Protest and Speak Out to
CLOSE YARL’S WOOD
AND ALL DETENTION CENTRES!
15 June 12 noon to 2pm, Parliament Square
The protest is part of a week of international actions
in Belgium, Greece, Spain, the US and the UK.
Women who have been in Yarl’s Wood are available for interview.
For more information contact 0207 482 2496 or 07456 525227 firstname.lastname@example.org
14 June 2015
INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF ACTIONS
TO CLOSE DETENTION CENTRES
15- 21 JUNE 2015
In London, join the
Protest and Speak Out
“THIS IS A PRISON NOT A HOLIDAY CAMP”
Monday 15 June 12noon to 2pm
Parliament Square, nearest tube Westminster
CLOSE YARL'S WOOD
AND ALL DETENTION CENTRES!
Detention without limit – Rape by guards – No healthcare – Mothers separated from their kids – Fast Track decisions – No legal representation – Profiteering from detainees' work – Violent deportations
In March, 100s of people in 8 out of 11 UK detention centres from Dover to Dungavel in Scotland held spontaneous hunger strikes protesting human rights abuses including indefinite detention.
In April, women throughout Yarl’s Wood IRC refused to eat until the authorities released a traumatised wife whose husband had collapsed and died.
Also in April in the US, migrant mothers detained in Karnes, Southern Texas went on hunger strike to protest against being sexually violated in front of their children.
Over 1,200 have drowned this year in the Mediterranean fleeing war and poverty. Survivors who have reached European shores have said “we are here because your governments are in our countries causing devastation”.
The All African Women’s Group, a self-help group of women asylum seekers, many of whom have been detained in Yarl’s Wood IRC, sometimes for as long as two years, are spearheading this protest to make visible the extreme suffering and injustice of detention and to demand the closure of all detention centres.
The reality of a £164 million (2013) detention industry is being hidden from the public. Detention means:
· 30,000 people a year are held without charge or conviction, without time limit, deprived of legal support, translation or healthcare.
· Widespread rape and other abuse from guards, most notably in Yarl’s Wood. Women’s protests have been reported in the press but complaints are often met with retribution. One woman who was made pregnant by a guard. He was sacked but she was deported. A former mental health nurse turned whistleblower and Channel 4’s undercover video footage showed a racist, sexist, abusive regime, endorsed by Serco the private company that runs Yarl’s Wood.
· Mothers say: our children risk being separated from us forever if we are detained. Social services are eager to take our kids and put them in foster care or up for adoption. Children are detained sometimes with the active collaboration of charities.
· Legal cases are heard without lawyers because of legal aid cuts. Thousands of people are “fast tracked” out of the UK without time to get evidence.
· A regime of terror and threat hangs over all people fighting for the right to stay in the UK. As one woman put it: “I shake with fear every time I sign on because this could be the time they snatch me out of the line and detain me.”
· Rampant physical violence from guards during deportations. None of us will forget Jimmy Mubenga held down by G4S guards until he suffocated. Jackie Nanyonjo died on arrival in Uganda after being restrained like Jimmy Mubenga
· Slave wages become commonplace. Detainees are paid £1 an hour to serve food, do the laundry and clean the centre saving private corporations millions and undercutting wages outside.
In Nov 2014 the Home Office awarded Serco a £70 million contract to run Yarl’s Wood for another eight years. G4S were given the contract to run the healthcare centre.
The anti-detention movement has changed the climate everywhere. In Greece, the Syriza government has started to close its detention centres. In Scotland the SNP has called for the closure of Dungavel. In the US, the New York Times is proposing to end detention. In the UK, a cross party All Parliamentary Working Group is recommending to limit detention, including to a maximum of 28 days.
Right to migrate! Close Detention Centres! No more deportations!
WHAT WE CAN DO:
· 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 demanding that detention centres are closed. Ask them to come to the protest on their doorstep.
· 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. You can send your proposed activity by e-mail to: email@example.com. All activities will be showcased at this website: https://15jdiacontraloscie.wordpress.com/
STOP PRESS: Peckam community kicks out immigration officers.
Payday Men’s Network firstname.lastname@example.org
Women Against Rape email@example.com
Women of Colour Global Women's Strike firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
High Court Judge rules that the Detained Fast Track for asylum seekers
is unlawful and “inherently unfair”
Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP) and Women Against Rape (WAR) welcome today’s decision by Judge Nicols that the Detained Fast Track for asylum seekers is unlawful and “inherently unfair”.
Cristel Amiss, from (BWRAP) commented:
“This decision is way overdue. Over the past ten years we have worked with many hundreds of women detained in Yarl’s Wood, many of whom are survivors or rape and other violence. Many have been put into the Detained Fast Track (DFT) and denied both time to gather evidence of the persecution they faced and appropriate legal representation. Too many have been disbelieved and rejected and sent back to face further rape and other violence.”
Sian Evans from WAR added:
“We are shocked however that the Judge agreed for this decision to be put on hold whilst the authorities appeal. This delay could have life-threatening consequences for women whose cases are in the DFT.”
On Monday 15th June, BWRAP, WAR and other supporters will deliver a dossier on rape and sexual violence by guards in Yarl's Wood to MPs. The dossier documents complaints from women since 2005 to the present day and details how Serco, the private company that runs Yarl’s Wood, has systematically condoned and covered up this abuse.
Protesters will gather in Parliament Square between 12-2pm to demand the closure of Yarl’s Wood and an end to the detention of all asylum seekers. 30,000 people are currently detained in the UK each year, for indefinite periods and despite committing no crime. Internationally protests are having enormous impact. In Greece, the Syriza government has started to close its detention centres. In Scotland the SNP has called for the closure of Dungavel. In the US, the New York Times is proposing to end detention. A recent 700 strong protest outside Yarl’s Wood brought together detainees with supporters from many walks of life including MPs and celebrities.
Women from the All African Women’s Group, a self-help group of women asylum seekers, many of whom have been in detention, will be speaking about their experience. Women from inside detention will address the protest via a sound system.