"Fight the Flight" Demonstration started at the Zimbabwe Embassy.
Members of the two main political parties in Zimbabwe, namely MDCA [Movement for Democratic Change Alliance], ZAPU [Zimbabwe African People's Union], plus the Human Rights groups ROHR [Restoration Of Human Rights - Zimbabwe] and ZHRO [Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation], plus several Church Groups were encouraged to attend this and other demonstrations in the future to Fight the Mass Forced Removals of Zimbabwenas in the Diaspora. Due to the extended lockdown, such demonstrations have not been conducted for over 12 months - so there was a little "interia" - all the same some 31-35 people attended during this "first-day-back! This also included members of Movement for Justice and Global Afrikan Congress who activiely joined in the protest.
We started to congregate outside the Zimbabwe Embassy from around noon on Monday the 19th July 2021. The first time since last year, and the first quasi-Vigil since 11th March 2020 [due to the draconian Lock-down obligations]. We were demonstrating that the Home Office has radically changed their policy - and has [since the 5th July 2021 detained approximately 150 Zimbabweans. Claiming that most are "hardened criminals" - which is disengenuous to say the least - as we know most [detainees] are victims of the complex, convoluted and expensive British asylum procedures.
ZHRO and Zimbabwe Community Appeal Flickr Photos outside the Embassy
Marsham St Home Office
Then we walked to the Home Office to hand in a petition. Unfortunately in Parliament Square there was a massive anti-lockdown demonstration - so the Polce had blocked the normal, shortest and logical route. Therefore it took too long to get to the Home Office.
At the Home Office our physical written petition was proving "difficult" to deliver - 'Security' would not accept it! After some too-ing and fro-ing Chipo Parirenyatwa decided to place it on the door mat of the Home Office [2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF] foyer. And there it stayed! At one point 'security' said that they whould shred the document!! "Great", we said - we can publish that as your official stance on an evidence based petition - So that is how it was left we have no idea if our petition was even read by anyone in the Home Office Building. Therefore it is available here as a down-load so that you can make up your own minds.
Zimbabwe Community Appeal Flickr Log at the Home Office - Masham Street
From the Marsham Street Offices we walked back, and called in at Parliamnet Square to see the Anti-lockdown demo and to try and move to 10 Downing Street where several support groups were awaiting us to give speeches.We loitered around Parlaiment Square and spoke with many people about the discrimination by the Home Office regarding mass forced removals. Many were very interested - expecilally those within the anti-lockdown movement.
However the Police were refusing us to go the short 100m distance to get to 10 Downing Street - so we had to walk back to Trafalgar Square, and enter Whitehall from that end.
ZHRO and ZCA at Parliament Square - Flickr Photos
Opposite 10 Downing Street
Outside 10 Downing Street we were greeted by a sizeable crowd eager to hear what we had to say about the draconian Home Office Policy change and the apparent "deal" done in Harare, Zimbabwe, to persecute 100 Zimbabweans in the UK Diaspora on e MONTHLY basis.
ZCA and ZHRO opposite 10 Downing Street Flickr
The Speeches by John Burke and Chipo Parirenyatwa, were relayed into the House of Parliament as there was a wide-ranging debate [ the result of a 100,000 Petition on the Subject] from 19:00pm about granting all asylum seekers an Amnesty! See Hansard for the transcript of the debate. CLICK HERE
We were extremely pleased that Status Now, Refugee Action, Stand Up to Racism and many other groups we there to support the call for a general Asylum Amnesty. The thought of the all the costs to the UK Taxpayers of the Asylum "System"; the Detention Centres, the Signing-On facilities, dotted all over the UK plus all the support staff in the Civil Service and all the contracted agencies! Just imagine the contribution to the Treasury if all the undocumented, and those "trapped" in the Asylum process, were in gainful emplyment and thus paying income tax and National Insurance Contributions.
Thus turning a massive cost to the UK into a net gain, and the regularisation of employment conditions - due to the fact that a large proportion of the undocumented work in the "unoffical-side" of employment. The unscrupulous gang-leaders, semi-slavery conditions, and health and safety abuses, that infect this illegal sector of the employment 'market'.