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.