the3million is the leading NGO fighting for citizens’ rights in the UK. The group operate day-to-day through a steering group and designated leads focusing on different areas of work and activities. This is supported by a wider group of advocates and volunteers. This page introduces some of them.
the3million started on 24 June 2016. I went to bed on referendum night thinking that the UK would stay in the European Union. When I woke up and saw the news the next day, it was a shock. It felt like living in a nightmare and I needed to do something. We ended up being a handful of people in a pub asking ourselves what to do. This was the start of the3million.
For me apathy was and is not an option. I feel immense solidarity with anyone who has ever found themselves in a similar situation, facing huge question marks about their future, their lives and their families. the3million is giving EU citizens a voice and I am immensely proud of this wonderful group of people who have achieved so much based on dedication, compassion and sheer stubbornness at times.
My involvement with the3million was organic and in continuity with my work and values. As a migrant myself, most of my work revolves around organising migrant workers in understanding their rights at work and campaigning for better rights in general. I understood straight away that Brexit will be utilised to threaten and erode the rights of people who came under free movement, but also to all migrants in general.
I met Nicolas at an event in October 2016. Afterwards, I joined the3million Forum and became one of spokespeople around the time of the first mass lobby in February 2017. We achieved to get citizens’ rights into phase 1 of the negotiations, right at the top of the agenda. Both sides had not considered this an important issue before the3million came along. We punch way above our weight!
I am the new research associate with the3million, but have been a member of the core group, on and off, since its beginings in July 2016. I initially researched the3million as a campaign group for my PhD. Now, as my thesis is finally submitted, I am working for the group to develop practical, applied research to defend the rights of migrant citizens.
I knew after the referendum that I had to act in defence of my rights because UK politicians were talking in a new way: citizens of nowhere, queue jumpers, forcing businesses to reveal how many foreigners they employed. I was angry that we had become a political button to press, and worried about what Brexit would mean for me and for my mother, a British citizen living in Denmark. Campaigning was far better than passive acceptance, and now there is a band of likeminded people in the3million.