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Manchester Migration

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


Manchester Migration Feature Archive | 1 addition >>

Protest at Kidnap Centre

17-03-2007 20:41

The Congo Support Network held a demonstration on 13 March 2007 at Dallas Court Reporting Centre, Salford Quays, in opposition to the recent and continuing deportations of Congolese asylum seekers to war-torn DRCongo. It was attended by over 100 Congolese and Libyan refugees and supporters. To begin with everyone assembled in the road opposite the main entrance to Dallas Court before marching round to the back, where kidnapped asylum seekers are snuck out in blue vans to detention centres. Soon after, the crowd assembled at the entrance and the demonstartors held a banner completely across the doors.

The entrance to Dallas Court was then blockaded by the brave protesters, before being forced back by the police. The refugees chanted: 'SHUT DOWN DALLAS COURT!' and 'NO DEPORTATIONS!' throughout, along with many chants and songs in French. At around 1:30pm news emerged that Rosetta, a female Congolese asylum seeker who had had to 'report', had been kidnapped at Dallas Court while the protest was happening! In solidarity, the protesters announced that they would extend their protest and stay until Rosetta was released. They chanted for the next 2 hours and the atmosphere was electric. At one point the police attempted to arrest a Congolese man. As he was dragged off towards the police van the crowd swarmed around and dragged him from their grasp.

Full report | Close Down Dallas Court


Manchester Migration Feature Archive >>

Manchester - City of Destitution, Detention and Deportation

18-04-2006 19:52


On Saturday April 15th around 300 people marched through Manchester as part of international protests against immigration detention [ call out and more details] People came from Leeds, Newcastle and elsewhere to join the protest and included many asylum seekers and refugees.

The March started outside Strangeways Prison where asylum seekers are being detained for working illegally. The demo went along Deansgate, past British Airways who deport asylum seekers, and then stopped outside the registry office where people from Brides Without Borders spoke about their campaigns and experiences. The March continued on to China Town where the cockle picker s who died at Morcambe Bay were remembered and it ended in a rally at the Peace Gardens.

Reports: 1 | 2 | 3
Audio : chants | more chants | Suzanne Foreman from Brides Without Borders talks about setting up Brides Without Borders and how the Campaign is growing | Lisa Gordon from Brides Without Borders talks about living with her husband being under constant threat of deportation | Farhat Khan from Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) talks about facing deportation with your children and how people should have the right to choose who to marry | Sheka Tarawalie an NUJ member talks about his anti-deportation campaign.

This demo follows a demonstartion at Colnbrook and Heathrow Detention centres last weekend and over 100 detainees on hunger strike.

Links: National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns | Noone is Illegal


Manchester Migration Feature Archive | 6 comments >>

Wigan School Kids Demand Return of Class-mates

15-11-2005 20:34

Wigan School Kids

Over 100 school children took part in a rally last Saturday 5th November 2005 to demand five of their class-mates are brought back from Uganda. Sarah Hata and her children - Dennis, Hope, Maureen, Peace and Moris - were taken from their home in Wigan, detained, forcefully taken to three planes within 48 hours and finally, without warning, removed to Uganda on the 26th October 2005.

Councillors and teachers joined pupils from St Thomas More RC High School and St. Cuthbert's Primary School as read they out letters they have written to Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and sang "Give Peace a Chance". They demanded that the Hata family are returned to their home in Wigan from Uganda whilst their solicitor continues to make representations on their behalf.

Full story


Manchester Migration Feature Archive >>

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


Manchester Migration Feature Archive >>

Are You Thinking What We're Thinking? Er... No

28-03-2005 14:20


Spring is in the air and with it the talk (yawn) is of elections. But all is not lost for the season also sees the return of the time honoured pastime of defacing election billboard posters. The Conservative Party, in particular, has been on the end of some widespread street level heckling,

Far from thinking of locking up refugees and throwing away the key, grassroots organisations are putting together a European wide day of solidarity with migrants and refugees on April 2nd, in recognition of the appalling and tragic circumstances that so many refugees have to endure. A significant turnout is expected in Manchester, where three separate marches are planned from the north, south and centre of the city.

Anti-racist Spray Paint | Tories Subvertised in Longsight | Nottingham | Bristol | South Wales | 'Funny Billboards' | Tory election ads - are they racist? | yes it is... | Tory Poster - How You Can Complain | SchNews - Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum | Demonstration Against Deportations - Manchester


Manchester Migration Feature Archive | 3 comments >>

A 'Point of Disappearance'

23-03-2005 16:16

No Laager

Following the screening of the BBC programme ‘Asylum Undercover’ which exposed the abuse of immigration detainees, around 50 demonstrators including refugees from many different countries, gathered at Dallas Court Reporting Centre in Salford to demand justice for asylum seekers and an end to arbitrary detention and deportation.

The Home Offices answer to the abuse seen on the BBC programme is to call yet another public inquiry concerning GSL (Group 4) which has taken over the contract from Wackenhut. This is the third enquiry into this company. The last inquiry into allegations of abuse at Yarls Wood concluded that most of the incidents exposed by an undercover journalist did happen, and yet GSL retained all its contracts to run Removal Centres. A contract to build and manage an accommodation centre for refugees was awarded to them only thirty days after the publication of the results of the inquiry.

Dallas Court is effectively a ‘point of disappearance’ for some, into detention and eventual deportation to potentially unsafe countries. Each time an refugee reports to Dallas Court, they fear being snatched, detained and deported.

Full report | Press Release for Dallas Court Demo | Anti-Detention Center Filmscreening and Talk


Manchester Migration Feature Archive >>

Mansoor Hassan Must Stay

23-11-2004 18:48

An investigative journalist and NUJ member, Mansoor Hassan fled Pakistan two years ago. There as joint editor of an Urdu language magazine Crime, he exposed corruption and criminal activities amongst the business community and within the political establishment itself.

After implicating a senior politician in an honour killing Mansoor was shot at and his house was burned down. He exposed a company owned by the Minister of Agriculture that sold adulterated pesticides and substandard cottonseed to farmers, which led to his being beaten up and his family threatened by the secret services and the police. A known criminal shot at Mansoor after he wrote an article about him.

But the UK government, while accepting that Mansoor had been subjected threatened, attacked and shot at, described these experiences merely as “anxiety” and claimed that he would be “perfectly safe somewhere else in Pakistan” and that he was “not at any on-going risk”.

In Manchester Mansoor has worked as a volunteer with the British Red Cross and a refugee orientation programme.

Reports: Mansoor Hassan and Family Defence Campaign | Stop the deportation of Mansoor Hassan and family


Manchester Migration Feature Archive >>

Iranian Refugee Sets Fire to Himself

06-09-2003 22:00

Israfil Shiri has died after five days of terrible suffering in Wythenshawe Hospital Burns Unit Manchester.

On Thursday 27th August Israfil Shiri, a destitute young Iranian man poured petrol over his body and set fire to himself in the offices of Refugee Action in Manchester. He suffered burns to 80% of his body. He had told his friends he would do it to prove that this government cares more about animals than people fleeing torture and persecution.

"If they cut off all my benefits, prevent me from working and make me homeless, I too will commit suicide". These were the words of another Iranian asylum seeker who, along with 30 other people, attended a meeting on Monday to discuss last Thursday's tragedy and how we can prevent it from happening again.

Israfil Shiri, 30, who has been on life support at Wythenshawe Hospital Burns Unit following the suicide attempt at the Manchester offices of Refugee Action last week, died early on the morning of the third September.


Manchester Migration Feature Archive >>


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