On February 20th 2017 migrants and their supporters from across the UK took part in the first-ever National Day of Action to celebrate the contributions of migrants to British society. Next year, on Saturday February 17th, 2018, we intend to come into the streets once again to celebrate the people of all nationalities and genders who have made the UK their home.
We welcome the people who have come to live, work and study here and we celebrate the power of migration to change lives and societies for the better. We recognize no hierarchical distinctions between British nationals and migrants; between worthy and unworthy migrants; between EU citizens and migrants from outside the EU; between migrants past and migrants present. Our heritage makes us stronger, proud and more open.
We do not want a closed, intolerant Britain where Polish teenagers are hounded to suicide because of their nationality; where doctors and nurses are obliged to act as immigration police, where families are separated because they fail to meet arbitrary income thresholds, where migrant workers are treated as intruders or commodities rather than human beings.
We want the UK to be a welcoming and open country. A country that values people based on who they are and does not treat them as aliens or outsiders because of their race, colour, religion, or place of origin. A country where refugees can find sanctuary, where EU citizens are not described as ‘bargaining chips’ and where the word ‘migrant’ is no longer a pejorative term or a form of abuse.
On February 17 we invite you to join us and celebrate that vision. Dance. Protest. March. Parade. Hold rallies, debates and concerts. Make a meal for your neighbours. Have a street party. Form human chains. Take selfies. Do whatever you feel is most appropriate. For twenty-four hours we invite you to imagine a day without immigrants and tell a different story about migrants and migration.
Let’s raise our voices and say it loud and clear:
Proud to be a migrant.
Proud to stand with migrants.