Speaking for Ourselves

Migrant Voice ambassador speaks out at #KilltheBill protest

Migrant Voice ambassador speaks out at #KilltheBill protest

Loraine Mponela

 Migrant Voice - Migrant Voice ambassador speaks out at #KilltheBill protest


Migrant voice member and ambassador Loraine Mponela recently spoke out at a #KilltheBill protest in Coventry on Saturday (15 January). Loraine is also chair of CARAG, a migrant-led community organisation.

The government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is currently going through parliament. In the latest development, peers in the House of Lords voted against several measures in the Bill, a win for human rights groups which have criticised the proposals for curbing people’s right to peaceful protest. 

You can watch Loraine’s full speech on YouTube by clicking here

You can read excerpts from Loraine’s speech below:

I am Loraine from CARAG. CARAG is a collective of people seeking asylum, refugees, undocumented migrants and the wider migrants community based in Coventry and surrounding places.

All human progress has been achieved by protest.

From votes to housing, to education to science.

All change faces a barrier from the existing order.

That's why we protest.

It is not an option, it is a duty.

We have a world on fire with a global catastrophe looming. We have a government that wants to drown refugees. The very refugees they created.

Criminalising protest is already a reality for us, as our existence is resistance. Our refusal to ‘go back’ costs us imprisonment and we are sent into detention centres.

One of my friends has to sleep rough rather than sleep in a house, why? Because the space that he has in that house is so small that he has to fold his legs throughout the night. By morning he cannot walk.

Does that remind us of something? For me it reminds me of my ancestors under the deck in slave ships.

We ended slavery by protest. We will end the hostile environment by protest.

In this country we have two types of people:

The people who defy the hostile environment, either the migrants who refuse to play their racist games and the people who show us their solidarity with us, protesting and providing practical support.

Then we have the second group which is the government who are the government attempting to introduce this Bill.

There are way more of us. We are powerful and united.

But they are also better organised and so we are fighting an uphill battle.

But we have won in the past and we can win. The very fact that I'm here speaking is an act of defiance.

The hostile system needs to change. It needs to be built on dignity and not hate.

Quoting the words of Zora Neale Hurston, she said: "If you are silent about your pain they will kill you and say you enjoyed it."

Here's the news, we are not going to be silent. We will kill the Bill. And we will enjoy doing it. Solidarity.

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Migrant Voice
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N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: info@migrantvoice.org

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Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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