Just got time for a quick blog post before a Rusholme branch meeting. I meant to link to this yesterday: an MEN article by fellow York alumnus Raf Sanchez, on his night spent sleeping rough as part of Amnesty UK and STAR‘s ‘Sleep Out‘ campaign. Have a read.
I went along on the night myself – somewhat last minute, as I only heard about it at 10pm – stayed until about 3am and then went home, rather than sleeping on the Steve Biko steps. Fair play to MPs Kate Green and John Leech who stayed all night: I’m afraid I didn’t go up to John Leech and ask how many more people would be made homeless because of the welfare reforms of the Tory-led government he supports, as some of my Twitter followers suggested. There’s a time and a place…
The event aimed to raise awareness of the plight of rough sleepers but in particular asylum seekers, often forced into homelessness by the destitution policies of successive governments.
This is all part of Still Human Still Here, a campaign to allow asylum seekers to work. Amnesty UK and STAR say this would lift thousands of asylum seekers out of poverty as well as reducing the burden on the taxpayer. You can read more here.