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
In November SOAS Detainee Support joined NELMA, HASL, Migrants Rights Network and other solidarity groups outside the Royal Courts of Justice in support of a judicial review to challenge the Home Office policy of targeting homeless EEA nationals for immigration control. The legal challenge was taken by the Public Interest Law Unit (PILU) and NELMA.
In the judgement released on 14th December, the Home Office policy was ruled unlawful by the high court.
More info about the legal ruling on the Free Movement blog.
At the RCJ
flyer — front
flyer – back
Tuesday 21st November, 9am-12pm
Outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL
In May 2016 the Home Office introduced new guidance stating that rough sleeping was an ‘abuse’ (later qualified as ‘misuse’) of EU citizens’ right of freedom of movement. The guidance means rough sleepers can now be ‘administratively removed’ (effectively, deported) from the UK – just for sleeping rough.
The Public Interest Law Unit at Lambeth Law Centre and North East London Migrant Action (NELMA) have been granted permission to judicially review this Home Office’s policy of detaining and deporting homeless EU citizens.
On Tuesday 21st November, the first day of the judicial review hearing, SDS, NELMA, HASL, Haringey Anti Raids and others will be outside the court to show the Home Office – and the judge – the extent of public opposition to this most inhumane of ‘hostile environment’ policies.
Testimony from Teofil and Marineta, Romanian nationals detained together at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre (video by NELMA):
DSEI – the world’s largest arms fair – is coming to London. From 4th-11th September 2017, we’re going to try to stop it.
Read more about some of the ‘defence’ companies who will be at DSEI and how their wares are used to kill people crossing borders in this article by the Shoal Collective.
We say no to military reinforcement, no to racist borders, no to profiting from death and dispossession. Yes to freedom of movement – for people, not for weapons.
On Thurs 7th September, 11am-7pm we’ll be at the ExCel Centre alongside Stop The Arms Fair, Campaign Against Arms Trade, All African Women’s Group, North London Food Not Bombs, Brighton Against Detention – BAD, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and many others to try and shut.it.down. #StopDSEI
Come with us! Facebook event is here.
We’ll be joining Movement for Justice and groups from all over the country at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre to call for an end to immigration detention and racist state violence.
Saturday 13th May 2016
Full event description on the MfJ event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1397760473581688/
GET YOUR COACH TICKET from MfJ so we can travel together: https://ldntoyarlswood13-05-17.eventbrite.co.uk/