Jimmy Mubenga: indefinite leave to remain

This post is the speech that was given on 12th November 2010, outside the Home Office on Marsham Street, by Rosário Miranda:

Coming here, to the Home Office, under these circumstances, makes today a very strange day for us. It is strange because for many of us here today, who came to this country seeking refuge or asylum, the Home Office symbolises a place for protection, for shelter, peace and freedom. In other words, it represents many of the rights that were denied to us in our own countries.

Today, instead of coming here to cry out for your help, we are here to cry at the death of our brother, Jimmy Mubenga. We come here to ask why you deceived Jimmy so badly. We come here to ask why you gave him the wrong set of keys.

He asked your permission to enter into the land of freedom, and you gave him the keys for the land of oppression and humiliation.

He begged you to allow him to live with his family, and you sent to him alone to the mortuary.

You wanted so very much to get rid of Jimmy on that bloody Tuesday, 12th October, that any means, for you, justified the ends. Your hunger, together with G4S’s desire to eat, turned Jimmy into a piece of meat. But we are amazed that, one month later, you have still not digested that meat. Jimmy is still here in the UK. Does this mean that finally, you have granted him indefinite leave to remain? Or are you going to continue with the deportation process?

I want to remind you this: Jimmy died because of something called a UK Resident’s Permit, meanwhile British citizens are making their fortunes in Angola because of something called oil.

We do not understand why, after living in this country for so many years, Jimmy could not have been allowed the right to live with his family here, especially in these difficult times. After all, it is so many of you who blame the lack of father-figures in black families on the rise of criminality within the British black community. Congratulations, then, with your mastermind plan that removes the father-figure and thereby condemns, in your thinking, yet more innocent black children to lives in crime.

Recently, British society was choked with grief by the actions of a woman who dumped a cat in a rubbish bin. Soon after her actions were caught on CCTV, police called her crime an animal cruelty offence because of the likely suffering she caused the cat. That woman eventually resigned from her job because she couldn’t cope with the reactions from her colleagues at work. In Jimmy’s case, although other passengers and airline staff heard his cries of agony shortly before he died, none of you have come forward to say a single word about Jimmy’s suffering.

Mary Bale became a hate figure for dumping a cat in a bin. She was under investigation, then charged and finally fined.

While we wait for the truth to come out on Jimmy’s death, we – the sons and daughters of Africa – are wondering whether the British authorities value a cat more than a person from Africa.

Another report on the Mubenga march from indymedia here.