One Day Without Us is a national day of action called for this February 20th, which will honour the contribution that migrants have made to Britain. At its centre is action by workers, either a strike day off, or downing tools for a period of time – to highlight the range of jobs that migrants do, and how critical they are to the British economy and society.
Post Brexit, the United Kingdom has become even more hostile and intolerant towards migrants. Those who are deemed ‘other’ are being made to feel unwelcome. In light of the increasingly racist and xenophobic discourses emanating from certain parts of the media, government and society at large, it is essential to challenge the poisonous undermining of what makes a migrant, and what migrants contribute to this country.
This turning of popular opinion against refugees and minorities is also an assault on some of the most vulnerable people in the world today. And so it is critical that we participate in every opportunity to mark the humanity of black people, women, refugees, migrants, Muslims and turn these moments into powerful movements for real social justice.
There are many ways to participate in One Day Without Us – you can wear badges, put up posters, post selfies, host a meal with migrant neighbours, colleagues and friends. You can stop work or classes for a few minutes, or the whole day, or hold a few minutes’ silence at your workplace, college or school. See the One Day Without Us website for more ideas, and information on what’s going on across the UK, and on the 1pm unifying action that’s planned.
The 1.7 million signatures received by the petition to deny Donald Trump a state visit to the UK has forced a parliamentary debate, which is planned on the same day as the Day of Action. So the One Day Without Us and Stop Trump campaigns have joined forces, and are encouraging their followers to support each others’ local actions. In London, the Day will culminate in a massive ‘Defend Migrants, Stop Trump’ protest outside the Houses of Parliament.
Now is the time for active and open solidarity, even – particularly – by those amongst us who have never been politically active. It’s time to takes sides and to be unapologetic in standing up for what is right. As Riz Ahmed recently said: “We have to be vocal about what we believe in. We’re living in scary times”.
When: Monday 20th February 2017, all day. The protest starts at 6pm.
Where: Across the UK. The London protest will take place in Parliament Square
By Shaista Aziz, Tara Citro and Seema Khan.
Shaista and Tara run The Everyday Bigotry Project – a digital space which aims to dissect, discuss and disrupt narratives and discourse around bigotry which is now fully mainstreamed politically and socially. They chart global events through the lens of Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia and classism. Their podcast, blog and website aim to create critical debate and analysis around bigotry.
Posted on 10 February 2017
Photo by One Day Without Us