LGBT activists pour own blood in Home Office ponds to protest Immigration Bill
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This morning activists from Lesbians and Gays Supports the Migrants let their blood flow from their arms into the ponds of the Home Office in London to create “Rivers of Blood” in protest against the Immigration Bill 2015/2016 which the House of Commons will vote on today.
Activists dressed in black bled into the ponds while holding signs saying “The Immigration Bill will kill” and “An injury to one is an injury to all”.
Today the House of Commons will vote on the Immigration Bill 2015/2016 sponsored by Theresa May. The bill has sparked controversy especially in areas relating to housing, workers’ rights and the rights of asylum seekers.
Notably the Immigration Bill would:
- Force landlords to check the immigration status of all new tenants (a policy which has been proven to increase discrimination);
- Create a new criminal offence of illegal working for those without the right papers, including wide-ranging sanctions such as the seizure of earnings; and
- Restrict access to welfare support for rejected asylum seekers and their dependants.
Alex from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants said:
“The MPs voting for the Immigration Bill today have blood on their hands. The Bill will leave people unable to access adequate housing and force workers into perilous working conditions. People fleeing persecution will be left with nothing to live on.”
Sam from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants said:
“The real rivers of blood flow from the Home Office. With the Immigration Bill, the government seeks to turn ordinary people into border guards and create a divided society. This bill is not just an attack on migrants, but will increase discrimination against minorities, especially ethnic minorities. As queer people we stand in solidarity with people who face the repression of the state and the media, having faced similar repression only a few decades ago.”
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants is a queer activist group that takes up the mantle from the 1980’s Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners to stand in solidarity with migrants and refugees. The group supports migrants and refugees through fundraising activities and use creative action to disrupt the prevailing right-wing media narrative which pits LGBTQIA+ people against migrants.
On 21 November 2015 the group held a “No Borders; No Bigots” protest outside the Home office to protest against the government’s racist border policies: https://vimeo.com/146515037
On 30 January 2016 the group will hold a migrant pride event to celebrate the strength of queer and migrant communities in the face of repression.
For more information on the critique of the Immigration Bill see this briefing from the Migrants’ Rights Network:http://www.migrantsrights.org.