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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!
UKIP are due to open a campaign office in Penarth this Saturday (29th).
No Borders South Wales is working with South Wales Anarchists and others to hand out leaflets and counter their racist lies with a demonstration.
Our leaflet busts some immigration myths that have been peddled by politicians, media moguls and others in an attempt to divide us, and distract us from real issues and problems that they are causing.
Join us at 11am. Phone/text 07512238523 for the meeting point, near the centre.
Emily Yeh has lived in Newport for 18 months, arriving to seek sanctuary from Taiwan. She refused to be an intelligence officer for the Taiwanese government as she became morally uncomfortable with the work she was asked to carry out.
She was detained on Tuesday 10th December, “Human Rights Day”, and held at Newport Central Police Station. As soon as news came out that she was to be forcibly removed from the police station to a detention centre, some 25 friends turned up to show solidarity and kept a presence there for over 12 hours. She is now in imprisoned in Yarl’s Wood, a detention centre run by Serco, on behalf of the UK Home Office, who intend to forcibly remove her from the UK.
Since then, her friends and other activists have set up a campaign (originally referring to her as M.Y. to protect her identity) calling for her to be returned to Newport – where she can continue to build a new life for herself within the community where she has become such an important and valued member. In Taiwan she would face a very uncertain future. There is a website and a Facebook page with daily updated information.
Hundreds of emails and phone calls later – most during a phone blockade of EVA Airways, who were due to fly her out of the UK – Emily is still in the UK, but has been taken ill; with bad stomach pains, blood in her urine, and a diagnosis of kidney stones, and possible epilepsy.
Emily is incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support she has received, and, as she attempts to recover from her illnesses, almost definitely made worse by the stress of her situation, she is in talks with her solicitor, who is also fighting for her to stay in the UK, as is her right under the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Her friends have reported that Emily claims that staff at Yarl’s Wood had “pushed (her) off her seat” and that there were “bad things said to her/about her”. If confirmed, this would be a serious allegation against the staff there, especially after when much controversy has already surrounded Yarl’s Wood, after hunger strikes, fires and the recent sexual abuse some of the woman detainees have suffered at the hands of its staff.
The campaign still hopes and plans to continue trying to persuade the airline not to take Emily, and for the Home Office to release her so that she can be returned to Newport where she belongs.
If you want to get in touch with the campaign, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
On the morning of 15th October, 39 people who had sought asylum in the UK were deported to Baghdad, Iraq on a chartered flight.
The Air Italy flight left from Stansted Airport, named “Operation Rangat” by the UK Border Agency. This was the first forced mass expulsion of people to southern Iraq from the UK.
An eyewitness told the International Federation for Iraqi Refugees “When my friends started shouting they couldn’t go back these big security guards handcuffed them and strong-armed them out of the bus onto the plane. They were treated like prisoners: it was like watching the footage from Guantanamo“
Violence and bloodshed continue in Iraq, which saw 1,891 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year. There are also widespread food shortages and lack of access to clean drinking water in many areas of Iraq.
Prior to such charter flights, deportees and any legal representatives are not told the date or flight on which they are being deported. This frustrates migrants’ opportunities for legally challenging a deportation and makes it Read the rest of this entry »
This October, in a bid to stir up racial tension and increase religious intolerance, a group calling itself the ‘English Defence League‘ (EDL) intend to hold two protests in south Wales with a “march against muslim extremists” in Swansea on Saturday 17th October and an ‘anti-mosque demo’ in Newport on Saturday 24th October.
It seems that the EDL, which has close links with the British National Party (BNP), have reached out to the fantasist Jeff Marsh of Barry who has cultivated a shady reputation through authoring a number of Cardiff City Soul Crew football hooligan books. Marsh, along with a handful of impressionable young racists raised on a diet of boastful hooligan memoirs and hate-filled extremist internet forums, have formed a “Welsh Defence League” which is acting as a front for both the south Wales protests.
We will be joining the call out by <a href="http://twitter.com/NewportCAR"Newport Communities Against Racism to fill John Frost Square before the fascists arrive and show them that their bigotry is not welcome here! There is an event page on both Facebook and Myspace, as well as a page on Twitter, please invite your online friends and Read the rest of this entry »
There is a full programme of workshops, with a quite interesting talks, discussions and debates scheduled. As well as sessions like “Composting the capitalist state – how we can, why we must”, “The history of Non-Violent Direct Action in Wales” and “Start a group and take action in 4 weeks” there is a number of workshops dealing specifically with migration:
- Thursday at 4pm “Deportation flights: Stop Deportation Network on charter flights and deportations”
- Friday at 4pm “Migration and climate change: a discussion based workshop by Trapese Popular Education Collective“
Climate change is the single greatest threat to the world in modern times and increased levels of forced migration is Read the rest of this entry »
A “Let them Work” demo took place on Saturday in Cardiff city centre, organised by STAR (Student Action for Refugees). This was part of a national day of action by STAR around the issue of the right to work for people seeking asylum, there was singing from the Red Choir and several speakers including the CEO of the Welsh Refugee Council Mike Lewis, Labour MP Julie Morgan, Liberal Democrat AM Jenny Randerson and Harris Nyatsanza from Oxfam. The campaign is also supported by Refugee Council, TUC and Brighter Futures.
No Borders South Wales activists were in attendance and we fully support the demonstration’s demand for the Right to Work. The way in which asylum seekers are forbidden Read the rest of this entry »
No Borders South Wales applaud the actions of Cardiff Students Against War who, inspired by actions at other universities across the UK, have occupied the Large Shandon Lecture Theatre in the main building of Cardiff University and issued a set of demands about the University’s complicity in the arms trade and the destruction of Gaza.
As well as demanding that the university make a stand on issues concerning Palestine and the arms trade, the students have also demanded that the university throw it’s considerable weight behind the campaign to Defend Yayha Al-Faifi. In fact Yahya will be giving a talk inside the occupied space at 3.15pm today, highly recommended! Get yourself Read the rest of this entry »