Dignity March, Bristol to Cardiff
Group arrives in Chepstow on ‘March for Dignity’ from Bristol to Cardiff to expose the injustices against asylum seekers 29/05/2014 – 2/06/2014
A group of thirty refugees and allies completed their second day of a 50 mile ‘March for Dignity’ . They are campaigning for a just asylum system and an end to forced destitution, where people are not allowed to claim benefit or work, as well as dententions and deportations. They set off from St Pauls, Bristol, yesterday afternoon and walked to Shirehampton, and then today on to Chepstow where they spend the night at the Chepstow Methodist Church. Their journey will continue until Monday ending at the Home Office building, Newport Road, Cardiff.
“The UK government signed an agreement in 1951 with the rest of Europe to protect asylum seekers who had to leave their country. They should honour this promise and give us our human rights. It is only tiny bit of their yearly budget to support asylum seekers for a few months until we get the right to stay, Then we can support ourselves and contribute to the economy of the country”
Mohammed, Kurdish Iraq.
A 10ft goat has walked the entire route so far, with the marchers calling out against scapegoating of asylum seekers by the government and media. Marchers have sang and danced, chanting “No More Scapegoating” “Freedom Freedom” “Migration, Migration is not a crime.” Many people have clapped and beeped to show their support for the march along the way, .
“It is important to be part of this march to send a message not just in Bristol, but around the world that asylum seekers are here to seek safety. There are lots of wrong messages said about us. We are scapegoated and blamed”
Timi, who has been waiting 10 years for a just response to his asylum claim.
They had many other costumes and signs including a rocket, to signify the UK arms trade which perpetuates conflicts around the world, causing many people to become refugees and a man wearing tea leaves to highlight the value placed on resources over human beings saying
“If I was Sri Lanka Tea UKBA would welcome me, but if I am a human being UKBA wants to kick me out”
Tomorrow they walk on to Newport on the way to Cardiff. Enroute they will have a live link up with the ongoing 450km Freedom March from Strasbourg to Brussels which inspired this march.
Finally on Monday June 2nd they will march through Cardiff to the regional Home Office building on Newport Road, Cardiff, joined by many asylum seeker and refugee organisations, trade unions and other organisations from Cardiff and South Wales.
This march builds on the previous marches in 2012 and 2013 organised by Dignity for Asylum Seekers to challenge the government policies of destitution and detention.
Twitter hashtag #March4FreedomUK
*Some names have been changed.