4th October 2008
Two Green Party speakers spoke at the demonstration for Human Rights in Sheffield on Saturday 4th October. Councillor Jillian Creasy spoke of the imprtance of showing solidarity to asylum seekers, and Graham Wroe welcomed Annociate Nimpagaratse, who has recently been released from detention following a massive letter writing and lobbying campaign.
Councillor Jillian Creasy said, “Thanks to Sheffield CDAS for organising this demonstration. 3 reasons to show our solidarity”
- As human beings – human rights universal; if denied to one, lessened for all
- As workers – we see the effects of denying human rights to asylum seekers: housing, work, education, healthcare. Many people here will have struggled to help individuals unable to access these basic rights. I do as GP. Ironically the lack of basic rights is putting more strain on public services. Asylum seekers cannot learn English, establish themselves in a community, support themselves by working. Become mentally and physically ill and create extra burdens on the health service. We all suffer.
- Politically – great to see the personal support for individual asylum seekers – Claude and Annociate; raising awareness of mistreatment. Need political pressure too.
- As city councillor – SCC has worked hard within national government constraints but Labour Council was unwilling to criticise colleagues in Westminster. Make use of Lib Dem administration to push for human rights for asylum seekers.
- As member of Green Party – highlight our responsibility as western consumers for environmental degradation and political destabilisation elsewhere. Most asylum seekers are from war zones we created – Iraq and Afghanistan; increasingly they will be environmental refugees.
e.g. Open cast coal mine at Phulbari in Bangladesh – 40,000 homeless, 100,000 lose water supply – proposed by UK company GCM Resources PLC. Local protestors have been shot by paramilitaries. If this project goes ahead we all suffer – more CO2 emissions, more climate change, more people unable to sustain themselves, more refugees and asylum seekers.
There is only one world and only one human race. We must stand together.
Green activist Graham Wroe told the story of the recent campaign to free Annociate Nimpagaritse from detention and prevent her from being deported to Burundi. You can read more about the campaign on the Free Annociate blog.