AVID Training
(You need to be a member and logged in to view this video)

It is six days away from King Charles’ birthday, and four months have already passed since we sent him the letter detailing the colonial roots of immigration detention, our shared lived experience in prolonged confinement, and our collective call for a welcoming, fair, and supportive environment for immigrants.

Of course, we have not heard back from the Palace yet. Does it mean our month-long effort put into the letter is going to waste? Do we accept their silence as an answer? How can we be heard when they are not ready to hear us?

We decided to be creative, innovative, and fun. Today, most of those who took part in writing the letter went to Madame Tussauds with our letter and our gifts to celebrate the birthday with King Charles. Queen Camilla, Prince William, and Princess Catherine happened to be there too!

We presented King Charles with our letter and two gifts. One is a beautiful poem written by a mother who had to live through detention. The other is a crown, handwoven part by part by eight of us and sewn together by a red ribbon with the poem printed on it. If King Charles could hear us, he would be moved.

We adorned our parcel with not just gifts but also with the essence of humanity — four volumes of Refugee Tales Books, with original letters and personal sentiments from the signatories’ hearts, pouring out their unfiltered messages to His Majesty.

We also went to the famous door of 10 Downing Street. The mother read her poem proudly and loudly outside the door.
If there were people on the other side of the door, they would be moved, too.

We then wrapped up the day, exploring the Madame Tussauds, enjoying our time together, and having pizza for lunch. It was the first time for many of us to meet in person as we scattered in different parts of the nation, even though we had worked together for months. Today, we hugged and laughed and talked for hours.

A big thank you to all the incredible signatories for joining us in this letter and sharing your thoughts! Special shout-out to Refugee Tales for generously sharing four volumes of their books. Also, huge thanks to the awesome folks at Beyond Detention’s Friendship Group and their staff for lending a hand with this letter and even weaving in a crown.

What is the point of today? you may ask.

  • It is to speak when they refuse to hear us.
  • It is to persist when they shut the door on us.
  • It is to have fun when they want us to suffer.
  • It is to stand in solidarity with our community when they say we do not belong.
  • It is to break the wall of detention, no matter how imaginative it may seem for now.

These are our subtle acts of resistance!

Watch: Hidden Stories
Share this page