There is no dignity in eating crumbs!
Sometimes I believe we have been so conditioned to believe that we must always be grateful for whatever crumbs come our way, as though we are lesser beings, there is no dignity in eating crumbs
Battle for Refugee status . . . . Eleven Years Nine Months and counting until I am in my grave or deported.
By Nellie de jongh
Myself, Nellie de jongh and my daughters got our settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain at the start of this week after eleven years and nine months of battling all sorts of abuse and inhumane treatment.
Like I said to friends who say to me, we must have a get together and celebrate, celebrate what exactly is my question? years of abuse by the state and those who did simply because they could. I say the same thing I said when we got our refugee status, there is nothing to celebrate if anything it makes my blood boil.
Some will think Nellie aught to be grateful there are lots of people worse off than she is. I can understand that reasoning totally and I do feel for all those in the various stages of their struggle in this unjust system. Those mothers being physically and verbally abused in front of their traumatised children as they are being forced on the planes, those languishing in detention centres for years and months, the Afghani man who was forced to leave his family behind and severely beaten up by the private multinational security guards for daring to peacefully protest his removal, those who stood up in defence of him, fellow countrymen who are languishing in solitary confinement, who are now being criminalized for property damage.
Those that have chosen to end their lives in detention or in the community rather than be removed to face torture and death in their home countries because in the end it did not mater how and by whose hand they died. They choose to end their torture on this side of the border instead. Some like Manuel Bravo, so that their children might have a chance for life here in the UK. Those who have exhausted all legal avenues and can not be removed from the UK living in destitution not allowed to work and de facto not allowed to live. These are the abuses that leave me heavy hearted and aching inside.
I do not begrudge anyone celebrating; everyone does it for his or her own reasons, besides I like a good party myself. I am just not in a celebrating mood, besides the battle is not over its never going to be over, the next step is to earn British Citizenship which they give with one hand and the other hand will be ever ready to strip you of that citizenship. You have to watch your step for the rest of your life because one foot out of line and we will be like the majority of those in detention who have been deemed foreign criminals. We settled refugees, will always be second class citizens and will remain so until we are in our graves, that is if they don't deport us first.
Earning British Citizenship do I want to? It is only a license costing over £800.00 and as I have said before it can be taken away at any time . But my main grievance here is taking the Life in the UK test and to be asked questions on British History. British history my version or theirs? the British Empire or the "Brutish" Empire. I can speak for hours on the Brutish Empire as a former colonial subject and *"Britain's Foreign Bastard Child". And if you don't think Brutish is appropriate you must read the **The Butcher's Apron. A short history of Britain's bloody Colonialism.
Britain gave us Mugabe and I will not thank them for it as now my children and I live in exile. This is my second exile, I was internally displaced at age ten during the Liberation Struggle which didn't bring us liberation but persecution from Mugabe who had learnt well from his British masters how to subjugate a nation.
Eleven years and nine months of continuous struggle, being moved from pillar to post, always of the mercy of UKBA and its minion. Well yes the main struggle is over and now I can join 2.57 million people looking for work.
I firmly believe we have been conditioned to believe that we must always be grateful for whatever crumbs come our way as though we are lesser beings, there is no dignity in eating crumbs. This crumb I will eat gladly even though it will give me indigestion.
My last words on this, we settled refugees and by default second class citizens, must campaign for equality with all British Citizens, crumbs are not enough.
Settled or unsettled we all have to join the general struggle against all that is wrong in our society, bad working conditions, bad pay, bad pensions, very bad care for the elderly and vulnerable members of society, bad legislation both criminal and immigration.
Most importantly fight for the 'Right to Work' for each and everyone of us that lives in the UK, with or without papers.
Nellie de jongh
*"Britain's Foreign Bastard Child"
**The Butcher's Apron
Other articles by Nellie de jongh can be found here . . . .