International Women’s Day At Yarl’s Wood

8 March is International Women’s Day. In the Yarl’s Wood ‘Immigration Removal Centre’ concentration camp, women are in the fifth week of a hunger strike over arbitrary detention and imprisonment without trial, routine violence and abuse by racist thug ‘guards’, separation of mothers and children, denial of medical treatment and legal representation (there is a full list of their demands here.

Hunger strikers have been assaulted by guards and Denise McNeil, Aminata Camara, Sheree Wilson, Shellyann Stupart, Gladys Obiyan (designated as ‘ring-leaders’) have been detained in isolation in Bronzefield and Holloway prisons, again without being charged of any crime or being remanded in custody by a judge — their detention is purely administrative and on the say-so of bureaucrats in the UKBA.

The Yarl’s Wood Five and all others who have committed no crime must be released from detention immediately.

Close the detention centres! Stop the deportations!

What You Can do to Help:

The detained women are asking you to email/fax/phone/write to: Rt. Hon Alan Johnson, MP, Secretary of State for the Home Office, requesting that Denise, Aminata, Sheree, Shellyann, and Gladys, are returned to Yarl’s Wood immediately or released into the community.

Download model <Yarl’s Wood Five.doc>, which you can copy/amend/write your own version, there are no Home Office reference numbers available as the women were moved from Yarl’s Wood, without their belongings.

Rt. Hon Alan Johnson, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office
3rd Floor, Peel Buildings
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Telephone: 020 7035 0195
Fax: 0870 336 9034

Please let the campaign know of faxes/emails sent:

Please keep sending Solidarity messages

The Blood-soaked Hands Of Phil Woolas And UKBA

Three people have died after throwing themselves from the fifteenth floor of one of Glasgow’s Red Road tower blocks. When news of this tragedy first emerged yesterday, the first question was ‘does this have something to do with UK Border Agency and the Minister of State for Concentration Camps and Anti-Immigration, Phil Woolas?’ (the Red Road flats are scheduled for demolition and many of the otherwise unoccupied flats are currently used to house destitute refugees and asylum seekers). Unsurprisingly the answer is ‘yes’. ‘Unofficial’ reports leaked to the press indicated that the deceased were Kosovan nationals who had been refused leave to remain in the UK and were scheduled for ‘removal’. They are ‘removed’ now, Minister. A day’s work of which you and your department colleagues can be truly proud.

Immigration controls exist to protect the lords of Capital from the importunities of those whose wealth imperialism has expropriated. Controls are implicitly racist and unfair — not least because their roots lie in fascist agitation against Jews, Africans and Asians. New Labour and the Tories are entirely committed to Fortress Europe and its network of dehumanising concentration camps, and ‘removal’ centres, where people are declared ‘illegal’ ie ‘un-human’ by virtue of their skin colour and passport and deported to persecution, torture and murder; frequently by governments propped up by ‘the West’. This is all on the pretext that there are “not enough” jobs or houses to go around, as if there a fixed number of jobs or houses or schools. All the while the richest 1% of the world’s population grow ever richer (the wealth must be coming from somewhere) and food production and consumption and waste increase while half the world starves.

No to all immigration control legislation! No to immigration controls! Equal and full employment rights for all!

Prospect ‘How To’ Guide To Crossing Picket Lines

Last week, the Prospect trade union circulated a memo to all its members in the Civil Service, advising members to cross PCS picket lines during industrial action over changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme:

Working with four other unions, FDA, Unite, GMB and POA, Prospect has come to an agreement on the final changes to the scheme. Prospect members will therefore not be taking industrial action. There may be picket lines at your place of work on each of these days and for any subsequent action. It should be noted that PCS pickets at any place of work will be aimed at PCS grades and are not intended to prevent Prospect members from attending work on these days [...] This means that any Prospect members who decided not to cross a picket line would be in an individually vulnerable position, and in law we cannot advise members to take such action.

This does nothing to negate the PCS hierarchy’s own appalling economism and narrow self-interest. Members of the hierarchy are only interested in safeguarding their own comfortable permananet civil service jobs, cozying up to the bosses and ‘cutting’ little deals with them. Some delegates are uninterested in agency workers and actively discourage them from joining the union.

New Labour has failed to repeal the Tories’ anti-union legislation, but in the event of a Tory government after the May election, the position of workers will deteriorate even further, with attacks on workers’ terms and conditions of employment increasing, as the Tories, with their Victorian workhouse mentality, seek to make the workers pay for the economic and social devastation which are the fruits of Tory policies last time they were in government.