Last Friday (14 February 2014), coinciding with Valentine’s day, over 100 families, activists and journalists gathered at a campaign camp to highlighting the plight of families being torn apart by the recent immigration legislation including a gathering of brides on the front steps of St Pauls.
This was a day for families affected by the new rules and other supporters to meet each other, talk to journalists, and take the campaign to the next stage.
Activities, talks and workshops such as Valentine card making (cards were sent to Home Office officials) and how to pitch your story to the media took place throughout the day. More importantly though, the camp was an opportunity to get talking, forge new alliances and make new friends. And learn, collaborate and make new friends we did.
The room was full of buzz and ideas on how to proceed in the future. We are now taking the campaign forward along other organisations such as Britcits and JCWI. Next stop for the campaign is 3 March, when courts consider the legal challenge to the rules.
As far as Migrants Rights Network is concerned, we got a great boost of fresh energy and thinking on how to continue shipping away at the rules until we achieve real change.
We will continue to work with Parliamentarians who would like to see the rules changed, activists and organisations campaigning against the rules, journalists reporting on the developments and above all affected families. They are the ones who need a voice, so that those in power realise how important it is to respect and protect the right to family life.