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Fears for Zimbabweans in Sheffield

February 2019

Following worries about asylum seekers being asked ‘distressing’ questions by a Zimbabwean Embassy official invited to Sheffield by the Home Office to interrogate them in December, the worst fears may now be realised. Two Zimbabwean nationals, who have lived in Britain for years, have been detained and are threatened with deportation to Zimbabwe.

Victor Mujakachi
and Khozani Ndvolu were held when they went to Vulcan House, the Home Office building in Sheffield, for an ‘interview’ on Monday 11th February. Several other Zimbabweans have been asked to attend Vulcan House over the next week, so fears are also high for their safety.

Zimbabwean asylum seekers have called for protests to support them when they go to Vulcan House. The UK government seems ready to deport Zimbabweans who are well-known and well-liked community activists, and at a time of political violence. The new Zimbabwean government of Emerson Mnangagwa seems to be as repressive as Robert Mugabe’s. There should be no deportations to Zimbabwe. Our asylum system should give protection to those who need it, not hand them over to torture or death.

Please sign the petition to release Victor Mujakachi from detention at Change.org

Join the demonstration on Tuesday 19th February 2019, 9am at Vulcan House, Sheffield Home Office, Millsands S3 8NU

South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG)

SYMAAG victory over G4S !

January 2019

After a six year campaign by asylum-seeker tenants of G4S, with help and research by South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG), G4S have lost all of their contracts to run asylum housing, from September 2019.

G4S is the biggest security company in the world, specialising in private jails. No surprise that they proved to be very bad as a landlord.

The new 10 year £4 billion Asylum Accommodation and Support Services Contract has been given to Serco, Clearsprings and the Mears Group. Mears Group will be operating the contract in Yorkshire, Humberside and the north east from September 2019.

SYMAAG will continue to work, report and campaign alongside asylum tenants, ensuring they are treated with dignity and respect, and provided with decent housing.

John Grayson of SYMAAG was interviewed on Sheffield Live following the news.

SYMAAG

Sheffield People´s Petition

Autumn 2018, petition open until Sep. 2019

A petition is aiming to improve the system Sheffield Council uses to make decisions. It urges a referendum to move from the current undemocratic "strong leader" system (just 10 councillors have the power to make nearly all decisions) to a modern committee system where all councillors have real power to represent the communities that elected them. This is a big issue for local democracy, it was covered in an Alt-Sheff article in Now Then magazine.

The petition is being run by It´s Our City, a non-party-political community network in Sheffield.

UPDATE December 2018

Feedback shows there is a big gap in people’s knowledge of how the Council works under the strong leader. Virtually everyone does not know that the power to make nearly all decisions is in the hands of just 10 out of the 84 elected councillors. People are genuinely shocked, and about 80%+ support and sign the petition for change, which is heading towards half of the total necessary signatures.

What can you do?
SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER help on the campaign Communities, Social Media, Publicity or IT teams: www.itsoursheffield.co.uk/get-involved
DELIVER LEAFLETS in your local area/on named streets, email info@itsoursheffield.co.uk if you can do this.
INVITE "It’s Our City" TO YOUR COMMUNITY GROUP to talk for five minutes and to have a discussion about Sheffield People’s Petition, email: info@itsoursheffield.co.uk.
GET PAPER PETITION SHEETS by emailing, and gather signatures from your friends, street, neighbours, colleagues.
JOIN in ongoing street stalls, events, signature collecting all around Sheffield (details posted on Facebook group “It’s Our City! Sheffield”).
SPREAD THE WORD as much as you can, and keep spreading it - ask questions, and stay informed!

A Christmas Single has been made by ‘Jumping’ Jason Leman! youtube.com/watch?v=rP0TvMKQ2a8

It´s Our City Petition

Performers wanted for climate change

Jan/Feb 2019

Extinction Rebellion Sheffield are asking for musicians, bands or DJs, and venues which might want to help, to run a fundraising gig. This is in the run-up to the declared Rebellion on the week beginning April 15th, planned as a mass protest about the state not dealing with the climate emergency.

They are also keen to arrange a screening of "wetheuncivilised", a significant new film featuring conversations with grassroots activists and leading figures of the UK ecological movement.

Please do get in touch if you think you can help with this: xrsheffield@gmail.com

Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion Sheffield group on Facebook

Rotherham looks at sex establishments

Deadline 20th February 2019

When a new lap-dancing club was proposed near the Leadmill, there was huge opposition and it didn't happen. But Sheffield City Council agreed a policy allowing licensed 'sexual entertainment venues'. It could have set a limit, or ruled them out.

Now, Rotherham Council is asking the question; what do residents think about these places? Evidence shows that they create an atmosphere of fear and disrespect for women, distorting attitudes to sex, especially for children, and have appallingly exploitative work practices. If you live in Rotherham, why not give them your views? The consultation opened inconveniently just before Christmas, and runs till the 20th of February.

Views Sought on Sex Establishments Rules

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