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This is our old website! November 25, 2013

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Hey guys – you’ve found our old website, we’ve now moved to starglasgow.org.uk! See you there ūüôā

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STAR Bake Sale raising for Donate 4 Dignity November 21, 2013

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This Wednesday, we held a bake sale to raise money for Donate for Dignity, a new charity just starting up through Rape Crisis Glasgow who provide an emergency fund and dignity kits for female asylum seekers facing destitution. These kits include things such as sanitary protection, personal hygiene products, new underwear, toiletries, etc. These are required as the government provides very little support to them, and does not give them the right to work while their asylum case is in progress. This can be especially problematic for pregnant women or mothers, so the work Donate for Dignity is doing (especially over the winter months) is very important.

It was a cold day to have a bake sale, but we persevered anyway, just being glad it wasn’t raining. By 3:00, we had sold most of our cake, and the icicles hanging from our noses told us it was time to call it a day. After getting home, we counted up the total and found we’d raised an impressive ¬£73.65! So thanks to everyone who came along the help out or just to buy some cake, and hopefully we’ll see you all again at our Pop-Up Charity Shop in the first week of December in QUDOS!

STAR meeting 30/10/15 November 3, 2013

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This weeks meeting focused on the specific difficulties faced by women in the asylum system. 

Here’s the presentation¬†we showed at the meeting

Here are the videos we watched

Video on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood detention centre in 2010:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZL-7ivb3cU
Dignity in Pregnancy campaign video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjdCLFs_vBs
Video about work done by Women for Refugee Women (a group in London):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uIsZesuLqI
Video about rights for refugee women:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uFaxzFV57M

STAR Sleep out 2013! November 3, 2013

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For the past six years around the time of Halloween members of STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Glasgow have taken to the steps of the Wellington Church – facing both the brunt of the elements and the general public – to sleep outside. We do this to raise awareness about the number of asylum seekers and refugees forced into destitution in Scotland and to raise money for charities who work to protect them. ¬†This year we were raising money for the Glasgow-based charity Positive Action in Housing’s Destitution Fund which provides emergency accommodation and practical resources to asylum seekers and refugees facing homelessness. ¬†So far we have made ¬£1043.51 and our sponsorship page will remain open for another 2 weeks – http://www.justgiving.com/star-glasgow
In Scotland 1 in 4 asylum seekers will experience destitution at some point in the asylum process, and 40% will be destitute more than once (http://www.stopdestitution.org.uk/files/Trapped%20-%20destitution%20and%20asylum%20summary%20final%20compressed%20pictures.pdf). ¬†Asylum seekers can be forced into destitution at a number of points in the asylum process, for example – when they first arrive in Scotland, as the only place where they may apply for asylum is in Croydon, London and they are given to practical or financial assistance to get there (and so can’t work or receive asylum support), because their claims are refused but due to a true fear of persecution they are too afraid to return home (but the UK government cuts off their support, making them homeless, unable to work and without food, to “encourage” them to return “voluntarily”) or, for as simple a reason as their local post office (where they collect Asylum Support) closes down but they cannot, or don’t know how to access another Post Office. ¬†Refugees are also made homeless completely due to bureaucracy as when their asylum claim is accepted their financial asylum support and accommodation is stopped but their mainstream UK benefits do not start for 2-3 weeks.
In an effort to educate as many people about the problem as possible we held an Open Air Cabaret at the sleep out where we invited friends and strangers along to perform, or just to watch, making our statement larger and directly engaging more people with the problem!  At our cabaret we had singer-songwriters, a melodian player and several poets, as well as speakers.  All told we had around 40 people.
At around midnight the festivities had curtailed enough for the able and dedicated members of the group to begin setting up our “beds” for the night. ¬†Luckily this year the weather was comparatively warm (although still drizzling) making it slightly less difficult to get some sleep. ¬†In an effort to balance solidarity with those who are destitute without making a mockery of their circumstances we allow ourselves multiple layers of clothes (and hats, and scarves), sleeping bags, cardboard to cover the ground, as well as the use of the Wellington Church’s toilets and kettle.
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STAR Meeting – 23/10/13 November 3, 2013

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In preparation for the sleep out we watched a couple of videos about destitution in Glasgow and then painted placards to be displayed at our sleep out – with statistics, or campaign statements.

Here are the placards in action!

STAR Pub Quiz! October 19, 2013

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Last Sunday, we hosted a pub quiz to raise money for Scottish Detainee Visitors, a great local charity who provide various kinds of support for immigration and asylum detainees in Dungavel Removal Centre, the only UKBA detention centre in Scotland. To find out more about them, go to http://www.sdv.org.uk.

The Quiz was quite a success! We had nine teams of 4-6 people attending the quiz, which adds up to around 45 people. As well as the six rounds, we also help a raffle, with lots of vouchers for various places in Glasgow, and this also went down well. The final total of money we raised on the night was a whopping ¬£157.61 – the people from SDV tell us that’ll do them 3 trips, and because they’ll be supporting around 15 people on each trip, this means our wee pub quiz raised enough to help 45 detainees!

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Thanks to everyone who came along, and I hope you can make it to our next event – our annual sleepout – on the 25th (for more info or to sponsor the sleepout, go to justgiving.com/star-glasgow).

STAR Newsletter 18/10/13 October 18, 2013

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If you’d like to subscribe please email starglasgow (at) googlemail.com¬†

Join our facebook group by search “STAR Glasgow”

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STAR meeting 16/10/13 October 18, 2013

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This week we were lucky to invite Morag Gillespie from Glasgow Caledonian University to speak about the research she conduct in association with the Stop Destitution Campaign. ¬†Morag talked about how she had been asked to conduct this research as, at the point in time, she hadn’t been involved with asylum rights campaigning and how ¬†even though she thought she had an understanding of the problems faced by asylum seekers she was shocked and horrified by both the scale and severity of the problem in her own city. ¬†Read her research here – Trapped: Destitution and Asylum in Scotland

We then had a really great discussion on Morag’s research and the problem of destitution. ¬†

Finally, we constructed our Safer Spaces Policy for STAR meetings and events which can be viewed here. ¬†Let us know if you’re unhappy with anything in the policy and we’ll try to fix it.

STAR newsletter 11/10/13 October 11, 2013

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If you’d like to start receiving these newsletters, get in touch – starglagow(at)googlemail.com (replace the at with @). ¬†

Join our facebook group “STARGlasgow” for quicker updates!

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STAR Meeting 9/10/13 October 11, 2013

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This weeks meeting, “How to win an argument on the asylum system”,¬†was all about learning how to deconstruct and debunk the ignorant, and racist statements made about asylum seekers. ¬†We covered all the basics from “They’re just here to steal our jobs” and”Asylum seekers get all nice the council houses”, to “Britians to full!” and even the, “Why don’t they just go home?”

The STAR committee also put together a leaflet that will be available here in case you couldn’t make the meeting but want a handy facts sheet!

We also discussed our choice of charity for the pub quiz! ¬†Cast your vote here –¬†http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WSP37G8

Next meeting – We’re delighted to be inviting Morag Gillespie from Caledonian University to deliver a talk on her research for the Stop Destitution Campaign –¬†https://www.facebook.com/events/441400529304754/?source=1