The last few years have seen an immense rise in protests inside and outside of detention centres. On Saturday May 7th, 2016, simultaneous demonstrations will be held around Europe to protest against the existence of immigration detention centres. - A call from the UK.
In the UK alone about 30,000 adults and children are being detained against their will under the Immigration Act every year - without judicial oversight, a time limit, or adequate access to legal support, translation, and healthcare. We will come together with people inside detention to demand the closure of all detention centres and an end to border and migration controls! Show solidarity!
May 7th is part of a wider transnational campaign to shut down detention centres and end the inherently abusive and violent system of immigration detention that criminalises, detains, and imprisons people simply because they have chosen or been forced to migrate. Actions also take place in solidarity with wider struggles against borders and migration controls and with people who are living in detention without walls, from Calais to Idomeni. So far actions have been planned across the UK and in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Iceland.
Situation in UK
The detention estate in the UK has been expanding for many years, often run by private companies such as G4S, Serco, and GEO, who profit from the imprisonment of people considered to be "illegal" by governments. Detention centres are rarely discussed in the media or on the street, with the Home Office banning the UN from entry into Yarl's Wood, but May 7th plans to bring to attention their existence and the dehumanising conditions for people imprisoned within them. Along with constant physical and sexual abuses of detainees by detention staff, there have been 2,230 attempted suicides since 2007 (an all-time high), and 26 deaths across the UK detention estate since 1989 - showing the devastating effects of detention on physical and mental health. Despite claiming not to, the Home Office consistently ignores its own guidelines and detains pregnant women, children, or survivors of torture, all continue to be detained at one point or other. We want to challenge the inaction taken by many organisations and charities, who so often rely on having good working relationships with the government.
These demonstrations take place directly in organisation and solidarity with the very people who are currently detained, or who have lived experiences of detention and the actions they take daily to protest their imprisonment and deportation, such as yard occupations, hunger strikes, riots, and resistance to forced removals. We want to let people held inside detention centres who face state violence on a daily basis know that their struggles are not unheard, that people on the outside are listening and want to come together in fighting against detention and deportation.
We do not call for a time limit, we demand an END to detention!
Demonstrations and activities will be held at:
Dungavel IRC (Scotland, UK)
Morton Hall IRC (Lincoln, UK)
Yarl's Wood IRC (Bedfordshire, UK)
Cedars IRC (West Sussex, UK)
Campsfield IRC (Oxfordshire, UK)
Brook House IRC (Gatwick, UK)
Tinsley House IRC (Gatwick, UK)
Harmondsworth IRC (Middlesex, UK)
Colnbrook IRC (Middlesex, UK)
The Verne IRC (Dorset, UK)
Detention centre near Schiphol Airport (The Netherlands)
127 bis detention centre (Steenokkerzeel, Belgium)
Exhibition at ex-detention centre, focusing on deportations and conditions inside detention centres (Frankfurt, Germany)
For stories, experiences, and demands by people held in UK detention centres see :: detainedvoices.com
What you can do
- Join us in organising a demonstration, action, or activity for May 7th
- Circulate and translate this message across borders
- Send a message of solidarity and support
- Cover this story to help awareness of the detention estate and actions spread
- Connect with people inside detention and let them know about May 7th
This day of protest has been called for and supported by groups across borders: Movement for Justice, Leeds No Borders, We Will Rise, The Unity Centre, No Borders Iceland, SOAS Detainee Support, Black Women's Rape Action Project, Brighton Migrant Solidarity, Campaign to Close Campsfield, Manchester Migrant Solidarity, Anarchist Group of Amsterdam, No Borders Sussex, Migrant Solidarity Group of Hungary, Getting The Voice Out, Faites Votre Jeu!, No Borders Frankfurt, No One Is Illegal Stockholm, Borderline-Europe
2016 IS THE YEAR WE SHUT THEM DOWN!
Contact shutdowndetentioncentres (at) riseup.net for more information.