21 February 2017
Green Councillors have called on the Council to show leadership and support for the city’s migrant residents, as they highlighted their contribution to society in a series of actions on UN Social Justice Day, Monday, 20th Feb.
The actions formed part of the national ‘One Day Without Us’ campaign, a solidarity movement for migrants facing uncertainty over their rights following the referendum vote to withdraw Britain’s membership of the European Union.
Plans for the day involved a symbolic ‘walk-out’ of migrants from their places of work and, in addition to a rally at the Clock Tower from 12:00 noon, attended by Green Councillors Phelim Mac Cafferty and Leo Littman, a mass lobby of Parliament was also organised by the London campaign group.
Green Group Convenor, Phélim Mac Cafferty addressed the Brighton rally (1) and the Green Group have expressed concerns that some migrants wishing to show their support for the event may face punitive measures from their employers.
Green Councillor and spokesperson for Neighbourhoods Communities and Equalities, Leo Littman, stated:
“Migrants are our co-workers, our neighbours, our friends. The environment post-referendum has become toxic; with a nationwide rise in racism and hate crimes. Our Government refuses to reassure those who have come to work here legally that they will respect their right to remain. The resulting uncertainty is unacceptable, and we are keen to recognise the contribution of immigration to our diverse city.
“We applaud those enlightened employers who gave their migrant staff members the day off today, to enable them to highlight their important contribution to the UK and the desperate plight they are now in, suffering such uncertainty about their futures in this country.
“By contrast, I understand that Council staff had to use their annual or flexi-time leave to attend. It is very disappointing that the Council’s promised awareness event (2) to highlight migrant workers both within the Council and across Brighton and Hove appears far from being realised. At a time when the Council has promised to show leadership and support, swift action to support our migrant community is needed more than ever.”