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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Something happened that night...

Humans deserve dignity, photo by @khasohasamita

The night was dark, and all lights were off...
The streets were deserted, and the silence was silent.
Shadows lurked around, and the moon was lit...displaying it's glory, for anyone who cared to stare.
Tuesday night...
28th March, 2017...something happened that night.

This is a story of shackles..
It's a story of action...
Mine is a story of love, and of great courage.
Something happened that night.

All of a sudden there were screams, and there was chaos..
A quiet night grossly disturbed.
Fathers were snatched from their homes that night, mothers were begging for life, for release, for an explanation.
Begging? Begging for life? Begging to live...
There were handcuffs, as people were forceably put into planes...
Men in masks...pulled, dragged...tagged. There was violence...And drug injections, for those who would not go peaceably.
No witnesses...No justice...History was the only witness to this madness.
Some regained consciousness...in time to find themselves in shackles...sandwiched between two guards.
The scum of this earth...People whose lives were worth nothing...
Lives that are worth nothing? Can any life be worth nothing? Tell me...someone, please sit me down and explain this to me: how did we get to this point, of thinking that another's life can be worth nothing?
 
Tuesday night 28th March, 2017...
Something happened that night.

This is a story of shackles..
it's a story of action...
Mine is a story of love, and of great courage.
Something happened that night.

They locked themselves on the wheels of the plane.
They threw their bodies on the cold, naked tarmac in chains.
Chained to a plane...because they deeply believed that the persons in that plane were worth something. Their aim was to prevent a government flight of approximately 50 valuable people, chained to their sits, and sandwiched between 100 guards, from being deported to Ghana.
And this was the consequence of their action: they were all arrested, but they bought at least 24 critical hours, for the persons in chains to seek legal representation.

Sit here with me...
And I shall narrate to you this horrific story.
Of people who are destitute...of people living in fear...
Of people ripped of their dignity...
Of people who the state wanted to get rid of, because it deemed them unworthy of residence.
Irregular migrants...
Failed asylum seekers...
Some were kept in detention centers...
kept in cells...
Were they criminals? Had they committed any crime?

When there's turmoil and war? Families suffer...
Families are broken...
Think Afghanistan and Sudan...
Think Pakistan and Somalia...
Think of the Boko Haram of Nigeria...
Those who are not fighting suffer deeply.
They are not fighting but are still killed, they are not fighting, but they are still refused access to safe countries because they are labelled terrorists...people from a country of terrorists...of Muslims...of Africans...
Asylum: protection that ought to be granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee.

This is our world today though: cruelty towards people on the move is now UK and US government policy. 
Their leaders  want to be seen  to be tough on immigration, but their policies have devastating human consequences.
President Trump gave this government directive: a Muslim travel ban. The first immigration directive was made on 27th January, 2017, but it was blocked by Federal appeals court, and then there was a second one. 
Prime minister Theresa May of the UK, organized a mass deportation to Ghana. It was secretive, and devoid of scrutiny. Departing from undisclosed locations in the middle of the night. People were served with removal directions, without a chance to properly lodge Judicial Reviews.
Deportees were escorted and shackled in seats, each between two guards. 9 hours in shackles...deported to Ghana regardless of whether you are Ghanian or not. If you were not? You could take a bus to whichever country you came from. In their hands most carried small plastic bags...how would they survive on that? Do we care!

People who feared for their lives? And had claimed asylum, were put in planes...shackled like animals, and taken back to war...to die.

We are human before we are African or Asian,
We are human before we are Muslim or Christian,
We are human...and humans deserve dignity.

I asked myself today, what is my role to play...what is yours?
28th March, 2017...something happened that night.

***"I want the Church to not close their eyes to us. Justice is from the Bible. I am sending a message to the entire church- they cannot let injustice go on like this. The word of God is about justice and righteousness. The church cannot keep its eyes closed in the face of injustice. Closing your eyes to injustice is being part of injustice and unrighteousness. The church needs to stand up like the protestors- they need to tell the world what is going on." The voice of a detained person.

This is the saddest story that I have heard this week...and I had to blog about it...to be a voice for persons who are currently voiceless.
Home office (UK) since 2002 has been organizing mass deportation largely to former British colonies every few months. Deportation of people who have lived for years, who have spouses, and children, but insecure immigration status. But isn't human life more important than  immigration status? It ought to be.
Tuesday night, March 2017, is the day on which 17 activists in Essex outside London, evaded airport security and ran onto a runway at Stansted Airport, threw themselves on the tarmac and chained themselves to a plane to prevent a government flight from deporting Africans.
Germany sent asylum- seekers early this year back to Afghanistan, a country that is deeply war-torn,  and Austria wants to stop food and water to people whose asylum claims have been rejected. There is as well debating, requiring unemployed refugees to work unpaid in jobs the government deems of public utility...which is a gentle way of saying: slave labour.
And as I think about all these things, my heart breaks...this is the world that we live in today. How did we get to this place...where lives stopped mattering to us?
Meanwhile, Kenya has been hosting Refugees from Somalia and Sudan...we thank God for the leadership that He has put in place...
and German churches have been protecting failed asylum- seekers with sanctuary. The consequences being, their state has so far declined to physically remove people in the church care! In January 2017, German  churches were providing protection for 547 people.
Tuesday's UK protest tells us that there are people who are willing to risk arrest to fight policies that tear families apart and endanger lives.
It's good to be tough on immigration, how about taking a moment though...
Taking a moment to look at the whole situation from an asylum- seeker's perspective?**



4 comments:

  1. We must put our African governments to account. They have mutilated our continent, mutating this most beautiful and wealthiest continent into an environmentally-unfriendly, pauper-ed, corrupt, and peace-less one. They have made our so undignified as to easily fall prey to the misconception that the West is heaven!

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    Replies
    1. Wow! Yes, that is true Baba...The starting place indeed is with us...as Africa...
      Making Africa a home for those who belong here...
      When the children of Africa have no reason to run to the west to seek asylum...When everyone feels safe, in Africa and there is no war and turmoil? Then that solves a huge part of the issue, no?

      But I am so glad that you took the time to follow the link and read!!! Finally...Baba made it to the blog!!!

      Thanks Dad..And thank you so much for your contribution 😊

      Really...Much appreciated.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by to read 😊

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