The Monitoring Group – Update in response to COVID- 19
(Communiqué number 001-18/03/2020)
1: Our staff team is now working from home. This arrangement will be reviewed every two weeks – the next review will be on 31st March 2020. We will continue to provide regular updates on our website and other social media tools.
2: During this period, we will attempt to respond to all enquires but continue to offer priority to those most in need of our services – all victims of racism, sexual violence, state misconduct and injustice.
3: Please do ring us on our landline – 020 7582 7438 – or contact us via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
4: We have arrangements for staff to be on call duty during office hours. – 10am to 6pm. We can also respond to genuine emergencies outside office hours.
5: Sadly, we are aware that, despite the health emergency, hate crimes continue to spike against Chinese and South East Asian communities. Targeting communities in this manner is appalling but sadly a frequent pattern of racism in the UK. If you are a victim of racism or hate crimes – we are here to help you.
6: Our Chinese led project, Min Quan, has the expertise and the history to help deliver quality service to Chinese and South East Asian victims of hate crimes. Min Quan includes people who are proficient Cantonese and Mandarin speakers.
7: In cases where it is essential for us to meet clients face to face, we will take steps to make this happen but we will need be mindful that arrangements do not compromise on people’s health and welfare.
8: Unfortunately, all the indications are that the present health emergency will worsen over the coming days. It will last months and not weeks. Leading doctors continue to warn that UK failures over COVID-19 will lead to a massive increase in death toll.
9: We want our clients, supporters and volunteers – and all members of the public – to take every precaution possible to stay healthy and decrease every conceivable risk of spreading this dangerous virus.
10: Despite our ‘confinement’ of being stuck at home and working alone, The Monitoring Group team will continue to remain active as social campaigners.
8: We will continue to mobilise support and engage with all our campaigns and the networks that we are involved with.
9: We will lend our weight to demand that the authorities take all the necessary measures to protect the health and social welfare of the entire population, including working class people, poor communities and neighbourhoods. In this way, we can make sure that precarious, migrant, undocumented and discriminated minorities are not excluded from the protections to which they are entitled.
10: We must force the government to listen to science and act on evidence. It must rely on independent medical and scientific expertise to know which measures are effective and indispensable, and encourage international exchange. Doctors, researchers and medical experts and activists must not be excluded from this process.
11: We will actively help to break the isolation in which people can find themselves. We will help to organise befrienders for older people who may live alone and those suffering from mental health issues and/or trauma.
12: Our social activism will continue to promote and demonstrate equality. Notably, but not exclusively, women are likely to find themselves obliged to take on an even heavier burden of domestic and childcare duties during periods of confinement. We must to everything possible to ensure that women (our relatives, friends and comrades) are not placed in this invidious situation but share the work with them equally and based on need.
13: Our independent collective action is the only guarantee that authoritarianism – politically organising around us – can be checked even during the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic, regardless of how it is camouflaged in the name of efficiency or something else.
Mehar Brar (London)
Chair of The Monitoring Group
Dr. Ping Hua (Southampton)
Chair of Min Quan
Suresh Grover (London)
Director of The Monitoring Group
Professor Jawed Siddiqui (Sheffield)
Secretary of The Monioring Group