Refugee Week

13 06 2009

This week is Refugee Week, and there are lots of interesting events going on in London

Ice and Fire Theatre are touring with their production of the Asylum Dialogues. In London on the 21st of June.  They have got some really interesting looking plays about ‘illegal’ immigrants asylum seekers and refugees in London.

The BFI Film and Jazz Weekender also has some refugee relevant films – ‘The Fortress’ and ‘Exile: Dreams and Nightmares’ which both look fascinating.

On a more sombre note, The 19 Princelet Street Museum which is one of my favorite places and is usually open during Refugee week is closed this year for financial reasons… it is a real treasure and must be saved.

Also the delightfuly progressive SOAS decided this week to raid a meeting of their cleaning staff … I got this e-mail from the SOAS Detainee support group:

At 6.30am on Friday the 12th June, ISS (the company who contracts SOAS’s cleaning staff) called a meeting for all SOAS cleaners. Within minutes the meeting was raided by approximately 40 immigration police, who illegally detained all cleaners and arrested 9 people accused of working without proper documentation. These 9 people are now on fast-track to be deported from the UK.

Graham Dyer, SOAS UCU Branch Chair and lecturer in economics of developing countries EDC said: “It is no co-incindence that there is an immigration raid at a time when the UCU, Unison and the NUS are fighting against the victimisation of a migrant worker who has been at the heart of a fight that has improved the pay and conditions of workers here at SOAS. It is also not coincidental that ISS had only just signed a union recognition agreement with UNISON last week. Our fight has united lecturers, staff and students and has rocked SOAS management. Those managers are now lashing out. It is a disgrace that SOAS management saw fit to use a seat of learning to intimidate migrant workers. This is their underhand revenge and we will do all we can to stop migrant workers paying the price.”

Many see this as ISS’ response to the recent unionisation of the cleaning force, and also as a warning to other institutions looking to unionise.

In preliminary response, a demonstration has been called at 4.30 today outside SOAS. Please come down, show your solidarity and prepare further action.

 The demo was yesterday (12th) but you can get in touch with SOAS detainee support group via their website.

MORE HERE on the Justice for SOAS Cleaners blog

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13 06 2009
Fresh From twitter.com/Matthew_Duggan « Cheap London Theatre

[…] Refugee Week u00ab FiLo u2013 The Fieldwork in London Network: Ice and Fire Theatre are touring with their production of.. http://bit.ly/7xxq0 […]

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