On Wednesday 21st February, 120 people in an immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire (which holds mainly but not only women) started a hunger strike. It gathered momentum and has escalated into an all-out strike: work strikes, occupations, and a refusal to co-operate with the mechanisms of detention from the inside.
“After an initial 3 day hunger strike where the Home Office refused to acknowledge the hunger strike, it is clear that they are not listening to us. On Monday 26/02/18, we will cease to participate in detention, we will not eat, use their facilities or work for them.”
The hunger strikers are being met with victimisation and threats from the Home Office. Publicly, the Home Office has issued an official denial that hunger strikes are taking place; privately, they have issued strikers with letters threatening to ‘accelerate’ removal because of their actions. Full statements and documents can be read on Detained Voices.
How can you support the protests and stand in solidarity with the hunger strikers?
- Sign the Petition – calling on the Home Office to grant the demands of Yarl’s Wood strikers
- Send a letter to your MP outlining what the strikers are calling for. Use this template, use the Write to Them website
- Tweet Solidarity photos – tweet, retweet and share photos holding signs of support for Yarl’s Wood strikers, and share using hashtag #HungerForFreedom. Amplify the voices of the strikers by retweeting their accounts from @detainedvoices
- Join the one-day hunger strike in solidarity with the Yarl’s Wood strikers, on Thursday 8th March. Take the pledge here: https://freedomfastyarlswood.com/
- Call a solidarity demonstration where you live, or join one of these upcoming actions:
Wednesday 28th February https://www.facebook.com/events/195464954519861
Thursday 1st March https://www.facebook.com/events/175515139745638/
Tuesday 6th March https://www.facebook.com/events/1826035994365138/
Wednesday 7th March https://twitter.com/caragcoventry/status/970410880910479361
Thursday 8th March https://www.facebook.com/events/341607709676089
Thursday 8th March https://www.facebook.com/events/2016757925230435
Thursday 8th March https://www.facebook.com/events/952394138270047
Thursday 8th March https://www.facebook.com/events/160214351363022
Send us your demonstration details: firstname.lastname@example.org