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
Recent tragic events in Lampedusa caused international concern when hundreds of migrants were drowned. The instability in their countries has driven people to risk making perilous journeys towards Europe, often in vessels that are entirely unsafe.
At last humanitarian issues and the needs of these migrants are being acknowledged.
But look closer to home, to Oxfordshire.
You may have noticed reporting of the fire at Campsfield House IRC, (Immigration Removal Centre) near Kidlington, on Friday night. People are locked up there, often for months, years in some cases, prior to being removed or deported. There is no time limit. The distress, depression, loss of hope and despair detainees go through is well documented. Their detention is purely administrative, for the convenience of the Home Office. Human rights are ignored to make the statistics look ‘good’, regardless of what happens when they are sent back. Many have had no legal representation, have never had their case properly heard, are not believed.
Between January and June this year 52 detainees attempted suicide and 251 self harmed across the whole estate. These figures are the worst ever recorded.
Hostility not humanity is the attitude encouraged by Teresa May in her recent speech in the House of Commons, introducing the new Immigration Bill. Her words encouraged xenophobia and fear and hatred of migrants who come here to escape persecution or in some cases to get work, often to send money home to enable their families to survive.
How is it that this and other IRCs remain open, at enormous expense to the tax payer and often irreparable human cost to the detainees, without appearing to be to be a matter of public shame or even debate? Are we not concerned?
Gill Baden (Campaign to Close Campsfield)
Campaign to Close Campsfield and Barbed Wire Britain statement
[Previous] Greek government’s announcement of plans to open 30 detention centres for migrants
There are concerns that the Greek government will be coming up with plans during the next few weeks to drastically curb the rights of migrants in that country. Amongst the options which are being reported is the opening of 30 new ‘closed hospitality centres’ for undocumented migrants.
Each is scheduled to hold 1,000 people, making a total 30,000 detained migrants when the plan is complete. This compares with Greece’s total present prison population of under 13,000.
New detention phone system to keep detainees under control
A new phone system run by a private company will replace personal mobile phones in immigration detention centres, Corporate Watch can reveal. The trial at Tinsley House detention centre, near Gatwick airport, is run by Global Comms & Consulting Ltd (GCC), which specialises in secure telecommunications services to major government agencies and multinational companies.
Detainees will not be able to call free numbers and will pay significantly higher
rates to call their family and solicitors. All calls will also be recorded,
monitored and disrupted when necessary by the immigration authorities and/or the immigration prison’s management. …
Full Corporate Watch article:
The 3-month trial of the phone system at Tinsley detention centre near Gatwick runs to the end of May.
Please take some time on Friday 13 May between 9am and 5pm to phone GCC to
· voice your protest at their profiteering out of vulnerable detainees and to
· demand they pull out of the deal with the infamous G4S to extend the scheme to all UK immigration detention centres.
GCC can be contacted on: 0845 30 13 123
Today begins the European Week of Solidarity with the 300 hunger striking migrants in Greece. Over the years, European governments and the EU have steadily increased levels of repression against undocumented migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. In the detention centres of the UK, detainees have frequently felt compelled to undertake hunger strikes to express their anger and frustration and to draw attention to the injustices they have had to endure.
Two of those who took part in the hunger strikes at Yarl’s Wood detention centre on February of last year are still being detained in prison, without charge!
From the Campaign To Close Campsfield we send our warm wishes and expressions of solidarity to the 300 hungers strikers and their families and add our voices to the call for your demands.
Equal Rights For ALL!!
From The Campaign To Close Campsfield
For more information on the hunger strike see
European Week Of Solidarity.
THE FIRST FOREIGNERS were incarcerated at Campsfield 17 years ago this month. It marked the beginning of Fortress Europe, which now spreads from the Ukraine to the Sahara and beyond, and has claimed 13,000 lives in that same period, according to an article in El Pais: Continue reading