In October 2017, Right to Remain took the decision to no longer work with the group known as Movement For Justice (MfJ). This decision followed the accounts of abuse and harassment within the organisation that were brought to light by former members, and the subsequent response by the MfJ leadership. You can read the accounts here and about the MfJ response here. (Note: These accounts are distressing, including mention of abuse and harassment)
The accounts of abuse were serious, and the response of the leadership ranged from dismissive to bullying and further abuse online, putting migrant members in danger.
Since the disclosures, many groups have released public statements about the abuse and MfJ’s response. With them, Right to Remain notes the “immense amounts of courage it takes to come forward to disclose, and we stand with the survivors” (Doc Not Cops) just “as we would hope to be taken seriously in the same situation.”(FAB) We also note that all this takes place in the context of “the many forms of discrimination and silencing that seem to have been permitted for ‘the sake of the movement’, both historically and at present.”(SDS) Finally, we note that “It is important that we build movements that are themselves accountable so that we do not recreate the patterns of violence that we want to end.” (Detained Voices)
(Ex-MfJ members have collated statements that have been released about working with MfJ since the accounts were made public, which you can read here.)
Following the #HungerForFreedom strikes at Yarls Wood, now one month in, there have many actions of solidarity across the county. A protest is planned at Yarl’s Wood for this Saturday (24th March). MfJ have been key in leading these protests in the past.
A network of migration justice activists and grassroots groups, in consultation with ex-MFJ survivors, are organising travel to Yarl’s Wood on Saturday. In the words of one of the ex-MFJ activists, “the Yarls Wood demonstration should be returned to the community”. Measures have been put in place to ensure that everyone – including the many people with serious concerns about MFJ can participate in safety and solidarity – independently of MfJ. Find out more here.
For this event, and in the coming weeks, months and years, we will continue to work collaboratively with a grassroots network to challenge detention, in solidarity with the people in Yarl’s Wood and other detention centres, and play our role in building an open, inclusive movement for migration justice.
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