Labour Councillors and Marvin Rees, Labour Mayor of Bristol, this month became the first party in the city to back a campaign by Bristol City of Sanctuary which calls for everyone in Bristol to have access to shelter, education and training, and the right to work.
Speaking on behalf of the Bristol Labour Group, Councillor Ruth Pickersgill (Easton) said:
“I am proud that Bristol Labour councillors have signed this statement, showing support for the fundamental human rights of asylum seekers. Sanctuary seekers in our city should be allowed to make a positive contribution, pay taxes, and use their extensive skills.
The Tory Government is deliberately bringing in policies which force some of the most vulnerable people in society into destitution, rough sleeping, and even detention. People who have done nothing wrong or illegal but are simply fleeing persecution, war, and torture.
Labour-run Bristol will work closely with the refugee support agencies to ensure we have joined-up support and creative solutions as part of our wider commitment to tackling homelessness and poverty for everyone in Bristol.”
Forward Maisokwadzo from Bristol City of Sanctuary welcomed the Bristol Labour Group’s commitment, and said:
“We welcome the support of the Labour group of Councillors for signing up to our Dignity Not Destitution campaign. We hope others will follow suit, as we build a movement across the city calling for an end to the inhumane policy of forced destitution.
The campaign also serves to remind the public about Bristol’s proud history of providing welcome and safety to those fleeing persecution, war and violence.”