Those of you who came to one of our Hornbeam suppers last autumn will have heard Mel Strickland talk about the night, in March 2017, when she took part in direct action to prevent deportation. Mel and 14 others locked themselves onto a plane at Stansted airport, which was about to remove 60 people to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.
With a banner that read ‘mass deportations kill’, they were acting in the belief that the lives of those on board would be in danger if they were returned. Since the protest a number of those on the plane have won appeals against the Home Office and been granted right to remain in the UK.
Mel and her fellow protestors are part of a long and honourable tradition of non-violent direct action. The Stansted 15 were originally charged with aggravated trespass, but the charge was upgraded to terrorism related offences in a clear attempt to discourage others from exercising their democratic right to protest.
The nine-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court has just ended and the verdict is due at any moment. The 15 could face life imprisonment.
At Stories & Supper we work to challenge negative migration narratives and to show solidarity with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. We applaud the action that was taken by the Stansted 15 and stand with them as they await their verdict.
Solidarity with the Stansted 15.
Solidarity with all refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.
No human is illegal.