Brexit, the Migrants' Response

The prime minister is accusing us of sending the British to unemployment and worsening their working conditions. Theresa May and the Conservative Party threaten to take jobs away from foreign healthcare workers, mark companies that hire immigrants, and proclaim that we are nothing more than bargaining chips to negotiate with the European Union. Are we going to shut up?

After hosting a meeting among the Spanish community, Marea Granate is calling all the migrants in Bristol (and locals) to exchange views on Brexit and seek a common response. The British Government cannot scapegoat us to hide its unjust and antisocial policies.

The very first idea is to build a platform to unmask myths and lies about migrants (e.g. C4i-Communication for Integration - Antirumours Networks for Diversity: http://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/c4i ) and to seek for presence of migrants' voices in the British media. We don't want to ignore other initiatives like One Day Without Us: UK National Protest (http://www.1daywithoutus.org/ ), so this event is open to all, individuals and organisations.


Some facts:

- On 23 June the United Kingdom voted in favour of Brexit. It was a victory by the minimum: 52% / 48%.

- David Cameron presented his resignation as prime minister and the Conservative Party chose Theresa May as his successor.

- In the days after the referendum, Remain supporters collected signatures and demonstrated to ask for a second referendum, without success.

- Racist and xenophobic attacks have risen by 15% to 20% after the referendum, according to police sources.

- During its last conference, the Conservative Party has fixed the course of action with respect to Brexit and immigration:

• Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, with which the process of EU exit begins, will be triggered in March 2017. Two years later, in 2019, the United Kingdom would leave the Union.

• The future of EU nationals living in the UK will be the "main card" the government plays in negotiations with the EU (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/04/liam-fox-refuses-to-guarantee-right-of-eu-citizens-to-remain-in-uk ).

• More national doctors will be trained to replace in the future foreign ones, calling "interim" the status of the latter, in the words of Theresa May (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/04/jeremy-hunt-accused-devaluing-contribution-foreign-doctors-to-uk ).

• Foreign students' access to the university will be restricted, depending on the "quality" of the course (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/04/rudd-announces-crackdown-on-overseas-students-and-new-work-visas ).

• Landladies and landlords that rent to illegal immigrants may be punished with jail terms (http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2016/10/06/making-landlords-into-immigration-officers-only-encourages-d ).

• A census of the nationalities of pupils in schools is already underway (http://www.thecanary.co/2016/10/06/shocking-texts-letters-sent-schools-trying-identify-non-british-children-tweets/ ).

- Theresa May attributes British citizens' unemployment or poor working conditions to the presence of "low-skilled" immigrants (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37577620 ).

- 3.45 million foreigners work in the United Kingdom, of which 2.23 million come from the Union. 11% of workers in Britain are immigrants.

- The unemployment rate is 4.9% (1.65 million unemployed). 903,000 employees, 2.9% of the total, have a zero-hour contract (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/08/uk-workers-zero-hours-contracts-rise-tuc ).

*Migration and the South West. A South West TUC guide to population and migration: https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/migration-and-the-south-west-report_0.pdf


About Marea Granate:

Marea Granate (Maroon Wave) is a transnational non-partisan organisation formed by emigrants from the Spanish State and supporters, which aims to combat the causes of the social and economic crisis that have forced us to emigrate.

Our collective was born in the light of other recent social movements in Spain over the last years. We are somehow the extension of them abroad. Our wave is maroon like the color of our passports, the symbol of our forced migration.

http://mareagranate.org/en/manifiesto/english/

The Bristol branch organises meetings where we bring current affairs, like the refugee crisis or Brexit, to talk about among the Spanish community; film screenings and protests, like those ones about the issues to vote in the Spanish elections when you live abroad. Besides, we have launched an initiative where Spanish immigrants can meet and help each other: Spaniards’ Encounters.

bristol@mareagranate.org
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http://mareagranate.org/
Work group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mareagranatebristol/
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