Human rights and direct action

The power of protest was awakened in 2020 – and these Changemakers were in the foreground

the Black lives matter The movement, spurred by the death of George Floyd, awakened the power of protest in 2020 – and these Changemakers have all stood up for human rights and against social injustice.

But the fight continues, and in 2021 and beyond there are still many battles to be fought – and you can be sure these people will always be on the front lines, acting altruistically on behalf of their fellow human beings and inspiring others with their activism. .

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60. All Black Lives United Kingdom

Three young activists led the way in the fight for racial equality in 2020. Natasha Johnson, 21, Tyrek Morris, 21, and Aima, 18, founded All Black Lives United Kingdom, which campaigns to improve conditions for blacks. Natasha and Aima organized protests in London against the murder of George Floyd in May.

All Black Lives UK is demonstrating every Sunday for justice for all black Britons and called on the government to end racial disparities in health, racial discrimination in criminal justice and reform the education system.

61. We belong

We belong is an organization that aims to end the hostile environment that migrants face. Launched as a charity in September 2019, it campaigned for shorter, more affordable pathways to citizenship and equal access to higher education.

Dami Makinde tells us more.

We belong

The big problem: what inspired We Belong?

Dami Makinde: It is the first UK-wide charity to be fully managed by and for young migrants. The spark of his creation has come 2013, when a change in legislation blocked many young migrants to receive student loans, to leave our college dreams and ragged career ambitions. Find out that we are being treated differently from our peers because we are migrants who have turned us into activists.

Can you tell me a bit about the work We Belong did in 2020?

It has been an eventful and important year. We have worked to build relationships with politicians from all parties so they can hear firsthand how the Home Office’s punitive policies are hurting the lives of young people who grew up in the UK. In October, we testified before the Home Affairs Select Committee, and in November, had a meeting with Immigration Minister Kevin Foster MP.

We also launched our groundbreaking Mental Health Check report, in which young migrants speak in heart-breaking detail about the damage to their mental and physical well-being caused by the immigration system. We asked them this question: “If the Home Office was an animal, what would it be?” “. Their answers were revealing. Responses included a hyena (“Predatory creatures. You can’t trust them”); an alligator (“it keeps pulling you back and forth with its powerful jaws”); and a lazy (“everything they do is incredibly slow”).

What needs to be done to make young migrants living in the UK feel safe and welcome, and how can the public support We Belong and its mission?

The immigration system and Home Ministry processes are in urgent need of reform. We call for a fairer and more humane immigration system that enables young migrants like us to reach their full potential and contribute to the country we call home. We are fighting to end the hostile environment of the Interior Ministry and remove the barriers that leave many migrants stigmatized and prevented from being fully accepted and integrated. People can support us by raising awareness and chatting with friends, family and neighbors, who may not be aware of the obstacles many migrants face.

62. Black activists speak out against the cuts

Black activists speak out against cuts is a coalition of black public and voluntary sector workers, trade unionists, community organizations and service users with the common goal of stopping frontline service cuts in the public sector, which disproportionately affect African, Caribbean, Asian and minority ethnic communities. In June, the campaign celebrated its 10th anniversary with the release of Is Britain Racist ?, a film about those affected by the Windrush scandal and those fighting for justice.

63. Uncut Sisters

The group played an important role in 2020 campaigning for better services for people affected by domestic and sexual violence. When huge increases in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline were detected during the first lockdown, the feminist group presented a list of demands. He urged councils and the government to ensure survivors have access to specialized support and safe housing.

64. Detention

the human rights organization provides support to people held in immigration detention centers and campaigns for reforms. In 2020, the group urged airlines to halt deportation flights and also campaigned for the introduction of a 28-day limit for the detention of migrants and community alternatives to detention.

65. Sophie Kabangu – BLM Colchester and Amnesty UK’s Rise Up program

Kabangu is a young activist who founded Black Lives Matter Colchester. The University of Essex student is also part of Amnesty UK’s Rise Up program, which brings together young human rights defenders. In 2020, she worked on a campaign with human rights charity Amnesty International to support the homeless in Colchester.

66. Lesbians and gays support migrants

the gay activist group has been a key part of the campaign urging airlines to stop facilitating evictions. Campaigners have called for the cancellation of the December 2 charter flight to Jamaica.

The Home Office expelled 13 Jamaican nationals, despite 60 MPs and peers signing a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel asking for the flight to be canceled. Thirty-seven people who were due to be deported from the UK were granted a stay as the ministry admitted they may have been victims of modern slavery.

Lesbian and gay migrants

67. Christina Adane – Bite Back 2030 and tribe named Athari

The 17-year-old activist accomplished a lot in 2020. She is the co-chair of the Youth Council of Bite Back 2030, a campaign against injustice in the food industry and offering all young people the opportunity to eat healthy.

Christina started the UK petition for free school meals during the summer holidays, which was supported by footballer Marcus Rashford and she is also a member of Tribe named Athari, a London-based youth movement calling for black liberation and racial justice.

68. Seyi Akiwowo – Glitch

When the lockdown forced the whole country to stay at home, our lives shifted online. But spending more time on the internet has resulted in an increased risk of being abused online. Glitch is a non-profit organization founded by Seyi Akiwowo with the aim of ending online abuse through workshops and advocacy, with a special focus on the experiences of black and ethnic minority women and non-binary people.

In 2020, Glitch offered training to Black Lives Material activists to protect them online abuse and campaigning for social media sites to feature content warnings on photographs and videos of police brutality.

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