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Citizens UK is an organisation that aims to unite “community leaders” for a strong civil society. The ‘Temple of Peace & Health’ was the host to an event by Citizens UK to develop a chapter in Cardiff.

Four activists from Cardiff decided to try and bring some accountability to the organisation on December 5th this month, after experiencing the effect that family detention and deportations have on people known closely.

Party leaders and Citizens UK - failed

Party leaders and Citizens UK – failed

The reason that Citizens UK is a target, is that despite having a campaign to end child detention in the UK, it has failed to speak out since the opening of the most recent detention centre, CEDARS, which opened last year. CEDARS is controversially partly run by charity Barnardos, for families in the UK, and despite the fact that no open procurement tendering process for the facility, (as required by EU and UK legislation), took place, activists came together over a year ago to try and close CEDARS before it was even open, which was also made harder by public access to the planning application being restricted.[1] Because of the difficult nature of the campaign in 2011 and noticeable absence of more establishment campaign groups backing it, CEDARS opened in August 2011. Since then, the centre has held over 40 families and around 100 children, yet Citizens UK still attempt to claim on its website that all child detention has ended, when UKBA figures themselves contradict this.[2]

Offical figures show that hundreds of children have been detained since 2010, some of them more than once – which breaks the ‘red lines'[3] that Barnardos have set themselves in the running of this detention centre – and in the figures released by UKBA only days before, 47 children have been detained by UKBA in the last 3 months, with more than half of those in existing detention centres, explicitly against one of the campaign demands that Citizens UK had in 2010.[4]

Leaflets with these facts, and a quote from Citizens UK claiming that all child detention has ended, were taken to the event at the Temple of Peace, Cathays Park, and left on every table and in front of most of the attendees.[5] This leaflet also questioned why Citizens UK has not spoken out against CEDARS detention centre and highlighted the campaign that is ongoing against Barnardos for allowing this detention centre to be built due to its complicity in the running of it as an accomplice to notorious security company G4S.

As the charity Medical Justice puts it:

“they ruined the campaign to end the detention of children, which campaigners felt could be achievable as the government had already promised it.”

As the distribution of these leaflets was allowed to take place without incident, despite them being very critical of Citizens UK, campaigners stayed for a while to talk to some participants about their concerns. Some participants even came themselves to talk to the group, and after a brief discussion about the groups aims, we wait to see if Citizens UK might now speak out against future detention, or campaigners might be back to future events to hold them to account for 2010 promises.

Cardiff activists also encourage other groups to take the campaign to Citizens UK in other cities until child detention has finally ended in the UK.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

No-one is illegal!

End all child detention!

For more information about the campaign to end child detention in the UK see: http://network23.org/barnardosout  /  http://ecdn.org/

Footnotes

[1] http://london.noborders.org.uk/node/473

[2] http://www.justiceandpeacescotland.org.uk/Home/tabid/40/ctl/details/itemid/651/mid/531/ukba-immigration-statistics-quarter-3-julyaugustseptember-2012.aspx

[3] http://www.barnardos.org.uk/news/media_centre/press_releases.htm?ref=70802

[4] http://diaspora-newcitizens.nationbuilder.com/child_detention

[5] Leaflet below

Leaflets were made that called on Citizens UK to speak out against CEDARS

Leaflets were made that called on Citizens UK to speak out against CEDARS

You can now view the sights and sounds of the No Border Fest in the comfort of your own home! For the authentic experience simply view each video in order, down a can of lager between each band, dance around in front of the computer screen and go outside if you want a cigarette!

Jesus Bruiser come out blazing with their crust punk onslaught

Cosmo slags off Eric Clapton and plays his anti-fascist Read the rest of this entry »

“Best gig of the year? It’s up there.”
John Liedown, at Punks on Postcards

“All the bands I saw were fucking immense”
Savage, at South Wales Massive

Last weekends No Border Fest in TJs was a great success. Not that we are bias. With that in mind rather than have us attempt a blow by blow report check out these detailed reviews of the weekend from Freedom for Tooting and The Sprout.

We raised £378.39. A few hitches aside everything went pretty well, a massive thankyou to Read the rest of this entry »

If you’ve ever needed an excuse to visit Newport, here’s a great one, the No Border Fest will feature 13 bands, lots of stalls, a protest, a film showing, some vegan food, loads of booze and (hopefully) a stack of cash to help No Borders South Wales! The whole event need only cost £10 if you get one of the special weekend tickets, email us for details. It all starts on Friday 3rd October at 7pm in TJs, Clarence Place, Newport.

Jesus Bruiser Jesus Bruiser kick off the two-dayer with some furious raging hardcore anarcho crust punk from the pits of the cider soaked, dirt stained bristol squat scene. Jesus Bruiser’s “Allotment Crust Cocktail” sound has infiltrated nearly every DIY gig in the Westcountry, get in early to witness their uncompromisingly noisey dual-vocal attack.

CosmoGuitar pickin’ Cosmo, the ‘rebel without applause’, is the illegitimate son of Bob Dylan and Jasper Carrot. He tugs on the heart strings with songs about love, gets the conscience Read the rest of this entry »

Mark the first weekend of October in your diary for two days of punk, ska and folk at TJs, Newport. Along with them good people at Blind Destruction we’ll be holding No Border Fest, and all profits raised will go to No Borders South Wales.

It all kicks off on friday at 7pm when we’ve got crusty punks Jesus Bruiser over from Bristol, followed by local folk punk with KilnAboy and protest folk from Tracey Curtis from west Wales. Then Cardiff punks No Choice all finished of with dubby ska punk from Inner Terrestrials down from London.

Then on saturday a full day of Read the rest of this entry »

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