On the 1st October 2016, the following grants were agreed for our 6th funding round:
African Rainbow Family, Manchester (£3,000)
African Rainbow Family is run horizontally by its 60 LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees members with lived experiences of one form of persecution to the other based on their sexuality, gender identities, religion, race, ethnicity, disability and have experienced most horrendous violence in their countries of origin. They campaign against social injustice and challenge any UK immigration mistreatment of LGBT asylum seekers’ application process, as well as influencing government policies, campaigning on individual member’s asylum cases, offering practical support, organising rallies and other activities.
Art Machine, London (£1,250)
Art Machine is a collective who ‘use the arts as a tool for social and political change.’ Their first project is a new play, Custody, which challenges the criminal justice system over the deaths of young Black men in police custody. The play was created in partnership with those who have direct experience of this issue. Their activities include; interviewing relatives of Black men who died through the actions of the police; working with victim’s families to guide the play’s development; securing space at the Theatre Royal Stratford East; raising funds to independently stage the play. They ultimately aim to tour throughout the UK, fuelling a national debate. Custody is led by Urbain Hayo, an actor, activist, and care worker. As a young Black man, Urbain lives in a daily state of tension with the police, and his main colleagues share his background and experiences.
Autism Rights, Dunure (£500)
Autism Rights are fighting against the “back-door eugenics” that causes people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders to die 30 years before the rest of the population. They are the only group in Scotland campaigning to end the inclusion of Learning Disabilities and ASD within the provisions of the Mental Health Act. Due to the passage of time, their membership now consists solely of parents of adults with ASD. Their activities include; campaigning for the rights of people on the autistic spectrum and their families; organising public consultations; pursuing direct communication with politicians and public agencies. They have recently achieved amendments to the 2015 Act, and forced the Scottish Government to set up a Review of the Act.
Brighton Antifascist Group (£1,500)
Brighton Antifascists are a grassroots group who encourage mass direct action to confront racist/fascist activity in their area. They do not cooperate with any political party or the police, as they believe that the state tolerates or encourages fascist groups when it’s politically expedient. They are part of the South East Antifascist Regional group and also the nationwide Anitfascist network. They organise in a non-hierarchical way based on consensus in their weekly meetings. Many of their members have direct experience of racism, islamophobia, and fascism, and others have been targeted by Far Right groups simply by being antifascists. Regular activities include: counter demonstrations, mass direct action, antifacism workshops, site specific art installations, and fundraising activities. Every six months they also organise a full day event to bring people together to promote a more inclusive, empowering and diverse way of living life.
Childcare Collective, Glasgow (£500)
Childcare Collective are working towards challenging white supremacist patriarchal privileges that ensure that people socialised as women are the caregivers, and those socialised as men are the activists. To achieve this, they encourage men to do childcare, and provide childcare support for women to become more involved in activism. Their members are women, non-binary identifying, and trans-masculine folk. Their activities include providing free childcare at public & private meetings, at demos, events, and for people who need childcare on a more individual basis. They only provide support for self-organised groups who have lived experience of the immigration system, and who organise to change that system and to support each other.
CliniQ, London (£500)
cliniQ is an award-winning, unfunded, holistic, wellbeing service set up by the trans community for the trans community. They are run by a dedicated team of volunteer counsellors, psychotherapists, advocates, social workers and mentors, who happen to be members of the trans community. All decisions are made collectively by their membership. They offer clinical sexual health services via a partnership with 56 Dean Street, an NHS clinic in Central London. Whilst the NHS clinic itself is funded, the elements of cliniQ that make our service safe, and appropriate for trans people are provided by our professional volunteers. Their activities include; offering sensitive, inclusive and non-judgemental clinical sexual health services, and providing resilience strengthening community-level programmes.
Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty (ECAP) is a group run and led by people in poverty, be they low paid workers, disabled people, or people on benefits. They combat poverty on the principle of solidarity and self-activity in communities and workplaces. They actively seek to encourage links between different sections of the working class, with practical activity and direct action against our economic system based on exploitation. ECAP regularly supports people with poverty related issues at regular drop-ins at the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh. They provide benefit advice, and accompany people to assessments and interviews at Jobcentres, workfare providers or PIP and Work Capability evaluations. When the authorities fail to resolve issues, ECAP also holds pickets, protests and direct action in support of their members.
Elizabeth Tina Purcell, London (£500)
Elizabeth Tina Purcell is an activist and survivor of domestic violence who works with women from the traveller community who are or have been affected by similar abuse. Following massive local authority cuts and the disproportionate effect on travellers, she aims to empower women to stop domestic violence and educate younger women not to tolerate it. Through her work she has built relationships with the police, women’s refuge, and other support organisations. Her activities include weekly workshops, relationship mediation, careers advice, and public engagement within the traveller community. Elizabeth also uses music therapy to help people to relax and open up about what is happening to them.
Frack Free North West, Preston (£1,000)
Frack Free North West (FFNW) began in March 2016 in response to government licences being sold to spread fracking across North West England. Their concern is that decisions regarding Hydraulic Fracturing are no longer being democratically made. Despite fracking being rejected by Lancashire County Council in 2015, an appeal was launched by Cuadrilla (oil and Gas company) and the final decision will now be decided by the Secretary of State for Communities. FFNW aims to build solidarity and form strong links between Counties in the NW who face new PEDLs (Petroleum Exploration & Development Licence). Their decisions are collectively made, and their core members have all been opposing fracking for at least 3 years and have extensive knowledge of the issues.
Glasgow Autonomous Space (£3,000)
GAS is a non-hierarchical collective that creates and holds space for groups to direct their own movements. They have secured a 5-year lease in a large industrial unit with the intention to build a multi-purpose space. People from different backgrounds come together to complete the physical work, learn new skills and develop a real sense of belonging. GAS intends to have an info-shop, a cooking space, a wood-workshop, and a safe exercising space for self-defence. GAS aims to be accessible, child-friendly, warm, and multilingual. They believe that people with lived-experience of oppression should lead their work. They ensure that groups work together to make consensus decisions about what the space is used for.
Gypsy and Traveller Empowerment, Hertfordshire (£1,500)
GATE Hertfordshire is a grassroots group fighting racism towards Gypsies and Travellers. Their work ranges from local advocacy to national campaigns. In particular they have identified a need for a dedicated website that can provide a safe place for Travellers to record racist incidents, and also monitor and demonstrate the scale of racism. Their activities include; working with the Independent advisory group for Hate crime at the Ministry of Justice; co-organising demonstrations against planning and housing laws; writing articles for Travellers Times; setting up residents’ associations; working to achieve safe standards on their sites. Decisions are made by their trustees, who are all community members from across Hertfordshire, which has some of the highest numbers of GRT in the country. They work closely with most related groups in the UK.
Hands off Our Homes, Leeds (£500)
Hands off Our Homes are working to end injustice in the housing system, where the wealthy own and control all of the resources needed for a decent and dignified life. Their activities include; supporting bedroom tax appeals and benefit applications; signposting legal support; organising public meetings; facilitating tenant activism; door-knocking and hosting stalls in low-income areas outside job-centres and housing offices; helping tenants to lobby local councillors and MPs; solidarity demonstrations outside the law courts where people are facing possession hearings. They’ve also produced a detailed report on the impact of the bedroom tax on Leeds social tenants, staged two city-centre demonstrations, and hosted a “regional housing summit” bringing together tenants, campaigners and housing professionals. Their work is guided by the needs of the people they support.
Belfast Solidarity Centre/Just Books is run by a collective associated with the Belfast local of Solidarity Federation, an anarcho-syndicalist union in Ireland and Britain that promotes solidarity unionism. They encourage and facilitate those directly affected by oppression to engage in active resistance. They are open from Monday-Saturday from noon to 6pm, with additional activities in the evenings. They operate a bookshop, library, and drop-in centre. Evening events include Just learning seminars and discussions, film screenings, benefit gigs, and community meetings.
Keep East Lancashire Frack Free, Burnley (£500)
KELFE is fighting to keep East Lancashire frack-free. They work to challenge abuse of the democratic system by the government who continue to grant fracking licences despite widespread opposition. They also work to educate the public about the extremely damaging effect fracking will have not only on the environment, but on the health and wellbeing of people and animals within a fracking area. Through education and activism, they intend to empower their members and the public to take action in their own right by writing to their local MPs, councillors and the media to declare their opposition. Their activities include, organising public meetings; hosting street stalls; attending planning meetings and protests. Their decisions are taken democratically at group meetings, and their members all live within a potential fracking area and are therefore well aware of the impact it will have on their lives.
Larne House Visitors Group, Belfast (£700)
LHVG work to support detainees held at Larne House, N.Ireland’s only detention centre. They fight to highlight the inhumanity of detention and bring an end to the system. Their activities include; informing detainees about their rights; connecting them with lawyers and rights groups; securing access to their belongings and providing essentials like phone top-ups. LHVG also organise film screenings, discussion groups, and workshops to spread awareness and create space for resistance. They’ve hosted events at N.Ireland’s Human Rights Festival, Refugee Week, Belfast Film Festival, and the UK’s day of action against detention. Their decisions are made collectively, and their members are predominantly refugees. One of their co-founders was a Larne detainee who successfully challenged his removal.
Next to Nowhere is a radical social centre created in and run by activists from the Merseyside area as part of efforts to bring about a fair, free and sustainable society – one without hierarchy, discrimination, or the exploitation of people, animals and the planet for profit. Their members come from a range of backgrounds – community activism, youth work, animal rights, anti-war, environmentalism, feminism and anarchism. Their regular activities include; managing a vegan kitchen space; running a weekly Saturday cafe and monthly Peoples Kitchen; hosting film screenings and fundraising gigs; organising activist meetings; offering space for other groups; providing free-to-use computers and wi-fi, plus a radical library. As a non-hierarchical group all decisions are reached through consensus. Anyone can become a member simply by volunteering and attending meetings.
Need Abortion Ireland, Dublin (£500)
Need Abortion Ireland aim to challenge the state in determining how, when and if women can access abortions in Ireland. Currently the legal system severely restricts access to abortion, and even when abortion is permitted, it is not done through WHO best practice guidelines. Their activities include; providing an evening text service 7 days a week; providing care-packages with comfort items for those who request them; assisting with accessing abortion pills from Women-Help. They are also developing a ‘Migrant network’ project which will create multi-lingual audio recordings detailing how to use our service. They are a non-hierarchal group, and each member has experiences of accessing abortion in Ireland and abroad. Their decision-making is based on mutual respect and consensus.
LGBT Unity Centre, Glasgow (£1,500)
LGBT Unity was founded by a group of LGBTQ asylum-seekers to empower and give emotional support to LGBTQ people affected by their immigration status. They fight against racist and homophobic discrimination, and help people to overcome obstacles in their asylum cases. They believe that those most affected must build collective power to challenge systems of oppression. They have over 60 members primarily consisting of people with lived experience, and together with allies they make decisions in their fortnightly meetings. This is the only safe space many of them have to openly organise. They are very much involved in the broader movement to end detention, and regularly attend each other’s court hearings, help each other on their cases, conduct direct action against raids, and attend solidarity trips to demonstrations outside detention centres like Yarlswood.
London Coalition Against Poverty, London (£1,500)
LCAP is a coalition of groups that work to ensure people are provided with the resources they need to lead a dignified life. They challenge the systemic injustices caused by council authorities who act as gatekeepers and fail to discharge their duties of care, particularly around housing and welfare. Their activities include; hosting weekly stalls and lunch clubs, ensuring that council employees follow the law, challenging benefits sanctions, leading city-wide campaigns, organising protests and eviction resistance, and conducting direct action against council authorities. LCAP is comprised of three groups primarily concerned with housing, and two groups primarily concerned with welfare. All decisions are reached by consensus, and their members primarily consist of people directly affected by welfare and housing issues.
Manchester Migrant Solidarity (£3,000)
Manchester Migrant Solidarity is a collaboration between migrants and non-migrants on the basis of solidarity rather than charity. They are run solely by and for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants from different nationalities. Their activities include anti-deportation mobilisation, detention support, language support, campaigning for individual asylum cases, and organising workshops on asylum applications and campaigning strategies. They also collaborate with other groups on wider systemic issues, like challenging legislation, instigating policy changes, and campaigning to Shut Down Detention Centres.
Munya Barnet, London (£3,000)
Munya Barnet work to challenge the discriminatory practices of local and national government service providers, and tackle the social exclusion, media demonisation, and political marginalisation of Gypsy Roma Traveller people. They are led by a committee of members who directly experience the issues stemming from their social exclusion. Their daily activities include signposting local services, accompanying people to their appointments, building support networks to care for physical/mental wellbeing, and empowering GRT youth through long-term mentoring. They also campaign on broader issues, like GRT housing rights, the need for sites, social housing, community-specific health education, and greater awareness of domestic violence within the community.
No Prisons Manchester (£500)
“No Prisons Manchester” is a campaign to prevent the opening of a “mega-prison” in Manchester following a government announcement. They hope that by organising against a concrete prison expansion project, they can help build resistance to the expansion of the prison industrial system and the exploitative use of prison labour in the UK. Their main activities include research and network-building, as the intended location of the planned mega-prison is still unknown. They also hold fortnightly public meetings and work closely with other anti-prison groups. Two of their members have family members in prison, and they actively encouraging others directly affected by prisons to participate. The group operates as an autonomous collective; tasks are assigned on a voluntary, self-organising basis and decisions are made using a consensus process.
PAC45 Foundation, Manchester (£2,500)
PAC45 Foundation challenges the insidious racism that exists within British institutions and society as a whole. As an organisation of Black activists, they work to create spaces and opportunities for the Black community to comprehend, articulate and challenge the racist practices that lead to a life of exclusion in our so-called post-racial society. Through their community forums, consultations and an annual national conference, they aim to bring together individuals and groups who have the knowledge and expertise to organise the wider community to eradicate such issues. They are currently developing a Summer School for young activists to develop skills and experience in activism, political empowerment and economic leadership. In Manchester, they are actively mobilising the local community around the implications of devolution and the election of a new Mayor.
Phoenix, Leicester (£1,500)
Phoenix are a collective of working class mental health survivors and counsellors that are working to end the abuse and injustices inherent in the Leicester Mental Health Services. Their aim is to provide mental health survivors with the tools they need to establish self-led groups that can help them fight for justice and equality, and gain ownership of their own destiny. Their members determine their work, and only those who are mental health survivors are able to vote in their decision making process. Their activities include; advocating for mental health survivors, providing information and emotional empowerment, attending mental health assessments, signposting food banks and other services, supporting appeals when benefits have been cut, lobbying local councillors and MPs, and helping to establish community-led self-help groups for mental health survivors.
Positivity UK, Boston (£1,400)
Positivity UK are EU nationals living in Boston, a port town on the east coast of England where latent hostility toward old and new migrant arrivals has burst into the open since the Brexit vote, where 76% of local people voted to leave the EU. They came together to counter EDL and Britain First marches, and increasing racist and xenophobic attacks. They aim to resist discrimination by peaceful means, like rallies, demos and solidarity with people in Boston who stand against the latest attacks on the migrant community. Their activities include, organising marches; highlighting government non-compliance with impact assessments on immigration policy; conducting direct action against council offices; and working to bridge the divide in Boston, which they hope will be replicated in other UK cities.
Post Referendum Watch, Rochdale (£1,480)
Post Referendum Watch is a radical grassroots group of EU immigrants from Rochdale who now find themselves unwelcome and threatened following Brexit, where 60% of local people voted to leave the EU. Their regular activities include; providing advice surgeries with immigration solicitors; organising regular meetings for the Rochdale migrant communities to reassure themselves and stand in solidarity; holding rallies of defiance against racist and xenophobic attacks; organising a Racism and Hate Crime Incident Reporting Hub that feeds into the Rochdale Police, and True Vision, the police-run site to combat hate crime; identifying sympathetic local groups; distributing leaflets in Rochdale city centre; supporting and encouraging people to report hate incidents against them or others. All of their members are EU nationals and they jointly make all decisions.
Sisters Uncut National Movement, national/ London (£3,000)
Sisters Uncut are working to challenge austerity cuts to specialist services for women, and to raise awareness of violence and sexual violence against women. As a movement led by and for women, Sisters Uncut is organised into caucuses based on shared identity or experience, such as race, gender, class, sexuality, or an intersection of any identity. The overarching aim of each caucus is to provide solidarity and support to each other in order to engage in activism in a meaningful and safe way. Their activities include high-impact direct actions as a primary strategy, and regular participation in awareness raising events, workshops, and panel discussions. All of their decision making is based on consensus, and members with direct lived experience of issues have a leading input into the process.
Sisters Uncut Bristol (£1,500)
Sisters Uncut began in London to fight against government austerity cuts to domestic abuse services. They came to Bristol to help establish a local branch in response to the complete removal of specialised services for children affected by domestic abuse. They aim to ensure that local services are not only guaranteed but also improved to cope with ever increasing numbers of victims. Their main target is Bristol City Council and all other authorities responsible for domestic abuse services. Their intention is to use protests and direct action to force much-needed policy changes. As they are still in the initial step-up stage, their regular activities currently include weekly meetings, attending demonstrations and other events in Bristol, and distributing fliers and information about their cause. All decisions are made with the full consensus of the group, and many of their members have personal experience of domestic abuse or work within support services.
Sisters Uncut Glasgow (£1,500)
Sisters Uncut are working to challenge austerity cuts to specialist services for women, and to raise awareness of violence and sexual violence against women. The Glasgow affiliated group formed in 2016 in response to an overwhelming need for local support against cuts to life saving services. Their regular activities include; providing support and advice, working with other organisations, conducting research, identifying potential services facing cuts, and organising protests and other forms of direct action. They are currently planning action against the use of Azure cards by Tesco due to the dangers this has for women. As a group, their decisions are based on the outcome of their meetings and their research. Their policy is to take their lead from those affected, including survivors, service users, sector workers and all others who the group aims to support and protect.
Sex Workers Breakfasts, London (£800)
Sex Workers Breakfasts aims to provide an un-stigmatised, supportive face-to-face space for sex workers. They work to end the criminalisation of clients (which puts sex workers at risk) and achieve full decriminalisation for all sex workers. They also work to end police violence, the prison-industrial pipeline, and the trafficking, rape and sexual violence of all sex workers. Their activities include; meeting every week from 11am – 1pm to provide breakfast and a confidential, anonymous and autonomous space for sex workers. They also provide a safe space for sex workers to seek information and help, report violent incidents, and to receive solidarity and support from each other. The project is run by sex workers, and the main contact is an ex sex worker. As a group, the needs of the sex workers who arrive each week lead their work.
Toyin Adeyinka, London (£1,000)
Toyin is an activist committed to challenging institutionalised racism in the mental health system by establishing WOC Health Matters as a group for Women of Colour to take control of the care systems they rely on. As a support worker in refuges and hostels, and a former patient in maternal and mental health services, she has lived-experience of under-representation throughout the system. Her regular activities include; direct involvement in her local campaign to save Lewisham hospital; weekly efforts to politicise the PTA at her son’s school; collaborating with radical groups to develop her group’s structure. WOC Health Matters will be a non-hierarchal group that encourages as many forms of input in the decision making process as possible.
Undercover Research Group, Leeds/ Bristol/ London (£1,500)
Undercover Research Group is a small network of activist researchers who support the fight for justice of people who have been spied upon by undercover police in the UK. They work with campaigners to identify undercover officers who have infiltrated political activist groups since 1968. They aim to empower those targeted and amplify their voices to defend the right to protest against injustice. Their activities include; public events; interviewing activists; supporting groups who lack the capacity for this work; mapping police officers and undercover units; assessing FOI requests, minutes, conference announcements, police reports, etc; publishing their findings, context and opinions on their blog; working with mainstream media to reach a larger audience; maintaining a wiki-based website with profiles on undercovers, their superiors, the units and the networks linking them.
Unity in Youth, Glasgow (£3,000)
Unity in Youth work to promote the rights of youth who are in the Asylum system or lack the correct documentation to go to University or College. As a group, they are involved in the fight against systemic discrimination that treats non-British people unequally, especially women and girls. They regularly organise public gatherings that facilitate group discussions and allow asylum seekers to get to know each other and ultimately organise protests together. All members are migrants themselves, and they collectively make their decisions as an organisation together.
Unity Sisters Glasgow (£500)
Unity Sisters is a group of women going through the asylum system. They get together to create safe spaces for women to share their stories and experiences about the immigration system, and other issues such as domestic abuse, health inequalities, forced destitution, access to education, housing, and access to childcare. These issues form part of a xenophobic, racist and sexist system of oppression, which the group aims to help dismantle through their work. With regular meetings, film screenings, and outings, the group provides spaces for emotional support, as well as practical solidarity.
Western Sahara Campaign, Aberystwyth (£1,500)
Western Sahara Campaign fight against neo-colonialism, violent capitalism, and UK financing of the four-decade Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, which is the last colony in Africa. The indigenous Saharawi people suffer human rights abuses recognised by international human rights groups, but due to a media blockade it is one of the least known conflicts. Western Sahara Campaign have lobbied the UK government and complicit corporations over this issue for decades, and have successfully sought a judicial review for their case to referred to the Court of Justice of the EU. Their activities include; lobbying government, EU institutions, and the UN, and organising visits for Saharawi activists from the Occupied Territories to meet members of the national parliaments and corporations participating in the plunder of their homeland.
We Will Rise, Glasgow (£3,000)
We Will Rise is a group of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and their allies who are campaigning for an end to the immigration detention system in Scotland, and the UK as a whole. Based in Glasgow, they campaign against not only the immigration system, but also the corporations that benefit from the detention industrial complex. We Will Rise has been part of a successful campaign to close the Dungavel Detention Centre, involving regular demonstrations, public meetings skillshares and visits to detainees. They are now heavily involved in organising against the proposed new centre, in Paisley, near Glasgow Airport.
Wretched of the Earth, London (£1,000)
WOTE is a collective of grassroots Indigenous, black, brown and diaspora groups building a movement that is acting in solidarity with oppressed communities in the Global South and Indigenous North. They also work to challenge the racism of other activist groups which for many years has actively side-lined and further oppressed their communities. Their regular activities include; fortnightly meetings to plan the direction of the group and organise actions; contributing to other activist events; delivering workshops; speaking on panels; supporting direct actions organised by other groups; building relationships with groups and communities in order to increase their reach and impact. All of their decisions are made by the black, brown, and/or Indigenous members of the group.