Warwick staff and students gathered at The Koan on Monday 20 February to demonstrate solidarity with migrants living, working, and studying in the UK, following a recent protest on campus against new US President Donald Trump.
It coincided on the same day as “One Day Without Us”, and the UK Parliament debate on whether they should grant Donald Trump a UK state visit.
Societies running the event included Warwick for Free Education, Catholic society, Warwick: Friends of Palestine, Warwick for Justice in Palestine, Warwick Anti Sexism, Warwick Pride, Warwick Student Action for Refugees (STAR) and Warwick Enable. The event was organised by Warwick Students’ Union Education Officer, Hope Worsdale.
The message was to say no to xenophobia and no to racism at a time of tumultuous politics. Speakers stood up to raise awareness of such issues and speak of their own experiences as migrants.
Second-year Sociology student, Sam Arman, had this to say after his speech: “Warwick’s community is welcoming but the University policy isn’t. I have to pay more for my education because I’m outside the EU.”
He added: “I don’t get any loans, grants or bursaries.”
This comes after the UK home office considered halving international student numbers at UK universities by implementing tougher student visas, as revealed in The Guardian.
An anonymous Warwick member of staff also shared their experience as a migrant, recalling instances where they were heckled by Leamington locals.
A student read out a powerful poem directed at former Prime Minister David Cameron and the MPs that chose to bomb Syria. Other speakers included a student from Warwick STAR and a Politics and International Studies (PAIS) staff member that spoke on behalf of Warwick for Justice in Palestine.
The protest concluded with the chant: “Say it loud, say it clear, all migrants welcome here”.