At 5.00 we will start to light candles, and we will be inviting the people of Liverpool, various MPs, church and other leaders, to come and light a candle and sign our petition asking David Blunkett to reverse current policy, rather than extending it to families, as he intends.
We believe that those asylum seekers who are fit to work should be allowed to, and that those who are not, should be provided with proper accommodation, financial support, the right to medical treatment, and other services that are available to other destitute people. None of these provisions should depend on a declaration that people are actively seeking to return to their country of origin. For many, this is such a terrifying prospect that they would rather starve on the street, and sadly, too many have already taken their own lives rather than go back to torture, death or imprisonment. We believe that the government is failing to meet its obligations under the Human Rights Act.
The vigil will be supported by a delegation from Manchester; there will be a demonstration against destitution and detention, by Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, on Monday (10th); The Crossroads Coalition for Justice for Asylum Seekers will do a supportive action on Thursday (6th) and there are a number of other possible actions that have not yet been finalised.
Anyone who wishes to join the Sleepout in Liverpool for any part of the 24 hours will be very welcome. Any groups that have organised their own sleepouts or other demonstrations and not yet let us know in Liverpool, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can mention you in our press release.
Liverpool Committee Against Destitution
If you are taking part in the Sleepout from Friday noon (7th) to Saturday noon (8th November) please
· wear warm clothing, including a hat, and bring a sleeping bag and something to put underneath it to insulate you from the cold
· bring a flask with hot drinks, and some food, otherwise your body temperature will drop rapidly
· bring candles/nightlights in jars, and/or lamps, lanterns
· Can as many people as possible arrive for the start at twelve on Friday, even if you then have to leave and maybe come back later
· You don't have to be there for the entire 24 hours (but it helps)
· This is a peaceful and positive action, aimed at gathering support for changes to Home Office Policy.
· Ask friends who can't spend much time on the plateau to come down and support you/us with food, hot drinks, music, new supplies of candles etc.
· e-mail us with contact details for any media contacts you have that we might have missed
· There may not be any public toilets open nearby, but if you know of any that will be, or have hospitable friends in the vicinity, please let us know
· Bring placards or banners explainning why you're there (No-one should starve in the world's fourth richest country , for e.g. )