Refugee Week in Oxford 2017
‘Campsfield House: An Immigration Removal Centre’
and ‘Working Illegally’
7.30 Tuesday 20 June
Town Hall, Council Chamber, St Aldates, Oxford
Two films from Stand Off Films about immigration detention in the UK, specifically about Campsfield detention centre near Oxford, and the use of ‘slave labour’ by private companies running immigration detention centres, a practice under legal attack in the United States at the present time.
Followed by discussion, points for action
Free entry – stalls
Organised by Campaign to Close Campsfield
At the main gates of Campsfield Detention Centre north of Oxford today, 120 demonstrators called for the closure of all immigrant detention centres. There were groups and speakers from the Campaign to Close Campsfield, Oxford Migrant Solidarity, Movement For Justice, Hackney Migrant Centre, Warwick University Amnesty, Oxford University Amnesty, Oxford City of Sanctuary, Coventry Trades Union Council, and Oxford Trades Union Council. Cyclists arrived on a ‘Close Campsfield’ bike ride from central Oxford. A strongly supportive message from East Oxford MP Andrew Smith was read out.
Demonstrators called out ‘Stop detention, stop deportation, close Campsfield down’. Men detained in the detention centre called back ‘Freedom’ and ’Thank you’. Detainees spoke to the demonstrators by phone, calling a number displayed on a large sheet, and their words amplified to the crowd by the p/a system. Drummers from the Confluence Collective provided a beat.
The event was organised by the Campaign to Close Campsfield to mark 23 years since the centre opened. It was followed by a ‘Barbed Wire Britain gathering at Exeter Hall, Kidlington, where campaigners heard news from the Calais migrant camp that was recently destroyed by the French government, and discussed plans for further actions.
On Saturday, people from Oxfordshire and beyond demonstrated outside Campsfield House, an Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) 6 miles north of Oxford where around 280 refugees and other migrants are detained.
Outside the 20-ft barbed wire fences, they chanted hope and solidarity with the migrants.
‘This is being done in our name? But it is like a high security prison!’ said a student who had never seen an IRC before. Continue reading
DEMONSTRATE 12 noon SATURDAY 26 NOVEMBER
TO CLOSE CAMPSFIELD
AND END ALL IMMIGRATION DETENTION
Local Oxfordshire campaigner, Evelyne Godfrey, visited the migrant camp at Dunkirk and sent this letter to the Oxford Mail.
There are perhaps a thousand migrants in a camp in Dunkirk at Grande Synthe, at Exit 54a off the A16, about 10 minutes from the ferry port. They are accommodated in plywood ‘sheds’ with corrugated plastic roofs. The Dunkirk camp was originally set up by Médecins Sans Frontières. At the moment, Utopia 56 is the main voluntary group for the camp, but they are planning to move out to help at other migrant camps in Calais and Paris by the end of September 2016. Continue reading
As part of Refugee Week, the Campaign to Close Campsfield is holding a public meeting at Oxford Town Hall on 22 June at 19:00–21:00
Alison Harvey, Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association
Speaker with experience of detention, Movement for Justice
Gill Baden, Bail Observation Project
Eiri Ohtani, Detention Forum
The injustices of immigration detention are increasingly in the spotlight. Continue reading