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National Have A Pint With An Immigrant Day launched by NUS officer

9th May 2014

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It’s an unexpected campaign, but one that The National Student thinks it can definitely get behind – NUS international students officer Daniel Stevens is throwing a ‘National Have A Pint With An Immigrant Day’, and it’s happening in less than two weeks time.

Stevens, a Warwick graduate and former president of the university’s student union, is from Brazil. His Have A Pint With An Immigrant Day Facebook event calls on all those considering voting for UKIP to “go out and actually talk to an immigrant... Or better yet, have a pint with them.”

The event description reads that “others can show their solidarity with immigrants by buying them a pint.

“Find out about their experiences, what *they* think of the wider debate and explain your policies to them... Fight xenophobia with alcohol.

“Pints of soft drinks, juice and coffee are also encouraged.”

The event, which was set up on Wednesday, is in no way associated with the NUS.

The 21st May is the day before the European Elections, and the Facebook event has almost 800 guests attending so far.

Talking to The Huffington Post, Stevens called the debate surrounding immigration “toxic” and said that immigrants like himself “are feeling increasingly more uncomfortable with the way the debate is being conducted."

Stevens also says that UKIP’s stance on immigration is “extremely dangerous and xenophobic” and adds that the event “is an attempt to make it more light-hearted and look at the positives that immigration can bring to local communities."

Talking to Immigration Insight, he says he feels that “within the immigration debate, we often forget that it’s about people and individuals and sometimes big overarching narratives can be quite toxic and actually quite unsettling for immigrants” before adding that National Have A Pint With An Immigrant Day is an attempt to bring the conversation back to a personal level.

The day is gaining support under the hashtag #HopsNotHate, where the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.  

There is no word on whether Nigel Farage will be enjoying a pint alongside an immigrant on 21st May, although Stevens has made it clear that he would be very welcome to celebrate the event if he wished to do so.

Attend the event on Facebook here.

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