On Monday 19th May a group of friends of BB organised stalls to get support and petitions signed as part of the Keep BB Safe in Cardiff campaign to be held over four separate days, at the four UWIC campuses in the city.

We went to Howard Gardens on 20th May, the campus for art students, and received large amounts of encouragement from students and staff; over 250 signatures of support in less than four hours.  We wore BB’s amazing hats and displayed some of his dolls and other art works he has produced.

The stall was arranged initially through a UWIC student, and we spoke to the UWIC chaplain Rev Paul Fitzpatrick before we started doing anything about how we should conduct ourselves during the day. He expressed interest in BB’s case and agreed that we should not have border controls in the UK. We treated everyone with respect and understood that it was a busy time for them in the exam period.

Before the four hours were up, a phone call was received and the next three days of petition signing were cancelled. The stall apparently received a few complaints, however when pressed did not even know what they entailed. The UWIC controllers were all too eager to cancel on us apparently because we were not part of UWIC and wanting to protect their students. There is nothing offensive about BB’s case – it does not try to push any religious or political beliefs. It is about is having compassion for another individual and understanding how the UK’s unfair ‘justice’ system works; many people asked why BB might be deported, presuming he had done something wrong!

University in the UK has long been considered as a place to broadening your knowledge and get interested in different issues. Given the fact that all the students are adults why do they need to be protecting from a petition stall? If we had been renting a stall from UWIC and selling things to the students, no doubt there would have been no problems at all; very telling of where the University’s priorities lie.

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