Green Councillors have submitted a motion to a coming Full Council meeting (11 December) supporting calls for an end to immigration detention in the UK. The motion, proposed by Green councillor Fi Hance and seconded by Labour councillor Ruth Pickersgill, calls on Bristol’s Mayor to endorse the ‘These Walls Must Fall’ Campaign (1), lobby the UK government, and work with local MPs and other councils to push for changes in immigration law and alternatives to detention.(2)
Immigration detention recently hit headlines in Bristol when Kenneth Macharia, a gay rugby player for local team Bristol Bisons, was detained and threatened with deportation. (3) Close to 100,000 people have signed a petition against Kenneth’s deportation to Kenya, where he would be persecuted because of his sexuality. (4)
Currently in the UK approximately 30,000 people are detained in immigration detention every year, having committed no criminal offence, but for lacking the correct immigration papers or pending administration of their case. Detention is at centres in prison-like conditions, with no time limit on how long people might be held – detainees do not know whether they will be held for weeks, months or years. The UK is the only country in Europe to detain people indefinitely in this way, at a cost to the government over £100 million per year. (5)
Green Councillor Fi Hance said:
“As a city of sanctuary, Bristol has for many years been vocal in its support of refugees in the city. It is a source of ongoing shame that even today many thousands of people who have committed no crime are detained, often at short notice for many months at a time. This has a huge financial cost but more importantly is a cruel and indefensible way to treat those in our society who have the least. By passing this motion and throwing its weight behind this great campaign, the Council can play an important role in pressuring national government and politicians, and show that Bristol refuses to be a hostile environment for migrants or asylum seekers.”
David Ion from the These Walls Must Fall campaign in Bristol said:
“These Walls Must Fall Motions have now been passed in cities across the UK: Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton, Oxford and more. When our core cities come together and say no to immigration detention, Westminster will have to listen. Please join us on our march on Dec 8th at 11.30 in Castle Park if you think it’s time that Bristol joins this list and stands up against immigration detention.”
Labour Councillor Ruth Pickersgill, who worked with Councillor Hance on the motion, said:
“These Walls Must Fall’ is a really important national campaign that I hope the Council will support. As part of a wider deliberately hostile environment, this Government has allowed a situation to develop where asylum seekers and migrants can be detained for indefinite periods in prison conditions even when they have committed no crimes.
“Many people in my ward have come to the UK, expecting to be safe and to have their human rights respected, and find themselves whisked away to a Detention Centre, and more often than not, this trauma has a profound impact on their mental health. People seeking sanctuary should not be locked up like criminals.”
The motion is a ‘golden’ motion which means it will be the first to be debated at the Council meeting at City Hall (Tuesday 11 December). These Walls Must Fall is planning a march against immigration detention in Bristol on 8 December, starting from Castle Park at 11:30am. (6)
2) The motion calls for Bristol’s Mayor to ask the government to adopt the recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into detention: https://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/End-immigration-detention?p=1111
5) House of Commons Briefing paper - Immigration detention in the UK: an overview. Number 7294, 12 September 2018
6) See facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/254672921879953/
Government steps up legal threat to Bristol Mayor over air quality failures
Greens respond to a letter sent to Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees from the Government’s Minister for Air Quality, which has highlighted once again that Bristol’s current action on air quality is too slow, engagement inadequate, and that options being consulted on currently may not meet minimum standards.
Former Green Lord Mayor joins reparations protest outside Downing Street
Green Councillor Cleo Lake joined the 'Stop the Maangamizi' protest march in London on 1st August and protested outside Number 10 Downing Street, demanding the UK government compensate the people and nations affected by the Trans Atlantic slave trade.
Nine years for breathable air 'not good enough’ - tell the Mayor we need stronger proposals
Green Councillors have called on Bristolians to respond ‘none of the above’ to the council’s clean air consultation, and demanded the Mayor consider new ideas to improve air quality as fast as possible, as well as longer term changes to reduce private car use.
Greens call for action to follow words as WECA declares Climate Emergency
Following lobbying by Green councillors the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has finally passed a motion declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’
Labour and Conservatives vote against action on fossil fuel divestment
Green councillors in Bristol last night charged Labour and Conservatives with ignoring the Climate Emergency, as they voted together to amend a Green Party motion calling for fossil fuel divestment, rendering it ineffective.
“We can’t afford to wait any longer” – Greens respond to Council’s Climate Emergency report
With Extinction Rebellion actions hitting headlines in cities across the UK, Green Party councillors in Bristol last night called on the Labour Mayor and council to show greater urgency in tackling climate change.
Greens say Mayor’s climate plan lacks ideas and emergency
Bristol Green Party has welcomed the Mayor’s new plan to address the Climate Emergency, but says that the plan lacks substance or the urgent action needed to address this pressing issue.
Bristol Councillor who kicked off UK Climate Emergency to represent city at climate event
Carla Denyer, the Green Councillor from Bristol who proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in the UK in November 2018, will be taking part in a ‘high level roundtable’ as part of London’s Climate Action Week.
“Heads L&G win, tails the Council loses” - Greens on Mayor's Temple Island plans
Green Councillors have condemned proposals from the Mayor to hand key public land on Bristol’s Temple Island site to financial services company Legal & General, through an agreement which avoids the usual legal process.
Mayoral candidate challenges “expensive giveaway” of arena site
The Green mayoral candidate for Bristol, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, is challenging the Mayor over proposals to pay a major financial services firm up to £120 million to develop the former arena site at Temple Island, without guaranteeing social return for the city.
Green Councillor brands Council Air Quality plans "shameful"
At at cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Green Councillors challenged the Labour Mayor's lack of detail and evidence to support new air quality proposals.
Action on Climate Emergency (ACE)
Bristol Green Party’s Action on Climate Emergency group, campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change.
Green Councillors press for WECA to take action on Climate Emergency
After launching a Climate Emergency at Bristol Council last November, the first of its kind in the UK, Green Councillors are today calling on the region’s West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to recognise a climate emergency.
Make local plan fit for a changing climate say Greens
More than 6 months after Bristol Council passed a Green Party motion to declare a climate emergency, Green Councillors are now calling on the Council to recognise this in its plans for the future.
Greens top Bristol election results showing Green city swing
Last night the Green Party topped European election polls in Bristol, contributing significantly to the re-election of Green MEP Molly Scott-Cato in the South West. Members say the result indicates a Green swing in the city ahead of the local and mayoral elections next year.
Bristol Councillors give thanks to Green Lord Mayor at final meeting
Councillors celebrated the hard work and positivity of Green Lord Mayor Cleo Lake during the ceremony that saw her step down at the end of her year in office.
Greens back Youth Climate Strike against airport expansion
Caroline Lucas spoke in support of another Youth Climate Strike taking place in Bristol this Friday 24 May, this time protesting the expansion of Bristol Airport.
Bristol Greens call for ban on dangerous pavement parking
Green Councillors in Bristol have contributed to a House of Commons Inquiry into pavement parking, highlighting the dangers and accessibility problems it causes and calling for a ban to be legally enforced.
Green Councillor shows flaws in plans for polluting gas plant in heart of Bristol
A Green Party Councillor has hit out at plans to build a gas generator plant in Bristol, raising concerns about high levels of air pollution on a site close to a nursery.
European Election Campaign & Hustings
The European Election campaign is underway. Learn more about our candidates and where to see them in hustings around the region.
Bristol Green Group response to Climate Change report
“Both Conservatives and Labour are now talking the talk on climate change, but they need to follow it up in their actions. This is an emergency and it’s not enough to talk about the climate – we have to do something about it."
Council risking deaths and crime with proposed cuts to drugs programme
A Green Councillor has raised concerns about Council proposals to cut prescription services for vulnerable drug users in Bristol
Making Steps Towards Carbon Neutrality
Green councillors have welcomed the first steps at Bristol Council towards work for Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030.
South West Greens launch ‘re-elect Molly’ European election campaign
The Green Party in the South West today launched their European election campaign. The Party will push for the re-election of Molly Scott Cato, who has a strong track record of achievement in the European parliament and is a leading and well-respected voice of opposition to Brexit both within the South West region and nationally.
Open letter to EU citizens in Bristol
Leaders of the opposition parties in Bristol joined together today to send an open letter to EU citizens living in Bristol.
Bristol Greens welcome Magid Magid
Green Councillors and candidates in Bristol are today (8 April) hosting Magid Magid, Green Lord Mayor of Sheffield
Green Councillors welcome landlord licensing extension
A cabinet meeting on Tuesday 2 April approved extension of Bristol Council's landlord licensing scheme to 12 wards in Central Bristol. Green Councillor Carla Denyer welcomed the decision.
Green Councillors condemn Mayor’s delay on clean air action
After repeatedly missing air quality deadlines set by the national government, Bristol’s Labour administration has gone back to the drawing board. The Council now expects to submit a final clean air plan a full year after the original deadline.
Bristol’s twin city in Mozambique devastated by cyclone – how you can help
After Bristol’s twin city Beira was devastated by a cyclone, a fundraising campaign has been set up by our city’s twinning association to help rebuild Beira directly and sustainably.
Green letter re Brexit shambles
Letter re Brexit-balls