"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Saturday 6 July 2013

9th July

Tuesday 9th July plan of action.

All the details are here :


The order of events is as follows :

 4pm - Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
    Afternoon demonstration outside the Home Office with speakers and street performers - bring a banner!!

  We'll meet outside the Home Office and start the protest on the dot at 4 pm. There's a great selection of speakers, bring a banner. Examples of flyers you can use or amend are here - http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/flyers - but be creative.
  It's close to Westminster, St James's Park and Victoria Tube. Map here :

   6pm - Parliament, Committee room 10, London SW1A 0AA
    Evening meeting in Parliament chaired by Baroness Ruth Lister bringing together campaigners, supporters and parliamentarians to hear about the impacts of the new rules. The meeting will welcome valuable supporters including Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, and will be a chance for families to share their stories and build the campaign for a change in the rules.

  Again, a very good selection of speakers.
  There's a bit of a space issue (we're way over capacity) as there has been so much interest - so bear that in mind and do attend the 4 pm protest in any event.


 Why attend the protest?
On 9th July 2012, the government introduced rules which set an income threshold so high that 47% of British people could not live with their spouse, if their spouse or partner came from outside the EEA. At the same time, they did a lot of other things as well: closing the route for elderly dependants; drastically raising the bar on the language requirement; increasing the time to indefinite leave to remain from two to five years - thereby setting people up for failure by reducing the employability of foreign partners, for no good reason; discounting the income of the foreign partner, therefore locking even middle- or high- income families into exile; horrendously complicating rules for the self-employed, so that even the comfortably off will struggle; forcing working class women and men into single parenthood.

They did this without a proper debate in Parliament; they introduced this through secondary legislation. When challenged by the courts, a perfunctory debate was held in the Lords. Harsh, draconian rules which divide the families of British citizens were introduced without the knowledge of most people, or even many parliamentarians, in this country.

These rules are yet another attack on the rights of migrant communities. But they are also an attack on British citizens' rights. The right to fall in love, to marry and settle with whom you choose. The right of children to be with their parents, the right of people to be with their loved ones. Maybe more important than rights, they represent an attack on our values; the value of family, the value of marriage, the value of childhood itself. This is an attack on British citizens on the basis of income maybe unprecendented since the era of the workhouse. It must be challenged.

We had a great result in the courts last week, and we've had a great result with the APPG report and parliamentary debates, as well as media interest. The pressure needs to be maintained.

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