Today people from all over the UK stood in solidarity with the Stansted 15, demanding an end to the hostile environment, an end to detention and an end to all forms of deportation.
Over 50,000 people have signed the petition demanding justice for the Stansted 15, after they were found guilty of a terror-related offence for peacefully preventing a secretive deportation flight last year.
This morning Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants took over the ad space on the tube lines most frequently used to travel to airports to give passengers some practical advice on how to stop a deportation, hoping to empower people to take a stand and refuse to sit in silence if someone is being deported on their flight.
Here below more information about the “See it, say it, stop it” campaign:
Tens of thousands of people are deported every year from Europe. Some take place in in front of the public on commercial flights. People are not informed in advance of the date and time of their deportation flight. They are treated with violence by their police escort if they try to resist. Some of these people lived in the UK since they were a child. Many have family and children here. Some are deported before their asylum application has been processed.
No one is wilfully deported. Many risk being killed in the country where they are deported to. This is may be why they had left in the first place. Others are being sent to countries in which they have never lived as an adult and have no friends or relatives. The UK regularly deports people to countries the Foreign Office advises travellers not to visit, like Somalia, Afghanistan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
British Airways has been responsible for carrying countless deportees, including LGBTQ asylum seekers and members of the Windrush generation, who were illegally marked for deportation, to countries where they risk persecution, or where they have not set foot for decades. Five years ago, an Angolan passenger, Jimmy Mubenga, died on one such deportation flight carried out by BA.
ASK at check-in if there is a deportation on your flight.
WALK to the back of the plane, as this is usually where people being deported are sat.
TALK to the person who is being deported and ask if they want to take this flight.
TALK to other passengers if the person doesn’t want to take the flight.
TALK to the cabin crew and demand to speak to the pilot – once the doors have been closed, only the pilot can decide to disembark the person being deported.
STAND UP when the doors close and refuse to sit down.
EXPLAIN why you are taking action to the other passengers – try to build solidarity.
IGNORE any comments from police.