Long Walk to Patchway.....Long Walk to Freedom
We had a great campaign launch night last week. 45 people came and heard people speak about their experiences of signing.
"I see no reason why people should be signing weekly. Two to three days before signing you can't eat. After signing you are happy, then after 3 days you start to worry again. I feel so worried for those still signing weekly. Nothing guarantees you will sign and go back home. It is very sad"
"Whatever we can do to stop weekly signing is good. It can kill you. You are the only one who know how you feel."
We watched a film about Oraisha, from Leeds speak about his experience of signing, detention and the asylum system. We felt sad and worried for him and many others, people can feel so overwhelmed. Yet at the same time Oraisha and many more people are speaking out and coming together.
E, from Ivory Coast, spoke about having to walk to patchway, how long the journey is, how he has been waiting months now for his support (eg a room in a hostel type accomodation and 35 quid a week) to come through but still waiting. He has to beg money from friends.
We talked together about our ideas for the campaign and ended the evening with dancing and drumming together.
Since then over 600 people have signed our online petition and we are busy organising a protest for Wednesday 17th December, 9.30 -1pm near Primark, Broadmead, opposite the bus stop where people who have to sign and have bus money, get the bus to Patchway.