UNITED E-News – June 2016 – #LifeSeekers Special

Join UNITED's #LifeSeekers campaign

[UNITED logo]
Contents of this E-News:
* Introduction
* Are you a #LifeSeeker?
* News from UNITED
* News from the Network
* Highlights from the UNITED Website
* What’s Next?

Dear Colleagues,Last month, our E-News led with the story of the defeat of the far-right by a paper-thin majority in the Austrian presidential elections. This month, the political story that is shaking the continent is of another election, also with an extremely close result, but one that looks set to have a profound impact all over Europe, and the wider world.

Whether or not we agree with the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, we in the European antiracist movement should be concerned about the anti-migrant sentiment stirred up during the divisive referendum campaign, and the spike in hate crimes that has accompanied the result. As we wrote in our statement on the result, to label those who voted to leave simply as “racists” is both dangerous and wrong: for many of them, the vote was a protest against an economic system that has failed many, even as it creates massive profits for a few. But, at the same time, it is clear that migration has been used as a scapegoat for people’s legitimate social concerns, and the result of the referendum has emboldened many on the far-right, who now believe they have proof that the “silent majority” stands behind them.

It is at times such as these that the work of the European antiracist movement is more important than ever – and at the UNITED secretariat we can already see the impact of our work: in response to reports of outbreaks of racist attacks and hate speech in Britain, (and especially a now-infamous incident where the passengers in a crowded tram stood silent while a man was repeatedly insulted with racist slurs), the UNITED infoleaflet “Who, if not you?”, which gives advice on and how to respond to racist incidents and exercise Civil Courage, has been shared widely on social media, with over 11,000 shares on Facebook, and many hundreds more on Twitter.

This month also saw the launch of our new #LifeSeekers campaign. Following the Brexit vote, the words of the #LifeSeekers campaign statement seem to be even more relevant to the public discussion: “For many, the embrace of a populist, migrant-blaming narrative is the closest they can come to empowerment and a sense of self-value … we call for European governments to promote an honest, transparent and inclusive discussion about the issues facing young people today, avoiding panic, fear, and hate, and actively seeking out new and diverse perspectives and visions.”

We are therefore happy to bring you this special #LifeSeekers edition of our monthly E-News, and ask you all to join and share this campaign. Together we can take a stand against the scapegoating of migrants, and call for policy-makers to focus instead on the real issues that are causing so many divisions in our societies.

Best greetings and stay UNITED!

Are you a #LifeSeeker?

Join UNITED's #LifeSeekers campaign

#LifeSeekers is a campaign for a new approach to problems facing young people in Europe today. We want policy-makers to take positive action to solve these problems and to stop blaming migrants and refugees. Whether or not we are asylum-seekers, we are all Life Seekers, who want the freedom and power to shape our own futures.

What’s the Story?

They take our jobs... and call it austerity They don't pay their taxes... the ones in Panama
Austerity policies are harming job prospects for young people. Is it really migrants that took their jobs? Find out more…
Wealthy individuals and multinational corporations avoid paying millions in taxes. Is it really migrants that aren’t paying them? Find out more…
Europe is full... of empty houses They don't respect us... or the air we breathe
There are over 15.8 million empty houses in Europe. Is Europe really full? Find out more…
500,000 people die per year due to air pollution. Are migrants really our biggest threat? Find out more…

Join the campaign!

Let’s send a clear message to Europe’s policy-makers that migrant-blaming needs to stop, and that we need a new approach to the problems facing Europe today. JOIN the campaign at www.lifeseekers.org, and SHARE it on social media.
As well as joining the campaign in person, you can also join with your NGO. Over 130 civil society organisations have already joined the campaign – make sure yours is on the list! More info can be found here.


News from UNITED

[conference logo]Nominations open for UNITED network conference near Ohrid, MK
A UNITED network conference will take place near Lake Ohrid, FYR Macedonia, from 26-31 October 2016. “Living Together: Transform a divided past into our common future” will focus on the themes of reconciliation, conflict resolution and nation building. Nominations are now open for the conference – the deadline to apply is 15 August. Read more …
[LifeSeekers]UNITED marks Refugee Day by launching #LifeSeekers campaign
UNITED marked 20 June, International Refugee Day, by launching our new online campaign to challenge the narrative on migration and refugees in Europe. Read more …

News from the Network

[NHSM] No Hate Speech Movement Organised Refugee Day Campaign
The Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech Movement campaign has organised an Action Day to mark International Refugee Day on 20 June. Read more …

[Klick it Out] Kick It Out launches campaign against online discrimination
Kick It Out launches its #KlickItOut campaign to target online discrimination during the 2016 European Championships. Read more …
[PICUM] Reject dangerous migration response plan, more than 100 NGOs tell EU leaders
Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), along with 110 civil society organisations, has released a statement on th EU’s migrant response plan. Read more …

Does your organisation have news for UNITED to publish on the website/ announce in the monthly UNITED E-News? Let us know by writing to info@unitedagainstracism.org (note: we will prioritise news from partners and registered supporters of the UNITED network – click here to find out how to become a supporter).

Any events or activities focusing on topics relevant to the UNITED network can be announced via the online form for publication in UNITED’s online Calendar of Internationalism.

Highlights from the UNITED Website

[Kascinski] Poland: A Rightwing Spiral
Following a decisive election win for Poland’s nationalist parties, Dominik Sipinski considers what the country’s move to the right means for its people and for Europe. Read more …
[Let's Integrate!] “It’s about creating networks that are more diverse.” Interview with Let’s integrate! co-founder Lasse Landt
Let’s integrate! is a new Berlin-based project that provides an online platform that allows refugees and locals to meet and get to know one another. UNITED caught up with co-founder Lasse Landt to talk about how the project got started, how it works and what the team’s plans are for the future. Read more …
[Wanderers] Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond
UNITED’s Jonathan Karstadt explores an exhibition organised by the Migration Museum Project in London that shines a light on different perspectives on migration to Europe. Read more …
[EU Flag] Brexit: A testing time for Europe
UNITED statement on the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union. Read more …

Do you have an article you would like to contribute to the UNITED website? Write to info@unitedagainstracism.org

What’s Next?

[UNITED logo]The #LifeSeekers campaign will continue until September, with further online actions launched in the coming weeks. Make sure you follow UNITED on social media for full updates.We are also hard at work planning for the October conference in Ohrid, MK. Make sure you nominate for the conference by 15 August!

Stay up-to-date with all our news – follow UNITED on social media!