Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yarl's Wood women on hunger strike 'locked up and denied treatment' As their protest runs into a fourth day, some are said to be fainting or injured

Yarl's Wood

Yarl's Wood detention centre, scene of the women's protest Photograph: David Levene

An immigration removal centre was reported to be in a state of chaos yesterday, as at least 50 women entered the fourth day of a hunger strike in protest against their detention and conditions, with ­several reportedly fainting in corridors and almost 20 locked outdoors wearing few clothes.

Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire, which houses 405 women and children, was in lockdown, leaving women in communal spaces without food, water or toilet facilities.

Several women who tried to escape through a window were then locked outside, according to one detainee, including one whose finger was almost severed as she escaped but who had not received medical treatment.

"We have been on hunger strike since Friday protesting about the length of time we have spent in detention here," said Aisha, who has been in Yarl's Wood for three months. "We have been locked in the hallway all day – five ladies have fainted because they have not eaten since Friday. No one has come to give them any medical attention.

"I had an asthma attack, but no one would come to give me my inhaler. I'm very weak. But we will stay on hunger strike for as long as it takes."

Campaigners condemned the response of the authorities at the centre, accusing them of using a "kettling" technique to trap the women.

"The women are currently trapped in an airless hallway," said Cristel Amiss, of Black Women's Rape Action Project. "Women should be allowed back into their rooms immediately; there should be an immediate investigation."

The Home Office confirmed the disturbance, saying that 40 women were involved, and insisted the measures were temporary until the women could be reintegrated into the centre.

"The wellbeing of detainees is of ­paramount concern, which is why healthcare staff are at the scene to monitor developments," said David Wood, strategic director at the UK Border Agency. "The detainees will be integrated back into the centre at the earliest opportunity."

The hunger strike is the latest in a series of protests at the facility, which has attracted controversy for detaining women for long periods.

Campaigners say many of the women being detained are also victims of abuse and rape and should not be held while awaiting deportation decisions.

"Over 70% of women in Yarl's Wood are rape survivors, many are sick and vulnerable," said Amiss.

"Why are they being punished for raising serious injustices?"

The Home Office denied its practices in detaining immigrants were unfair.

"All detainees are treated with dignity and respect, with access to legal advice and health care facilities," said Wood.

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Solidarity Poster for Polykarpos Georgiadis and Vaggelis Chrisohoidis (greece)

did anyone speak of a
“…A handful of capitalists
have organized a criminal gang
and have kidnapped the proletarians,
demanding for ransom
their labor force,
merchandising their human activity,
their time (which is turned into money),
their own being itself…”
to vaggelis Chrisohoidis and Polykarpos Georgiadis
who the persecuting authorities, exactly because they denied to betray values and people,
accuse them as participators in the kidnapping of industrialist Milonas
anarchists from Serres from north-greece

Anarchists solidarity protest outside Korydallos prison, the main prison in Athens, at the time of the change of the year. This protest happens every New Year's Eve for the past six years. This year more than 400 people took part in the protest that interacted with the prisoners inside through shouting mutual slogans and fireworks. The main slogan was "The passion for freedom is stronger that your prisons".
Watch live streaming video from agitprop at livestream.com

A society that punishes/the condition of incarceration/the prison of the mind/the prison as punishment/the rage of the damned will sound on the ruins of prisons/those denying obedience and misery of our era even within its hellholes/will dance together on the ruins of every last prison/with the flame of rebellion avenging whatever creates prisons.

To the prisoners struggle already counting one dead and thousands in hunger strike across greece, we stand in solidarity and anger until the destruction of every last prison.



Keny Arkana - La Rage English Subtitles

1976 - 2000 Greek Anarchists Fight for Freedom

(December Riots in Greece)