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Update! October 31, 2011

Posted by starglasgow in Uncategorized.

Hello there!
This is just a quick update to let you know what we’ve been up to so far in this semester.
Firstly, we’ve run several informal workshops on how the asylum process works in the UK and the effects of this process on the individuals involved. This tends to be the focus of our weekly meetings, so come along two the QMU at 6pm on Tuesdays if you want to be involved.
We’ve also had guest speakers. During our first meeting of the year, Hilary from STAR National came along and talked about the origins of STAR, the national network of STAR groups and how STAR Glasgow fits in. More recently, we invited Phil from the Unity Centre to tell us about what the Unity Centre does and the opportunities for volunteering with Unity.
Fundraising has also played a key role in our activities. The campaign we have focused on most this semester is that of student John Oguchukwu. The ‘Oor John’ Campaign is very important to us at Glasgow STAR as John was a third year Business student at the University of Glasgow when he was deported in July. John is in desperate need of money and medical care so we have held two consecutive bakestalls on the Glasgow University campus and managed to raise £110 to send to him. We also collected signatures for a petition calling for a fresh review of John’s case so that he can come back to Glasgow, where he belongs. Our campaigning and fundraising for John is ongoing – check out our events page to see some of the other things we have planned.

STAR works very closely with Unity, and so many STAR members (and their friends) have been turning out in their old clothes to help sort out and decorate their new charity shop. This has involved a very messy, but successful few weekends of painting, gluing carpet and moving furniture. Volunteers are still needed to finish this job so that the shop can be opened so if you find yourself with a spare few hours and feel like laying some carpet, let us know.

Finally, there was an urgent action recently when Nabeel, an asylum seeker involved with Unity, was threatened with eviction. Nabeel has chronic lung disease and has to sleep with a ventilator mask that requires plugging into the wall. Despite this, the UKBA attempted to evict him from his flat and leave him homeless.  Several members of STAR, along with people from Unity, went along to his flat and basically stood in front of his door so that they could not evict him before his doctor signed a statement saying that it would put his life at risk to have him deported. This was successful and Nabeel has had his financial support reinstated.

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