[UK] Solidarity with the hungerstrike rebellion in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook migration prisons

[UK] Solidarity with the hungerstrike rebellion in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook migration prisons

Over 200 prisoners inside Harmondsworth “Immigration Removal Centre” held a mass protest this afternoon (Sunday 8 March). They have declared that they are starting a hunger strike tomorrow. This evening protests had spread to Colnbrook, another migration prison which is next door to Harmondsworth. There were also protests at Yarl’s Wood migration prison, in Bedfordshire, earlier this week.

Below is a report of a solidarity noise demo held outside Harmondsworth and Colnbrook yesterday (7 March). And below that a text which includes demands issued by the hunger strikers.


Report from noise demo at Harmondsworth IRC

by Noborderer.

Solidarity with all those detained in Harmondsworth, Colnbrook and all other detention centres.

Yesterday, 7th March, a small group of people visited Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres [“immigration removal centres” near Heathrow Airport] to show solidarity with all those detained in the prisons.

For two hours people made noise and rattled the fences back and forth to people detained. Some people held in Colnbrook came out into the courtyard and were shouting ‘freedom’ and ‘let us out’. Others in Harmondsworth were banging on the windows and holding up signs saying ‘release us’ and ‘help’.

Over 30 people called the outside phone (the number was on a banner held up outside) expressing their anger towards their detention. One text message came from the people detained saying: ‘We saw what happened today and we really want to say a huge thank you for your support. We the detainees … need your help and support.’

Co-incidentally a small delegation, including MP Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee were visiting the centre at the same time to ‘look at the conditions’. People from the group followed the delegation as they walked between the two centres shouting ‘home office racist scum’ and ‘detention staff complicit in murders’.

This visit from Vaz comes in the wake of the recent undercover reports revealed by those detained, Corporate Watch and Channel 4 this week.  For many the reports and revelations this week, whilst shocking, come as no surprise.

This is the reality of people who are imprisoned by the government every day. People’s lives continue to be occupied by the state. More and more racist controls are imposed on people coming to live in the UK – on the street and in the detention estate.

People in detention have been reporting the abuses, racism and exploitation they face from detention staff and the centres for years. Each day people tell of their fear and anger. Over 20 people have been killed in the UK detention system alone and this figure does not include all the people killed in prisons or by the police.

People migrating are organising themselves all over Europe and we are in solidarity with those who organise against the Fortress Europe.

This week women detained in Yarlswood detention centre occupied the yard and protested for two nights running.

Expect more resistance. Borders Kill. We do not forget.


For this weeks reports see:
*Recent report on Harmondsworth by Corporate Watch: ‘Its gonna break: life in the UK’s biggest detention centre’



Statement from mass protest inside Harmondsworth immigration detention centre

reposted from Anti Raids Network

e-mail address: detaineesriseup@riseup.net

More than 200 people detained in Harmondsworth immigration detention centre are mobilising a hunger strike from 8.00am tomorrow, following a noise demonstration inside the centre today.

They are protesting for an end to:

•        indefinite deprivation of liberty and human rights
•        the use of “Detained Fast Track” [1]
•        bias and incompetence in case-handling by the Home Office
•        unlawful forced removals
•        stressful and degrading conditions which they describe as “mental torture” and which lead many to self-harm
•        overcrowded accommodation “comparable to animal cages”
•        refusals to return those who want to go back to their countries of origin

Similar protests have taken place this week by women inside Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre. The resistance follows this week’s release of undercover film footage of Yarl’s Wood and Harmondsworth by Channel 4 [2], and a parliamentary inquiry report into detention [3].

One protester said of the treatment by Harmondsworth staff: “It’s like we are animals. They are not giving us help or proper food. if anyone came inside and see conditions here they would see and release us.” Another said detention was “mentally torturing” them.

Protesters say staff are threatening them with prison if they do not stop protesting.


Updates (9 March):
Resistance continues today at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook.Over 70 people detained have gathered in the courtyard to continue the protest.

Outside at 9am a group of people made a solidarity demonstration in support of the protests. They could hear people shouting ‘Freedom’ and ‘No Food’. The police were called to the protest and one person was pushed aggressively.

Guards and centre managers are asking detainees to go to their rooms and come to talk to the managers one-by-one or in pairs. Detainees have refused and ask the management/staff to come and listen to them in the yard.

Latest statements/testimonies from people inside today: Things are not right here:

One person detained said today:
‘The protesters outside are really the energy for us’


For updates follow @AntiRaids or @followMFJ  or @detainedvoices




Source: Rabble UK

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Die letzte Schlacht gewinnen wir.

Protests spreading across UK detention centres. Deportation coach blocked at Gatwick: