On the 15th of March the Greater Manchester Social Action branch hosted a Solidarity Disco raising money for two organisations we work closely with who do brilliant work! The branch raised £290 which will be spilt between Women Asylum Seekers Together and Freedom from Torture.
The event was held at the Klondyke club in Levenshulme and over 100 members and supporters of the branch attended. We were entertained by the wonderful WAST choir, Open Voice Choir singing songs of protest and resistance, and the evening was seen into the early hours thanks to All Hands on Deck who kept us on our toes playing pop classics and electro beats!
The branch has a long history in supporting those battling the Home Office. Margaret Manning spoke at the event and shared the history of the branch’s involvement. NW389 migrant support work was driven by both Tony Openshaw and Margaret and over the years and has supported several people seeking asylum through the gruelling process whilst campaigning within the union to ensure immigration reforms, and the consequences of the hostile environment, remain firmly at the forefront of all our work.
The WAST choir sang beautifully, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Dudu, Rudo and other sisters spoke about their heartache, their fear but their determination to overcome their challenges. They spoke about the importance of community, the union and each other.
We heard an inspirational speech from Aderonke Apata who spoke about the complexities of the court cases, the fear of detention, the struggle moving forward and how with support and solidarity individuals can thrive. Aderonke’s story is one of resilience and hope as she moves forward with her law career.
Barry and Mary, two dedicated branch activists, spoke about how difficult the process of gaining leave to remain had been for them both. The battle has been an emotional one – Mary spoke about her love for Barry, family, friends and her faith which kept her strong throughout the ordeal. Barry reminded the room that the branch continues to sponsor volunteers seeking asylum and spoke passionately about the power of the union and the comradeship it offers.
The choirs and music were fantastic and the branch is so grateful for their participation. It meant so much to come together with comrades at different stages of the immigration process, as the event was an opportunity to celebrate our victories, but reaffirm our resolve to fight for each and every comrade facing the threat of deportation.
Thanks to everyone who came down and supported the event!