – Refugees welcome here

Sutton 4 Sanctuary and Sutton for Peace & Justice invite you to a public meeting in Sutton on 6 April:

Refugees welcome here

Why people flee their home country

Why we should give them sanctuary and a welcome here

This meeting will examine why thousands are forced to flee their homes and face the perils of travelling across North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea to find safety in Europe, and how some of them seek sanctuary here in South London.

Come and see a short film; hear the personal experience of a refugee from Eritrea who has settled in Sutton; find out more and join the debate.

Friday 6 April 7.30–9.30pm, doors open at 7.00

Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken on the night

Please reserve your place by email to
admin@sutton4sanctuary.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496

The Colloquium in Carshalton Park

Sutton 4 Sanctuary will be taking part in The Colloquium in Carshalton Park.

Throughout the day of the Environmental Fair on Bank Holiday Monday 28 August at Carshalton Park, Sutton for Peace and Justice will be hosting a series of informal and open discussions on a range of peace and justice issues:

11.30 Sutton 4 Sanctuary – Refugees welcome here
Helping refugees find a welcome and establish a new home in Sutton, including the Community Sponsorship Scheme.
12.15 We can have a more equal society
Inequality is bad for everyone and austerity is making it worse – but there is an alternative.
13.00 Climate Change – threat to peace & justice
Action on climate change is essential – now more than ever.
13.45 The plight of Palestinians today
How the rights of ‘the non-jewish communites of Palestine’ are ‘prejudiced’ 100 years after Balfour.
14.30 In defence of the Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act protects us all and needs our support.

15.15 Stop nuclear proliferation – scrap Trident
Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki –Trident should be scrapped.

16.00 Sutton 4 Sanctuary – Refugees welcome here
Helping refugees find a welcome and establish a new home in Sutton, including the Community Sponsorship Scheme.

All at the Sutton for Peace and Justice stall J04–J05.

Come along and hear about these important issues, have your say and join the debate.

Colloquium – an informal gathering for the exchange of views, from latin ‘to talk together’; a seminar usually led by a different academic or expert speaker at each meeting.

 

Refugees Welcome Here – 23 June

Refugee Week meeting, Friday 23 June 2017, 7.30pm

at Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton

Sutton for Sanctuary, Sutton for Peace & Justice and Refugee & Migrant Network Sutton invite you to a meeting to hear how refugees contribute to our community and how we can make them welcome here.

Hear the story of the Basque children who came to live in Sutton during the Spanish Civil War.

Listen to first-hand accounts of four people living and working in Sutton who came here as refuges and were helped to settle by Refugee and Migrant Network Sutton.

Learn about the Sutton project that is part of the Community Sponsorship Scheme, under which community groups support Syrian refugees coming to Britain to help meet the UK Government’s commitment to take 20,000 from camps in the Middle East.

And find out what you can do to help today’s refugees find a welcome and establish a new home here.

 

No entry charge, donations will be taken.

Please reserve a place by email to admin@sutton4sanctuary.uk or text to 07740 594496.

Refugees welcome here – meeting in Sutton 23 June

Refugee week meeting, Friday 23 June 2017, 7.30pm

at Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton

Sutton for Sanctuary, Sutton for Peace & Justice and Refugee & Migrant Network Sutton invite you to a meeting to hear how refugees contribute to our community and how we can make them welcome here.

Hear the stories of how people who came to Sutton as refugees have contributed to our community.

And find out about what is being done to help today’s refugees establish a new home in Sutton.

No entry charge, donations will be taken.

Further details will be issued shortly.

Please reserve a place by email to admin@sutton4sanctuary.uk or text to 07740 594496.

Towards a Borough of Sanctuary

Campaigning to make Sutton a community that welcomes and supports refugees and migrants, and to get Sutton recognised as a ‘Borough of Sanctuary’.

Core principles of the City of Sanctuary Movement

  • Mainstream, grassroots movement – all sectors involved
  • Building bridges between ‘local people’ and refugees
  • Strengthening and broadening refugee support base
  • Dispelling the myths and getting across the real message
  • Celebrating the contribution of refugees to society
  • Creating, supporting and enhancing networks of support
  • Working in partnership to change public attitudes

To show you support of our initiative make Sutton into a recognised Borough of Sanctuary and to keep informed of what we are doing, please sign up as a subscriber or, if you represent an organisation, get them to sign up as a ‘supporter organisation’ – click on “join us” above and follow the instructions on the join us page.

Message from the Mayor of Denver

One of our members saw Mayor Hancock of Denver City USA on Newsnight talking about refugees and was so impressed that she sent his office the following e-mail:

I saw Mayor Hancock on BBC Newsnight last night and I strongly agree with the humanitarian policies on illegal immigrants, inclusivity and keeping families together that the Mayor talked about. Here in my London Borough we are hoping to become a Borough of Sanctuary.

She received the following reply:

Thank you for your email.

No community should be punished for the failures of the federal government to pass needed immigration reform. Unfortunately, the President’s Executive Orders are reckless, lead to confusion and create fear in our communities.

Denver’s number one priority is the safety, health and wellbeing of everyone who lives in our city. Denver Police do not and will not enforce federal immigration laws, and Denver Sheriffs do not and will not detain people without a warrant. Denver will never violate the rights of our people – immigrant or not. And this Executive Order will not change that. If being a sanctuary city means that we value taking care of one another and welcome refugees and immigrants, then Washington can label us whatever they want. If being a sanctuary city means families and young DREAMers live with hope and not fear, then we welcome the title. If being a sanctuary city means that our law enforcement officers are expected to do the work of federal immigration authorities or violate the constitutional rights of any of our people. We reject that.

We have a history of being a city of opportunity for everyone, and we assure you, we have every intention of maintaining our character.

Team Hancock (Mayor of Denver)

Refugee & Migrant Network Sutton AGM

Refugee and Migrant Network Sutton (RMNS) are holding their Annual General Meeting
on Wednesday October 19th 12.00 midday, Trinity Hall, Trinity Church Sutton  SM1 1DZ.

The meeting will feature keynote speaker Shabibi Shah, author of Where do I belong? and Innocent Deception. In 1982 she fled across the mountains of Afghanistan with her three children arriving as a refugee in Croydon and has worked tirelessly for human rights.

RSVP:  olwenstewart@hotmail.com  or olwen@rmns.org.uk