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Why These Migrants Are Going On Strike In The UK

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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
The upsurge in anti-immigrant hate crime and xenophobic rhetoric since the EU referendum has been well reported, and one group of campaigners has up with an ingenious way to counteract this animosity.

Migrants will highlight the crucial role they play in our society by striking on the 20th of February 2017, and British supporters are also encouraged to take part, The Guardian reported.

The event, called One Day Without Us, will show the variety of work migrants carry out in the UK – from helping to prop up the NHS to jobs in the hospitality sector and manual labour – and will coincide with the UN’s World Day of Social Justice.

It was organised by Matt Carr, a writer and commentator, who said he was motivated by the shocking extent of racism and xenophobia shown in the run up to the EU referendum and since.

He wants the event to be inclusive, he said, telling The Guardian: “We realise that because of the legal constraints on striking, many workers will not be able to take formal strike action. However, they can choose to support this event simply by taking the day off work.”

Carr also hopes companies that rely on migrants will support the day of action by staying closed for the day.

“Since Brexit we have seen levels of xenophobia and racism that have been increasingly legitimised," he told The Guardian. "We want to make a bold and powerful statement and give migrants an opportunity to express themselves."

More than a thousand people have so far said they are attending on the event's Facebook page and it has garnered a string of supportive comments.

Chris Ritchie wrote: "As a spouse I will be taking the day off too. My skills will leave the country along with my wife's and this is something Theresa May and her 'party' seems to be forgetting."

Josef Davies-Coates said: "Given nearly all the pro dancers on Strictly Come Dancing are migrants it's a real shame this doesn't coincide with that because if they all refused to dance on the live show that would really get it noticed! :P"

However, some suggested holding the strike so far into the future may diminish its impact. Asia Joanna said: "Would be great to organise this a bit earlier to be honest as thats quite far in the future who knows whats going to happen and how things will change by then."
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