Refugees Welcome

Speech delivered by Loraine Masiya Mponela to the Scrap the Anti-Refugee Bill Day of Action, 20/10/21, Coventry



Loraine reciting one of her poems

Escaping persecution is never going to be an orderly process where you leave your country with all your papers and book in at check in.

Do you think the people chasing you are going to be fine with that?

Of course not.

Look at the chaos with the evacuation of a handful of Afghan refugees.

People have this thing embedded in them.

People want a better life.

Free from persecution, war.

We must stop the Borders Bill which is an attempt to criminalise asylum.

No matter how an asylum seeker finds themselves here in UK everyone should be treated with compassion. This is why we are here to protest

And- I’m going to be very controversial here.

Poverty…”Poverty is the worst form of violence” as Mahatma Gandhi rightly said.

This new borders bill will not only ignore suffering it’s going to criminalise it.

I repeat suffering will be a crime. And not in a good way.

The people who suffer will be criminals and the people who inflict suffering will be rewarded

Well I say no
We’ve been criminalised for years

Loraine reciting one of her poems

I’ve been called illegal
How on earth can a human being be illegal?

I’m not
I’m here
And I’m going nowhere
This is my land
This is my home
my existence here is resistance

And mark my words
This borders bill will not work
Here’s why
They haven’t factored in one important thing: The human spirit

The human spirit to work and feed your family where you or they are

To the people who have not come yet -I say solidarity To the people who are here now – I say solidarity and to hell with the borders bill
We are all humans. Thank you

Speech delivered to the Scrap the Anti-Refugee Bill Day of Action, 20/10/21, Coventry


Loraine Masiya Mponela is originally from Malawi and now lives in Coventry, UK. Loraine has lived in UK since 2008. Loraine is part and chair of the active Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action group (CARAG) and board member for several refugee/migrants charities in the UK, including the Sisters not Strangers Coalition. She is a community organiser, a migrants rights campaigner with frequent media appearances, and a poet. Loraine has a lovely son, Comfort.

Photograph supplied by Loraine Mponela