Video report: Shut down Yarl’s Wood!

A video report from the demonstration against the immigration detention centre, by Siobhan McGuirk

August 20, 2015 · 3 min read

On Saturday 8 August, a coalition of anti-detention activists gathered at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre to demand an end to immigration detention and rally in support for detainees protesting conditions inside. The demonstration, led byMovement for Justice, was the second major action organised at Yarl’s Wood this year.

A similar protest in June saw 400 protesters pull down fences to reach the inner walls of the centre. At the August 8 rally, protesters were allowed direct access to inner walls – which were kicked, shaken and daubed in graffiti by the end of the protest – and broadcast phone calls from inmates to the gathered crowd. I reported on the action for Red Pepper, and produced the video report below.

Yarl’s Wood is home to 410 people, the vast majority of whom are women, and located in rural Bedfordshire. The centre is arguably the most notorious of Britain’s twelve immigration detention centres, having been routinely condemned by independent assessors and the subject of multiple undercover investigations. Reports of physical and mental abuse, sexual assault, medical neglect and denial of access to legal guides have been followed by hunger strikes and other forms of resistance by women inside the centre.

Campaigners have vowed to return to Yarl’s Wood and continue campaigning for an end to government policies which allow for indefinite detention without trial, and continue to place detainees in the hands of routinely criticised for-profit groups such as G4S and Serco.

For more information, see Movement for JusticeWomen for Refugee WomenBlack Women Rape Action, Sisters Uncut, WAST Manchester (among many organisers and supports of the August 8 action).


Momentum responds to the Labour Muslim Network Report

Labour seems eager to ignore its Islamophobia problem. The Party is making a grave mistake, explain Solma Ahmed, Sonali Bhattacharyya and Mish Rahman

Protesters holding up signs reading 'End Hate' and 'No to Racism'

Islamophobia: a year-round struggle

Islamophobia Awareness Month may be over, but the fight must continue now more than ever writes Taj Ali

Shukri Abdi and the urgent need for anti-racist education

The Shukri Abdi case is a painful reminder that UK schools are not safe for everyone. We need an explicitly anti-racist curriculum, argues Remi Joseph-Salisbury


Exceptional measures

Narzanin Massoumi argues that the ‘war on terror’ should serve as a warning against increased state powers in response to the Covid-19 crisis

An illustration featuring French Black Lives Matter activist Assa Traoré

Liberté, égalité, anti-racisme

Anti-racist movements in France are challenging both the state and the traditional left, writes Selma Oumari

Only as bold as we need to be

Utopianism isn’t a rose-tinted optimism: it’s ‘the realism of hope’ we now desperately need, argues Jack Kellam