Tag Archives: movement for justice

23rd anniversary demo at Campsfield, Saturday 26th November 2016

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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.

More than 150 people attend 22nd anniversary Campsfield demo

A few photos from the demo yesterday with Freed Voices, Movement for Justice, Oxford City of Sanctuary, Oxford Migrant Solidarity, Oxford City Amnesty, Oxford University Amnesty, Warwick Amnesty   Thanks to all for being there.

 

Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East, couldn’t be there but sent the following message of support:

Close Campsfield message November 28th 2015

I am very pleased to send a message of support to all of you who have come today to mark 22 years of Campsfield House. I am sorry that a personal commitment means I am unable to be there in person but I stand with you in your protest today.

Thank you all for bringing attention to Campsfield, and especially for standing up for those who are detained in these centres, giving voice to the thousands of people who are locked up without charge and without time-limit. I am very proud that so many of my constituents volunteer to visit people detained in Campsfield House, bringing them support and friendship and, importantly, listen to them and hear their stories.

The government argument runs that detention is an essential part of immigration control, ensuring people who are not meant to be here leave the country. But why then are 47% of those who are detained later go on to be released? Why then do we pay millions of pounds per year in unlawful detention claims? Why then does Germany receive four times as many asylum claims but detains seven times fewer people?

Not long ago I spoke in Parliament in support of the excellent Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention report. In this speech I said:

‘There have been far too many scandals about the conditions in detention centres. There have been enough calls for reform from campaigners, experts and former detainees. Every death in detention, such as those of Ianos Dragutan and Ramazan Kumluca in Campsfield, is one too many. There have been enough Government reviews. This time let us end this cruel and shameful practice by bringing an end to indefinite detention and looking at international best practice and community-based alternatives.’

I hope that we can take hope in the cross-bench support for the inquiry recommendations, in the ending of the Detained Fast Track, the closure of Dover and in the strength of the voices calling for reform and we can together close Campsfield and bring about a more just and humane future where those who seek sanctuary in the UK are not put behind barbed wire.

Best wishes,

Andrew

A report from the Barbed Wire Britain meeting following the demo will follow…

Coach from Oxford to Yarl’s Wood demo on Saturday 7 Nov

UPDATE:  A few photos from the amazing Movement for Justice demo at Yarl’s Wood.

 

A coach has been organised by Movement for Justice, tickets available at http://oxfordtoyarlswood7nov.eventbrite.co.uk

Demo facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/755942137885113/

 

 

 

DECISION ON CAMPSFIELD EXPANSION DEFERRED

STOP CAMPSFIELD EXPANSION       PRESS RELEASE
19/02/15 – immediate use

DECISION ON CAMPSFIELD EXPANSION DEFERRED AS CAMPAIGNERS CRITICISE “FLAWED” OFFICERS’ REPORT

Cherwell District Councillors today voted to defer an application to more than double the size of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre, due to late receipt of a legal letter by Leigh Day solicitors, representing members of the Stop Campsfield Expansion group.

The letter stated that the approach in the Officer’s Committee Report, prepared by Cherwell District Council and which made recommendations followed by elected Planning Committee Members, “is plainly wrong in law”. The Officer’s Committee Report advised Councillors not to consider relevant evidence, falsely suggested that Planning Matters such as the standard of accommodation were not actually planning matters, and encouraged them to accept Home Office policy statements blindly without the need for evidence.

Campaigners said this vindicated their approach: “This backs up what we’ve been saying from the beginning, that Councillors must consider all the evidence and make up their own minds whether there is a need to detain more migrants,” said Bill MacKeith of the Campaign to Close Campsfield. “Since the Home Office’s own figures confirm that they are releasing more and more detainees without taking further action against them, people who they should never have locked up in the first place, we are confident Councillors will eventually decide that there is no “Need”.”

At a lobby called by Oxford Trades Union Council outside the council offices in Bodicote, Banbury, 40-50 people heard speeches from members of the Movement for Justice; Maurice Wren, head of the Refugee Council of England and Wales; and parliamentary candidates Sally Copley and Larry Sanders from the Labour and Green parties respectively.

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The next Cherwell planning committee meeting is on 19 March.

For more information, contact Bill MacKeith on 01865 558 145 or Liz
Peretz on 07791738577

Demo at Campsfield – Wednesday 3rd December 12.30pm

Demo with Movement for Justice and Oxford Migrant Solidarity at Campsfield main gates (Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxon, OX5 1RE).
LONDON MEET UP: 8.30am Marble Arch Tube station, see http://conta.cc/1v6B5Xm for more details.

In solidarity with the detainees and their demands.