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BA unfit to sponsor Pride while deporting gay asylum seekers

by admin

Author: Letters

Diane Abbott and David Lammy are among signatories to letter saying British Airways cannot claim to be an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community

It is unacceptable for British Airways to be a sponsor of Brighton and Hove Pride in light of its controversial record of accepting contracts from the Home Office to forcibly deport migrants – including LGBTQIA+ people seeking asylum.

Last month, after campaigning from migrant and solidarity groups and just before Pride in London, Virgin Atlantic announced that it will no longer carry out such deportations. To show a true spirit of solidarity at Brighton and Hove Pride, British Airways should follow Virgin’s example by refusing to remain complicit in the deportations.

Pride is a celebration of the advancement of equality in which the whole queer community, including migrants, should feel welcome. The presence of companies that profit from deportations is an affront to the vision of freedom that Pride represents. It is an added insult that many of those deported on British Airways are LGBTQIA+ people who should be marching with us at the parade but are instead brutally rounded up and ejected from the UK to face poverty, persecution and, in some cases, death.

Pride is about so much more than rainbows, glitter and celebratory speeches. It is about the queer community coming together to challenge injustice. British Airways cannot claim to be an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community while it continues to be part of the government’s “hostile environment” – a policy that is destroying the lives of racial and ethnic minorities across Britain. There is no pride in deporting human beings.

Diane Abbott MP Shadow home secretary
David Lammy MP Tottenham
Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP Kemptown and Peacehaven
Julie Ward MEP North West England
Aimee Challenor Equalities (LGBTIQA+) spokesperson, Green party of England and Wales

Matt Beard Executive director, All Out
Zita Holbourne National chair, Barac UK
Bisi Alimi Director, Bisi Alimi Foundation 
Rachel Krengel Co-organiser, Women’s March London
Anton Johnson Greater London TUC LGBT+ officer
Rev Jak Davis Metropolitan Community Church
Sue Sanders Advisory group of cross-government hate crime board
Philip Jones 1st Wednesdays
Diane Frost Senior lecturer sociology, social policy and criminology, Liverpool University
Ray Harvey LGBT+ human rights campaigner since 1971
Sian Summers-Rees Chief officer of City of Sanctuary UK
Ben Walters and Tim Crocker-Buqué Queer Spaces network
Stuart Feather Activist and author of Blowing the Lid
Neil Prince & QBoy R&She
Jill Power Southbank changemaker for the economic and social inclusion of LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers.
Mike Jackson Co-founder Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (in a personal capacity)
Dave Lewis Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (in a personal capacity)
Dr Laura Harvey Senior lecturer, Brighton University 
Matty Gladstone Head of programmes, Help Refugees
Elaine Ortiz Director and founder, Hummingbird Project 
Maude Casey Brighton-based writer and activist
Aloysius Ssali Say it Loud Club 
Crag Gent Senior editor, Novara Media
Dalia Gebrial Novara Media
Michael Walker Novara Media
Clare Hymer Novara Media
Concepta Cassar Writer; branch secretary, South Telford Constituency Labour party
Joni Cohen Women’s Strike

Artists and businesses:
Andrew Garfield
Travis Alabanza 
Alfie Ordinary
Kehman Breon Bob
FOC it up
Chiyo Gomes
Sister Fibrosis
Lily SnatchDragon
Lolo Brow
Scarlett O’Hora
Tracy Barlow
Felix Le Freak
Jacob Berkson
Her Upsairs
Tuckshop Managment
Clare Summerskill
Ophelea Love
Mynxie Monroe
Persephone Pearl ONCA
Sarah Savage Transpride Brighton
Fox & Owl Film-makers
Sarah Choudrey
Ama Josephine Batty Mama
Joey Fafia
Prudence Rae
Dickie Beau Performer
Effie Fowler ED Fowler Band

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/02/ba-unfit-to-sponsor-pride-while-deporting-gay-asylum-seekers

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