These Walls Must Fall is excited to launch a brand new campaigner training programme. This free training course is for people who have experienced, or who are at risk of immigration detention. We are particularly looking for people who are members of local groups or organisations.
The Campaigner Development Programme is for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The programme will support people to build confidence, knowledge and skills to campaign against immigration detention.
6 month Campaigner Development programme, starting Spring 2020
These Walls Must Fall is bringing together 10 people from migrant backgrounds to take part in a 6 month Campaigner Development programme starting in Spring 2020. Areas covered will include:
Knowledge of immigration detention
Campaigning safely and self-care
Peer learning and support
You will receive a certification on completion of the Campaigner Development Programme, but please note that this is not an official qualification. Travel expenses will be covered.
People have busy lives and other commitments, so the Campaigner Development Programme is meant to fit in with these and not add more work or pressure. The days, times and location of meetings will be decided as a group, and the frequency of meetings is up for discussion so involvement can work with peoples’ lives.
You will also have the opportunity to attend monthly These Walls Must Fall public campaign meetings, bringing together campaigners from refugee and migrants backgrounds with other supporters in the community to plan and take local action together.
You will have the opportunity to plan and take part in campaigning activities as part of this programme. We recognise that people may want to stay anonymous, and that it absolutely fine – there are lots of different ways to campaign, and there is no expectation that you will speak in public unless you want to.
Expectations and taking part
Along with campaigners already involved, we have developed the following criteria for participating:
– People who are refugees, asylum seekers or from a migrant background.
– 18 years or older.
– If you have children, you are welcome to bring them to meetings, but you will need to take full responsibility for them.
It’s important to have different experiences in the group. This includes age, ethnicity, experiences of immigration, place of birth, gender, status. Unfortunately, this means that not everyone can get involved. It could mean that some people from an organisation can get involved, but others can’t.
Feeling safe and enjoying participating is the most important thing. If someone changes their mind about taking part half way, we understand and respect that.
There is no expectation that you will share your experience of detention or the immigration system during the training or in public, unless you want to. You are welcome to the training programme whatever you choose to share.
We hope that many people on the training programme will be coming as representatives from other local groups. We hope to be able to support the work of your group, and will talk with you and your group about the best way to do that.
These Walls Must Fall, a grassroots campaign supported by Right to Remain, has been organising in Merseyside since 2017, bringing together campaigners affected by detention with others in the community. We’ve seen outcomes including motions condemning detention by Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Trades Union Council, and pieces by Merseyside campaigners published in the media.
Campaigners currently involved with These Walls Must Fall have said:
‘I’m not scared anymore. At first I was avoiding the topic of detention, I didn’t even want to talk about it. Now I feel a lot more confident speaking about it, I feel I can explain to people what it really is, the consequences, the risks.’Liverpool campaigner
‘I’ve learned a lot. Learned about detention, how to protect yourself, how you act for people who have been detained. How to organise, do events, do skills, practising speaking in public.’Manchester campaigner
There are many groups in Merseyside already doing great work campaigning and supporting people affected by detention and other aspects of the Hostile Environment. We aim to support and amplify the work of existing groups, rather than creating new groups or spaces. These Walls Must Fall hopes to act as an umbrella, bringing together representatives of different groups who are interested in challenging detention to share learning, support each other and take action together.
If you are interested, Lauren (Organiser for These Walls Must Fall Merseyside) would be happy to give you a ring or meet up for an initial chat to explain the programme in more detail and answer any questions you might have. Hope to hear from you soon!