Highlights of the 2020-2021 Banner Display

Showcasing banners which reflect on past and present migration movements, exploring the many challenges and opportunities migration presents.

By People's History Museum

Printers Aid Spain banner (Around 1937)People's History Museum

Printers Aid Spain banner

Trade unions throughout Britain sent aid and members to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. This banner illustrates the assistance sent by union members in the printing trades.

Trade unions also raised money for refugees although there was debate in Britain about whether to accept them. The government felt it could be seen as a breach of the non-intervention policy signed in September 1936. 

Calls to accept refugees intensified after the bombing of the town of Guernica in April 1937. The government conceded to campaigners. Nearly 4,000 children were evacuated to Britain.   

Did you know?

The majority of refugees that came to Britain returned to Spain by 1938. 

Grunwick Strike Committee banner (1976)People's History Museum

Grunwick Strike Committee banner, 1976

The Grunwick Strike lasted from August 1976 until July 1978. The strikers were mainly Ugandan Asian immigrant workers. They were campaigning for improved pay and conditions at the Grunwick film processing factory in London, and the right to join a trade union. 

Did you know?

In 1972 Asians who were not Ugandan citizens were given 90 days to leave Uganda. Around 30,000 Ugandan Asians with British passports came to the UK. 

Revive Women’s Group banner (2019)People's History Museum

Revive Women’s Group banners

The following two banners are from a collection made by Revive Women’s Group and artist Ibukun Baldwin during Refugee Week in 2019. 

The banners communicate issues the women face. 

Revive Women’s Group banner (2019)People's History Museum

The asylum seeking process can be especially challenging for women, many of whom have experienced gender specific forms of persecution in their home countries or during their journey to the UK.  

National Union of Civil & Public Servants (NUCPS) banner (1988)People's History Museum

National Union of Civil & Public Servants (NUCPS) banner

The National Union of Civil and Public Servants (NUCPS) was formed in 1988 with the merger of the Society of Civil and Public Servants with the Civil Service Union.

You can apply for any job in the Civil Service as long as you are a UK national or have dual nationality with one part being British.

In addition, about 75% of Civil Service posts are open to Commonwealth citizens and nationals of any of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA).

The remainder of jobs, which require special allegiance to the state, are reserved for UK nationals. These restrictions date back to Section 3 of the Act of Settlement, 1701.

Did you know?

In 2009 the Crown Employment (Nationality) Bill was put forward in the House of Commons to remove nationality restrictions in the Civil Service. However, the bill was later withdrawn

Hitler Fascism Threatens Britain banner (around 1940)People's History Museum

Hitler Fascism Threatens Britain banner

This banner was made for a demonstration organised by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). It was in opposition to the failure of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s Conservative government to introduce any immediate public safety measures against the threat posed by air raids during World War II. 

Did you know?

The evacuation of Britain’s cities at the start of World War II was the biggest mass movement of people in Britain’s history. In the first four days of September 1939 nearly 3 million people were transported from towns and cities to places of safety in the countryside. 

Bread, Work and Freedom for the People of Chile banner, around 1980 (1980)People's History Museum

Bread, Work and Freedom for the People of Chile banner

The Chilean military coup of 1973 led to international outcry. In the aftermath of the coup individuals and organisations around the UK rallied to Chile’s aid. 

This banner was used in London in the early 1980s as part of the Chile Solidarity Campaign. Demonstrations took place demanding human rights for the people of Chile and protesting against the torture of opponents of the country’s dictator General Augusto Pinochet.

Did you know?

In response to the coup the World University Service (WUS) created a programme for Chilean refugee academics and students. The WUS alone assisted over 900 Chileans to come to the UK.

Help India to Freedom! Join the India League banner (around 1930)People's History Museum

Help India to Freedom! Join the India League banner

The India League was a British based organisation. Indian activist Krishna Menon was the driving force behind it. Menon migrated to London in 1924 and joined the Commonwealth for India League. He radicalised the organisation and transformed it into the India League. Its aim was to campaign for full independence and self-governance for India. India and Pakistan achieved independence in 1947. 

Did you know?

Krishna Menon was appointed independent India’s first High Commissioner in the UK. He held this post until 1952 when he returned to India to pursue his political and legal career. 

Mahoro Must Stay banner (2007)People's History Museum

Mahoro Must Stay banner

Mahoro Mugabo arrived in the UK in 2002 seeking asylum from Rwanda.

Her husband was murdered by militia in 2002 when giving evidence about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Following the death of her husband, Mahoro was imprisoned and raped by her captors. She is HIV positive and was unable to access life saving drugs in Rwanda. 

Immigration officials in the UK refused to accept her asylum pleas. Mahoro was twice held at a deportation facility for a month at a time.

The campaign group Mahoro Must Stay was formed and John Leech, Member of Parliament (MP) for Manchester Withington at the time, submitted a petition to the Home Office regarding her fight to stay. In February 2010, Mahoro was told she could remain in the UK.

Campaign Against the Immigration Laws (CALI) banner (Around 1980)People's History Museum

Campaign Against the Immigration Laws (CALI) banner

Campaign Against the Immigration Laws (CALI) was formed in 1978 by a group of anti-racists who felt the anti-racist movement focused too much on anti-fascism and not on tackling state racism. The campaign actively opposed the immigration laws of the time, particularly The Immigration Act of 1971, which they believed was the worst example of state racism. 

CALI supported and co-ordinated actions against deportations and detentions. They held a series of pickets of prisons to protest about the number of people held inside under the immigration laws. CALI produced newsletters including articles on changes in the law and anti-deportation campaigns. 

Did you know?

The Immigration Act of 1971 includes the power to detain immigrants, but there is no immigration legislation limiting the amount of time a person can be detained for. Today Britain is the only European country without a time limit on detaining immigrants.

Credits: Story

Revive Women’s Group and Ibukun Baldwin  

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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