Solidarity with everyone protesting (organised by Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary) today against the barbarism of the UK’s immigration system!
Yarl’s Wood is an immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire and holds more than 350 detainees, including pregnant women, who are waiting for their immigration status to be resolved.
Feminist Fightback have been involved in organising and supporting protests –including hunger strikes– regarding Yarl’s Wood for many years – especially in light of repeated allegations of abuse, poor health care and inappropriate sexual contact.
Conditions have continued to deteriorate to such an extent that it is a “place of national concern”, the prisons watchdog says. Nick Hardwick, chief prisons inspector, said Yarl’s Wood, in Bedfordshire, was failing vulnerable women.
“Well apart from locking us up because of where we come from, you can see it in the way they treat us: calling us names like “monkies” and “yardies” and stuff like that. We face lots of discrimination in there. The food was so bad I didn’t even eat it. The medical assistance isn’t good either. You see it in prison too. They treat British citizens differently from the way they treat us. We get much worse punishments for doing less than when British people do more!”
Interview with a Hunger Striker at Yarl’s Wood (2010)
It is an abuse of human rights that innocent people should be detained for no reason other than the fact they are migrants. We continue to oppose the increasingly restrictive, draconian and brutal of asylum and immigration policies in Europe and instead know that we must build alliances among workers, migrant workers and refugees. Moreover, our immigration system, and the successive governments who uphold and extend its severity, have neither integrity nor humanity.
Immigration restrictions are not in the interests of any ANYONE. They divide us into citizens/ non-citizens, legal/illegal, wanted/unwanted, relatively safe/ precarious. As feminists, we must fight against these dividing lines, against racism and against borders, for the independence and safety of all.