PRESS RELEASE: SERCO officers in Yarl’s Wood IRC, violent, racist, sexist & vindictive

Press release from Black Women's Rape Action Project (, 06/12/10

On 6 December at 2pm Ms Jane Uyi was physically assaulted and verbally abused by several SERCO guards during one of their routine monthly searches of women’s rooms.

Ms Uyi and her room mate were body searched by two male officers and one female officer. Their room was then ransacked. An officer known as Clifford was threatening and abusive and called her an “illegal immigrant and a prostitute” breaching her confidentiality by revealing aspects of her asylum claim to other women and officers present. Deeply upset at the ferocity and viciousness of the officers, Ms Uyi shouted back and demanded that he put the room straight. The woman officer began to help but was prevented by Clifford who called for back up from his manager. On arrival instead of asking what had happened, the manager and two officers bent both Ms Uyi’s hands back, and pressed her against the wall. They pulled out some of her hair. Several of the other women who had come to the room on hearing the disturbance saw what was happening. One tried to defend Ms Uyi but was pushed away.

News from Calais: Africa House Under Attack

Wednesday 24th November 2010: (from calais migrants solidarity) Africa House was raided again this morning at 8.45am. The police had informed Secours Catholique that they intended to raid, so by 8.30am a small crowd of charity workers and journalists (including some from the Nord Littoral newspaper) had formed to watch and take photographs. Four people were arrested for having no papers, including one CMS activist, but everybody else managed to get away after the whistles were blown. With the help of a JCB, council workers were successful in removing the barricades to Africa House and after an hours work left the entrance open for police to drive in without hindrance. Everyone arrested, including the CMS activist, was released several hours later after having their morning wasted in Coquelles detention centre.

News from Calais: A week in November

Reports from Calais from 14-23 November (by calais migrants solidarity):

Tuesday November 23nd: The break Africa House recieved from police raids was short lived as they were hit with a huge raid at just past 8.00am this morning. No stone was left unturned as four vans worth of CRS (Unit 7) searched every room in every building arresting 21 African Migrants. CMS activists were on watch and allerted people inside with whistles and shouting, unfortunately – most likely due to the incredible rain – many people decided against running away. One arrest van was filled past capacity and four people had to stand. Activists commented on the overloaded bus but the police responded with shrugged shoulders and smirks. While waiting for the next arrest van to arrive, hot tea and pastries were distributed to the hungry Migrants (by CMS) who would be missing there breakfast sat in the police cells.

Close Communications House! Demonstration 30/11/10

Communications House is an anonymous looking government building in a central location. If you walked past and didn't know what it was, you'd pay no attention.

But Communications House is one of Britain's network of Immigration Reporting Centres, where asylum seekers and other immigrants have to sign on monthly, weekly, sometimes even daily, and from where they can be snatched at any moment and taken to detention in order to be deported. This is part of a system introduced by the Labour government and which the new 'ConDems' show no sign of condemning to history.

Demo against the pre-entry English test, 29/11/10

What do you think of the pre-entry English test?

1. Do you think the government should be able to introduce another law attacking migrants? Yes/No

2. Do you think people should have to pass an English test before they can join their partners in the UK? Yes/No

3. Do you think the government is introducing this law to help migrants learn English? Yes/No

If you answered NO to all 3 questions then join us on November 29th to show your opposition to the introduction of a pre entry English requirement for people coming to the UK on a spousal visa. This law will affect those from areas of the world where English classes are not available, or who can’t afford to pay for such classes. It extends the reach of the UK border agency to spouses’ countries of origin.

Mehdi Must Stay

Mehdi Mirzae, 26, a national of Afghanistan and long time resident of
Manchester is currently being detained in Dungavel IRC and due to be
forcibly removed from the UK @ 03:00 hrs by Charter Flight PVT 800 on
Tuesday 23rd November to Afghanistan. Please help us to fight his
imminent deportation.

Metropolitan Police closes down Fitwatch Website

Last night the Met police shut down the Fitwatch blog, citing it was "being used to undertake criminal activities". However, London NoBorders believes that the request to shut down the blog is rather serving the aim to silence one of the best known police-critical websites.

Update: the website has now found a new hosting provider and is back online.