"Home Secretary John Reid has said that the unrest at an immigration centre in west London was an "attempt to sabotage" the UK's immigration policy."
I'm sure many have heard about the fire at the immigrant concentration camp in West London the other day, but the Home Secretary John Reid, aka The Daily Mail's Editor In Chief, has come out and said that whoever started the fire had done it in a controlled and planned "attempt to sabotage" the UK's immigration policy.
Obviously, my initial reaction to anything John Reid says is "this man is a racist thug" followed by the usual likening of him to Hitler or various other members of the Nazi Party.
Of course, what Herr Reid was suggesting was that there are some kind of highly organised, highly trained "immigrant terrorists" who despite having other things on their mind (such as escaping war torn countries, feeding their families and of course being detained in inhumane conditions- http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/actions/2006/noborders/feature/archive.html ) also find the time to place at the top of their list of priorities running an organised terrorist group with the sole intention of distrupting Labour's immigration policy. Clearly, immigrants all vote Tory.
This time, however, I stopped short, the usual Nazi analogy resounding in my head as memories of another fire caused by a fictional terrorist group came to the forefront of my mind, buried from GCSE History. Of course, the Reichstag fire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire was used by Hitler to pass The Reichstag Fire Decree http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_Fire_Decree which effectively cemented Hitler's dictatorship.
John Reid is obviously doing a great job of cementing the false link between Immigration and Terrorists, to budgeon support for Labour's Nationalist immigration policy. What a dick.
Mr Reid sparked fury when he claimed that Tuesday night's riot over daily abuses and bullying by staff at the notorious Harmondsworth centre was a deliberate "attempt to sabotage the enforcement of our immigration law.
"The perpetrators have been prepared to destroy property and to endanger their fellow detainees," he stormed.
The protests began after staff at the west London centre refused to allow detainees to watch news detailing the results of a damning report on Harmondsworth by Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers.
Former chief inspector of prisons David Ramsbotham said that Harmondsworth authorities had previously "tried to blind or chose to ignore factual reports by the chief inspector, detailing what is wrong in an establishment and what needs to be put right."
The Home Secretary's comments were eerily similar to those made by Guantanamo Bay commandant Harry Harris in June.
Mr Harris outraged human rights campaigners when he declared that the suicide of three detainees at the infamous US camp was "not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us."
Anti-detention group No Borders London activist Chiara Lauvergnac expressed outrage at Mr Reid's remarks and demanded that the "inhumane" centres be closed.
"We welcome any attempt to sabotage the government's detention regime, but this was not the case," she said.
"The riots were certainly not organised or intentional.
"Such incidents are inevitable when tensions - in this case, brought on by the daily abuses and bullying - build up and nothing is done about it."
Ms Lauvergnac castigated the government's harsh asylum policy, which "deliberately seeks to undermine refugees' credibility as a convenient excuse to deport as many of them as possible."
Labour leadership contender John McDonnell MP condemned the government's efforts to privatise the management of Harmondsworth, which falls within his constituency.
In a letter, he demanded an urgent meeting with Mr Reid to discuss the matter, adding: "I am of the view that the government should now consider returning the management of the centre directly to the Home Office."
Mr Reid's statement occurred after a fire broke out at another immigration detention - Lindholme in Hatfield Woodhouse - in the early hours of on Thursday morning.
*Statement by **London** No Borders on the protests at **UK** Detention Centres*
Press Release – for immediate release
The protests at Harmondsworth Detention Centre and the hunger strike at Yarlswood Detention Centre have been the latest attempts by detainees to contest their abhorrent treatment at the hands of the UK immigration system. In Yarlswood Detention Centre, 25 mothers have begun a hunger strike today in protest at their treatment there.
Current UK’s immigration policies violate the basic principles of the Refugee Convention which the UK has signed. By ignoring the Convention, the Government refuses to grant protection of people’s lives that are in severe danger, whether politically or economically.
We condemn the statement’s by Ms Homer, head of the immigration and nationality directorate in which she is solely interested in making detainees responsible for the destruction of private property. It is a perversion of the reality that refugees and migrants face every single day, and it shows that private property is worth more than a human being in the eyes of the UK government and the companies that benefit from the oppressive immigration system.
Migrants have been degraded and abused and are being treated as criminals, when their only ‘crime’ is to come to the UK on their own terms. The UK government’s immigration policies favour locking up people without trial. Refugees are treated like ‘terrorists’ and perceived as a threat to national security and are held in detention for many months.
The protests that resulted from detainees being prevented from watching news reports about the Chief Inspector of Prison’s report on the Harmondsworth Detention Centre on Tuesday night reflect the abusive system that keeps migrants locked up like animals. The subsequent treatment of the detainees that left them without food and water, many trapped in smoke filled rooms or in the freezing courtyard all night, is a reflection of the contempt with which people without papers face in this country. Everywhere, people are resisting their subjection to the violence of the UK immigration system and the profiteering of the companies that run the centres.
We demand the closure of Harmondsworth and all other detention centres in the UK and abroad. We demand that everyone can live their life with freedom and dignity.