Abstract

This article focuses on the sanctuary movement in the United States and Europe, putting into conversation with one another migrant solidarity activists from different national contexts. This transnational roundtable draws on interviews with activists in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and on a workshop on sanctuary activism that involved forty activists from the Bay Area, Europe, and Australia. The article explores the meaning of sanctuary in these different locations and the strategies used by activists to create various forms of sanctuary while grappling with its contradictions. It addresses three key themes: (1) the meaning of sanctuary in campaigns that enact the right to freedom of movement across borders; (2) the binary of “good”/deserving versus “bad”/unworthy migrants; and (3) an abolitionist sanctuary model that links border violence to carcerality, neoliberal capitalism, white supremacy, settler colonialism, and fascism.

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