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Sunday 15 June 2014

International day to



SPAIN, UK, US...(list below)

Protest at Yarl’s' Wood Immigration Removal Centre

4.30-6.30pm Twinwoods Business Park, Thurleigh Rd Milton Ernest, Bedford MK44 1FD - Travel info here

STOP PRESS : Woman detainee threatened by guards - Black Women Rape Action Project has just been called by one of the women in Yarl's Wood who wants women inside to be able to speak by mobile to protestors on Sunday, as is their legal right.  She was called into the office by two unnamed female Serco managers who told her that if “anything happens inside this Centre - we won’t tolerate that, we will isolate you and move you.”  Ms Z described their manner as “menacing” and a deliberate attempt to silence her and other women. Ms Z is particularly concerned as a friend was removed after being told she was being taken to another detention centre. Ms Z refuses to be silenced.

We urge people to write to Serco and demand that the officers who threatened Ms Z be identified and disciplined, and that any attempt at removing her or others should be stopped. Ms Z is willing to speak to the media, but given the reprisals taking place before Sunday protest she cannot reveal her name right now.   

Rape survivors protest at End Sexual Violence Summit in London

Several women, including asylum seekers, joined Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape’s protest on Thursday 12 June at the Summit.  Three women interrupted an event which Theresa May was due to speak at, unfolding a banner which read "UK Stop Imprisoning and Deporting Rape Survivors".  The protest highlighted the reality of how the UK government treats rape survivors – those seeking asylum from war zones and those reporting rape in the UK. 

After being escorted out of the meeting, they held an impromptu speak-out.  One woman managed to give a leaflet about our protest to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who was also at the Summit Thursday.  They invited the couple to visit women in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre on Sunday 15 June to hear the truth about how the UK government treats "courageous survivors".  Ms Jolie said she knew about Yarl’s Wood.

On 2 May, 150 detainees at the Harmondsworth detention centre in the UK staged a sit-down courtyard occupation and a hunger strike. They petitioned to end the 'detained fast track' system, where decisions are made on asylum claims within days allowing no time for people to gather evidence of the persecution they suffered. In Colnbrook and Brooke House detention centres, detainees also staged protests and hunger strikes. In Campsfield, hunger strikers demanded the closure of all UK detention centres.

Since 2005 there have been at least four major hunger strikes by women in Yarl’s Wood IRC.  Women came together across races to protest mothers being separated from their children, sexual abuse by guards, inadequate food and negligent health care.  Their protests have prevented deportations and won the release of many women - and compensation for unlawful detention.

Solidarity demonstration at Harmonsworth

6 May 2014

On 7 March, in the US a wave of hunger and work strikes by migrants began at the North West Detention Centre and grew til it was 1200 strong. After 56 days, a Bill encouraging "alternatives to detention" of undocumented migrants was put forward. During that time, an unprecedented movement, Not1More, organised actions to urge President Obama to stop deportations, winning the support of 30 members of Congress. 

In April, in Israel, 1000 people demonstrated at the Holot detention centre in the desert, where thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers have been protesting imprisonment without trial, indefinite detention, and illegal deportation to Uganda and Rwanda. In the same month, in Valencia,Spain, 100 detainees started a hunger strike against deportations.

5-6 April 2014 - Protest in New Orleans, one of 100 actions in 80  cities against Obama's 2 million people deportation

These are just some of recent protests against detention centres spearheaded by detainees with their families and supporters. Those of us outside must support these courageous actions, and we invite you to join an international day to close detention centres on 15 June, initiated by Spanish groups. 


·  Every year, about 30,000 people are detained in one of the 11 UK detention centres without charge or conviction, without time limit, often without reasons given in writing, and with inadequate access to legal support, translation or healthcare.

·  Their only "crime": claiming asylum against persecution or the right to remain with their family.

·  Some women face rape and other abuse from guards. In the UK, women’s protests, reported in the press, led MPs to summon Yarl's Wood management to explain their action in parliament.

·  Detention centres are used as a punishment and a deterrent against people seeking safety in the host country. Even children are detained, sometimes with the active collaboration of charities

Outside Aluche detention centre (Madrid) in Spain where on Action Day 2013 there were actions in 10 cities

·  Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape have highlighted that 70% of women in detention are rape survivors, detained contrary to government guidelines, in conditions reminiscent of the persecution they fled. Many women and men are survivors of other torture. Children are traumatised by being separated from friends and schools.

·  Physical violence from guards during deportations is rampant. None of us will forget Jimmy Mubenga held down by G4S guards until he suffocated. Women seeking asylum from the All African Women’s Group commented: “if Jimmy’s death goes unpunished, it will be open season on us all – whether we are seeking asylum, immigrant or just in the wrong place.” 

At Holot detention Centre in Israel, April 2014


·  Organise an action on 15J - a hunger strike, a vigil, a sit-in, a meeting, a demonstration, an art event…

·  Contact your MP, councillor, representative, your organisation or your church. Ask them to support your demand.  

·  Circulate and translate this message, contact the press if you can

·  Send a message of support we will circulate it.

·  Whatever you do, let us and the Spanish organisers know so we can publicise it



15 June

Demonstration in solidarity with hundreds of migrants in the detention camp of Corinth on hunger strike and for the closure of all the detention camps

SPAIN  (full listing here)    


14 June

Actions to make visible the reality of detention centres & concert


15 June

Soup kitchen, concert, photo exhibition


13 June

Gathering at Plaza Circular


10 June

Meeting and discussion


15 June

Festival in the square



10 -11-12 June

Book launch on boycott of Air Europa / vigil of prayer


13 June

Radio show


14 June

Parade against raids, detention centres and deportations / Mural painting  / radio show


15 June

Speak out with two ex detainees


15 June

Gathering to close detention centres on the Plaza Mayor


12 June

Gathering and press conference to close detention centres


15 June

Community meal and show with a comedian


19 June

Book launch on boycott of Air Europa



15 June


Protest at Yarl’s' Wood Immigration Removal Centre,
 Twinwoods Business Park, Thurleigh Rd Milton Ernest, Bedford MK44 1FD  - INFORMATION 0207 482 2496



16 June 7pm


Public meeting in Oxford Town Hall

'Are Refugees Welcome Here? If not, what can we do about it?'



14 June, 9 – 12 noon

Gathering of People´s Movement Assembly in front of the North West Detention Centre – video conference with the Spanish campaign to close detention centres

Legal Action for Women     Payday men's network 

Women of Colour in the Global Women's Strike   TEL 0207 482 2496