Borders, Refugees, Solidarity, Resistance

28 Oct


Thu, November 21, 2019, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Murray Learning Centre, LG21, University of Birmingham

Migrants and refugees are increasingly victimised by a political class desperate to find scapegoats. The violent nature of the current border system encroaches ever further into people’s lives. Even educational institutions are required to operate as an arm of the Home Office and facilitate Hostile Environment policies.

Instead of being treated as valuable members of our community, migrants and refugees are subject to surveillance and monitoring by schools, universities, local authorities and the Home Office. Refugees fleeing violence, danger and poverty face an asylum process that is lengthy, unfit for purpose and which systematically leaves people in dangerous conditions. Detention centres, mostly located in remote areas, are routinely used to imprison people without any judicial process. And the Conservative Government, with their pursuit of Brexit and anti-migrant narratives, continues to make matters worse, exposing ever more individuals to border violence.

In relation to the university setting, international students and staff are routinely held to different standards, with their visas placing them in positions of dependence, upon either their employers or upon regular attendance in classes.

This workshop aims to bridge the gap between academia and activism in relation to these questions of borders, refugees, solidarity, and resistance. It brings together researchers, practitioners and activists around a shared goal of both highlighting, and resisting, the damaging effect of Britain’s ever-worsening border regime.



5.00 Introduction and welcome

5.05 Speakers

Tendayi Bloom, University of Birmingham

Why can some people move freely, while others’ movement is controlled? Thoughts about the global governance of migration

Gaja Maestri, Aston University

Exploring refugee solidarity: motivations, meanings and tensions

Yajur Arora and Hanna Ellis, Docs not Cops, University of Birmingham Medical School

The challenges of accessing healthcare for “Illegal” and vulnerable migrants

Sanaz Raji, Unis Resist Border Controls

The impact of the border regime in Universities and initiatives to resist border controls

5.35 Workshop discussion highlighting solidarity initiatives we can focus on in Birmingham

6.10 Closing discussion, feedback and ideas for future activities

6.30 END

Hosted by CSE/Capital and Class Midlands

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