CALAIS – A CRISIS OF COMPASSION

PRESS RELEASE – for immediate use 27 August 2015

The Close Campsfield Campaign is gravely concerned about the way the situation in Calais is being mis-represented to the British public.

The vast majority of the 5,000 or so men, women and children camped in slum conditions outside Calais have fled war, violence and persecution in their home countries. They are refugees and would be recognised as such if they managed to reach the UK. Continue reading

Testimonies in Oxford from Calais and the Mediterranean

As part of Oxford Refugee Week 2015 the Campaign to Close Campsfield will host Ice and Fire theatre company performing

Asylum Testimonies

Picture Voices from the front line of Europe’s approach to asylum

Come and hear the human stories behind the headlines of migrants and their journeys. Testimonies from migrants about their journeys crossing the Mediterranean and of life in Calais will be performed by actors for human rights.

People with recent experience of solidarity work in Calais will be present for discussion after the performance.

Friday 19th June, 7.30 – 9 pm
Venue: The Asian Cultural Centre (far end of Manzil Way, off Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1 GH)
Please arrive in good time. Light refreshments will be available.
Event free, no need to book. Donations welcome.

Contact: gillbaden@talktalk.net, closecampsfield@riseup.net
 tel. 01993 703994
Poster

 

May Day Rally

Member of the Campaign, Liz Peretz, spoke at the May Day Rally in Oxford on 2 May.  In case you missed it, here is what she had to say:

As we celebrate international worker’s day, and think of trades unions and collective action we must also remember the 17306 men women and children who have died in their attempt to reach Europe whose names were laid out on a sheet 100 metres long in the entrance hall to the European parliament last week . We must confront the brutal immigration machine – state racism in action – which all european governments run in our name. Continue reading

Kidlington Parish Council votes that Campsfield must close

PRESS RELEASE 10 April 2015

At its meeting on Thursday 9 April, Kidlington parish council’s policy-making Policy and Finance Committee voted that the controversial nearby Campsfield immigration detention centre should close. It reiterated its opposition also to any expansion, and stated that ‘the provision of large scale immigration detention facilities does not accord with the UNHCR guidelines on the use of detention only as a last resort, but rather as a deterrent for those seeking refuge. We are concerned about the impact on many of the detainees of prolonged detention, and call on the centre to be closed’. Continue reading

Campsfield: unprecedented developments – Protesters step up call for an end to immigration detention

PRESS RELEASE 27 MARCH 2015

Within the space of a few weeks:

  1. An all-party parliamentary inquiry published a report on The Use of Immigration Detention and recommended a 28 day time limit to detention, proper judicial oversight of individual decisions to detain people, less use of detention, and more use of non-punitive community based alternatives to detention (3 March[1])
  2. The biggest-ever wave of protest by immigration detainees in the UK began and spread to 8 of 11 detention centres in the UK (9 March[2])
  3. The government withdrew its application to double the size of Campsfield immigration detention centre near Oxford from 256 to 566 places. (12 March)
  4. The Labour Party has said that in power it would end the indefinite detention of asylum seekers and migrants. (26 March[3])
  5. The government has announced that it will close Haslar immigration detention centre near Portsmouth (26 March[4])
  6. The government has announced that it intends not to detain more asylum seekers and migrants in future, the first time any government has made such a commitment. (26 March[5])

Continue reading

GOVERNMENT AGENTS FORMALLY WITHDRAW PLANNING APPLICATION

PRESS RELEASE

CGMS consultants, acting for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, have now written to Cherwell District Council formally withdrawing the planning application to expand Campsfield.

Bill MacKeith, spokesperson for the Campaign to Close Campsfield said:

“This is a great victory. But the new government in May must implement the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Immigration Detention: a 28-day time limit to detention and full judicial oversight of individual decisions to detain. This would be a further step forward and entail some closures of detention centres. Above all, this is a chance to point to the need for the end of the barbaric imprisonment every year of 30,000 innocent people under 1971 Immigration Act powers. Close Campsfield. Close all immigration detention centres.”

Carol Day at Leigh Day, solicitors acting for Stop Campsfield Expansion who wrote the 7-page letter to Cherwell Council that prompted the postponement of consideration of the application and then its withdrawal, said:

 “This is the right decision and very good news. The approach being taken by Cherwell Borough Council was clearly wrong in law. The onus was on the Home Office to prove that very special circumstances to justify this inappropriate development in the Green Belt were established. The information before the Council completely failed to make the case.”

Contacts:
Campaign to Close Campsfield: Bill 01865 558145, Liz 07791 738 577, Tim 07721 771 835, Gill 01993 703994
Leigh Day: David Standard, Head of Media Relations 01949 850246 07540 332717  dstandard@leighday.co.uk

DECISION ON CAMPSFIELD EXPANSION DEFERRED AGAIN

The Campsfield expansion planning application will NOT now be considered at the next Cherwell District Council planning meeting.
It is expected that the application won’t be considered until after the general election. It’s possible that it could go to the planning meeting due to be held on Thursday 21 May.
Updates to follow when possible.

See also http://www.asylum-welcome.org/index.php/campsfield  for the full list of organisations supporting the Stop Campsfield Expansion coalition.