On returning to a post-Brexit UK
A few days ago, I came back to Scotland and the UK from my (other) home in Sweden. As an EU migrant in the UK, I have always known I needed a plan B, an option other than staying here, because my freedom to stay in the UK might not be guaranteed. Because I don't have a say in this country's immigration policies and because those policies have turned more hostile, more nationalist and more racist in the four years since I moved here.

And yet, I am one of the lucky few who is happy to live in their EU country of origin. Who have not made so many roots in the UK to stop considering the country I was born in 'home'. I am one of the lucky few who has a good option: work and life and family friends awaits me in either country. Most are not so lucky.


In the increasing number of racists attacks and marches since the Brexit vote, it is clear that Brits of color, who have lived in the UK their entire lives, are being targeted. That people who have never lived anywhere else or considered anywhere else home are violently and repetedly told to 'Go Home'. Are attacked and harmed when Brexit Leave-voters want to "take back their country".


The last days have been filled with sadness. Dismay. My entire social media feeds are filled with crying people. Terrified people. Angry and apathetic people. It is especially my fellow EU migrants and friends of color who are feeling the ground shake beneath them. While some Scottish friends call for a second independence referendum, others are afraid it would divide Scotland and the EU further.


It is clear to me that the Brexit vote is a result of scaremongering and misinformation. Of plain out lies, sold by millionaire politicians to working class people to scapegoat immigrants for the direct effects of austerity. It is clear to me that this is a result of Dangerous People (i.e. Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove) claiming they will keep marginalized people safe from "dangerous people" (i.e. refugees, migrants, and anyone who is not a white Brit). It is sad to see my words take on ever-worrying meaning, as my deepest political fears are played out in the UK political landscape. It is sad to see xenophobia and islamophobia walk its iron boots across the EU. It is sad to see so many of the conditions that preceeded the rise to power of facists and nazists repeat themselves - economic recession, scapegoating immigrants, election of extreme-right populist parties.


It is sad. And we are allowed sadness. We are allowed mourning. But next, we will need to decide what to do about it, and how to win back the trust and votes of working class people sold lies by Dangerous People (millionaire right-wing politicians) for generations.


Next: battle plan for an inclusive Europe. Strategy for collaborating across borders to ensure that human rights are respected. Alliance with the communities that are faced with violence and hate crime in the wake of this. Next: action.


Love and solidarity,

Agnes

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