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Amnesty Glasgow welcome all at GoMA

Posted by on 8 August 2017 at 6:35 pm | No Comments »

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Paddington’s adventures continue throughout Glasgow as this weekend he attended the Amnesty International photo exhibition, ‘I Welcome’ at the Gallery of Modern Art. The main exhibition hall was host to a powerful and moving collection of photography highlighting the multitude of issues and human stories that surround every number, every statistic we hear about migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.


With a performance of the Asylum Monologues, an exploration of the UK asylum system in the words of people who have experienced it, you can’t help but question your own identity in relation to your country – what it means to be migrant, what it means to be British and what consequences that has for those who aren’t.


An excellent event organised by Amnesty International Glasgow West, we were lucky to join up with Refuweegee, Refugee Survival Trust and the British Red Cross to help challenge the harmful narratives around migrants pervading the media in spite of the overwhelming difficulties encountered by those suffering through no fault of their own.

If you haven’t already, make sure to tell Marks and Spencer’s CEO to stop advertising in the Daily Mail and pull its funding from the newspaper’s nasty and untruthful stories.  

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I Welcome exhibition

Posted by on 3 August 2017 at 5:53 pm | No Comments »

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I welcome exhibition posterOur friends in Glasgow West Amnesty are putting on the remarkable ‘I Welcome’ exhibition at GOMA this weekend. We’ll have a stall as part of the event, with info about our migration campaign, alongside other organisations working on migration and refugee issues. And Paddington should be dropping in on Saturday too!

Sat 5th and Sun 6th August, 11am-5pm

GOMA, Royal Exchange Square

Drop in any time to see the exhibition and find out more…

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Paddington visits Dungavel

Posted by on 19 July 2017 at 8:23 pm | No Comments »

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At the end of June, we joined the annual solidarity gathering at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre (also known as ‘Scotland’s Shame’ or ‘The Monster of the Glen’), along with friends from Global Justice Ayrshire, Hope not Hate and Justice and Peace Scotland…not to mention a certain migrant from darkest Peru. This wee film explains why we were there – people shouldn’t be locked up just for trying to seek refuge in the UK. And even more – they shouldn’t be locked up indefinitely #time4atimelimit.

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Glasgow Mela

Posted by on 9 July 2017 at 4:28 pm | No Comments »

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Last Sunday the Glasgow Mela descended upon Kelvingrove Park. A veritable feast for the soul (and the stomach), it brings together a variety of cultures from around our pale blue dot with an astonishing assortments of food, drinks, music, art, crafts, dance and so much more. Kelvingrove Park, looking as resplendent as always against the backdrop of the Kelvingrove Museum and Glasgow University’s majestic architecture, was host to tens of thousands of people all there to enjoy the rich and diverse tapestry of world cultures on display. Mela comes from the Sanskrit for ‘to meet’, which people certainly did do in large numbers, an estimated 40,000.

Paddington Bear at Glasgow Mela

Amidst this celebration of multiculturalism, the perfect closer for the Scottish Refugee Festival, it was the perfect day for Global Justice Glasgow to set up shop for our Migration campaign. Amidst the lush, labyrinthine walkways of the park, our stall found itself in the middle of an eclectic mix of other organisations ranging from a theatre and a car rental company one side to a foster care charity and the navy on the other. Activists from all around Glasgow arrived to provide help and support over the course of the day – all of which helped to reach more people.

The star of the day and the main attraction was our good friend from deepest darkest Peru, Paddington Bear! Paddington is the perfect symbol for challenging the negative media narratives around the topic of Migration. Adored by kids and adults alike, he found it difficult to move around the Mela without being stopped every metre for a hug or a photograph from an excited fan.


Connecting with people in this way meant a lot more people came to our stall, asked questions, took badges, stickers and information on our Migration campaign. We were also joined by friends from Refuweegee, Refugee Survival Trust and Scottish Detainee Visitors (Check out their recent action at Dungavel here) who supported us throughout the day and informed visitors of the amazing work they do with refugees around Glasgow. Visit their websites to learn more about what they do and how you can get involved. 

In typical Glasgow fashion, we did get a downpour at somer points throughout the day but it did precious little to hinder the festivities which continued throughout the day in full furore. Across multiple stages, there were stellar performances from Indian, Chinese and local dance groups accompanied by music equally as astounding. The food on the day allowed you to taste your way around the world with expertly made authentic dishes to spice up your life like chana chaat and lamb bhuna or bring you a little sweetness with mouth-watering kulfi and falooda. For the first time, there was a ‘crafts village’ with workshops and demonstrations showing off the multitude of skills used to create beautiful and ornate artistic pieces.

The conversations at the stall that day were wide ranging and informative. We had people sign up for more information, asking how to get involved and sharing their own experiences with migrants and refugees in Glasgow or even their own personal story of migration and their experiences as a refugee in the city. One topic that came up time and time again is the question: “Who is a migrant?”. This prompted everyone to look back into their own family and history and realise that most of us are migrants is one sense or another.


With Brexit due to move full steam ahead and the Great Repeal Bill looming over the horizon, it is set to affect climate change, health and safety standards, food standards, workers rights, human rights and, of course, the right to free movement. Now more than ever, we need to defend this right and ensure it is upheld for all, wherever they’re from. As complex and challenging as the issue is, it is only made worse by the simplifying, misinformed and toxic coverage of it by the some parts of the media. To this end, if you haven’t already, make sure to email the CEO of Marks and Spencers to stop advertising in the Daily Mail and put a stop to their support of misleading and poisonous rhetoric around Migration.

To find out more about Global Justice Glasgow, sign up to our newsletter in the sidebar, like our Facebook page or follow our Twitter.

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Paddington comes to Glasgow…

Posted by on 28 June 2017 at 8:21 pm | No Comments »

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Paddington George Square for webWe’ve been delighted to spend some time with Paddington, during the Scottish Refugee Festival. He’s come all the way from Peru to spread the message the migration is not a crime and that people shouldn’t be locked up or criminalised just for trying to move from one country to another. He joined us for a marvellous screening at the CCA, along with our friends from the Scottish Refugee Council and Refugee Survival Trust. And he’s going to come along to Glasgow Mela too!

Glasgow Mela, Sunday 2nd July, 12-8pm, Kelvingrove Park

Come and see us on our stall if you’re in the area. Say hello to Paddington, find out more about our campaign to shift the debate on migration, and you can even write your own welcome message to a new arrival with our friends from Refuweegee. After all, People Make Glasgow…wherever they’re coming fae!

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Humans are more than Passports

Posted by on 3 May 2017 at 6:04 pm | No Comments »

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Glasgow Campaigns for Migrant RightsPMG wherever we re fae - small

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark

– Warsan Shire, Home


25,000 people have died trying to get to or stay in Europe since 2000 (International Organisation for Migration) and, yet, refugees are not given support but are faced with xenophobia, detention, destitution, abuse and physical violence. In the coming months, with Brexit and another independence referendum on the cards, Scotland is at a crossroads in its history. Are we going to turn away from the suffering of thousands of innocent people fleeing warfare and devastation, taking long arduous journeys for a better life for themselves and their families or are we going to support them in their quest for safety, for security and defend the right to freedom of movement for one and all?

In Glasgow, we have already seen great resistance to the recent descent into nativism and jingoism brought about by the pro-Brexit campaign and overseas with the election of (I still can’t believe I’m about to type the next two words and mean it) President Trump. Huge protests around Scotland, in all the major cities, demonstrate the appetite for an alternative way of looking at migration, of taking a more humane approach, of treating our fellow travellers with compassion and understanding rather than disdain and the subdued contempt that suffuses our current political climate.


Most of the world’s refugees don’t flee to Europe, let alone the UK. Only 1% live here. Developing countries host over 80% of the world’s refugees.

(British Red Cross)


At Global Justice Glasgow, we are preparing for a whole host of events taking place over the next few weeks, each one a chance to build the campaign for migrant rights, to ask the difficult questions, to engage, challenge and support.


Migration Gathering (6th May)

With stalls from various organisations, a powerful and moving photo exhibition and a screening of the outstanding documentary Precarious Trajectories, this event looks to be the perfect storm for anyone interested in migrant rights to come together and support each other and develop ideas on how to make progress on these difficult issue.

The main afternoon discussion will be on what can be done to tackle this issue in Scotland specifically and what we should demand of the Scottish government in response to this crisis.


Refugee Festival Scotland (20th June – 2nd July)

SRC logoHosted by the Scottish Refugee Council, this festival celebrates the contribution refugees make to the rich tapestry of Scottish culture and how Glaswegians embrace this as they become neighbours, colleagues, classmates and friends. Last year, it attracted around 13,300 people at 140 events across the country ranging from live music and performances to literature events. For this year’s programme and other updates, keep an eye on the website.


CCA Film Screenings (23rd June, 6-8m – final details tbc)

A screening of three local and global films from Take One Action, exploring lack of safe passage for refugees, and their lives in their chosen destination country:

‘Making it Home’ – created from dialogue between refugee women in Maryhill, Glasgow and local women in Pilton, Edinburgh.
‘At Home in the World’ – a Danish film following the lives of five children during their first year at a Red Cross Refugee School. 
‘Refugee Blues’ – an intimate portrayal of a day in the former camp at Calais, set to the verses of W.H. Auden’s 1939 poem of the same name.

Join us for post film discussion with campaigners from the Scottish Refugee Council, Take One Action and the Refugee Survival Trust.


Glasgow Mela (2nd July)

Glasgow Mela logoWe will be at the Glasgow Mela, Scotland’s biggest free multicultural festival from 12-8pm on Sunday, 2nd July in Kelvingrove Park. Come along to take part in the festivities – the activities, the food, the performances and much more. It’s worth coming to see clothing alone! – as dazzling and spectacular as it can possibly be. You may also get to meet our favourite bear from Peru, one Mr. Brown, first name Paddington – and don’t be surprised if you see his friendly face popping up around Glasgow over the coming weeks – keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter for possible sightings!

Paddington generic - smallBottomless suitcases and marmalade aside, we hope to engage anyone interested in the topic of Migration whether it be someone wanting to question, to learn more, to explore, to challenge or simply enjoy the stunning array of sights and sounds you’ll be surrounded by on the day, Make sure to follow the Mela Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Right now, Scotland is rediscovering its identity and we have a chance now to move towards more progressive values, towards a better way of doing things and not sliding into the same, old, ineffectual discourse about ‘us versus them’. We can reject the political parties which bang the populist drum against migrants with their toxic rhetoric of division, half-truths and hatred. Let’s take a better approach, one that acknowledges the challenges ahead of us but does not shy away from them. Let’s show them what the people of Glasgow are really made of.


We hope to see you over the coming weeks as we fight to make Glasgow a city that welcomes all and  stands up for the vulnerable because we know People Make Glasgow, wherever we’re fae.

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We need to talk about migration

Posted by on 26 March 2017 at 5:49 pm | No Comments »

Posted in: Events

Migration conversations header smallIn these difficult political times, we need to have sane conversations about migration. Those of us who believe that migration is a positive thing need to find ways to persuade others that freedom of movement doesn’t mean the end of civilisation. And we need to be able to talk about these issues without ending up in a bunfight. Our friends at Hope Not Hate have developed some great training to help us have these conversations. You can find out more details here.

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A people’s trade deal?

Posted by on 26 March 2017 at 1:39 pm | No Comments »

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Trade that does good event Dundee 25-03-17 smallGreat to have some time with trade activists from across Scotland in Dundee yesterday (Sat 25 March). We’ve all spent a lot of time and energy over the last few years campaigning against horrible corporate power-grabs like TTIP, CETA and TPP, so it’s really good to be able to talk about positive alternatives. We need to push our elected representatives to think about positive trade deals that puts environmental protection and workers’ rights before corporate profit. It’s not going to be an easy campaign to win, but it has to be worth it…

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Take Back Our World

Posted by on 24 January 2017 at 7:38 pm | No Comments »

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Take back our world Jan 2017Of the 100 largest economic entities, 69 are corporations. Big business has a grip on our lives like never before, undermining democracy and acting like an anti-Robin Hood – taking from the poor to give to the rich. Come along to the Take Back Our World conference being organised by Global Justice Now and the Radical Independence Campaign this Saturday – find out who really owns and runs Scotland, how to challenge corporations and what it all means for the debate around independence.

Saturday 28 January, 9:30am – 5:30pm

Charles Wilson Building, Kelvin Way, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Find out more and book your tickets here

Loads of great speakers from around the world, including Larry Sanders (the one with the famous brother, not the one with the sitcom), Dorothy Grace Guerrero from Focus on the Global South, Nick Dearden from Global Justice Now and others from La Via Campesina, the Transnational Institute, Red Pepper, OpenDemocracy and more. Plus workshops to get you thinking and get you campaigning…

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Dump Trump

Posted by on 24 January 2017 at 7:27 pm | No Comments »

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Dump Trump demo 20-01-17Really good to join the Dump Trump demo in Buchanan Street at the end of last week. And brilliant to see hundreds of people out on the streets despite the cold weather. He might not be listening to anyone other than himself, but it’s still vital that we stand together around the world to limit the damage he can do. As one of the speakers said, the time for mourning is over – it’s time to take action and work together for a better world.

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