Justice is what love looks like in public


Solidarity Knows No Borders: Week of action to end the hostile environment 13 – 19 June 2022

These Walls Must Fall gathering in Sheffield in May 2022.

Right to Remain team are excited to be part of Solidarity Knows No Borders Network Week of Action to End the Hostile Environment which starts today.

We are witnessing an unprecedented wave of catastrophes and people’s acts of resistance and survival collide right in front our eyes. We are living right through them.

Now, we are poised to throw ourselves into this week of action, after months and, in fact, years of preparation, building migration justice movement with others.

Over the decades, Right to Remain and its former incarnation National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) have witnessed many ups and downs, well, too many downs, in our shared struggled for refugee and migration justice.

Through that period, it became increasingly clear that we must combine practical actions, disruptions of the system and transformation of society, always through radical solidarity, if we are to achieve our ambition: an alternative world where everyone can exercise their right to remain with dignity and humanity, where they need to be. This is neatly summarised by what our previous Coordinator, Lisa Matthews said:

We need practical actions that make a difference to a person that day, we need bolder acts that disrupt the operating of the system that harms so many; and we also need to argue for a different way, a different society, a different world in which we recognise that Migration is Life.”

And for this to happen, we knew that it was critical that a strong,and dynamic migrant-led movement grows organically in Britain that successfully fights off the injustice and racism of the immigration and asylum system. These Walls Must Fall was finally born several years ago, a network of refugee and migrant campaigners working with allies and supporters for radical change, based on the principles of solidarity, self-help and mutual aid and anti-racism, which foregrounds people with lived experience of the system. We thus began the process of movement building with our campaigners and allies, nurturing it, learning from it and being energised by it.

In 2022, we are already living under a hostile environment, that seems to get worse by the day. The Nationality and Borders Act is a threat to the Refugee Convention, the Policing Bill seeks to criminalise protest and the Human Rights Act is under attack. Cost of living crisis is fast undermining our ability to survive further and an acute climate emergency is looming on the horizon.

We must come together to resist these challenges of the Hostile Environment, and fight for an alternative society. We need to fight to defend and extend our rights. We need a movement based on radical solidarity, to counter the government’s racist hostile environment. That movement must come from and be led by the grassroots, the people at the sharp end. And it needs solidarity from across all communities, that protects everyone.

Our challenges are formidable, but it has been a joyful experience to build power through These Walls Must Fall campaigners and combine forces with like-minded allies, such as Migrants Organise and our local partners in cities and communities across Britain. And, we see this Week of Action as our movement’s public declaration, that we are ready to take on the Hostile Environment. We have now firmly set our eyes of creating a social change that is much deeper than mere policy fixes and is truly transformative.

What does that alternatives society look like, when injustice and racism of the immigration and asylum system are gone? Cornel West, an American philosopher, political activist and public intellectual, said “Justice is what love looks like in public.” and maybe we can use that as a clue.

And maybe we are seeing glimpse of that justice from Kenmure Street to Evan Cook Close when communities come together to stop immigration raids, when the protest outside Brook House connects with people in immigration detention and when people seeking asylum and their supporters are huddled over our Toolkit to navigate the system together. We need more of them, and we know can’t do this alone. We need more people, more voices, more neighbourhoods, more communities, more actions and more spaces to join up for collective justice for everyone. And Right to Remain are committed to continuing to embed the DNA of this precious movement building – radical solidarity – that can guide us to act with abundance of boldness, determination and love.

Join us. And enjoy this Week of Action!