Creating messages of justice


Creating messages of justice

Mark, Community Projects Coordinator shares thoughts on flag-making for the London Legal Walk

15 June 2023

Creating messages of justice

JRS UK walked 10km as part of the London Legal Walk on the 13th June 2023. The walk traversed London’s main parks and was done in support of much needed frontline legal advice agencies.

Without access to good quality legal advice, refugees and asylum seekers face destitution and their immigration status remains unresolved. JRS UK walked in support of its own in-house Legal Project so it can continue to provide specialist advice and representation to those in need. Prior to the walk, JRS hosted a flag-making workshop for refugee friends.

Why did you host a flag-making class? 

Every Monday we host a Create & Make class which allows refugee friends to escape from whatever uncertainties they face in their daily lives. I think it’s important for our friends to feel part of something bigger than themselves where they can contribute. The London Legal Walk provided ample opportunity to do so.

The flag-making class allowed refugee friends the opportunity to give back to the wider community. Knowing that the work they produced in the class would have an impact beyond JRS was incredibly meaningful. The lack of good quality legal aid is what unites our refugee friends and all others the London Legal Walk is in support of. Despite every individual having their own unique need for legal aid, whether they face deprivation, unemployment or have an unresolved immigration status, it is the shared experience of struggling to receive reasonable legal aid that unites the wider community.

What were refugee friends’ experience like when making the flags? 

The class began with a brief introduction explaining what the London Legal Walk was and the purpose behind the event. Once refugee friends understood how we were advocating for justice they got a lot more involved. It was apparent how each friend was giving careful consideration to the message they wanted their flag to sport. They all enjoyed creating their own specific calls for justice or creating a message of thanks to those who have helped them. I particularly enjoyed the atmosphere of the session. In the beginning, it was a little quiet but by the end there was a humdrum of activity as refugee friends shared their messages of help with each other and inspired me with their visions for justice.

How do refugee friends feel about the London Legal Walk?

They were proud to demand justice and expect fairer treatment for those who are suffering and will suffer in the future like they did. Refugee friends particularly enjoyed the class as it provided a safe space for them to express their opinions without raising concerns over the potentially detrimental effect to their own immigration status.

What do you hope the London Legal Walk will achieve? 

Well I have never been on one before so it’s my first one! I hope that frontline legal aid services receive more funding and can provide to those in need. The number of which is continually growing as cost-of-living budget cuts swing into place and the hostility context continues to threaten more livelihoods daily. I hope that refugee friends enjoy the day out in the sunshine and the company and relish in their power to advocate and fight back.

Our London Legal Walk fundraiser is still open and you can donate here:

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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