Barbara Forbes invites Quakers in Central England to support a renewed Asylum Group:
For many years from 2006 onwards, Warwickshire/Central England Area Meeting had an Asylum Group which (as agreed at Area Meeting) was a self-selecting group of Friends with a concern about asylum and refugee issues. Membership did no go through Nominations Committee. For quite a few years this was a strong and lively group, coordinating responses across the Area Meeting to political events, lobbying, advocacy, engaging with QARN (Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network) and Detention Forum, organising regular vigils in the city centre, and much more besides.
The group was beginning to dwindle before the pandemic as people became less able to be active or preferred to engage in local activities through Sanctuary Meetings rather than up-front coordinated campaigning. During the pandemic, the level of activity dropped off entirely.
As you are no doubt all aware, the “hostile environment” in the UK is becoming increasingly intolerable, and some of us feel that it is urgent to revive the Asylum Group so that we can once again become a strong voice in support of asylum-seekers and in opposition to the illegal and inhumane proposals of the government.
Please let me know if anybody from your Meeting would like to take part in this (details for Barbara Forbes in the blue membership book).
On Saturday 8th July, QARN will be holding its AGM at Bull Street in the morning and is hoping to host an open meeting for Friends in the afternoon. It would be really wonderful if we could announce the revival of the Asylum Group and hear from Meetings about what you are doing. Once again, please let me know if you’d like to join us on that day: please email email@example.com