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Yarl’s Wood Migrant Solidarity: Mothering Sunday Demonstration.

Yarl's Wood Migrant Solidarity | 10.03.2010 15:06 | Anti-racism | Migration | Repression | Cambridge

Noise demo on Sunday 14th March, 12pm - 2pm, Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, Bedford, MK41 6HL .

We are calling a demonstration in solidarity with the women on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. We join these women in their protest against the detention of migrants. We support their bravery and we oppose immigration laws that restrict the freedom of movement of those in need. All welcome!

transport contact: 07879793739, press contact: 07879972629

We have chosen to act on Mother’s Day to highlight the cruel way that migrant women, many of whom have come to the UK to seek respite from violence and torture, have been separated from their families for no good reason and at little notice. They have since been subjected to further violence and humiliation within the immigration centre.

We support the hunger strikers at Yarl’s Wood in all of the demands that they have issued. We support the hunger strikers at Harmondsworth Immigration Centre and in immigration centres in Italy. We are acting to express our disgust at immigration laws and to re-affirm the belief that freedom of movement is a human right. We are outraged by the fact that Serco are controlling the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Centre in the interest of private profit. We oppose the idea of national borders and nation-states as a whole and we do not believe that there is any such thing as an illegal human being.

We invite those who share in our beliefs, and all who oppose the detention of migrants, the abuse of women and the separation of families, to join us at 12 pm on Sunday, 14 March. Bring voices, whistles, drums and anything else that makes a noise: we want the hunger strikers to know that we are with them, and that they are not alone on Mother’s Day.

Yarl’s Wood Migrant Solidarity.

The hunger strike against conditions at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre began on 5 February 2010. At that time more than 80 women were involved in the strike. Since then, five of the women - identified as ‘ringleaders’ by immigration centre staff – have been moved to HMP Holloway in an attempt to break the strike. A full list of the demands issued by the hunger strikers is available in appendix a.

This hunger strike is the latest in a series of actions taken by migrant detainees against violent and oppressive immigration laws. In September 2009 detainees in Greece set fire to their bedding and occupied the compound surrounding a detention centre in defiance of the abysmal conditions that they were expected to endure.

Within Yarl’s Wood itself, the hunger strike has been used by detainees to assert their rights since the centre opened in 2001, when five detainees refused to eat until their conditions were met. This hunger strike was followed by another in 2007. Demonstrations within the immigration removal centre reached fever pitch in 2002, when a protest at the physical restraints being imposed on one inmate resulted in a fire. Group 4 security, who were in charge of the centre at that time, evacuated all staff, leaving detainees inside the building. Five people were injured and nobody was prosecuted, in spite of the fact that it was later revealed that the immigration removal centre had not been fitted with a fully functional sprinkler system.

More on the Harmondsworth detention centre situation:


End the Detention of Foreign Nationals Now!

Since the 5th of February 2010, we the residents at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre are on hunger strike which involves over 84 + women, who are protesting against the period of time spent in detention and the treatment that they receive while being detained.
The strike was sparked to protest and demand that the frustration and humiliation of all foreign nationals ends now.

We are demanding the following actions

*End the frustrations, physical and mental torture at the centre
*Allow enough time and make resources available to residents who need to fully present their cases.
*To end all false allegations and misrepresentations by the UKBA regarding detainees in order to refuse bail or temporary admissions.
*Access to appropriate medical treatment and care as in the community, access to edible and well cooked food, phones with good mobile connections, with camera and recording facilities to back up cases.
*To stop the forceful removal and degrading system of deportation of detainees
*To put law into practise, European rules governing standard of conditions of detention for migrants and asylum seekers and the length of time in detention.
*The abolition of detention for asylum seeker and torture victims
*Detention should be by a standard procedure prescribed by law, authorised by judicial authority and be subjected to periodic judicial reviews.
*To end the detention of children and their mothers, rape survivors and other torture victims, to end the detention of physically, mentally sick people and pregnant women for long period of time.
*To end the separation of children from their mothers being detained whether in detention or destitution.
*To end the detention of women detention after serving time in prison.
* To abolish the fast track system, in order to give asylum seekers a fair chance with their application, while understanding the particular needs of victims of torture, and access to reliable legal representation which the fast track system denies.
*To end the repeat detention of women granted temporary admission while reporting or signing after a short period out of detention.
*To a set period of time allowed to detain women, which should be no longer than 1 month, while waiting decision either from UKBA or court proceedings.
*Finally instead of detention of foreign nationals, there are alternatives to detention stated by the *Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). 'The detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants in Europe ', Adopted on the 28th January 2010, extracts below.
9.1.1. detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants shall be exceptional and only used after first reviewing all other alternatives and finding that there is no effective alternative; placement in special establishments (open or semi-open); registration and reporting; release on bail/surety; controlled release to individuals, family members, NGOs, religious organisations, or others; handover of travel and other documents, release combined with appointment of a special worker;
Full Text:
Council of Europe - Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1707 (2010)1
The detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants in Europe

Yarl's Wood Migrant Solidarity
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