‘Out, Out, Out’: Activists Disrupt Patel’s Speech on UK-Rwanda Migrant Deal
15:04 GMT 07.05.2022 (Updated: 12:36 GMT 16.05.2022)
© AFP 2023 / JESSICA TAYLORA handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel gesturing as she gives a statement concerning the deal plan to send migrants and asylum seekers who cross the Channel to Rwanda, at the House of Commons, in London, on April 19, 2022
© AFP 2023 / JESSICA TAYLOR
The Home Secretary is under fire from opposition leaders and refugee organisations over the London-Kigali deal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The deal is part of the British government’s plan to tackle soaring illegal immigrant numbers being trafficked across the English Channel.
Pro-refugee activists interrupted a speech by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday in protest against the British government’s plans to offshore asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Eight young social justice and climate campaigners from the Green New Deal Rising group infiltrated the Bassetlaw Conservative Association Spring Dinner before demanding Patel scrap the offshore blueprint.
“As young people wanting to live in a fair and compassionate society, we are disgusted by your treatment of refugees”, one of the activists said before plain-clothed security staff removed the protesters from the building. Video footage of the incident later emerged online showing the protesters chanting: “Out, out, out”.
Earlier, Hannah Martin of Green New Deal Rising was quoted by The Guardian saying that Downing Street’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is “inhumane and will lead to the destruction of people’s lives and further harm those people who are seeking safety.”
“Those who stand for climate justice also stand against Priti Patel’s cruel plans that demonise people who are escaping terrifying situations as they bear the brunt of the multiple crises of war, poverty and the climate catastrophe. We want Priti Patel to drop the dangerous Rwanda migration plan and provide support and safety for migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum”, Martin pointed out.
Green New Deal Rising is known for targeting politicians and disrupting meetings in order to challenge their position on social justice and climate change-related issues.
Rwanda Asylum Deal
Patel signed the deal that granted an initial down-payment of £120m ($157 million) to the Rwandan government in mid-April. Under the agreement, adult migrants who have arrived in the UK seeking sanctuary since January would be flown to Rwanda. Children and their parents are exempt.
After asylum claims are processed by London within a period of three months, those successful would have the option to stay in the East African country for at least five years should they wish to.
8 January 2022, 11:24 GMT
The deal stipulates that people relocated to Rwanda "will be given support including up to five years of education, vocational and skills training, as well as integration, accommodation, and healthcare, so that they can resettle and thrive.” The Daily Mail cited unnamed sources as saying that the first flight to Rwanda is expected before the end of next month.
The deal was inked in line with the UK government's so-called "New Plan for Immigration" which aims to stem the escalating migrant crisis in Britain. More than 5,000 illegal immigrants have already arrived in the UK by small boat crossings since the start of this year, according to the latest government estimates.