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This week there has been a rebellion in the majority of the UK’s migration prisons.
The wave of strikes initially broke out in Harmondsworth IRC in London – the largest of what are increasingly becoming concentration camps, with people held because of their ethnicity and many sent to their death. There have been strikes in at least 8 of the UK’s detention estate. The people on hunger strike are protesting the terrible conditions they must endure in such facilities, with many of them detained for years without trail, having never committed crimes. Seeking asylum is not a crime.
“They can’t send us back. Some people have very bad situations in their countries. So they have to do something with us. That is what we are trying to do.
The home office doesn’t talk with us. Only the officers in here are trying to scare us.”
“The block is a cell with nothing inside no window no nothing and your there on your own. If a dog was in there, I would feel sorry for it. You can only speak to the wall. Nothing in there.”
#END DETENTION! STOP DEPORTATIONS!
NO BORDERS! – FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR ALL – NOT JUST THE RICH AND PRIVILEDGED!
Grant Maimuna Jawo Asylum Now! Grant Josephine Asylum Now!
Women fighting to end FGM must be protected!
The demonstration, at 31-33 Newport Road is due to start at 1:30pm and is supported by No Borders South Wales – some of us will be there in solidarity.
“Maimuna’s fight is a collective fight. It will take building a movement to win, and by winning we will build a stronger and more determined movement. Maimuna’s struggle is our own struggle for freedom, and we know that when we stand together we can build on our strength as fighters and win.”
Sanctuary now for all women who flee FGM!
No Borders South Wales, with Stop NATO Cymru, has called for a day of action against racism, prisons and borders.
This is Tuesday 2nd September. There is a planned demonstration in Cardiff. We welcome other solidarity actions for those unable to make it to Cardiff.
A key means through which NATO and its constituent members maintain their power is through the control of the mobility of all but the richest few, which has given rise to increasingly militarised border regimes across the globe.
You can tell what country NATO is currently terrorising by who’s desperately trying – and often dying – to get to the “safety” of the UK. Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and other parts of North Africa, and more recently Syria. Countries that the West – frequently with their Saudi friends – have turned into “failed states”.
People fleeing death, rape, their homes destroyed. Drowning in the Mediterranean. Being battered by cops in Calais, asphyxiated on container lorries, locked up in the prisons laughingly referred to as UK detention centers, put in solitary confinement or regular prisons if they standup for themselves. And then deported, often to their deaths.
Immigration control – aka racist state terrorism – is not just about UK racism. It’s about global capital’s strategy of free movement of capital. And selective control of labour, where wanted skills are allowed entry and the rest are expected to die quietly.
No Borders South Wales calls for a day of action on the theme of borders and anti-racism.
We call for a “noise demo” at 12noon on September 2nd outside the regional headquarters of the Home Office, 31-33 General Buildings, Newport Road, where life and death decisions are made and dawn raids ordered and carried out.
We also call for decentralised actions by affinity groups throughout the day (see Stop NATO Cymru maps for ideas).
For more information on days of action and opposition to the 2014 NATO summit see: http://network23.org/stopnatocymru
We note the recent spat between Labour and Plaid councillors over claims of reporting Asian business’s to the UK Border Agency and over claims of racism by the UK Border Agency.
The polices of Border Agency, the UK Government and European Governments, mean that the UKBA focuses on business’s where they think they will find poorer people with darker skin. And this makes these polices racist.
In 2010 196,00 people migrated to the UK. The majority of these are from the Europe, but India and Pakistan account for 15% of those arriving. Of the top ten countries that send the most people to the UK, countries that are significantly poorer than the UK account for 26% of these people
According to the ‘The Migration Observatory at Oxford University’ in 2010 39,030 people were removed from the UK .
The top ten countries where people are removed to account for nearly 50% of those removed. Of these, there is a clear bias towards countries poorer than the UK. (India, Brasil, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam) Only 2 countries in the top ten (USA and Malaysia) are similar to the UK
No Borders activists have watched UKBA Officers at work on Queen Street, inviting the public to ‘discuss’ their immigration status with officers. In a period of 2 hours the officers only picked people of colour for their discussions.
The real story is that people in Riverside and all over Cardiff face uncertain futures, destitution and incredible hardship because of the policies of the UK Government and all European Governments. People have to work ‘illegally’ to survive and can be exploited by unscrupulous employers.
It may well be a councillor’s duty, as an elected government official, to pass on information to the relevant authorities about illegality and it’s great to hear councillors speak up about the policies and operations of the Border Agency.
But we think it would be amazing if wasn’t just at election time!
UKBA immigration officers were seen carrying out random identity checks on members of the public on Queen Street, Cardiff, on Tuesday 19th April at about 9am.
Three officers, two dressed as Police Officers with body armour and handcuffs, but with ‘UK Border Agency’ identified on the rear of their armour appeared to only be stopping black and asian people on their way to work, asking questions and then phoning through information.
No Borders are calling for people to be vigilant about UKBA officers activities and to email No Borders Wales if they come across officers stopping and questioning people.
Activists intend to gather information and challenge the authority of UKBA officers to act in this way.
Friday’s protest outside the UK Border Agency in Cardiff was the largest one to date with over 200 people, mostly refugees. The demonstration lasted three hours and featured speeches, chanting, dancing and a lot of energy. The demonstration was organised by Refugee Voice Wales with prominent members of Zimbabwean, Congolese, Kurdish and other community groups taking a leading role.
In this media age there was unsurprisingly a number of people tweeting short reports, uploading photos and providing live audio direct from the demonstration. Further full reports have already appeared on local radical blogs Everyone’s Favourite Comrade, Cryptonomicon and Welsh Green Dragon, which includes Read the rest of this entry »
The protest outside the UK Border agency in Cardiff this Friday called by Refugee Voice Wales has been gaining attention.
The BBC world service also recently aired an episode of Assignment: “Unlawful Detention” (Listen or Download) investigating claims that the government is routinely breaching its own guidelines and detaining vulnerable Read the rest of this entry »
Reactions to the whistle-blowing of Louise Perrett have continued, the Cross Party Group on Human Rights at the Welsh Assembly recently had Louise give a talk on her experiences. This has led to Bethan Jenkins AM to call for an investigation into UKBA racism whilst demanding:
“a halt to any deportations planned as a consequence of the casework completed at the Cardiff office”.
Now Refugee Voice Wales has called a demonstration outside the UK Border Agency offices, 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff on Friday 26th February between 1pm and 3pm.
In the call out they state:
“We are calling for an immediate stop to consistent racial abuse and harassment of asylum seekers by the UKBA staff. We demand:
- that all cases dealt by unscrupulous officers be reviewed
- immediate suspension of all removals / deportations
- the suspension of all corrupt staff and their supervisors
- an instant independent overhaul of the whole system at Cardiff UKBA
- An independent inquiry into all UKBA offices to uphold the Refugee Convention
Tell everyone you know to come! Come play your part to create freedom. If you have BLACK GLOVES please wear them on the day for the freedom salute! Come let’s have a mass toyi-toyi (African War dance for freedom and equality). This is a mockery to the inclusion and integration policies so encouraged by the Welsh Assembly.”
Despite not agreeing with the implication that the problem is “unscrupulous officers” and “corrupt staff”, we fully support this call out. The role of Read the rest of this entry »
Over forty people braved the wind and rain outside the UK Border Agency on Newport Road on Wednesday to protest against the first Joint EU Charter deportation flight, which went to Nigeria. We gave out 150 copies of a leaflet by Stop Deportations to Nigeria, which were well received by everyone we spoke to.
At the same time as we were holding our demonstration in Cardiff there was a protest outside the Nigeria Embassy in London called by the Campaign Against Immigration Controls and No One Is Illegal. It was good to see plenty of people from other political groups coming together to condemn the UKBA and call for freedom of movement for all. We welcome the involvement of everyone who has a problem with the highly bigoted and discriminatory practises of the border regime.
The profile of the protest was significantly raised by the revelations of former UKBA employee Louise Perrett who’s experiences show the agency to be institutionally racist. Louse will be speaking about her Read the rest of this entry »
An article in today’s Guardian, has added extra meaning to our protest outside the UKBA this afternoon. Louise Perrett worked as a case owner at the UK Border Agency office in Cardiff for three and a half months last summer. Due to her experiences of her time in the agency she has risked breaching the Official Secrets Act to go public with evidence of anti-immigration views and abuse of power by UK Border Agency staff.
“I witnessed general hostility, rudeness and indifference towards clients. It was completely horrific. I highlighted my concerns to senior managers but I was just laughed at. I decided to speak out because nobody else was saying anything and major changes are needed at senior management level.”
Her revelations reveal a culture of bigotry and prejudice in the Cardiff office, where members of staff took pride in refusing applications.
- One manager said of the asylum-seeker clients: “If it was up to me I’d take them all outside and shoot them.”
- If a case was difficult, she was simply advised to refuse it and “let a tribunal sort it out”.
- Any officer who approved an asylum application had a stuffed toy “grant monkey” placed on their desk by other members of staff as a badge of shame.
- One official tested the claims of boys Read the rest of this entry »
On Wednesday, 3rd February at 5.30pm, there will be a specially chartered deportation flight to Nigeria. At 4.30pm we will be holding a protest against this outside the UK Border Agency, General Buildings, 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB (map).
There have been previous deportation flights to Nigeria from the UK, (we’ve protested against them before) but ‘Flight PVT-JEUC’ will be the first Joint European Union Charter, a new scheme agreed at the EU summit in Brussels last year. It will be operated by Frontex and funded by the EU, as opposed to individual member states. In December BMI organised a flight to Afghanistan and Read the rest of this entry »
The picket was held in response to a call out for protests outside UKBA offices in solidarity with activists and migrants in Calais, where French authorities have been attempting to make the port town a “migrant free zone” by subjecting migrants there to intimidation and violence and by destroying their living spaces and belongings.
Solidarity actions were also Read the rest of this entry »
On Wednesday 27th May a group of No Borders activists braved the lousy weather to picket the Border Agency offices on 31-33 Newport Road. We distributed leaflets to those passing by and entering the building, which were well received. Despite the weather, the police deemed a presence necessary at this peaceful protest, as those who arrived were suprised to be awaited by two CSPO’s standing in the rain!
The next picket of the UKBA at 31-33 Newport Road will be held on 17th June 2009, 12 noon. We will be Read the rest of this entry »