Even as the barriers to the free movement of capital come down, the border regimes are expanding and intensifying. In response to this growing repression, grassroots networks of asylum seekers, migrants, and their supporters are developing across the UK and Europe. There are anti-deportation struggles and campaigns to shut down detention and reporting centres. Undocumented workers are organising. Detainees have staged mass hunger strikes and physically resisted their deportations. In the UK we are attempting to develop a radical network of people opposed to borders (internal and external).
One of the most brutal and dehumanising aspects of immigration systems and border regimes is the imprisonment of thousands of people in detention centres throughout the EU and around the world. In the UK the capacity and use of arbitrary detention has expanded massively over the past few years, with whole families imprisoned in places like Yarl’s Wood.
The experience of being detained (without trial and with no automatic bail review), often after experiences of torture and trauma in the countries they are fleeing from, pushes many over the edge, and is viewed as a further experience of torture at the hands of a country they thought would be a refuge. The policy of detention has led to 12 suicides among detainees in the UK, including this January, the death of Bereket Yohannes, a 26-year-old Eritrean man facing deportation who was found hanged in Harmondsworth detention centre, near Heathrow.
Many detainees at Harmondsworth, neighbouring Colnbrook, and other detention cenres claim to have been abused – assaults during removal attempts, lack of medical care, denial of medication, access to independent doctors, and obstruction in trying to handle their legal matters – e.g. interference with post and blocked access to phone. Allegations of a Uganda woman being reduced to a state of mental collapse during seven months in Yarl’s Wood detention centre has triggered an enquiry by the HM Prisons Inspectors team into healthcare provision of detainees there following the catalogue of suicides and alleged mistreatment in detention centres.
Conditions in detention are not changing, and the government has made it clear that they intend, in coming years, to detain increasing numbers of people. In several countries, campaigns, actions and demonstrations have succeeded in shutting down individual detention centres and provoking public and political discussion on the use of detention. It is therefore vital to have a sustained campaign against detention centres, the private profit making companies that run them and the Home Office from whom their contracts are issued; to support those inside, to draw attention to their existence, and to call for every detention centre to be shut down.
DAY OF ACTION AND COMMUNICATION AGAINST DETENTION CENTRES: SATURDAY 8TH APRIL
In Australia this Easter, there will be a week of actions against detention centres in New South Wales. A call has been issued for solidarity actions to take place around the world. In response, on Saturday 8th April, London No Borders will organise a demonstration at Harmondsworth detention centre:
We call for a loud and noisy demonstration outside Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres, in the hope that those inside will here our voices and know that they are not alone. We also call for as many people as possible to visit detainees inside Harmondsworth and Colnbrook after the demonstration ends to communicate with them directly, hear their stories, and see the conditions inside these detention centres for ourselves.
On 8th April we will also be broadcasting a one-off No Borders radio show over the internet in solidarity with detainees and the demonstrations. We would like as many contributions as possible to the radio programme. We will also be producing T-shirts with messages of solidarity to send inside to the detainees.
We call for those around the UK, in every city and town, to make their own actions on Saturday 8th April, and throughout the Easter period, against the detention regime. We invite as many groups a possible to support this call.
London No Borders.
London Against Detention: Campaign to Close Heathrow Detention Centres
Email: noborderslondon at riseup.net
Starting from 23 Feb, a series of London No Borders events is taking place at The Square Social Centre, 21-22 Russell Square.
VENUE: THE SQUARE Occupied Social Centre// 21 Russell SQ // London WC1
BORDER = 0 - Fundraiser for No Borders Fri.31st.March
NO BORDERS* Fundraiser feat. DJ's/Visuals/Talks
CAFE //serving delicious Ugandan food
CINEMA//Films & talk about anti-detention centre action:
Woomera Holiday Camp//Welcome to Dungavel
DJs//DJ KLANG (Acid Techno) plus more tba
No Borders is a social movement of people opposed to borders, immigration controls, detention centres and forced migration. Borders are created to carve up territory and have been formed due to imperialist and colonial wars through out history. There purpose is to divide humanity into "national identities" and pose the nations and states as "natural" entities. This is however not the reality. Borders serve the interest of those which maintain power - capitalists, politicians, dictators, religious fanatics (bush included!), Borders maintain a divided humanity and there use is that of racism and exclusion.
No Borders as slogan is to say that we oppose them, we see them against us - us being either immigrants or "subjects" in the UK. The rich and powerful can travel and settle wherever they please, why not the poor?
No Borders as a group in London is organising a demonstration against Harmondsworth Detention Centre on April 8th. This will be a peaceful but noisy demonstration to express our support and solidarity with the 1,000+ inmates at the detention centre (there only crime is that they came to the UK!). Proceeds from the benefit will go to this demonstration as well as to support self-organised migrants in London.
See www.londonsocialcentre.org.uk for details or email email@example.com for transport to Harmondsworth.
No Borders London