Day of action planned to recognise importance of migrants

MIGRANT'S work is to be celebrated across the Capital as part of a nationwide campaign to recognise how important their contribution is to the country.

Friday, 17th February 2017, 9:53 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:57 am
A number of campaigns across Edinburgh have encouraged openness in the city. Picture; Greg Macvean

On Monday, migrants may refrain from attending work as part of “#1DayWithoutUs” a day of action, in a bid to show their workplace what daily life would be like without their input.

Others may opt to celebrate in a different style, by simply posting a photograph on social media with the hashtag or attending one of the many events taking place across Edinburgh.

A rally with guest speakers will take place at the Mound from 1.30pm, followed by a candelit gathering.

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Edinburgh based Uta Rosenbrock is among one of the local businesses supporting One Day Without Us and is closing her shop in Bruntsfiel for the day. Pic Neil Hanna

An exhibition by South African artists William Kentridge and Vivienne Koorland will also take place at the Fruitmarket Gallery.

The campaign began in October 2016 in response to the growing racist and xenophobic discourse that followed the EU referendum, and the consequent rise in both verbal and physical attacks on migrants.

Dr Marissa Robson, who has organised a series of events across Edinburgh for the campaign, said: “I joined One Day Without Us because my mother was a Thai migrant. She was a housewife and her contribution to the UK was two professional children. “I was concerned watching the media and politicians scapegoat the new wave of migrants.

“On behalf of the migrant that made me I wanted to show my support for migrant mothers who’s children feel British and will contribute to the UK, as we have.

Edinburgh based Uta Rosenbrock is among one of the local businesses supporting One Day Without Us and is closing her shop in Bruntsfiel for the day. Pic Neil Hanna

“I wanted to challenge the one-sided dialogue about immigrants and help to create a day where the contributions of migrants past and present are recognised and celebrated nationally.”

She added: “In Edinburgh we are asking 100 businesses to show their support for One Day Without Us, through badges, celebrations and even an international cake competition.”

Uta Rosenbrock, is one of the local businesses in Edinburgh supporting the campaign. She is closing her shop, Uta’s Joolz Ltd, for the day.

She said: “I sell ethically sourced products from all over the world and have been in this business for 17 years, since my son was a baby.

“Permanent residency is very difficult for self-employed people, especially single mums. My son’s father is Scottish, but because we were not married my son is German, like me. I have, over the years, employed women from all over the world. “I have taken pride in being part of a vibrant, multicultural community in Edinburgh, volunteering for local projects such as a free community festival for years.

Ms Rosenbrock added: “Never have I questioned my right to be here, all my adult and working life has been in Scotland. Now, suddenly, all of that is in question. I will close my shop on the February 20 in solidarity.

“I want the community to see what they stand to lose if we all leave and I want to spread awareness of who we are and what we contribute.”