Disrupting a Conservative dinner will not help asylum seekers

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As a migrant of colour, still struggling with the Home Office to regularise my immigration status in the UK, and as a campaigner against the “hostile environment” policy and draconian border apparatus, I read with interest Holly Hudson’s piece on why Green New Deal Rising activists disrupted a Bassetlaw Conservatives dinner that Priti Patel, the home secretary, attended (Why we confronted Priti Patel about her inhumane ‘Rwanda plan’ at a Tory dinner, 9 May).

In this age of more carceral border controls, it seems rather pedestrian for activists to think that disrupting a Tory dinner will make a difference, especially confronting someone with a far-right agenda such as Patel. I take issue that activists paid to attend this Tory dinner. Have they forgotten that disruptions should never financially feed the belly of the beast – that being the Tory party?

Recently, the Edinburgh community stopped another immigration raid, just a week shy of the one-year anniversary of the “battle of Kenmure Street”. That is what solidarity should always look like.

What is frustrating is how migrant activists are relegated and often forced to the back, unseen, while white activists – who are often British and middle class – are hypervisible and applauded for actions that are little more than media stunts.

Precarious migrants do not need tame disruptions for a few media clicks. We want massive disruptions, with unions and grassroots groups working together to elevate migrant activist voices and make the hostile environment policy and the UK’s draconian borders inoperable.
Katya Sharifi-Nia
Brighton

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