On Saturday 19th September 2020, Regularise held a peaceful demonstration to stand in solidarity with all undocumented migrants and those with insecure status who are currently in the UK. In attendance, were people from South and East Asian Centre (SEAC), Lesbians and Gays support Migrants (LGSMigrants), Regularise, Filipino Domestic Workers’ Association (FDWA), Gabriela London, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, End The Virus of Racism, Anukbaya!, Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary (MFJ), and other individuals and supporters including Black Protest Legal Support who kindly provided Legal Observers for the day.
The protest was organised in compliance with COVID-19 safety measures. However, given that there were anti-mask protests in Trafalgar Square on the same day, which have been attended by some far-right groups, the police requested that we move to the other side of 10 Downing Street for our safety. This meant that we had a lot more people traffic and managed to engage with the public, who stopped by to listen to the speeches and ask some questions about why we were protesting.
Our demands were simple in that we want the UK government to implement a regularisation scheme that grants Leave to Remain status to all undocumented migrants and migrants with insecure status who are currently in the UK. We want this done so that undocumented migrants, who currently don’t have basic rights, are granted these rights and a safer and more equitable path to settlement and citizenship. We would like a programme similar to the EU Settlement Scheme but for undocumented migrants, where people are settled or are given the path to settlement as with the pre-settled status. During COVID-19, we have seen how migrants without any protections have unnecessarily suffered and in some cases, died due to the policies of the Hostile Environment.
We had speakers from Gabriela, FDWA, MFJ, Anukbaya! and Regularise. We also had singing with audience participation from Alex Etchart Music, who sang their catchy protest song, Shine (No Human Is Illegal), and a performance from Gabriela – it was a really energetic and uplifting experience. Each speaker spoke with passion and, being able to meet face to face, will hopefully allow us to continue collaborating on this campaign with each other.
There were coordinated protests held in solidarity on the same day in Manchester (organised by RAPAR) and Coventry (organised by CARAG and Coventry Against Racism), who are all members of the Status Now Network. Thanks to all who attended, participated and supported us on the day!
Given the restrictions likely to come into force in the next few months due to COVID-19, we will have to do some out of the box thinking. Get in contact if you would like to collaborate with us on future actions at email@example.com . Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and like us on Facebook.