In April 2013 it was announced that there would be a Home Affairs Select Committee (Committee) held specifically on Asylum. Our submission to that Committee starts with the words...
"When Home Secretary Theresa May announced her plan to shut down the UK Border Agency (UKBA), Members of Movement for Justice Means Necessary celebrated this victory. At the same time, our happiness in seeing the demise of the corrupt, torturous and racist UKBA is tempered by our fears that the Government's plan to create a new asylum and immigration system will do nothing to address the well documented failings of the UKBA or, worse yet, will simply exacerbate and worsen the human rights violations and inhumane treatment that asylum seekers face in Britain now"
Our first proposal to the Committee is that they "Give asylum seekers, refugees and their supporters a voice in creating a new, rational, fair and streamlined asylum system." What does this mean? It means hearing directly from and listening carefully to the thousands of asylum seekers and refugees, inside detention and out - DIRECTLY about their experiences and demands.
That is why Movement for Justice has taken the initiative in holding these hearings; When we continue to hold these hearings independently the Committee will find little option but to open up their own hearings. We must hold these hearings ourselves in every community up and down the country - expose the truth, time and time again. Shout the truth so loudly that the walls of Yalrswood, Colnbrook, Dover and so many other Detention Centres tremble before a movement that can see them swept aside. At this turning point moment in history when so much can change for the better, it is critical for us to build the movement and fight on an independent basis.
That is our task, our duty our historic role - for years now we have been chanting on demonstrations "UKBA - SHUT IT DOWN" - well, WE'VE WON THAT - now we need to make sure its Razed to the ground and built anew on the basis of the truth of the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in Britain.
This hearing is to look primarily at one case, one person but someone who represents hundreds; Jackie Nanyonjo, Member of Movement for Justice, Ugandan lesbian and Freedom Fighter who was killed by the UKBA. The hearing will hear evidence of the brutality she faced, but also of the outrageous farcical decisions and judgements that time and time again are denying lesbian sexuality.
At the hearing you will hear some of the comments made by the judge and decision makers in Jackie's case, asking her to 'prove' her sexuality. Decisions and judgements that are usually shrouded in secrecy - because as far as the UKBA are concerned, no one knows when the person gets deported, right?
WRONG - Because Jackie was a member of Movement for Justice, a movement that is on its feet and in the face of the UKBA, its supporters, its judges, its politicians - WE REFUSE TO LET THE TRUTH GO UNTOLD - we rip to shreds their shrouds of secrecy that allow them to deport our friends, our lovers, our partners, our mothers, our fathers, our children, our co-workers our neighbours.
That is he task of this hearing, to shine the brightest light of truth on a system for whom casual racism, sexism, homophobia and brutality are an every day norm. Movement for Justice will put the evidence before you and propose a verdict on the UKBA - but the vote and the decision is yours.