Yarl’s Wood detainees resist Nigeria/Ghana mass deportation charter flight – unlawful deportation prevented

Free AG NOW. Amnesty for ALL immigrants – and shut down ALL detention centres. Stop mass deportation charter flights. Build the independent, integrated movement.

In Yarl’s Wood detention centre new battles in the fight for women’s rights and immigrant rights have been opening up, with women taking all means necessary, encouraged and more confident having seen the government’s hostile environment immigration policy exposed and vulnerable, and having been part of the struggles that made it vulnerable through months of collective action inside Yarl’s Wood.

In Yarl’s Wood on Wednesday 30 May 2018, women gathered in Dove unit to defend Nigerian and Ghanaian women whom they knew to be the latest targets for a mass deportation charter flight. This action to stop deportations took place in the context of the Government’s wider, self-inflicted crisis over its anti-immigrant policies. It takes the fight to end detention and the whole hostile environment to a higher level and asserts the importance of immigrant leadership in this fight.

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Meet Yarl’s Wood detainees the Home Office plans to deport on Wed 30 May by charter flight #StopCharterFlights

These are stories of the 15 people we know of in Yarl’s Wood who are at risk of being on Wednesday’s charter flight to Nigeria and Ghana. They include people who have lived in the UK for 17, 15, 14, 13 and 12 years, a gay woman who has been here since she was 12 years old, two couples, several victims of FGM, domestic violence, rape and torture, women who are married or partners with British Citizens and EEA nationals, people who are carers, people who have no one left in Nigeria and people ranging in age from 20’s to 50’s.

1. FA: I have lived in UK since Feb 2006, 17 years. I am a victim of domestic violence, FGM and suffering from high blood pressure which is classified by the Home Office as adult risk level 2. I have been detained in Yarl’s Wood for 7 months. When I first came to the UK with was with my previous husband (a British Citizen) on a spousal visa, I suffered from domestic violence for years, which was deeply traumatic, and when that relationship broke down it meant my right to stay broke as well. I now have a loving partner with EEA citizenship, we have been together for 6 years and living together for 3 but no matter what evidence we submit we are treated as liars. My only sister lives in the UK, we are very close and I love my young nephew very much, I would be devastated to leave them and my partner. We are all treated as liars, no matter what we say, the Home Office is just looking to meet its targets, it is wrong.

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Yarl’s Wood detainees call on Yvette Cooper MP and Home Office Affairs Select Committee to #ReturnToYarlsWood

Yesterday Yvette Cooper and members of the Home Affairs Select Committee paid a surprise visit to Yarl’s Wood, above is the account of that visit by Yarl’s Wood detainees and a call on Cooper and the Committee to return to Yarl’s Wood. Yesterday evening we emailed the petition and all 102 signatures to Yvette Cooper and the Home Affairs Select Committee with the following email…

Dear Yvette Cooper and Committee,

Attached is a petition written by detainees in Yarl’s Wood, in just over two hours today following your visit they managed to collect 102 detainee signatures and fax this to us. It tells their account of how they were lied to about your visit, lied to by promises that they would get to speak to you and locked up so they could not approach you. They are furious at how they have been treated today and want you to return to the centre to hear from them.

Yarl’s Wood detainees have been avidly following every session of the Detention Inquiry that is televised on Parliament TV, collectively they have so much knowledge and experience that could and should be added to that inquiry. Not only individual stories of abuse and how they’ve been set up to fail by this system of detention but also how they have been organising, coming together and fighting back against their unjust detention and brutal deportations. The expertise and contribution that current detainees can make to the Detention Inquiry cannot be matched by any contribution from outside detention centres.

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