UK Refugee Week 2006 Newswire Archive
Birmingham NoBorders and Birmingham Anti-Racist Campaign held their monthly picket today (30 June) at the Immigration Reporting Centre in Solihull. Once again, they were there to protest against the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers throughout the border regime, from the weekly reporting, snatch squads and dawn raids, to deportation and detention centres.
Besides the usual banners and placards, chanting, noise-making and leafleting, there was also a visual consisting of hand-made 'grave stones', from the ARC vigil last week, bearing the details and stories of asylum seekers who took their own lives while awaiting the Home Office's decision or incarcerated in detention centres. Their names were read out and the stories of some were told.
Just before 2pm, two asylum seekers, handcuffed and accompanied by two police officers, arrived and were 'delivered' to Sandford House, in a live demonstration of what this place is all about. They were dressed in white jump suits and the police were carrying their clothes and stuff in clear plastic bags, presumably because they had been nicked whilst working in a factory or something. Obviously the protesters couldn't do more than angrily shout "Let them go" and "Asylum is not a crime".
28-06-2006 12:14Last week Leeds No Borders marked Refugee Week by demonstrating against the UK's inhumane reporting and detention system, holding a wonderful evening of film and food and leafleting hundres in the city centre to dispel the myths about asylum seekers pedalled in the press.
26-06-2006 09:43Saturday 23 of june, one hundred of activists from Spain and many other european countries entered, in a peaceful but determined way, the detention centres being built for immigrants in the neighbourhood of Zona Franca, Barcelona. This centre will a racist jail into which will be rounded up the immigrant citizen “guilty” of not having the “right” papers.
There is a regular monthly protest on the last friday of the month at Solihull's Home Office Reporting Centre from 12pm - 2pm, called by Birmingham Noborders and Birmingham's Anti-Racist Campaign - details of the protest are below.
The music in the report is by Vince and the percussion by John. You can hear this song along with others including film, poetry, discussion and live bands at the Birmingham Noborders benefit on the evening of the monthly demo at Sandford House - Friday 30th June, 8pm - 2am at the Spotted Dog in Digbeth Birmingham.
In the interview she describes how she was snatched and abused by yellow jacketed 'escorts' whilst signing at Sandford House and subsequently taken to the immigration prison that is Yarlswood detention centre.
She tells of her experiences in Yarlswood and the unimaginable state of limbo thousands of Refugees experience whilst awaiting a decision from the Home Office. She also tells of the horror of a young woman who was forcibly deported whilst naked from Yarlswood and who was filmed by the detention centre staff. The Home Office later denied they had abused and filmed the detainee.
Please come and show your anger and disgust at the Border Regime on Friday 30th June at Solihull's Home Office Reporting Centre.
No to Deportation! No to detention!
On 20th June, 2006, the Birmingham Anti-Racist Campaign (ARC) staged a vigil in the grounds of St. Philip's Cathedral in Birmingham to "commemorate those asylum seekers who took their own lives while awaiting the Home Office's decision or incarcerated in detention centres, and to pledge our determination to campaign for justice for the living."
Using 34 hand-made "stone graves", which bore the details and stories of asylum seekers who have died recently, the vigil managed to eloquently tell of the shameful asylum system that sometimes drives its victims to such depth of despair that they take their own lives, many of them because they would rather be dead than be sent back to the countries they had fled.
Related: call-out and flyer | list of documented refugee deaths throughout Fortress Europe | previous sleep-outs: 2005 | 2004
Last Saturday, 17th June, saw the main events of Celebrating Sanctuary, Birmingham's version of Refugee Week. Throughout the day, Victoria Square was buzzing with events and activities, although significantly less than previous years. There was also an open-air concert in Chamberlain Square in the afternoon, with live refugee bands from different parts of the world.
Having postponed a guided tour of Birmingham's border regime that was supposed to take place on that same day, Birmingham NoBorders chose to do some leafleting to "tell people the truth about the event," as one of the activists put it. The leaflet, of which hundreds of copies were given away, exposed ‘The Angel Group’ and criticised Celebrating Sanctuary for, among other things, being funded by asylum profiteers.
19-06-2006 09:56120 migrants detainees on hungerstrike in Campdfield Immigration Removal Center, near Oxford, went on hungerstrike last week to protest against conditions. Here is a letter some of the hungerstrikers wrote for the press.
How boring a fish bowl is for a fish!
How scary and dark a grave is for a living and breathing boy!
How ugly detention is for a child!
Hand cuffs, iron locks, closed doors, fences
I was just six years old.
I felt great sorrow, as I had been doing very well at school And they
didn't permit me to go to school
when they took me to Yarlswood prison
For what crime? I don't know.
We came from a far land
with exhausted feet,
to this strange land
I want to smell calming flowers,
I want to search for secure moments,
I wish that I could fly!
16-06-2006 13:01Newcastle based group Tyneside Community Action for Refugees (TCAR) is coordinating a National Day of Action against Home Office reporting centres and detention camps in Britain on Thursday, 22nd June. TCAR will be staging a lively noise demonstration outside the reporting centre in North Shields which asylum rights groups in London, Leeds and Manchester will join by demonstrating outside their local reporting centres.
Tuesday 20 June, 5pm to 9pm at the Cathedral Square, Colmore Row.
12-06-2006 15:166.30pm-9pm Monday 19th June 2006 @ Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton
FREE! ALL WELCOME!
You can download the poster for this event from the weblink
Close Down Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre
Demonstrate Saturday 24th June 2006
11.30am to 1.00pm
06-06-2006 01:07The North West Asylum Seekers Defence Group is holding a day of action against all deportations on Market St, Manchester.
As part of Refugee Week, on Thursday 22nd June 2006, NWASDG is organising a picket of Dallas Court, as part of a national day of action against outside Immigration Reporting Centres, called by Tyneside Community Action for Refugees.
All Anti-Deportation, Anti-Racist Activists, Socialists and all those opposed Britains racist immigritation laws are invited to join all NWASDG Events.
03-06-2006 23:33Refugee Week is happening between 19-25 June this year. Asylum seekers and support campaigns are preparing to bring the issues of detention, destitution and deportation to the fore. Leeds No Borders has put out the following call for action in support of these initiatives.
09-05-2006 01:13The DETC campaign will be having a social evening of Nigerian food and music at the end of Refugee Week on Sunday 25 June to raise money for the campaign to keep Nigerian refugees Eucharia and Timeyi in Britain. The venue will be The Basement, 24 Lever Street, Manchester, at 6pm. Prices are from £5 to £10 to £15 depending on income. other asylum seekers can eat for free