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Leeds Bradford Migration Feature Archive

Destruction of Calais migrant camps planned next week

18-07-2009 22:39

Do people really choose to live like this?

Following the announcement of a £15million plan to 'strengthen their borders', the British and French governments are planning to destroy the Calais 'Jungle' in northern France and mass-deport hundreds of refugees stranded there. Reports from Calais say the French authorities are preparing for the destruction of the make-shift camps next Tuesday, 21st July, with a mass deportation flight to Afghanistan planned on Friday, 24th July.

Calais refugees and their supporters are calling upon activists, independent journalists and legal observers to go down to Calais and help prevent this tragedy. A protest outside the French embassy in London has been called by No Borders on Monday [more action ideas]. A group calling itself 'Calais Witnesses' has prepared a statement and is asking groups and individuals to sign it. Two UK Green MEPs have also issued a joint statement condemning the 'inhumane' plan.

Related: SALAM: Destruction of the Jungle on Tuesday, 21st July | The Law of 'Jungles': The situation of exiles on the shore of the Channel and the North Sea (pdf) | No Border Camp at the UK border extension beyond the channel

Links: Calais Migrant Solidarity | Calais No Border | No Borders UK

Read more >> | 2 additions | 23 comments

Detention protests met with brutal assaults

18-06-2009 16:08

Yarl's Wood immigration prison

Update: More than 40 women in Yarl's Wood continue their hunger strike for the 5th day [more].

A mass hunger strike by families detained at Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire has been met with violent assaults on men, women and children by Serco security guards who mange the prison on behalf on the UK Border Agency. The detainees started the hunger strike on Monday and staged a sit-in in the corridor over their inhumane conditions.

Meanwhile in Brook House, the newly opened detention centre at Gatwick airport, a 'disturbance' broke out on 12th June and a fire was set by rioting detainees in the exercise area causing some damage.

A solidarity protest outside Serco's offices in London (22 Hand Court, Holborn, WC1V 6JF) has been called by No Borders London in support of the Yarl's Wood hunger strikers on Friday, 19th June, from 12noon. Activists from the Tyneside Community Action for Refugees (TCAR) gathered outside government offices in Newcastle on Wednesday to protest against racism and all immigration prisons.

Links and sources: No Borders UK | NCADC | TCAR

Read more >> | 5 additions | 7 comments

Abolish All Immigration Prisons

17-03-2009 21:17

phil woolas change of heart
Last Friday evening, two dozen activists entered the offices of Minister for Immigration and Borders Phil Woolas in Oldham, ‘detaining’ him for about 30 minutes. The campaigners included members of No Borders Manchester, No One Is Illegal and the Anarchist Federation . The action intended to mirror the government’s practice of detaining migrants in ‘immigration removal centres’ without trial or sentencing, for indefinite periods of time. This was the second time since his appointment last year that the immigration minister has become the target of an action by No Borders, after a member of the group pushed a custard pie in his face last October .

On Tuesday morning, 20 anti-deportation campaigners blocked access to the Tinsley House immigration detention centre near Gatwick airport. Activists used d-locks and superglue to blockade the entrance gate for several hours. The action aimed to prevent the forced deportation on a charter flight of approximately 50 Iraqi refugees from the UK.

Groups affiliated to the UK No Borders network are now calling for demonstrations against immigration detention on Saturday 21st March. A protest march will lead from Bedford to the Yarl’s Wood detention centre, which was half destroyed by fire in 2002, following an uprising ignited by the ill-treatment of a sick woman by guards. Transport is available from London. Solidarity demonstrations are planned in Manchester and Edinburgh. The demonstration in Manchester will be going to the newly-expanded ‘Pennine House’ detention facility at the airport. The campaign to close this prison has achieved a high profile recently after the invasion of Phil Woolas’s offices and an intervention during a speech by Manchester City Council leader Richard Leese. In Edinburgh, campaigners will picket the private security company G4S. G4S profits from running immigration prisons in the UK, including Brook House, Dungavel near Glasgow and Pennine House.

Links: Tinsley House blockade | Photos 1 | Phil Woolas Detention | Custard Pie

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Hundreds demonstrate in Leeds against Zimbabwean deportations

15-09-2006 13:39

Zimbabweans from across the UK led a huge demonstration in Leeds on Saturday 16 September against the resumption of deportations of refused asylum seekers back to Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe [see report]. The protest, called by the Zimbabwe Refugee Community Organisation with the backing of the Refugee Council (Yorkshire and Humberside) and campaign group Leeds No Borders, began outside Leeds Central Library at 12pm. It was addressed by, among others Mafungasei Maikokera, one of the famous Yarls Wood hunger strikers who resisted deportation on a plane bound for Harare. Hundreds of people then spontaneously marched into the main shopping precinct to the sound of samba and song.

The demonstration was called in response to a legal ruling in August that 'refused' asylum seekers no longer automatically face persecution if returned to Zimbabwe - despite the UK government's own very public condemnation of human rights abuses by the Mugagbe regime. These Zimbabweans now face the possibility of imminent deportation. Only last Wednesday in Zimbabwe, the country's main trade union leader was arrested by police for attempting to hold a demonstration which the government had earlier banned. Wellington Chibebe was beaten with batons and rifle butts as the police arrested him and 15 others. Zimbabweans are not alone - the Home Office has recently stepped up its efforts to forcibly remove asylum seekers en masse back to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read: Demo call out | Report of Original Ruling, October 2005 | Recent legal ruling, August 2006, & Report | Refugee Council briefing | Zimbabwe Situation | Amnesty International Country Overview | Satellite images of Mugabe's community destruction scheme

Links: Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq | International Federation of Iraqi Refugees | National Coalition of Anti- Deportation Campaigns | Noborders UK communication channels | No Borders | Asylum | Barbed Wire Britain | Peter Tatchell

Photos: 1 2

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Leeds, City of Asylum Shame

17-05-2006 23:40

Leeds No Borders, a group of campaigners working to support refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Leeds, including those who are detained and destitute, conducted an 'alternative' guided tour of the city on Saturday 6 May entitled 'Leeds, City of Asylum Shame'. The purpose of the tour was to educate local people about key Leeds institutions involved in the appalling treatment, destitution, detention and deportation of asylum seekers and to dispel the myths pedalled in the media about housing, employment and other issues.

Read more >> | 4 comments

Northern Communties Fight Against Fortress Europe

03-10-2005 13:45

Sukula Family Must Stay - Stop Deportations

Over 500 marched in Bolton on Saturday in solidarity with the Sukula family, against Section 9 of the 2004 Asylum & Immigration Act and for an end to all immigration controls.

The Sukula family is one among many who after the proposed introduction of Section 9 is threatened to be separated and have their children taken into care. Their pledge for asylum was rejected and they do not receive any benefits. Bolton City Council still refuses the implementation of Section 9, currently tested in a few northern councils which would oblige them to take the kids of the Sukula family into care on the grounds that their parents cannot support them. The council argues that this would violate Section 20 of the 1989 Children Act and the cost of it would be higher than continuing paying benefits to the family. The support of the Sukula family and the opposition against Section 9 brought together groups and unions from various northern cities and towns. Two unions decided in a consensus vote of their members to refuse to participate in implementing Section 9. Speakers reminded the crowd of the importance to build local and regional networks of solidarity and resistance aganist the racist policies of the British and EU governments.

UK Indymedia feature: Oct 1st: Migrants and Supporters Protest Against Deportations


Noise Demo - Lindholme Detention Centre

30-01-2004 15:13

No One Is Illegal

Saturday 31st January was a Europe Wide Day of Action against Refugee Detention and for Migrant Rights. As part of this day there was a noise demo outside Lindholme Refugee Detention Centre near Doncaster with a good turnout from from Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds.

The Sheffield Samba Band contributed to the noise and have some photos on their site.

Timeline | Photos | Video


Asylum seekers welcome in Leeds!

10-01-2004 16:02

On January 8 Waterside Court, the Home Office Immigration office which processes asylum claims had both the car park and pedestrian gates locked whilst protestors blockaded both entrances and leafleted pedestrians and drivers. Banners were displayed in front of the building with slogans of “No to Destitution, Asylum to all those who seek it” and “No Borders, Freedom of Movement”. The protest lasted 2 hours and ended peacefully.

The protest was to raise awareness and draw attention to the effects of Section 55 of the Government’s Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 which came into force a year ago today. Over the past year this legislation has made 7,500 Asylum Seekers destitute, many of whom then became homeless.

Full report | Photos | Leeds ARC