ONE DAY WITHOUT US: Celebrating Migrants. Celebrating Migration
National Day of Action. February 17, 2018
On February 20 2017 migrants and their supporters from across the UK took part in One Day Without Us, the first-ever National Day of Action to celebrate the contributions of migrants to British society. Migrants and their British supporters, NGOs, universities, and trade unions all participated in more than 160 different events across the country in a unique demonstration of unity and solidarity.
on Saturday February 17 2018, we intend to come into the streets once again to celebrate the people of all genders who have made the UK their home. We are doing this because migrants are still being scapegoated and blamed for problems they did not cause; because millions of men, women and even children are still being treated as bargaining counters in the Brexit negotiations; because too many politicians describe immigration as a burden, a problem and a threat.
We do not accept this. We welcome the people who want to work and live here and we celebrate the power of migration to change lives and societies for the better. We recognize no hierarchical distinctions between British nationals and migrants; between worthy and unworthy migrants; between EU nationals and migrants from outside the EU; between migrants past and migrants present. Millions of us are migrants or the descendants of migrants and none of us should ever feel shame or embarrassment about who we are or where we come from. Our heritage makes us stronger, proud and more open.
We do not want a closed, intolerant Britain where Polish teenagers are hounded to suicide because of their nationality; where doctors and nurses are obliged to act as immigration police, where families are separated because they fail to meet arbitrary income thresholds, where migrant workers are treated as intruders or commodities rather than human beings.
We want the UK to be a welcoming and open country. A country that values people based on who they are and does not treat them as aliens or outsiders because of their race, colour, religion, or place of origin. A country that is proud of its history of immigration and optimistic about its future as a society made up of people of all colours, creeds and nationalities. A country where refugees can find sanctuary, and where the word ‘migrant’ is no longer a pejorative term or a form of abuse. That is why we invite you to join us on February 17th. Whether you come from Britain, France, Pakistan or Zimbabwe; whether you voted Leave or Remain; whether you came here as a refugee, a student, a bricklayer, or a surgeon; whether you are a migrant yourself or the child and grandchild of migrants, come out and join us.
Dance. Protest. March. Parade. Hold rallies, debates and concerts. Make a meal for your neighbours. Have a street party. Form human chains. Take selfies. Do whatever you feel is most appropriate. For twenty-four hours we invite you to imagine a day without immigrants and tell a different story about migrants and migration. Let’s raise our voices and say it loud and clear:
Proud to be a migrant.
Proud to stand with migrants.