Scotland’s International Students’ Campaign, a sub branch of the National Union of Students (NUS), calls on students to take initiative for 1 Day Without Us, a UK wide campaign raising awareness for migrants’ rights.
The occasion, first celebrated five years ago, included over 160 events across Great Britain in the past year alone. Its purpose: to convey a positive image of the UK’s immigrant community.
NUS Scotland International Students’ Officer Manish Khatri anticipates a special twist for the campaign on Valentines’ Day this year, thereby extending the single day initiative. With the hashtag #LoveBeyondBorders, Khatri looks to encourage couples across Scotland to share their stories, but also for others to show ally-ship.
Khatri states, “#LoveBeyondBorders is a celebration of migration across the UK, which has provided a massive contribution to our culture, economy and society as a whole.”
“It’s to stand in solidarity with migrants… where we celebrate love for everyone and for those that cannot be together once they leave (the) UK because (the) Home Office splits them or due to cultural restrictions back in their country.”
The students’ representative criticised the UK’s restricting policies, when he said: “No one is born illegal and when it comes to love, anyone and everyone should be allowed to love each (other) freely with no borders or barriers.”
1 Day Without Us’ message developed as a response to a political rhetoric that is critical of migrants. “We don’t believe that migration is simply a negative phenomenon or a problem that can be solved by forcing people to remain in their countries,” stated campaigner Robert Liow.
“Migrants are people, not commodities, and migration is not simply a consequence of global inequality or neoliberalism. Our movement stands with migrants from all walks of life, whether they are here in the UK by force or by choice”, Liow added.
1 Day Without Us looks to voice migrant workers’ issues and takes a stance against racism and austerity. British workers can also be reassured of support from the organisation, Liow said: “We stand with both migrant and British workers and we reject attempts by politicians or employers to divide us from each other or scapegoat migrants for economic and social problems that they may also be victims of.”
By Titi Farukuoye