For An End to Immigration Detention
Saturday 21st March 2009 Gather 11.30am at Bedford Town Centre (at the intersection of Midland Road and Harpur Street) to march from Bedford to Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, to demonstrate between 12.30 and 2pm.
Here is the text from the No Borders leaflet:
End indefinite immigration detention of women, men and children:
About 25,000 people – including 2,000 children – accused of no crime, are detained indefinitely each year at great human cost and great expense to tax-payers. All detention centres are operated for profit. Many of the people detained are victims of rape and other torture whose trauma is exacerbated by being detained.
End the “fast-track” process whereby 99% refused asylum, including
torture survivors: As they enter the UK, some asylum-seekers are detained on the “fast-track” process and denied legal representation. Their claims are refused within days, before they can gather evidence about the persecution they have suffered, and they face deportation back to war-torn countries.
An end to medical abuses and the detention of torture survivors including victims of rape: People with severe mental and physical health problems and disabilities are routinely detained, some for months or even years. Around 70% of women in detention are rape survivors. Detainees are frequently denied access to adequate medical care.
An end the detention of children and families:
Children, pregnant women and families are detained indefinitely in Yarl’s Wood removal centre and elsewhere. Some young mothers are separated from newborn babies to be placed in detention, causing permanent damage to both parents and children.
An end to forced deportation and the use of violence in deportations
Stop the planned expansion of Yarls Wood and the “detention estate”:
The government want to increase the current detention capacity of 2500 by 60 %!
Yarl’s Wood was half destroyed by fire in 2002, following an uprising ignited by the ill-treatment of a sick woman by guards. Detainees and staff were left locked all night in the burning building! Fires, riots and hunger-strikes in protest at appalling treatment and conditions are such a common occurrence in the 11 detention centres operating in the UK that it would be impossible to document them all.
Many subsequent protests have highlighted racism and violence from guards, obstruction of asylum claims, attempts to isolate people from outside support and targeting of so-called ringleaders.
( Please wear something pink and /or black if you can! )
Travel Directions from London
Limited spaces will be available on a coach to Bedford Town Centre.
Assemble at 9.15am on Argyle St, directly opposite St Pancras Station,
£5 donation, free transport bookable for people without means. To book a space on the coach,
email firstname.lastname@example.org / call 07535 319119 as soon as possible!
Trains to Bedford
A discounted group ticket for 4 people (£9 return) is available on
First Capital Connect trains from the lower level of St Pancras.
Meet at 9.15am on Argyle Street (as above) to share a group ticket
with others. In Bedford, follow the map above to meet at the Town Centre.
1004 (First Capital Connect) – arrives 1104
(1034 (First Capital Connect) – arrives 1136)
If you’re too late for this train, tickets on faster East Midlands
trains to Bedford are available at £18 return.
Train times are below:
1030 – arrives 1104 (1100 – arrives 1137)
Directions to Yarl’s Wood if you miss the march
No. 51 bus leaves from Bedford Bus Station to Clapham village
every 5, 15 and 45 mins past each hour, but Yarl’s Wood is
about 30 mins walk from there. A taxi from Bedford train station to
Yarl’s Wood costs about £8 and takes 10 mins. Yarl’s Wood’s address is: Twinwoods Road, Clapham, Bedfordshire, MK41 6HL.