Croydon NoBorders is calling for a demo in Haywards Heath from 1pm on Saturday 30th July to protest against a new detention centre for children and families which is due to open in late summer at nearby Pease Pottage.
Haywards Heath is the home of Mid Sussex Council which granted planning permission for the former Crawley Forest School to be converted into a migrant prison.
The migrant prison, known euphemistically as a “pre-departure accommodation centre”, will be run by the infamous security firm G4S, who are facing charges for corporate manslaughter following the death of deportee Jimmy Mubenga on a BA flight in November. The prison will “normally” hold families for up to 72 hours but they could be held for up to a week in “exceptional circumstances”.
“Play facilities” at the prison will be run by children’s charity Barnado’s. Campaigners have started a campaign against Barnado’s for their involvement, disrupting a fundraising event and picketing Barnado’s shops and head office.
In May 2010, the coalition government agreed to completely end the detention of children for immigration control purposes. However, now they want to open a new detention centre exactly for this purpose. Barnardo’s support will not make a bad situation better for the detainees – it has helped create this bad situation in the first place, because Barnardo’s cuddly image was used as propaganda by the Border Agency to get planning permission to build the jail. Whatever excuses Barnardo’s give, they know they are making a mistake. As the recession causes financial difficulties for Charities, some abandon their principles and turn to the State for any contracts they can get their hands on.
At a time of savage public spending cuts, it is disgusting how the State finds no shortage of money to expand the military-prison-border complex. It starts a new imperial war “to protect civilians in Libya” – but without shame builds borders to prevent terrified civilians from fleeing war-zones and seeking sanctuary inside Fortress Europe. How soon before the State enforces mass deportations to Libya, in the same way it deports Iraqi and Afghan refugees?
The survival of the State is dependent on how long it can fool its citizens into blaming immigrants for unemployment, hunger and homelessness. This distracts us from recognising that Capitalism is a bankrupt economic system which can only create jobs for bomb makers, prison guards and deportation escorts. The assault against migrants is the sharp end of the knife that is being used to cut back support for vulnerable and poor people, young and old alike.
Another world is possible if people with and without papers struggle together to resist their mutual exploitation by the State and Capitalism.
Croydon NoBorders is part of a transnational network of groups and individuals campaigning for an end to immigration controls and for a world without borders, states and capitalism.
Please join us on Saturday 30th July with banners, placards and instrument to call for an end to detention and deportation. Gather at Muster Green park in Haywards Heath at 1pm.
Haywards Heath is south of Gatwick and Crawley on the London Victoria-Brighton rail line. By road, take M25, then south on M23-A23, then east on A272