Detainees at Yarl’s Wood detention centre in the families wing have been on hunger strike now for over a week (since the 15/06/09). The families were subject to a brutal assault by SERCO staff on the 17th of June in an attempt to end their protest. Some of the detainees were hurt, including a baby who was stepped on by the guards. The men involved in the protest were taken away and a family has since been separated. In another wing called Dove Wing over a hundred women staged a two day hunger strike last week in protest at the way they are being denied basic legal rights.
The detainees involved in this brave struggle urgently need support and encouragement from the outside world. Please take a few moments to send a message, however long or short. Such messages are an important way we can let the detainees know that they are not alone, that there are people on the outside who are paying attention to their struggle and that they are not isolated. It would be especially good to receive stories of resistance to immigration controls and positive stories of struggle from your local area could be sent.
Please send your messages to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The hunger strikers demands are:
1) Relocate a 30 year old woman with epilepsy. She is not receiving medical attention and suffers from convulsions constantly. She is lying on the floor most of the time. The other inmates don’t help her as they do not want to make a fatal mistake.
2) Resolve the situation of a 5 months pregnant woman, who was arrested two months ago and who is extremely sick. She stays in bed all day and does not receive medical attention.
3) Resolve the situation of almost 20 children (between 5 months and 2 years old). They are with their mothers and able to play with other kids, but they are showing clear signs of tension, pressure, distress and anxiety. Some women have been detained for more than two months and the children can’t understand the situation.
4) Talk to the Immigration Officer, Sarah (no surname supplied), who must listen these requests. (Sarah’s name was suggested by the Serco’s manager).
5) Adequate access to health care, quality food and real privacy.
6) Restore the communications between Juliette Umoru and her husband Steve, who is not allowed to talk to her.
Show your solidarity with the strikers. Take 20 minutes to do the following:
* Contact SERCO (who run Yarl’s Wood) and demand that the strikers’ demands are met – (0)1344 386300 – email@example.com
* Contact Yarl’s Wood and demand that the strikers demands are met: The duty manager 01234 821517; The switchboard 01234 821000; Health’care’ 01234 821147
* Contact Alaister Burt MP for Yarls Wood – firstname.lastname@example.org
* Forward this news to any email lists you are on or press contacts you have
* If you can donate towards credit for detainees’ mobiles or travel costs for solidarity visits, email email@example.com