Brixton community organiser, BBC Windrush poet and Green Party candidate Michael Groce calls for solidarity for the Windrush Generation

18 April 2018

Community organiser Michael Groce, whose training and advice centre Green Man Skills in Brixton, has been successfully helping members of the 'Windrush Generation' fight deportation, is calling on the community to come together at Friday's Brixton Respect solidarity event 5-7pm in Windrush Square in Brixton Friday 20th April.

Michael Groce said: "Join us in the place that celebrates the remarkable contribution of African and Caribbean men and women to this country. They built the NHS and worked hard against all odds and racism to maintain public services and communities across the UK.

"Stand together in defence of the absolute right of the Windrush generation to be at the heart of any society that purports to be democratic, diverse and just.

"Defy the disgraceful position of government and secure full rights for them to be citizens of the UK.

"Demand an immediate end to Tory government racist immigration legislation and actions that bully and frighten our elders and the community."

"These last 12 months has been tragic for our organisation The Green Man, even as this news came out, that very morning I had someone at my desk, brought in by their brother, who recommended us, facing this very situation and we was working really hard trying to help her get their citizenship and it was tough and heart-breaking seeing her suffer inwardly like that, someone who has given so much to our society was being treated in the way they had. and now we know why? This is amazing and deserving news. She danced and hugged us all on hearing it".

The 'Windrush generation' are British residents who arrived from Commonwealth countries before New Year's Day 1973.

They are named after the Empire Windrush, the ship which brought some of the first Caribbean migrants to Britain in 1948.

Anyone who arrived in the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973 has a legal right to stay, unless they left the UK for more than two years. But they now face being threatened with deportation under new immigration rules despite living and working here for decades.

People are being ordered to prove they have the right to be in the UK to rent property, work or access services and benefits.

Yet the government failed to keep detailed records of Windrush arrivals, and landing cards were destroyed in 2010. The Home Office has set up a task force with the aim of sorting out cases within two weeks. Windrush immigrants are being told to send "as much information as possible" if they don't have formal documents to piece together a picture of their lives. This can include school, college and work records, birth and marriage certificates, and bills and letters.

Notes: 

[1] Michael Groce and Rashid Nix of the Green Party candidates for Coldharbour ward in Lambeth in the local council elections taking place on May 3rd. https://www.coldharbourgreenparty.com/ 

[2] Michael Groce won the prestigious Cheltenham Poetry Prize in 1998 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Groce 

[3] If people need help with their applications they are fully prepared to do so at the not-for-profit training organisation Green Man Skills Zone Centre with their caring and well-informed staff who will offer advice and support in gaining their citizen status and after care support, which covers employment, training, healthcare, debt and money management because of not given citizenship status denying support and help. More info: www.greenmanskillszone.com 

[4] Petition to Parliament on behalf of the Windrush generation and their families: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/216539

 






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