John O, NCADC | 09.09.2000 07:50
Dispersal isn't Working
Press release: Friday 8th September 2000
Asylum seekers dispersed to Rose Lodge Court, Langley Green, West Midlands are now marching to NASS (National Asylum Support Service) headquarters in London.
For the last three months, asylum seekers housed in the hostel have been complaining about the conditions in the hostel - cramped living conditions, stodgy food and inadequate health care. There have been several hunger strikes and this week things came to a head, with a roof top protest, occupation of the main road and a sit in hunger strike.
Paul Winterbottom from NASS met with the asylum seekers Friday 8th September 2000. A Home Office statement after the meeting said: "It is our belief that we have met our primary duty to those claiming asylum of offering them accommodation and support to a decent standard".
The meeting was very heated and at the end the asylum seekers felt that none of their complaints had been resolved. The asylum seekers then held a meeting amongst themselves and decided that, as nothing had come out of the meeting with NASS, they would step up the protest.
Twenty of the asylum seekers, mostly Iraqi and Iranian Kurds, decided to march to NASS head quarters in Croydon.
At 3.30pm on Friday 8th September 2000, they set off from the Asylum hostel.