Sonora International | Pan-African activists from the UK: “Brexit won because of its racist and xenophobic rhetoric” – El Salto

14 years ago the Conservatives began to rule the United Kingdom, 14 years in which policies were consolidated, not only conservative, but also far-right, in addition to hate speech based on xenophobia and racism, of which immigrants were victims and refugees who saw the extent to which their rights and freedoms were being violated little by little. Although it was in the last phase, under the leadership of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, when the most serious episodes of criminalization and brutality against the migrant group occurred. Such as the agreement with Rwanda to deport asylum seekers, which was invalidated by the Constitutional Court, but the government is trying to implement it through another agreement. Or the one known as the “Baby Stockholm” prison ship, which has a capacity of 500 people, where asylum seekers are housed while their applications are being studied on a large barge. It is like a prison in the middle of the sea, which deprives them of their most basic rights. In order to learn more about anti-immigration measures, hate speech, geopolitical interests and the causes and consequences of widespread rights violations in the UK, we interviewed pan-Africanism activists and migrant human rights advocates, Isis Amlak and Arantxa Gaba, both migrants and lawyers. The two grew up and studied together in the 1990s at University College London, where they began fighting to this day Women of African heritage, committed to anti-imperialist and anti-colonial activism and organizing, and the fight against racial injustice. Arantxa comes from a family consisting of a Basque mother and a Ghanaian father. Isis is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. Arantxa worked for the social organization Citizens Advice, in North Kensington, supporting prisoners with immigration, debt and housing issues. He then led the advisory team for the Grenfell Tower fire (a case similar to last week's Valencia building fire) in 2017 in which he advocated for migrant families whom the government intended not to provide assistance due to their irregular administrative status. Isis, based in North Kensington, is an activist for the rights of marginalized and racist communities, children in state detention, refugees and migrants, and users of mental health services.

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Excerpts from the song Aldwin Roberts (Lord Kitchener) – London is a Place for Me are used in the podcast. The song was composed in 1948 during his journey from Trinidad and Tobago to England as an immigrant on the ship Empire Windrush. This ship gave its name to the entire generation of immigrants that came at the time, and to the most brutal immigration criminalization committed by the United Kingdom in the 21st century. The lyrics of that song, which are somewhat naive, according to the Calypso singer’s compatriots, say: “London is the right place for me/London, this magical city/You can go to France or America/India, Asia or Australia/But you have to come back.” To the city of London/ Well, believe me, I speak with an open mind/ I'm glad to know my motherland…”

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