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successful blockade of Portishead Immigration Centre

Bristol No Borders | 12.02.2008 06:14 | No Border Camp 2007 | Anti-racism | Migration

Blockade of Border & Immigration Agency depot steps up pressure to end
dawn snatches of families from their homes in the Bristol area

As part of the ongoing campaign against dawn raids, protesters from
Bristol No Borders have returned to blockade Portishead Border &
Immigration Agency (BIA) [1] depot to prevent them from being able to
leave in vehicles and snatch families. The activists have chained
themselves to a car blocking the car park exit. They have been there
since 3 am. Mike Daly of Bristol No Borders said : “In December we came
here and prevented the dawn raid squads from abducting families from
their homes in the week before Christmas. Now we are back again. There
will be no raids today. This inhumane practice needs to stop.”

Government policy targets the most visible and the most vulnerable amongst
those migrants that it sees as being 'undesirable'. Families with young
children fit the bill perfectly. [2]

Jo Freeman of Bristol No Borders explained, “..Children, the ill or
traumatised are targeted, in order to boost their official figures. Doors
are kicked in and families are snatched from their beds and taken to
detention centres, where they are punished for seeking refuge in this
country, and taken away from their houses, jobs, schools and communities –
their lives.”

Staff at the detention centres, snatch squads and deportation teams are
employed by private companies like Group 4 Security, who are famous for
their incompetence and aggression. There have been many instances of
violence and racial abuse in detention centres and during deportation
attempts. When complaints are made about these abuses, they are usually
investigated by the companies whose staff committed them.

Asylum-seeking children are denied the human rights that all other
children have. These rights include the right to go to school, the right
to privacy, the right to family life. No Borders activists state that a
legal system which divides children based on their country of birth
between those that have human rights and those that do not, is racist.

Janet Whittaker works with asylum seekers in Bristol. She said :
“All the time people who have come here seeking protection are being
deported back into danger. I have seen several people I know deported, and
immediately imprisoned by the same vicious regimes they had run away from
before. A friend of mine from Cameroon has been in prison where she has
been sexually abused and beaten by prison guards. Her family had to pay a
considerable bribe to get out. Most people are not lucky enough to have
relatives who can pay them out.”

In Fishponds, a disabled woman from Kenya, and her son, age 2, had their
house broken into by about 10 uniformed immigration officials. Because of
her disability, she needed time to collect her things. They did not allow
her this time, and forced her to leave, so she was not able to bring her
child's food and medicine with her. She has since been released, as many
people are, so this whole traumatic and expensive episode was totally

The immigration service do these raids under a cloud of secrecy. They use
silver VW people-carriers with blacked-out windows across the country,
operating from a network of bases. The government does not publish any
statistics about dawn raids, but there are many harrowing personal
accounts from families, indicating that they are engaged in a huge hidden
program of dawn raids. Bristol No Borders is continuing to build pressure
on the Government to end this racist and inhumane practice.

Bristol No Borders


photo and comment

12.02.2008 13:23

Asylum seeker breaks his own neck in a desperate attempt to avoid deportation....

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Display the following 4 comments

  1. racist machine — enough is enough
  2. Well Done Bristol NB! — s
  3. Brilliant — Fuck the border
  4. No borders - No nations — No one is illegal