When news broke on Friday about the Park Inn, I felt dread, not shock. And I was furious. Of course we're still waiting on more information - however, what we know already is that people have been shouting about the mounting crisis in those hotels for *months* 1/
People with a disproportionate experience of trauma, violence, war; living with chronic stress in constant, hyper-vigilant survival mode, all taken from small, safer flats & put into hotels with hundreds of strangers, communal meals & a communal tea urn in a global pandemic. 2/
Can you imagine living in those hotels, in these conditions? For months, with no end date? In a pandemic? Having survived what most asylum seekers have already endured? 3/
On Thu we learned that vulnerability assessments did not take place before moves. Pregnant women, children, trafficking survivors & people with mental health issues were removed from their housing. Their money stopped - no toiletries, no phone top ups, no agency, no dignity 4/
That is why people living in the hotels and their supporters have been campaigning for months. Two weeks ago they were out of patience, having exchanged written demands and got nowhere, and had a physical protest. They were attacked by fascists singing Rule Britannia. 5/
I don't want to share 'refugees are welcome' posts, like that is up for debate. Glasgow is sadly familiar with knife violence but nobody says 'white men are still welcome' - it's ridiculous to take the actions of one person in one moment as representative of a group of people 6/
I don't want to debate that everyone in the world is entitled by law to seek safety from a credible threat. I don't want to debate this, esp not after half this city tried to run away up the A9 in March to hide from coronavirus in a caravan 7/
For 20 years Glasgow has been a front line in the imposition of the UK Govt's Hostile Environment upon our city - an overtly racist system with the aim of creating inhumane conditions so people can't cope any more. People are trapped in poverty & destitution, indefinitely 8/
Asylum housing is outsourced, currently to Mears. Housing for vulnerable people should never be in private hands. There is no relationship between a huge multinational & the people they are supposed to serve. There is no local accountability, no council or political oversight. 9/
Exactly what happened on Friday remains unclear. The violence inflicted on the victims is inexcusable. And - let's be clear the extent to which these events were a foreseeable outcome of a Hostile Env. which condemns people to living in misery, to hell with the consequences. /end
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