And for background info check here: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/02/446439.html
The rebellion inside has (eventually) brought attention from the mainstream media, shining a spotlight on the treatment of women and children in detention. The Government has reacted with cynical press statements and an outrageous letter to all MPs from Home Office minister Meg Hillier http://bit.ly/amWEnk . In this letter, without having conducted any kind of enquiry, Hillier dismisses allegations of racism and aggression made against Yarls’ Wood guards employed by SERCO, the company profiteering from migrant imprisonment. Testimony from the women inside, and pictures published on the Guardian website tell a very different story http://tinyurl.com/ydhqbbu .
Hillier goes further though. She not only denies that the women’s desperate act of hunger strike has even taken place, claiming the media reports as lies, but she blames, bizarrely, “those who campaign against our policy” for causing “unnecessary distress to the women at Yarl’s Wood”. But this is just Hillier’s latest attempt to dislocate reality, and follows the recent revelation that both she and UK Border Agency director of criminality and detention Dave Wood apparently misled parliament http://bit.ly/bYTmsH over the contents of the Children’s’ Society report http://bit.ly/dbe2D9 on the damage detention causes to children.
Tomorrow (2 March), Lin Homer, chief executive of the UK Border Agency, and John Vine, the agency’s chief inspector, are expected to be questioned by the home affairs select committee. Perhaps the extent of the UKBA cover-up will come out. Perhaps. Meanwhile, in the real world, there are concrete demands for justice – starting with the call to release the Yarls’ Wood Five from prison immediately. Click here http://bit.ly/bcUirP to read the demands, and download a model letter to send to the Home Secretary.
There have been several solidarity demonstrations outside SERCO offices, at Yarl’s Wood and at the prison where some of those involved in the hunger strike have been moved. In Cardiff, over 200 people protested against the recent revelations of racism at the UKBA processing centre in the city http://wp.me/p5VaI-1nN .
This Wednesday (3rd March) there will be another demonstration outside HMP Holloway from 18.30. The prison is on Camden Road – see the map here: http://bit.ly/9DEiSs
On the legal front, lawyers are due to launch a legal challenge today on behalf of four of women held at Yarl’s Wood, claiming their incarceration amounts to “cruel, inhumane and degrading” treatment that breaches their human rights http://tinyurl.com/y8crudz
The women in struggle need your solidarity now. Get behind this campaign for justice, for freedom, for human rights. Send solidarity messages to the prisoners, get along to the protests, make your thoughts known to the Government ministers, counter government lies with letters to your local paper, whatever you can do, now is the time to do it.
Keep up with the latest updates at the NCADC Blog: http://ncadc.wordpress.com