On 5 April 2008 the Atlantic College Amnesty International Group (ACAI) held a street theatre protest action in Cardiff’s central Queen Street shopping area. The subject of the theatre was the treatment of Asylum seekers in the UK, and as a group we hoped to educate the public and collect petition signatures while trying to depict the obstacles that refugees and asylum seekers must surpass to gain asylum in the UK.
Each year, almost one in five applicants is turned away often due simply to a lack of knowledge or through decisions that lie with undereducated and regionally unaware judges and specialists. Amnesty International calls for more educated decision-making, seeing as many people are being sent back to areas deemed “safe” where they face death, torture or imprisonment. We are not calling for increased leniency but rather more a more informed and humane process.
The ACAI group has been active in Cardiff previously with other street theatre actions on the wall in Palestine, Guantanamo Bay and the situation in Burma. The group’s “street theatre” style of protest and public engagement involves some students collecting petition signatures while the rest of the group presents a fast moving, dynamic and easily understandable drama on the topic – aiming at involving, educating and catching the attention of the pedestrians who pass by.
– United World College Student Magazine –