UK opens new detention centre for children and families, 01/09/11

London NoBorders strongly condemns today's opening of a new "pre-departure accommodation centre" for children and families in Sussex.

The centre, known as "Cedars", is located in the village of Pease Pottage south of Gatwick airport, and will hold nine families for 72 hours or up to one week in "exceptional circumstances". It will be run by infamous security company G4S and "play facilities" will be provided by Barnardo's.

Demo against new migrant prison in Sussex, 30/07/11

On Saturday 30th July activists from Croydon, Brighton, London and elsewhere followed a call from Croydon NoBorders and gathered in Hayward Heath, Sussex, to protest against the opening of a new detention centre for migrants in nearby Pease Pottage.

Walking through the town, distributing leaflets the protesters drew people's attention to the direct impact of European immigration policy on families in the UK. They occupied a roundabout with banners and leafleted all incoming cars, played music and engaged in discussions with passers-by. The demo finished outside the Mid Sussex Council offices, where planning permission was granted for the detention centre in March.

Demo against new family detention centre in Sussex, 30/07/11

Croydon NoBorders is calling for a demo in Haywards Heath from 1pm on Saturday 30th July to protest against a new detention centre for children and families which is due to open in late summer at nearby Pease Pottage.

Haywards Heath is the home of Mid Sussex Council which granted planning permission for the former Crawley Forest School to be converted into a migrant prison.

The migrant prison, known euphemistically as a "pre-departure accommodation centre", will be run by the infamous security firm G4S, who are facing charges for corporate manslaughter following the death of deportee Jimmy Mubenga on a BA flight in November. The prison will "normally" hold families for up to 72 hours but they could be held for up to a week in "exceptional circumstances".

Activists disrupt Barnardo's meeting to protest at their involvement in detention

On 9th March, Barnardo's announced that it had agreed with the UKBA to provide staff and children's activities for the proposed new immigration prison for up to nine families at Pease Pottage, Crawley.

Child detention given green light today despite noisy protests

In spite of noisy protests outside, Mid Sussex Council District Planning Committee today gave a green light to the continued detention of children and families when they approved by 14 votes to 1 the UK Border Agency's application to turn Crawley Forest School in Pease Pottage into a Pre-Departure Accommodation centre.

Opponents of child detention, including SOAS Detainee Support, Brighton No Borders and No Borders London, branded the decision “disgraceful” and vowed to continue the fight against the centre and the companies involved in designing and running it.