Victory for Visiting Artists Campaign!
Heeding a two-year+ campaign for reform by cultural groups and individuals, Theresa May, the UK's Home Secretary, announces changes to immigration policy effective April 6, 2012. This delivers on promises made earlier this month by Immigration Minister Damian Green:“We do not want to be discouraging world-class performers from coming [to the UK]. I am aware that this has been a sore point forsome time and we are taking action".
Starting this Spring, visiting artists can stay in the UK up to one month, under a new route, called "Permitted Paid Engagements". This route does away with a range of onerous and arbitrary fees and regulations in place since November 2008 (red-tape that was supposed to combat terrorism and illegal immigration, and, instead, prevented many legitimate artists and academics from making short term visits to the UK).
Congratulations and thanks to Manick Govinda, Josie Appleton and all their team at the Manifesto Club who led this successful fight, and rallied support, for a greater measure of justice and sanity. Celebrate!! (more details @ http://www.manifestoclub.com/node/893)
Brings to mind what Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."