Meet Our Speakers @AfricanRainbow1 #LGBTRefugees Tell Their Stories,Celebrate 50 yrs of UK #LGBT law reform 21/6/17 join free seminar http://ow.ly/zFkq30bX0Im at Methodist Hall, Oldham Street Manchester. M1 1JQ.
Meet Our Speakers @AfricanRainbow1 #LGBTRefugees Tell Their Stories,Celebrate 50 yrs of UK #LGBT law reform 21/6/17 join free seminar http://ow.ly/zFkq30bX0Im at Methodist Hall, Oldham Street Manchester. M1 1JQ.
defaultLGBT Asylum Seekers & Refugees Tell Their Stories In Manchester!
Part of History – Celebrating Whom We Are
LGBT Asylum Seekers & Refugees Tell Their Stories In Manchester! A seminar organised by African Rainbow Family , Wednesday, 21st June 2017, Methodist Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester. M1 1JQ. Register free here. Join the Facebook page here
Our seminar, Part of History – Celebrating Whom We Are is to celebrate us for whom we are as LGBTI people witnessing and having a feel of what it is to be part of history of the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. Nonetheless, persecuted for being us from our different countries and seeking sanctuary in the UK.
Join us and be involved to bring together LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees and the wider communities of people who identify as same – Black Asian and Minority Ethnics, White British and non LGBTIQ+ from different ethnic origins. Speakers will give perspectives of:
- What the environment was pre 1967 to be an LGBT person in the UK, journey so far and expectations of the community for the future.
- The climate of LGBTI political asylum process in the UK.
- The situation for LGBTIs in the Commonwealth countries.
- Detention and anti-deportation supports for LGBTI asylum seekers.
- Our members, Experts by Experience would tell their stories of persecutions back in their home countries and the barriers they face whilst seeking asylum in the UK.
This is a unique seminar organised by LGBT asylum seekers and refugees themselves whom are all members of African Rainbow Family for our LGBTIQ+ community in the UK to appreciate the gains made here, reflect on the environment for LGBTIs in our members’ individual countries and how to support LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees.
We will host a tribute banquet to celebrate us and those at the heart of the 1960’s freedom which we as LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees now enjoy. Also to celebrate our diversity through sharing our traditional countries’ cultures – foods, dance and bring our community in Manchester together, encourage community cohesion, networking, sharing good ideas and practices useful in supporting LGBTI asylum seekers whom are from different cultural and religious backgrounds.
We are hoping that you may be able to experience this celebration with us on the 21/06/ 2017 in Manchester!
This event is free but donations would be generously welcomed.
Peter Tatchell has campaigned for human rights and LGBT freedom for 50 years. A pioneer of the Gay Liberation Front in the early 1970s and a co-founder of OutRage! in 1990, his human rights activism resulted in him being badly beaten by President Mugabe’s bodyguards in 2001 and by Russian neo-Nazis in 2007. He is Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation: www.PeterTatchellFoundation.org
Chelvan is “one of the country’s leading human rights barristers” (May 2015), and byColin Yeoas an “inspirational campaigning lawyer and academic” (April 2015), S. Chelvan, Barrister at No5 Chambers in London, is an activist, academic and advocate. Chelvan is an LGBTI champion, specifically with respect to the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers. He is recognised as having significantly contributed to ground- breaking LGBTI asylum cases, both here in the UK, and in Europe. He litigates cases from the First-tier Tribunal to the Supreme Court, and the European Court of Human Rights.
Paul Dillane is Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust, a leading NGO working to advance human rights and inclusion for LGBT people internationally. Founded in 2011, Kaleidoscope Trust partners with 35+ organisations in countries where LGBT people face discrimination, criminalisation and persecution. Following a career in law, Paul worked for six years as a human rights and refugee law specialist at Amnesty International UK. Paul is a leading expert on the protection of LGBT refugees and was the Executive Director of UKLGIG, a London-based NGO working to provide practical support to LGBT people fleeing persecution, between 2014-17. Paul has worked as a consultant and trainer for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Council of Europe, ILGA-Europe and Transgender Europe and has provided training and capacity building support to judges, lawyers, officials and activists in countries across the world. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Bursary Officer with the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA), a trustee of Hackney Community Law Centre and a member of the London Business School Out in Business Advisory Board.
Aderonke Apata is a Human Rights Activist, Feminist and LGBT Equality Advocate. Following a BSc in Microbiology and subsequent Masters of Public Health and Primary Care; Aderonke become an LGBTI asylum campaigner who fled persecution for homosexuality in her native Nigeria, and campaigns for LGBT asylum seekers to stay in the UK. Winner Positive Role Model for LGBT National Diversity ward 2014, where she was described as “an unstoppable force in fighting for justice”, she is number 41 67 on the RainbowList2014 & RainbowList2015 respectively as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK. Aderonke was named LGBT Heroine of the year 2015 by DIVA Magazine in recognition of her achievements in the LGBT community. Aderonke is the founder of African Rainbow Family, an LGBT group that that supports LGBTIQ asylum seekers and people of African heritage in the UK. She is currently campaigning for the repeal of the toxic Nigerian Anti-LGBTIQ Law. She also started Manchester Migrant Solidarity, a self help group offering practical supports and building a powerful political voice against the systematic mistreatment of migrants in the UK. Aderonke is Patron and Trustee Board member of many LGBT organisations whose fight against barriers for equal access to the political system and her ongoing campaign for equality has been recognised when she was elected as the BAME Officer, National LGBT Labour in 2014. This is to call upon all BAME LGBTs in the UK to raise their voices and demand accountability of politicians.
Sue Sanders is Emeritus Professor Harvey Milk Institute, an “out and proud” lesbian, and LGBT rights activist, Since 1967, she has been a teacher, tutor and a lecturer on women’s studies, drama and homophobia. Having been an active member of Schools OUT UK she became their chair In 2000, a group working for the visibility of LGBT people in the education system. She was a founder member of the LGBT Advisory Group to the Metropolitan Police and worked closely with the criminal justice system on hate crime. In 2004 she instituted the UK’s first LGBT History Month. And in 2008 was responsible for the website the Classroom which has over 70 lesson plans that usualise LGBT people for all ages across the curriculum. Prof. Sanders is the author of poetry and short stories as well as many articles and brochures on feminist issues, education and homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and lesphobia.
“In these troubling times since Brexit when we have seen hate crime rise it is even more important to Educate OUT prejudice by making LGBT people in all their diversity visible and safe”. Says Sue.
Margaret Nankabinwa is an LGBT Refugee from Uganda and a valued Secretary of African Rainbow Family
Lisa Matthews Lisa Matthews is coordinator at Right to Remain. She has worked at Right to Remain (previously called NCADC) for over five years, and before that worked with refugees in Cairo, in community mental health in London, as a legal caseworker in immigration and asylum law, and as a refugee integration and asylum advice caseworker. Right to Remain works with communities, groups and organisations across the UK, providing information, resources, training and assistance to help people to establish their right to remain, and to challenge injustice in the immigration and asylum system.
Philip Jones has been a member of the congregation now known as the Metropolitan Congregation (previously the Metropolitan Church, Manchester, and before that the Metropolitan Community Church, Manchester) for 23 years. This congregation has always had a majority LGBT membership and expresses it mission in terms of Christian spirituality, Christian community, and Christian social action with, for, and in partnership with the LGBT communities of Manchester and the North West. By profession, Philip served his local community as a Chartered Librarian for 37 years before taking early retirement 5 years ago at which point he was able to devote more time to various leadership activities in the Metropolitan Congregation, eventually working with others to bring the congregation into membership of the United Reformed Church and being ordained an Elder of the URC, alongside others from the congregation, in October 2015.
Smyth Harper has had a varied career in journalism and public relations, working for a range of organisations including the Manchester Evening News, BBC, Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council. He is currently Head of Communications and Engagement for Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner. He is an active member of Manchester’s LGBT community. As well as helping to support the economic success of the Village by spending too much money in its venues, he aims to be an advocate for LGBT issues wherever he can. Notably, he volunteers as an LGBT Foundation Village Angel. An Irishman who has lived in Manchester most of his adult life, Smyth spends too much time on karaoke, not enough time in the gym and a soul-destroying amount of his life humanely euthanizing injured mice and birds brought in by his killer cat.
Pam Flynn is am a socialist and a feminist. Growing up in industrial South Wales, Pam was raised a socialist and the habit has never left her. Pam tries to bring good humour and friendship into changing the world for the better. She serves on the Board of Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit and volunteered with LISG (Lesbian Immigration Support Group) until 2016. Pam came out as lesbian in 1988. She also likes to walk, keep flexible, grow vegetables, cook and eat good food, watch birds and sing.
Elijah Saunders is a Gay Refugee and member of African Rainbow Family. Elijah is a 32 years old refugee hailing from the twin Caribbean island of Trinidad & Tobago, I majored in management studies at various local, Regional & international institutes located in Canada, USA, & the UK to name just a few, managing to carve out a very success career spanning over 17 years in the fields of telecommunications, customer service, sales and business Administration….my greatest achievement to date is breathing as a FREE Gay man as I emancipated myself from my homophobic homeland to start over as “ME” gay & proud “ME”.
Dr Kris Harris
Dr Kris Harris is a Research and Policy Worker with Medical Justice, the only organisation in the UK to send independent volunteer clinicians into Immigration Removal Centers to document detainees’ scars of torture and challenge instances of medical mistreatment. She has an interest in migrants access to healthcare and a background in anthropology and public health.
Rob Berkeley is an award-winning busybody, recovering academic and reformed social reformer, Rob currently plies his trade advising the BBC on accountability. Impatient with injustice and exasperated by wasted potential, he volunteers on the boards of Baring Foundation, and Britdoc Foundation, has previously served on the boards of Stonewall, Equality and Diversity Forum and the Oxford Access Scheme, and been Chair of Naz Project (NPL) and BGMAG. He was Director of the Runnymede Trust 2009-14, and now leads the editorial team of community journalism platform, BlackoutUK.com. Alongside his academic writing on education, social justice and community organizing, he has presented and co-produced short form documentaries, and written for The Guardian and The Independent on racial justice. His current obsession with innovations in media technology and their potential for social justice means that he watches a lot of TV/film and calls it ‘research’. Dr Berkeley was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to equality.
Leila Zadeh is the Executive Director of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, who support and advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) asylum seekers and refugees. Leila came to the UK as part of a refugee family when she was 13 months old. She has spent most of her career working in the charity sector, including for ActionAid, Oxfam and most recently as Senior Advisor: Policy and Government Affairs at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, where her role included policy and advocacy on global LGBT rights.
Denis McDowell: Greater Manchester Immigration Aids Unit
Rally To Stop Mass Deportations of LGBTI Asylum Seekers To Nigeria – End Charter Flights
The Nigerian government through her High Commission Office in London, is complicit in colluding with the UK Home Office Immigration Enforcement in their ethnic / immigrants cleansing mass deportations of LGBTI asylum seekers back to Nigeria using the dubious charter flight regime.
Nigeria in 2014, passed an insidious anti LGBTI law – the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill adjudged to be one of the harshest and most punitive of the many laws in nearly 80 countries that criminalise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.
“Since the insidious 2014 anti-LGBTI law was passed in Nigeria, there have been waves of police arrests and torture, anti-LGBTI mob attacks, public whippings, evictions from homes, harassment and discrimination against ‘suspected’ LGBTIs. Equality advocacy organisations and activists in Nigeria are not spared mistreatments” says Aderonke Apata, LGBTIQ Advocate from Nigeria.
On 17th May, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), for which the theme is ‘family’, we are holding a solidarity rally to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow LGBTI siblings and family in the UK facing the threat of deportations back to Nigeria and other homophobic countries to say no more LGBTI asylum seekers’ deportations to Nigeria. Visit the event page here.
Many LGBTI asylum seekers have been deported back to Nigeria using the charter flights. These charter flights usually leave from an undisclosed UK airport in middle of the nights with specially trained escort guards (one escort assigned to one deportee) on a Cargo Aircraft! Each person on the charter flight costs up to £5000 on each trip that tears and rips apart partners, parents from their children, people from the community that they have developed in the UK for many years. Amongst the people deported are:
• LGBTI asylum seekers with potential 14 years imprisonment
and jungle justice from non state agents upon arrival in Nigeria are deported.
• Many with ongoing asylum and immigration cases denied the right to justice by their deportations.
• Many whom are UNFIT to fly.
• Many whom have been in the UK for over decades.
• Many whom have made the UK their homes.
• Many with no ties to Nigeria.
• Many whom are not Nigerians.
The case of Oyekunle, a gay man from Nigeria is just an example of LGBTI people being unlawfully deported back to Nigeria via charter flights as reported by The Unity Centre Glasgow during the MASS DEPORTATION charter flight of January 31st 2017 thus:
“Oyekunle is a gay man from Nigeria – one of the most dangerous countries in the world for LGBT people – who came to the UK 4 years ago and claimed asylum. After his initial screening interview he was briefly detained. He has never had a full interview because the Home Office sent the notification to the wrong address. They are arguing that his claim has lapsed; he has been detained again and is scheduled to be part of Tuesday night’s mass deportation to Nigeria by charter flight. You can ring Stansted Airport and Titan Airways to tell them that it is unlawful for them to remove Oyekunle from the UK whilst his asylum claim has not been answered by the Home Office”
The above is confirmed by Olakunle Akindele Bamgbose, acting high commissioner to the UK in an interview with The Guardian newspaper last year that “UK pressures Nigeria to help Home Office increase deportations”. Olakunle said:
“His embassy was being asked to help remove people who were sick, had immigration appeals outstanding, had no ties to Nigeria after living for many years in the UK and who in some cases were not even Nigerian.”
“It’s a big issue for us here at the embassy,” he said. “There are cases where people have been here for decades. Some of them are not even Nigerian: they came to Britain on false passports originally but the UK want us to accept them back to Nigeria” he continued.
Despite the above facts from Olakunle Akindele Bamgbose, the charter flights continue on a monthly basis wrecking havoc to many lives.
Many people on the charter flights are said even not to be Nigerians! Even if they are all Nigerians, we still say no to deportations of LGBTI asylum seekers and all mass deportations including using charter flights.
We believe the use of charter flights are criminal, cruel, racist and against the human rights of the people deported. Our belief is corroborated by this briefing, “Collective Expulsion: The Case Against Britain’s Mass Deportation Charter Flights” by Corporate Watch and Stop Deportation on the Home Office’s use of charter flights for deportations.
Angered by the negative effects that UK’s mass deportations have on people, activists from the Stop Charter Flights – End Deportations, Plane Stupid and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants protested in a direct action against a chartered flight at the Stanted Airport in a ten-hour occupation of the runway to prevent the mass deportation due to deport 50 people to Nigeria and Ghana from happening on 28th March 2017.
Friends, would you join us to keep LGBTI asylum seekers safe from persecution, imprisonment and possibly deaths? Join Stop The Mass Deportation Of LGBTI Asylum Seekers on 17th May 2pm at Nigeria high commission and DEMAND that:
1) Nigeria High Commission must stop issuing Travel Documents for deportation purposes
2)Nigerian Government must not allow the landing of charter flights on Nigerian soil
3) Nigerian Government, take a stand against deportations of your citizens
4) Demand the British Government to allow Nigerians whom have lived in the UK for at least 5 years to be given right to remain in the UK – they are Commonwealth citizens.
Press Release, 4th July 2016
On the the 28th June 2016, members of African Rainbow Family, ACT UP LONDON and over 5000 people gathered at the Trafalgar Square in London to celebrate love and commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and radical LGBTIQ resistance, love and unity! Details of event here. “The event largely regarded as a catalyst for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) liberation movement for civil rights”, It’s astonishing therefore, that consensual same-sex relationships amongst adults are still widely criminalised in about a third of the world’s population. About 75 countries criminalise homosexuality, 53 of these are from the Commonwealth where all of African Rainbow Family members flee from following the wave of homophobia whipped against them.
It was an opportunity for our members to really celebrate Stonewall Uprising which saw lesbian gay bisexual transgender intersex queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+ ) community standing up and shutting down state repression, homophobia, trans misogyny and racism. The legacy, that we all enjoy today. It was an amazing experience to be part of history not to let fall the passion, resistance and bravery of our brothers, sisters, siblings who fought for the rights we enjoy now! They demanded “equality for homosexuals”, “Gay Power” and “Freedom Now”!
African Rainbow Family at the event, demanded that The Prime Minister, David Cameron and his government, The Foreign Office and Department for International Development (DfID) should as a matter of urgency put their words into practice and act thus:
- Make available Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) nationwide to people who wish to have access to it; as promised by David Cameron.
- Protect LGBT asylum seekers, grant them sanctuary in the UK and shut down detention centres.
- Use their influence in engageing with the 40n out of the 53 Commonwealth countries that still criminalise consensual adult same-sex relationships to repeal such laws as the first step in changing cultural attitudes towards LGBT people.
- Adopt the recommendations of the newly published inquiry report into The UK’s stance on international breaches of LGBT rights by The All Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT Rights (APPG LGBT).
We took the message of love, solidarity and struggle and Root For Love in Trafalgar Square. Built a community committed to radical grassroots protests and empowerment for the whole community as all injustices are connected. “No single issue-struggle” – Audre Lorde.
We would like to thank those who donated generously and sponsored our members on this trip to celebrate diversity through song, dance, spoken words and sequins whilst challenging outdated perceptions, xenophobia, healthcare austerity and bigotry!
We continually fight for justice and building a strong contingent to counter LGBT discrimination, austerity HIVphobia, gender based violence, anti-black racism, double standards of political and religious leaders and LGBT xenophobia that still continue to attack our community. You made it possible for us to:
- Pay tributes to founders of true radical LGBTIQA+ liberation
- Have a feel of how liberation as LGBTIQ people was made a dream come true!
- Unite in a joyful protest to send good tides to homophobic, repressive and draconian governments of countries where people are still criminalise for LOVE.
- Spur our members who come from countries with repressive draconian laws against LGBTIQ people to think of how they could influence change in their different countries and one day achieve their liberation and freedom to be whom they are and equal before the laws of their lands.
- Raise awareness and retell the story of the historic Stonewall Uprising once again in our communities in the UK.
- Attract the media, encourage schools to engage in how the freedom of equality we enjoy today in the UK came about.
For enquiries and media interests please contact:
Thank you so very much for your genorosity. Do encourage your friends and networks to join in and donate too!
There have been many advancements made in the treatments of AIDS; but more can still be done. We can nonetheless, make AIDS a non-life-threatening disease and even non-existence in our communities with the availability of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a preventativve measure in transmitting/spreading AIDS. The case for PrEP is NOW – demand the NHS make PrEP available NOW!!!
We must not forget that about a third of the world’s population is still criminalised for consensual adult same-sex relationships; hence making it difficult for people living with HIV/AIDS to come forward for testing, detecting and treatments. This is why we implore you to join in, donate and make ACT UP FOR LOVE Stonewall Uprising Trip possible!
Donate here #Root4LOVE #ACTUP4LOVE
ACT UP FOR LOVE 2016 – Celebrating Radical LGBTQI Resistance, Love and Unity
Full list of performers and Speakers to be announced
June 28th 2016 – 6-8pm Trafalgar Square, London, facebook event page here
ACT UP FOR LOVE is organised by African Rainbow Family(www.africanrainbowfamily.org)and ACT UP London
AFRICAN RAINBOW FAMILY, is proud to be part of ACT UP FOR LOVE and say as follows:
- It is against any fundamental human rights to be criminalised for love. The control, power and authority of our greedy, hypocritical and cynical political and religious leaders need to be challenged in the interest of equality, freedom, prosperity and justice.
- It is high time that all legal barriers to equality and human rights for all be abolished in order for LGBTIQ people living in countries that criminalise them begin to access testing, detection and treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Read more here
Full list of performers and Speakers to be announced
On June 28th, we mark the 47th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, which saw the LGBTQIA*+ community standing up and shutting down state repression and homophobia, transmisogny and racism. Though nearly half a century has passed, we do not let fall the passion, resistance and bravery of our brothers, sisters and siblings who fought for the rights we enjoy.
Stonewall Uprising demanded “equality for homosexuals,” “Gay power,” and “freedom now!” We take their message of love, solidarity and struggle and#ACTUP4Lovein the square and build…
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This year, the theme of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT2016) is Mental Health and Well Being.
Mental health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing where every individual realises own potential. Cope with stress of life, work productively and fruitfully and able to contribute to her or his community. Unfortunately for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people including those who are nonbinary living in any of the over 70 countries in the world where consensual same-sex relationships are criminalised and even sometimes by death penalty; it is absolutely impossible to fulfill any meaningful mental health.
Hear what Aderonke Apata, Nigerian human right activist and LGBT equality advocate says:
“Today’s IDAHOT day! Many people like me globally, are still not free to love whom they want to love. Will you stand by, for and with us on this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia? Especially LGBT asylum seekers and refugees for acceptance. Challenge hate crimes and embrace diversity and inclusion.”
In commemorating the IDAHOT2016, Aderonke delivered a speech at the Kaleidoscope Trust 4th Annual Lecture to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) focusing on the global theme for IDAHOBIT 2016: Mental Health and Wellbeing. Read full speech here.
Speaking at the IDAHOBIT 2016 Hate Crime Vigil to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) in Sackville Gardens in Manchester’s Gay Village organised by LGBT Foundation; Aderonke thanked and paid tribute to those who’ve fought for LGBT rights, now and in future.
“We must not forget that within the LGBT umbrella, people of colour are still discriminated against. As much as Manchester is a receptive and welcoming place for refugees, racism is still rife in LGBT community. We need to tackle discrimination from within as well and embrace inclusion. There is a lot to be done for LGBT people overseas, to whom we must extend our solidarity” Aderonke added.
17th May 2016