3 reasons you should join us for Freedom of Movement on Saturday
On 23 March 2019, Our Future Now will host an afternoon and evening of learning, resisting and dancing. We present this event in the spirit of protest against our current border controls, and in celebration of solidarity beyond difference. We will explore what a world with freedom of movement for all could look like. Here are three reasons why you should join us:
1) Because free movement for all is fundamental for justice
Many of you reading this will already have benefited from freedom of movement. Any of you that have lived, worked, or even travelled abroad, are benefiting from a privilege that is denied to entire groups of people simply because of where they were born. Whilst British passport holders can visit 173 countries, those holding an Afghan passport can visit only 28.
Borders prevent certain groups of people from accessing resources and opportunity. They protect the privilege of the wealthy at the expense of the poor, creating a global apartheid. Many people who leave their homes have been forced to because of poverty, persecution, economic injustice or climate change—problems that have often been caused and exacerbated by a deeply unjust and extractive global economic system.
We must tackle the root causes of poverty and inequality, and work towards a world where people have a right to stay in their homes. But as the multiple crises of capitalism worsen, we can expect movement across borders to intensify. Closed borders do not stop people from moving; they only make it more dangerous.
Of course, borders only exist when those in power want them to. Let’s not forget about the world’s most notorious economic migrant: capital.
Money can hop across borders freely, brutally taking jobs and livelihoods, lining the pockets of those who are already rich enough to buy multiple citizenships. Guns and bullets are welcomed across borders whilst humans are kept out and criminalised for trying to meet their needs. As with so much in our current system, the rules only matter for the people who don’t.
At Freedom of Movement we hope to create a space to explore these and other ideas around borders and free movement.
2) Because UK immigration policy is violent and racist
UK immigration policy is more than hostile; it is violent and deeply racist. Those deemed to be unwanted are denied their basic needs and deliberately kept in a state of mental anguish, as the government attempts to turn public services and NGOs into border-guards. We must fight the borders being created in schools, doctors and support services.
We must end deportations where people are returned—sometimes en mass on secret charter flights—to countries where they risk isolation, persecution and death.
We must end all immigration detention. Every year the Home Office locks up around 30,000 people in facilities with conditions worse than prison. They have no idea when they will be freed. Being detained in this way has serious and irreversible consequences for mental health.
Borders are becoming ever more present and insidious in our communities. We must fight this together. This is why Freedom of Movement will be a fundraiser for SOAS detainee support—an incredible student-led initiative working in solidarity with people in and outside immigration detention centres.
3) Because our difference is our strength
These issues are not always easy to think about. Borders are built into our minds as well as our maps, and we must create positive spaces to begin the process of re-learning. But together we have enormous strength.
Through art, music and words we will celebrate the strength of real unity across diversity. We will hear from panelists whose lives have been shaped by borders in different ways. Workshops explore what borders are, and how we can challenge them both physically and in our own minds. We will celebrate with spoken word, live music, dance and DJs.
We must resist, but we must also be brave enough to imagine a radically different world. On 23 March 2019, bring your ideas, your hope and your resistance to Freedom of Movement at DIY space for London. See you there.
- Share the Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/359815991241875/
- Get your tickets via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/freedom-of-movement-tickets-56067477334