Welcome to the first day of the Love Letters ‘What Can I Do?’ Guide.
Each day at noon (on the days that a busy theatre work schedule allows) there will be a post about one thing you can do to raise awareness about the divided families campaign.
Some of those things include communicating with your local MP, but as the UK Parliaments are on recess at the moment we will be starting with other things.
The actions will be collated on the What Can I Do? Guide page on the site.
What I can do is: save these dates
Three important dates for your diary:
1st December 2015
Flag this as a day to come back to this site and find out if the MM Case (the test case against the financial requirement of the 2012 Rules) has a confirmed date yet. It will be heard in the Supreme Court in January or February 2016.
14th February 2016
There is often a protest about the Rules on Valentine’s Day. You can check out the Britcits website for info about this.
9th July 2016
The 9th of July is the anniversary of the Rules. Each year since they were introduced in 2012, there has been a protest outside the Home Office on the anniversary. Once again, the Britcits site is a good place to look for information about this.
There will be a reading of the Love Letters to the Home Office theatre show on Thursday 13th August 22.30 at the Edinburgh Fringe. The performance will be in Paines Plough’s ROUNDABOUT at Summerhall as part of the Earlier/Later programme.
We are delighted to be joined by some amazing guest artists for the reading.
Buy your tickets here.
Tickets are £10, or £7 concessions, with a special price of £4 for families affected by the Rules.
Expect a longer post about this in the next day or so, but for now, please take five minutes to read the briefing document on the Migrants Rights website which shows that the Home Office fiddled figures so Family Visa migrants appear to be a burden on the UK taxpayer.
It appears that the income requirement will actually COST taxpayers £850m over 10 years.
And that the justification that the Human Rights tiering based on income for families with members from outside the EEA is lawful because it protects the good of the whole country (this is the grounds on which the HO won the Court of Appeal judgement last year)… that justification is demonstrated to be untrue in the briefing document.
Angry about the fact that Government have specifically misled the British public about cost to the taxpayer of the 2012 Migration Rules?
Three simple things you can do:
1. Have a read of the Migrants Rights briefing document.
2. Write to your MP, asking them to introduce an Early Day Motion to investigate the deliberate misleading of the public about the 2012 Family Migration Rules.
3. Post here to tell us that you have done it, and who your MP is, so that we can keep track.
The Migrants Rights briefing document can be found here.
For those that cannot be with us in person, we are broadcasting the two Love Letters to the Home Office performances on Skype, and on Periscope.
The performances are Thursday 30th April (tomorrow) and Friday 1st May.
The group Skype call will start at 8.45pm BST for a pre-show chat.
Please mute your mics unless you are speaking as this prevents echo and helps to keep the call clear.
At 9.10pm BST we will ask you to turn off your video feeds (you will still be able to see the show video) and turn off you mics.
You will still be able to type in the Skype text box.
The whole performance (75mins) will go out on Skype and the actors have been working with the camera in rehearsals so you will be very included in the show.
After the show we will leave the connection up for at least 20 mins so you can talk to each other.
The Skype call will be hosted on Skype name: the-same-sky
Send a contract request and ask to be added.
Periscope is an app that only be used on an iPhone. It is free to download. You need to login with a Twitter account.
We will be broadcasting the show on Periscope from 9.10pm BST.
We will be broadcasting through the Twitter account “@lovelettershome”
Tickets are now on sale for our performances at Battersea Arts Centre.
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
We’re super excited to officially announce that we, as our production group North Star, are creating a new theatrical event based on the stories we’ve collected for Love Letters to the Home Office, and we will be part of the “Taking a Stand” season at the Battersea Arts Centre in London, just before the 2015 General Elections, with performances on April 30 and May 1, 2015
Creating this event, now, gives us a very real opportunity to share the impact of the 2012 Family Migration Rules with a wider audience than the book has reached so far: a very politicised audience, whose own voices can make an impact on the decisions being made at a Governmental level about this issue, right now, so that no more women are giving birth on their own, and so that no more families are separated for no reason other than their income.
The script (written by our Katharine) features at least something from every story in the book, interspersed with information about the 2012 Rules and newly created responses from a team of contributing performers, poets, musicians and collaborators, and explores the real impact of the UK’s immigration policies and media-fuelled public opinion.
We’ll shortly be launching a crowdfunding campaign to help offset some of the production costs, but the tickets for the show itself will be Pay-What-You-Can to ensure the show is as accessible to as many people as possible. You can book as many of them as you want for as little as £1 each.
More information and booking details are on the BAC website now.
Please spread the word and we hope to see you there!
The Guardian is creating what they are calling the “100 voices” project, documenting the experiences of immigrants living in the UK. (Hey, that sounds familiar…!)
They are looking for 200 words or less and a photo from around the time you arrived in the UK. What they want is a story of why you came to the UK, what life was like when you first arrived, and how your experience of being an immigrant has changed over time.
Seems it might be an excellent opportunity to share some of the struggles people have had getting here in the first place…
More details and the submission form is here:
(We’re slightly behind the curve on sharing this, but there is no deadline listed so it looks like it’s still good!)
We send love this Valentine’s Day to all those affected by the Family Migration Rules.
To those separated still, and those together at last.
To those awaiting the results of applications, and those in the process of appealing mistaken results.
We send special energy and good wishes to those that have been parted by death before they were able to overcome the rules. We acknowledge you especially on this day.
Sending love to all, and love to each. Our hearts are with you.
In 1968, US Senator Robert F. Kennedy suggested a country needed to be measured by more than economic success.
In 2008, French President Nicholas Sarkozy launched an initiative “to shift emphasis from measuring economic production to measuring people’s well being.”
In 2010 he was quoted as saying, “finding out what will really improve lives and acting on it is the serious business of government.”
(quotes from “Thrive” by Arianna Huffington)
It is clear that the government do not understand the anguish of the families divided by the 2012 Family Migration rules. If they did, the rules would not have been put in place in the first place. In the aftermath of the Court of Appeal’s judgement yesterday, it is time for us to share with David Cameron, the leader of our country, the impact of his actions.
We can do this very simply, by sending a white feather.
That’s it. Simple but effective. And as we all send them to Downing Street, the amount of white feathers will add up until we can be ignored no more.
It can be a real feather taped to a card, or a paper feather, or a drawing… or whatever you like.
All we need to send is a white feather, and the name of our loved one(s). We can write more if we wish, but we don’t have to.
1. Send them by post, send them by email, tweet them. Do all three if you know how to, and if you can!
Post your feathers to:
The Right Honourable David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
Email: Use this form to request an email address to send your white feather to.
Twitter: @Number10gov, @david_cameron,
Use #whitefeather and #familiestogether and #lovemigration
2. Share them on Facebook and your other social media too, to raise awareness of the campaign and to empower others to send their white feathers too.
3. If you want to, you can email photographs of your white feather to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will collect and document them on our site.
The additional means of sharing are great things to do, but the only important thing to do is send a white feather to David Cameron. And we can all do that.
We can keep sending them until the rules are changed, our families are reunited and our human rights are restored. One feather at a time, one family at a time, we will win this.
In solidarity and hope, and with love,
Katharine and the Love Letters to the Home Office team
Some sample text
This feather is for [name].
This feather is for [name] who missed his daughter’s first birthday.
This feather is for [name] and [name] who are separated by the 2012 Family Migration rules.
This feather is for my daughter.