Justice4Sanaz Supporting Other Great Initiatives in MCR!

The start of September has been a busy one for the Justice4Sanaz campaign. We recently won the Shami Chakrabarti scholarship to attend Campaign Bootcamp next month! The Justice4Sanaz campaign is excited to learn from and gain experience with other grassroot campaigners throughout the world.

In the meantime, we have been supporting many excellent causes and events in the Manchester area.

On the 3rd September, we joined forces with  Manchester Palestine Action and the Greater Manchester Stop G4S campaign along with other activist groups in addition to Unite the Union in lobbying Manchester City Council to cease all contracts with G4S. As some of you may (or may not) know, G4S is a British multinational security services company, founded in 2004 that has a long record of racism, human rights abuse, fraud, incompetence and complicity with war crimes. G4s runs many of the British immigration detention centers and it was G4S guards that forcibly restrained and killed Angolan asylum seeker, Jimmy Mubenga, during a deportation flight, while 20 passengers heard Mubenga say over and over, “I can’t breathe” until he collapsed and died. In occupied Palestine, G4S supplies electronic security in checkpoints along the illegal apartheid wall, in illegal settlements, and within Israeli prisons where children are often brought to military courts in shackles. G4S supplies electronic security in Israeli detention centers and prisons where gross human rights violations continue to take place.

For these reasons, there has been a campaign happening in Manchester to get Manchester City Council to use its discretion to stop firms biding for contractions “on the grounds of  grave grave misconduct including human rights abuses, anti-trade union practices, tax avoidance and fraud.”

Thanks to the consistent work for 3 years from the Greater Manchester Stop G4S along with many other groups involved, Manchester City Council has finally agreed to draw a “robust” ethical procurement policy that might see the end of human rights violators like G4S and Serco.

An imagine that Sanaz took from the demo outside Manchester City Council made it into The Morning Star along with photos from Manchester based filmmaker, Naomi Mabita:

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Photo taken by Sanaz from the demo outside the meeting with Stop G4S activists and Manchester City Council, 3rd September 2015.

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Photo by Naomi Mabita.

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Sanaz handling out Stop G4S flyers. Photo by Naomi Mabita.

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Stop G4S protesters gathered outside Town Hall. Photo by Naomi Mabita.

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Inside Town Hall and the meeting with Manchester City Council. Photo by Naomi Mabita.

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Photo by Naomi Mabita.

The following day, on the Friday 4th September, Justice4Sanaz took part in a demo organized by Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST Manchester) and other migrant grassroots group to oppose the growing racist xenophobic language that the British government and media has employed against migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from Calais, the unfortunate drownings in the Mediterranean Sea, and the vile manner asylum seekers and refugees are mistreated in detention centers around the UK. We along with many other Mancunians stood in solidarity together to emphatically say, “Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants Are Welcomed Here!”

Here is video footage from the demo.

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Photo by Sanaz Raji.

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Aderonke Apata, a queer Nigerian asylum seeker activist– learn more about her campaign: https://www.facebook.com/Asylum-for-Aderonke-1408475549418494/timeline/ Photo by Sanaz Raji.

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Sanaz and Sonia holding the Justice4Sanaz banner.

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A good crowd turned out at Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens for Friday the 4th’s demo in solidarity with migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. #NoOneIsIllegal! Photo by Sanaz Raji.

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Photo by Sanaz Raji.

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Justice4Sanaz couldn’t agree more- #NoBordersNoNations! Photo by Sanaz Raji.

Finally, the Justice4Sanaz campaign has been lending support to the homeless shelter under Mancunian Way overpass called, The Ark Manchester. Both Manchester City Council and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) are seeking to evict The Ark and make destitute homeless people who have established a community and safe space for themselves.

Recently the Justice4Sanaz campaign along with 20 other activists, academics, and union leaders signed a statement of solidarity with The Ark, deploring Manchester City Council and MMU for the threatening and vile manner in which they have been mistreating those within this homeless shelter.

We encourage supporters to please sign and circulate this petition to save The Ark from eviction in addition to potential prison sentences and fines for those inside The Ark premises.

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The Ark Manchester, a homeless shelter, located under Mancunian Way overpass on the Oxford Road. Photo by Sanaz Raji.

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Manchester City Council and MMU claim that members of The Ark are engaged in public urination and other ASBO behavior. Actually, their community is orderly, clean and very tidy. They have two portaloos, one donated by Unite the Union. The Ark is far more hygienic than many student halls of residences! Photo by Sanaz Raji.

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Please support The Ark! Photo by Sanaz Raji.

As ever, please help to keep the Justice4Sanaz campaign. If you have any spare coins, please donate here. Many thanks for all your support!

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About justice4sanaz

For 3 years, Sanaz Raji, a non-EU international student from the United States, has waged a fearless and brave fight against institutional aggression, bullying, and racism from the School of Media and Communication (formerly the Institution of Communications Studies) University of Leeds. The School of Media and Communication took away Sanaz's scholarship in August 2011, only 2 weeks before the start of her third year into her PhD studies. The School of Media and Communication breached their own procedures and rules concerning evaluating student progress. By taking away Sanaz's scholarship, the School of Media and Communication prevented her from continuing her studies in addition to having a decent standard of living with food and shelter that all students expect as a human right. In waging her battle for equal rights for non-EU international students, Sanaz was evicted from her university accommodation in May 2014, threatened with an ASBO (anti-social behavior order) and now fighting against deportation. All non-EU international students should have the right to challenge their universities for their failings without the threat of harassment or deportation. Justice4Sanaz is a movement to redress the failure of the student movement to discuss the myriad of ways that non-EU students, especially those who are people of color, are silenced, bullied and threatened within the neoliberal British university system.
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