To remember all people who have died crossing the Mediterranean.
(source: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/groups/nottingham/soseurope-vigil-wed-22-april ).
This Wednesday 22 April, please join us at Brian Clough statue, Market Square, Nottingham, 5:30-6:30pm to remember all those dying as they try to cross the Mediterranean.
There’s been a two incidents in the news in the last few days, and up to 1,500 people are feared to have drowned this year alone.
Please come along if you can, and bring a white flower in remembrance.
More info on vigil: https://www.facebook.com/events/434913446682684/
More info on the situation from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32376082
More info on Amnesty’s campaign: http://www.sos-europe-amnesty.eu/stop-people-from-suffering-and-dying-at-our-borders-actions/
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY MEETING
THE FIGHT TO END DETENTION AND STOP THE SCAPEGOATING OF IMMIGRANTS
SPEAKERS FROM MOVEMENT FOR JUSTICE
WEDNESDAY 10th DECEMBER
at the International Community Centre
61b Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FN
Background and details about the meeting from the organisers
The Surround Harmondsworth demonstrations led by Movement for Justice have
become the focal point for a growing movement nationally to end detention and stop
the scapegoating of immigrants. At this meeting you will hear from ex-detainee’s and
Movement for Justice organisers about the struggle inside and outside of detention to
bring down a system that sees thousands of people locked up, people who have
committed no crime other than to seek freedom and safety for themselves and their
families. You will find out how you can get involved in this movement for freedom and
join others in Nottingham as we organise and mobilise for January’s demonstration.
Just a reminder about the website of Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum which also moved this year:
Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF) is an independent voluntary organisation and registered charity set up in 2000 to work with and for refugees and asylum seekers in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire offering practical advice, information, support and friendship and also campaigning on issues affecting them.
NNRF is run by a volunteer Management Committee, a third of whose members are refugees and asylum seekers. Its supporters include political, religious and students groups, trades unions and concerned individuals, as well as refugees and asylum seekers who have always been involved in the running of NNRF.
To support Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Nottingham & Nottinghamshire to gain fair and just outcomes, rebuild their lives and integrate into society.
A society where Asylum Seekers and Refugees are welcomed, receive just and compassionate treatment and support in rebuilding their lives.
We seek to achieve this by:
Providing a welcoming community centre.
Offering specialised advice & support services.
Providing programmes to develop confidence, skills and knowledge.
Campaigning for a just and generous response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers from government and the host community.
Advocating on behalf of individual Asylum Seekers and Refugees in cases of injustice and hardship.
Contact Address: NNRF, The Sycamore Centre, 31 Hungerhill Road, Nottingham, NG3 4NB.
Telephone: (0115) 9601230
Paul Collier’s summarises his book Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World in his article ‘How to have a sensible conversation about migration’, New Statesman, 21 November, 2013. This is a belated response to it.
The use of the word ”sensible” in any article about immigration rings alarm bells these days. Sirens are further sounded as Collier follows it with a complaint that we haven’t been allowed to have a “serious discussion” about immigration since – wait for it… Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of blood speech” – which he later partially endorses.
Frankly, I can’t be bothered to look at all the “ten blocks” -with which he elucidates his immigration policy in the NS article – so we shall have to make do with examining a couple that will show that his claim to authority is at best, over stated.
Collier is a serious political scientist who – he claims – is bravely confronting a social science taboo – talking “honestly”(Ding! Ding!) about immigration. Further, his “liberal” friends will be appalled at him for doing so – and to be fair he is probably risking a decline in dinner party invites in Hampstead. Whatsmore in a world where the chairman of Migration Watch gets a peerage he is really sticking his neck out.
Having set up this straw man of a open border consensus he starts building his argument.
In Block 3, Collier outlines one of the unwelcome truths about migrants is their propensity to “cluster” and “not be absorbed” into the “general population”.
The clustering tendencies according to Collier of (im)migrant diasporas – slows absorption. This is bad and is made worse both by larger (uncontrolled) migration – and further excacerabted by multicultural as opposed to assimilative policy (Yes, this article is quite like playing racist-immigration-discourse bingo!). Absorption or assimilation seem to be similar, though one also seems to actas the cause of the other.
By “absorbing” I take Collier to mean to be evenly distributed socially, economically and geographically evenly across and into the receiving state – not to be a a noticeable blip in any statistical analysis of the Census. Perhaps they are two different aspects of the same thing – with assimilation being the socio-cultural aspect. In any case, Assimilation/Absorption normally means conforming to the dominant (if not majority) culture.
For instance, within the US context this means Anglo-Saxon culture despite many other major populations including those of First Nation and African origin. Top-down assimilation has negative consequences, mainly as one culture is promoted at the cost of less dominant ones. However, I would argue that a more egalitarian assimilative process is possible, but I won’t argue for it here.
To delve slightly deeper into Collier’s mind set, I think we need to look carefully at the language that he deploys. An apposite example is provided within his full length book – Exodus: How Migration is Changing our World. It seems the more culturally different the migrant community are from their hosts, the more problematic their presence within the host society. They bring with them undesirable qualities from their countries/cultures:
“Uncomfortable as it may be . . . migrants bring their culture with them..For example…unsurprisingly, Nigerian immigrants to other societies tend to be untrusting and opportunistic.”1
This quote is telling in a number of ways. It reveals one of Collier’s arguments to be based on questionable assumptions about national character – though to be sure he’s careful to make it societal not racial. They bring not their inferior genes but their inferior governance with them. Collier previous works tells us how it’s the global souths’ corruption that is the source of its economic woes. It also assumes a rather rose tinted view of the population of the receiving country; If only we didn’t leave our borders open, we could still leave our doors unlocked without concern.
There is a further implicit assumption is seemingly being made about the “indigenous” population of receiving countries: That we are all happily assimilated into a otherwise contented general population; there are no other alienated groups within these societies. Ever widening gaps in income levels (for instance in the UK) suggests something rather different2.
Collier goes on to detail how migrants damage their hosts well being:
“Yet diversity also potentially jeopardises co-operation and generosity. Co-operation rests on co-ordination games that support both the provision of public goods and myriad socially enforced conventions. Generosity rests on a widespread sense of mutual regard that supports welfare systems. Both public goods and welfare systems benefit the indigenous poor, which means they are the group most at risk of loss.”
Collier seems to conflate two separate issues here.
1) True, there is some social science research – which suggests that “trust” or “solidarity” is lower in areas of higher diversity (not higher immigration) areas. Though the study by Robert Puttnam’s that Collier bases this assertion on finds that diversity is good for us in the long run and “…an extraordinary achievement of human civilization is our ability to redraw social lines in ways that transcend ancestry.”3 Further, Collier doesn’t acknowledge the results of other studies which don’t support Puttnam’s thesis linking diversity and lack of social capital. For instance, Gesthuizen et al (2004) suggest there is a positive relationship between social capital and diversity within the European context.4
2) Welfare cuts or rationing are carried out by governments not newly arrived migrants. Myths of “benefit tourism” are just that – myths used to justify reduction and withdrawal of social security and are part of a larger narrative which paints most recipients (not just migrants) of welfare as undeserving5.
As for the weakening of social solidarity due to the influx of migrants, its noticeable in articles of this kind that internal migration of rich people into previously economically deprived areas (Gentrification) are not considered despite substantial evidence of it’s impact on homelessness, and displacement.6
Paul Collier’s blocks are not a firm foundation for future migration policy, but rather a crumbing edifice which merely reflect the the unworkable and injust status quo.
1Quoted in “Let the People Go -The problem with strict migration controls”. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140354/michael-clemens-and-justin-sandefur/let-the-people-go viewed 11/10.14
3E Pluribus Unum : Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture
Robert D. Putnam* pp161
4 Ethnic Diversity and Social Capital in Europe: Tests of Putnam’s Thesis in European Countries
Maurice Gesthuizen,* Tom van der Meer & Peer Scheepers
5The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control, Chapter
6: Rowland Atkinson (2004) The evidence on the impact of gentrification: new lessons for the urban renaissance?, International Journal of Housing Policy, 4:1, 107-131
ExLibris – Nottingham 2014 September Megasale – not long now!
A message from the Masked Booksellers (Carlton/Gedling branch)…
This year our 8th anual mega-booksale will be on September 12th – 14th, again Friday to Sunday as this seemed successful last year. We’ll be running from 11.00 am to 7.00 pm on all days. There will again be yummy cakes for sale.
Details including location:
Disorder among detainees following the death of a man at an immigration centre in Swinderby, Lincolnshire, has ended, the Home Office has said.
Staff at Morton Hall earlier had to withdraw to a “place of safety” and emergency services attended the scene.
About 30 detainees were believed to be involved in the disorder, which is thought to be connected to a death on Friday night.
RELAUNCH: Tuesday Night Project
The Tuesday Night Project will be relaunched as The Tuesday Night Welcome
Group on the 9th September at a new venue St Andrews Hall, Goldsmith Street
NG1 5JT, Just around the corner from the University Tram Stop.
The Group is aimed at Welcoming new Asylum Seekers to the City and will be
working with Nottingham University Star Students to learn English as part of
their Conversation classes. They will also:-
Help new Asylum Seekers register with Begin for college, and introduce them to
the various free Language Cafes and activities in their local libraries around
Help register people with the YMCA Activity for Life a free 12 week health
project at the gym.
Provide a social space so new Asylum Seekers will be able to meet and make new
Hosting monthly community activities and encouraging new communities activity.
Signposting clients to other organisations around the city.
The group hope to have guest speakers from different community groups
attending on a Tuesday Evening and are planning to invite workers from
Ridewise and Sustrans to talk about their projects after the relaunch on the
For more information please contact Bill Walton at the British Red Cross on
Petition by Rhiannon Prideaux Nottingham, United Kingdom
Ahmadu fled war-torn Sierra Leone the age of just 17 having escaped from the rebel soldiers who had killed his family, burned his village and forced him to work as a slave. He has had no formal education and could only speak Fula. He is now 30 years old and for the past 13 years his life has been in limbo here in the UK.