Feed aggregator

Stop Racism and Xenophobia in Italy

Brighton - Sun, 19/06/2011 - 14:31
The Italian government has approved an emergency decree which foresees the immediate expulsion of all illegal immigrants, and at the same time has extended the detention period in the CIEs* to 18 months.

According to hundreds of witness accounts (many of which have been published in the national newspapers) these Centres of Identification and Expulsion are authentic concentration camps. The decree also allows for the forced expulsion of EU citizens. We are talking about a manhunt that is taking place throughout Italy, where the police are rounding up Roma citizens and migrants, identifying them, and charging them with every kind of offence (from begging to insulting a public official, from illegal occupation of public land to resisting police officers).

The magistrates, therefore, basing their sentences on convictions that are often served through “penal decrees” (trials without the right to a defence) or by summary judgement (an immediate trial that does not allow those accused to defend themselves properly, forcing them to negotiate a reduced prison sentence even when innocent) can order expulsions for reasons of "social dangerousness". 18 months in a CIE is harsh punishment, because after a few weeks in detention most of the migrants carry out acts of self-harm and many even contemplate suicide (often seeing their plan through). Poor immigrant families often experience the further tragedy of seeing their children taken away from them, with no opportunity to protest. The children are taken into care, and some are later adopted by Italian families.

The European Union must avoid falling prey to the same indifference that allowed the Holocaust and other persecutions in modern history to take place. We are asking the EU authorities to organize a committee of inquiry to inspect the conditions of persecution that migrants and refugees are living in in Italian cities. The committee should observe the waste of European funds allocated to immigration; the spread of intolerant ideologies promoted by politicians and the media; and the failure to implement programme to combat racism, neo-Nazism, antiziganism,** anti-Semitism and racial ideologies. The new agreements that the Italian Minister of the Interior (a top man in a party that combats foreigners and immigrants without posing ethical limits) is about to sign with Libya, will result in more pushing back of refugees, or the blocking of groups of refugees fleeing from persecution. This is today’s Italy, where the Italian people are becoming accustomed to the serious discrimination taking place against the Roma, poor Africans and migrants, and the many episodes of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and homophobia.

* Centres for Identification and Expulsion
** Hostility, prejudice or racism directed at the Romani people.


Update On Hunger Strike & Deportations To Iraq

Brighton - Thu, 16/06/2011 - 11:14
In recent weeks the government has detained at least 70 Iraqi asylum seekers, in preparation for a mass deportation to Baghdad and detainees have been given removal directions for 21 June 2011, at 23:00 hours.

Officials from the Iraqi government are currently visiting detainees to confirm their identities so that they can be deported, as part of an agreement between the two governments. 37 Asylum seekers in Campsfield detention centre have responded with a hunger strike. Today will be its fourth day. Supporters have gathered outside Campsfield to protest against the forced removals.

Many of these asylum seekers have been in the UK for several years, making close friends and starting families. Take Adam Aziz Ali, who is due to be removed on a flight to Baghdad on 20th June. Adam is a Kurdish Iraqi. He has been here for five years, living with his partner, Joanne, in County Durham for almost four years. In that time he has become part of her family. They see him as a son, a brother, and an uncle. They cannot understand why a close member of their family should be removed. The Home Office has judged, rather robotically, that Adam has not developed relationships “beyond normal emotional ties”. His human right to a family life is not being affected “disproportionately”.

Iraq is a rocked by civil unrest: sectarian violence, suicide bombings and, more recently, a bloody backlash against civil rights protests.

The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees has reported that “many of those who have been deported to Iraq in the past are now living in hiding, in fear of the persecution they originally left Iraq to flee. Some have been assassinated. Others have committed suicide only days after being deported or have been kidnapped and killed, while others have had mental breakdowns. Many more have had to leave the country and become refugees again.”

Like Adam, many of the asylum seekers due to be removed are Kurdish. The IFIR has shown particular concern for the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan – a society maligned by corruption, institutional violence and a poverty of basic services such as hospitals and clean water. While protests have been held outside Campsfield, sister protests planned in Kurdistan have been denied permission by the regional government. In Adam’s case, the Home Office suggested that “there is nothing to prevent Joanne from accompanying Mr Ali”. We disagree.

It is clear that the government plan to carry out the removals imminently, unconcerned by the asylum seekers’ right to a family life or by the dangers they will face in Iraq.

Meanwhile the asylum seekers are determined to fight the decision.

Asylum Groups Warn Jewish Community Over London Citizens

Brighton - Tue, 14/06/2011 - 10:50
Campaigners working to end the detention of the children of asylum seekers have warned the Jewish community against collaborating with Citizens UK, the controversial "community organisers" currently running a campaign to win over synagogues and Jewish organisations.

End Child Detention Now has told the Jewish Chronicle that Citizens UK hijacked the campaign to end child detention, and then began working as agents of the UK Border Agency, which is responsible for the removal of families whose asylum claim has failed.

"Citizens UK, the self-styled home of community organising in Britain, has, bizarrely, claimed credit for single-handedly ending child detention, while collaborating with the UKBA, specifically helping to ensure that asylum seekers go quietly," said End Child Detention Now spokesman Dr Simon Parker.

Citizens UK, which grew out of London Citizens, enjoys the patronage of Ed Miliband's guru Lord Glasman, Philip Blond, an adviser to David Cameron, and former Labour Cabinet minister James Purnell.

"They are well known in the sector as a UKBA fifth column and they don't care where they recruit their stage army from," said one campaigner contacted by the JC.

Several activists said they were too scared to speak out because of the influence of London Citizens/Citizens UK.

A letter from the UK Border Agency, leaked to the JC, shows that Citizens UK is working closely with the government on a pilot scheme to provide Home Office-sanctioned "community sponsors" to work with families seeking asylum.

According to the letter from UKBA strategic director David Wood, Citizens UK is developing a pilot for the "community sponsors" who have a "pre-existing relationship of trust with an asylum seeker". These individuals would give "ongoing, pastoral support to the individual/family going through the asylum process which is of benefit to both the applicant and UKBA".

The issue has become an increasing public relations problem since Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made a pledge, immediately after last year's election, to end child detention.

Critics say that working directly with government to facilitate asylum removals goes against the philosophy of community organising, which is supposed to be independent of government.

Two weeks ago the JC revealed that London Citizens deputy chair Junaid Ahmed had celebrated the Hamas leadership as resistance heroes.

In a video entitled Gaza: The Martyrs Meadow, Mr Ahmed paid tribute to Sheikh Yassin, the founder of Hamas, and present leader Khaled Meshaal.

London Citizens issued a statement saying the video did not constitute support for terrorism. Mr Ahmed remains in post as a trustee and deputy chair of London Citizens as a representative of East London Mosque. The community leader is also closely associated with the Islamist organisation, Islamic Forum Europe.

The issue of London Citizens, which brings together grassroots groups and religious organisations, has proved deeply divisive within the Jewish community.

In particular, attempts to affiliate New North London Synagogue to London Citizens hit the buffers when concerns were raised about the organisation's campaigning tactics, especially on the issue of child detention.

Members of the synagogue complained that London Citizens had hijacked the campaign and claimed "victory" when Mr Clegg announced after the election last year that the policy would be scrapped. In fact, child detention has continued, although the government now plans to set up family-friendly "pre-departure accommodation" in a village near Gatwick Airport.

After the vote went against them at the synagogue's council in March, the pro-London Citizens faction in NNLS set up a break-away organisation, the Citizens Group, to affiliate to the community organisers. London Citizens has confirmed that the splinter group is a member. Individuals cannot join the organisation, but groups pay up to £2,000 for the privilege.

One member of NNLS, who has opposed the move to join London Citizens, told the JC: "If the whole £2,000 has been paid, then effectively the whole synagogue has joined, despite the verbal acrobatics to make it sound as if we haven't". The Citizens Group were founder members of North London Citizens when it launched at the end of March and a statement issued at the time said: "It was a hugely inspiring event and set the scene for a new beginning for working with our neighbours on issues of common concern." NNLS Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg also spoke at the event, despite the vote going against membership.

Other organisations which have joined London Citizens include the New London and Finchley Reform Synagogues, the North London Progressive Jewish Community, Masorti youth movement Noam and its organisation for young adults, Marom.


News Release From Dale Farm Solidarity

Brighton - Tue, 14/06/2011 - 10:47
A report prepared by Carta Developers for the Gypsy Council has identified that much of the legal underpinning for the proposed £18.5 million eviction operation against Dale Farm in Essex - the UK's largest Travellers’ community - may be flawed.

Residents at Dale Farm this week discovered that on 10 of the 54 properties they have a right to operate a scrap-yard. This means bailiffs Constant & Co., who are expected to be contracted at a cost of £3.5 million to bulldoze these homes cannot legally remove existing hard standing and fencing.

According to the Report the same situation applies to as many as 48 of the properties as enforcement notices issued by Basildon Borough Council are either flawed or have already been declared void by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in 2003.

This leaves Basildon Council and the present Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, as well as the Home Office - which has agreed to fund policing of the eviction - in an embarrassing situation, the Carta Report reveals.  They have planned and are financing an eviction operation which appears to lack legal foundation.

The Gypsy Council expects to raise the issue on Thursday 16 June at 5pm at a meeting chaired by Lord Avebury in Committee Room 4, Houses of Parliament, with members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gypsies and Travellers, and with representatives of the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Notes for Editors/Background

Basildon Council proposes to take action against Dale Farm under section 178 of the Town and Country Planning Act ('TCPA'). The Council has sought and obtained grants from Central Government of about £6 million and proposes to make about £12 million of Basildon Council's money available to fund eviction of half of the estate.

On 1 June the Gypsy Council and Dale Farm Housing Association forwarded a draft report to Basildon Council and ministers in an attempt to secure consensus as to what the Council could take planning enforcement action against at Dale Farm.

The report identifies that in 2003 the then-Secretary of State said that it was lawful to stand caravans at Dale Farm, use the land for the deposit of hardcore and road scalpings and that use of certain areas of the land was formally lawful. The Secretary of State determined that notices 4 and 8 issued by the Council in 2002 were nullified, and that notice 6 issued by the Council should be modified.

Reissue of the enforcement notices first issued by the Council would have enabled the owners and occupiers of Dale Farm to identify that the site was a former scrap yard, and that the majority of the land was covered in concrete when they purchased it in around 2001. The Council failed to reissue notices and denied the travellers a right of appeal to the Secretary of State.

The report identifies that Basildon Council has been proposing to take enforcement action against Dale Farm for the last five years yet has failed to examine its own notices to determine if it actually has the right to do so.

s178 TCPA only allows a council to take enforcement action if it actually has enforcement notices. The Carta Report identifies that Basildon does not have enforcement notices which could enable it to take enforcement action against most of the Dale Farm properties.

s178 TCPA raises significant issues for the Gypsy and Traveller community. Under s178 a Council, if it claims to have enforcement notice, is able to clear land, and determine what costs are reasonable to secure clearance. Local authorities are able to act in this way without supervision.

Dale Farm is the latest example of a council seeking to use powers against the Gypsy and Traveller community, which in reality it does not have. This has involved significant resources to fund clearance of land without supervision being obtained. This time Government ministers have made funds available to clear a site despite having previously determined that the Council's acts would be illegal.

Grattan Puxon, secretary of the DFHA, said, "Issue of an enforcement notice by a council is the same as imposing a mortgage deed on a property. The council is able to foreclose on the mortgage and claim the land without any supervision. We have asked the Council and ministers to identify why they have made about £18 million available to foreclose on enforcement notices that don't exist to evict Travellers from their own land."

"This is a serious matter and we would have expected the Council to have ensured that it actually had mortgage deeds against the land before seeking to dispossess people of their land. The residents find it amazing that government ministers will make millions of pounds available based on lobbying by a council leader and a local MP."

Candy Sheridan vice chair of the Gypsy Council stated: "Dale Farm is the latest example of a council seeking to foreclose on mortgages that don't exist against Gypsies. We have sought to obtain clarification from both government and Basildon Council as to why they have acted in this way. They have failed to reply and we are raising the issue with Parliament. We have examples of other councils that have foreclosed on mortgage deeds that don't exist, and in one case the Council unreasonably stopped Gypsies clearing the site so that they could claim a mortgage and dispossess them of their land. The same Council obtained £200,000 as a grant from Communities and Local Government in 2009 and has not spent the money. It refuses to identify how the funds can be accessed to address pressing needs in the district, that have caused avoidable hardship."

Dale Farm raises major issues for the government as it unambiguously shows that mortgages claimed by Councils need to be better regulated. It shows that Councils will seek to use non-existent mortgages to engage in harassment of people.

Candy Sheridan, vice-chair of the Gypsy Council 0789 9723177
Grattan Puxon, secretary, Dale Farm Residents Association 01206 523528

A copy of the Carta Report can be obtained from Grattan Puxon.

Congolese Community demonstrate in Cardiff

Wales - Thu, 26/05/2011 - 14:41
On Friday 13th May the Congolese community came together for a lively demonstration against the potential re-election of President Joseph Kabila, a man surrounded by corruption and with his vice-president facing charges of war crimes in the Hague. The demonstration marched from City Hall, along Queen St through the city centre accompanied by songs and [...]

NATO accused of letting migrants drown

Wales - Tue, 10/05/2011 - 18:05
At least 62 people died in the Mediterranean after weeks of attempting to sail to Italy. The ship carrying 72 African migrants contacted a refugee group in Rome by satellite phone and asked them to call the authorities. The Italian coast-guard contacted several ships in the area described as well as alerting Maltese authorities. The [...]

Seeking Sanctuary: Journeys of Despair and Hope

Wales - Fri, 29/04/2011 - 16:33
Women Seeking Sanctuary Advocacy Group (WSSAG) Wales is a growing self help group run by and for asylum seeking and refugee women in South Wales. “We offer moral, emotional, social and practical support to one another. WSSAG is a platform where we all share our experiences, difficulties, as a problem shared is a problem halved. [...]

Frontex charter flight to Congo imminent

Wales - Wed, 27/04/2011 - 12:09
On Thursday 28th of April there will be a Frontex* charter flight from Brussels to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our fellow activists in Belgium tell us that it will be taking 60 people, 15 from Belgium and another 45 from the UK, Holland, Ireland and Sweden. On the flight will be the [...]

Refugee Hunger Strikers Need Support

Wales - Wed, 27/04/2011 - 11:41
In a desperate attempt to highlight and put pressure on the UK Governments border regime, several Iranian asylum seekers have been on hunger strike, some of them have sewed their lips shut. They have camped outside the Home Office in Croydon and the headquarters of Amnesty Int in London. They face deportation to Iran and [...]

UKBA officers roam the streets of Cardiff

Wales - Sat, 23/04/2011 - 20:24
UKBA immigration officers were seen carrying out random identity checks on members of the public on Queen Street, Cardiff, on Tuesday 19th April at about 9am. Three officers, two dressed as Police Officers with body armour and handcuffs, but with ‘UK Border Agency’ identified on the rear of their armour appeared to only be stopping [...]

Greek Hunger Strikers – Update

Bristol - Tue, 01/03/2011 - 09:26

Tuesday, March 1 at 12.00 (Parliament), multi-voiced solidarity with the righteous struggle of the 300 immigrant hunger strikers
Φεβρουαρίου 27, 2011

*The period of tolerance of the Government has expired*

36 days of hunger strike. 36 days fight to the bitter end until the final
vindication of the 300 immigrant workers. 36 days of solidarity with 300 of
our fellowmen (as also with so many ‘others’ unseen) who put their lives on
an irreversible path for a meaningful life, for the right to dignity and
dreams. 36 days of smearing, corruption, criminalizing the only choice for
all those who do not accept the humiliation of their existence and the
evacuation of the vision for a just society: The choice of struggle and
solidarity with those who resist and reject the logic of terror and the
doctrine of ‘all against all’.

36 days, however, of State insensitivity. 36 days unfolding before our eyes,
frame by frame the scenario of an incompetent and degenerate Government
(hence prone to both oppressive measures and ‘royal decrees’) – who confront
the 300 hunger strikers, as well as the total immigrant population, as a
‘necessary evil’ to strengthen the Greek economy, as well as being
disposable in terms of life and their natural rights. 36 days of ridicule
and bookie-treatment of people who exhaust the limits of their natural, but
not ethical, strength, claiming the obvious: The right to have a face.

After 36 days of hunger strike, the Government, through the Mass Media and
without having bothered to speak to the hunger strikers, chooses a forked
tongue, the collapse of the 300 immigrant workers’ health, and proposing a
vague ‘regulation’ of the 300 with ‘State tolerance ‘, whereas they could
very well give a proper solution within the existing institutional

On our part, we would like to convey to the Government that for years
*it*has been under the established tolerance of immigrants as of us
all, and
that our tolerance deadline has expired.

On Tuesday, March 1 at 12.00 noon in Syntagma (Parliament) we call upon all
collective bodies that have expressed their solidarity with this just
struggle to unite their voices.

– For the vindication of the 300 immigrants on hunger

– For the vindication of each and every immigrant

– For the vindication of all of us

– For the vindication of life itself.

Solidarity Initiative for the 300 hunger strikers

Tags: press conference, δελτίο τύπου, πρωτοβουλία αλληλεγγύης Αθήνα, συνέντευξη τύπου

Filed under: Uncategorized

Greek Hunger Strikers On The Edge…Act Now !

Bristol - Wed, 23/02/2011 - 12:54

Medical report

22nd February 2011

The hunger strikers have been refusing to eat for 29 days now. All of them are suffering considerable loss of body mass and

the signs of fatigue and advanced exhaustion are apparent.

Four people have been hospitalized for having lost consciousness.

The majority show symptoms of frequently recurring postural hypotension, muscle pain, hypoglycemia,

difficulty with moving, while some of them already have palpitations and cardiac dysrhythmia.

As doctors we are obliged to note that the hunger strikers are entering a phase where the continuation of fasting

may cause irreversible damage to their health.

The Medical Health Team

Emergency Press Release

22nd February 2011

Today another 4 people were sent to hospital, raising the number of fainting episodes to 7.

Today is the 29th day of the hunger strike.

28-year-old Radwan fainted with a fall.



Send letters, fax and emails of protest to the Greek ministries of interior, of citizen protection and of health and to your local Greek embassy and consulate!
Help spread the word to media, and send press releases to your local, regional, national and european media. Here you find the press release we sent out http://w2eu.net/2011/02/20/300-it-is-time-to-act-now/#p…lease
Send copies of your press release and solidarity declarations to: hungerstrike300@espiv.net

Pass this message on in your networks and urge other people to act, too!

Below you find a sample fax/emailing greek and english language that you can send to the relevant authorities – also listed below. Please do note that it is always better if you compose a text on your own. It doesn’t need to be long! If you do so, please post your letter as a comment on http://w2eu.net/2011/02/20/300-it-is-time-to-act-now/, so that we can collect our voices.

Please act and help spread the this – solidarity is the proverbial weapon these days. The hunger strikers are asking for your support!!!


fax numbers:
Ministry of Interior, fax: 0030 2103665089,
Ministry of Citizen Protection, fax: 0030 2103387708
Ministry of Labour, fax: 2105249805, 0030 2103213688

Filed under: Uncategorized

Greek Migrant Hunger Strike Enters Day 30

Bristol - Mon, 21/02/2011 - 11:11

+++ As hunger strike of 300 approaches day 30, strikers are in dire
need of transnational support! +++ It is time to ACT NOW! +++ Fax,
E-Mail and phone the Greek authorities and demand immediate
legalisation NOW +++

Here you find a sample fax/email that you can send to the relevant
authorities. Please do note that it is always better if you compose a
text on your own. It doesn’t need to be long! If you do so, please
post your letter as a comment below, so that we can collect our


dialogue@politicalforum.gr, ypourgos@ypes.gov.gr, info@ypes.gr,
papoutsi@otenet.gr, pressoffice@yptp.gr, Louka.katseli@parliament.gr,
anna.dalaras@gmail.com, hungerstrike300@gmail.com

fax numbers:

MInistry of Interior, fax: 0030 2103665089,
Ministry of Citizen Protection, fax: 0030 2103387708
Ministry of Labour, fax: 2105249805, 0030 2103213688


Greek Emabssy/Consulate in [insert the consulate next to you!!]

Ministry of Citizen Protection of the Hellenic Republic
Ministry of Interior, Decentralisation and E-Government of the Hellenic Republic
Ministry of Health of the Hellenic Republic

Hunger strike of 300 migrants in Athens and Thessaloníki: Legalisation Now!


Greek Emabssy/Consulate in [insert the consulate next to you!!]
Ministry of Citizen Protection of the Hellenic Republic
Ministry of Interior, Decentralisation and E-Government of the Hellenic Republic
Ministry of Health of the Hellenic Republic

Hunger strike of 300 migrants in Athens and Thessaloníki: Legalisation Now!

xx of February 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen,

we are writing to you on the occasion of the hunger strike of 300
migrants which is currently taking place in Athens and Thessaloníki.
We have followed the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. We
are not surprised that – again – migrants feel compelled to choose
such a strong measure to campaign for their rights: putting their
lives at risk. We express our solidarity with their cause.

With this letter, we want to urge you to fulfil the demands of the
hunger striking migrants, i.e. the unconditional legalisation of all
migrants in Greece, before it is too late. We are acutely aware that
the hunger strike is approaching its 30th day, and already, many
hunger strikers had to be hospitalised. Their health and indeed their
lives are at risk here, and it is the responsibility of the Greek
government to resolve the situation immediately by decreeing a
legalisation. In our understanding, this constitutes the only
permanent and viable solution to the despicable situation of refugees
and migrants in Greece, a political issue various Greek governments
have struggled with unsuccessfully.

By following the migrants’ demands, the Greek government can send
powerful political signals. A legalisation would be the strongest
communication to the other EU member states that the current system of
delegating responsibility to the fringes of Europe cannot continue and
needs a courageous solution. A legalisation would also finally end the
years of uncertainty migrants have been facing in Greece and attribute
them their rights as part of the society that they have long earned by
their labour in the Greek economy and the life they have led in
Greece. A legalisation would also send a clear political message that
it is necessary to deal with the new and (be)coming citizens in a
fair, respectful and dignified way and that xenophobia and racism are
damnable attitudes that better belong to the past.

The European answer of bordering and exclusion has no future, it only
creates pain and violations of rights.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Demo, revolt, fire and escape at Brussels detention centre yesterday

Bristol - Mon, 21/02/2011 - 11:09

The group “Voices Without Borders” organised a solidarity action this afternoon at the 127 bis detention centre in Steenockerzeel, Brussels this afternoon starting at 16.30 on Sunday. The action was a show of solidarity with prisoners in the immigration prison who have been on hunger strike for more than ten days after an 18 year old Egyption migrant was tied up and beaten by guards.

The demonstrators arrived at the centre with music, shouts and banners, including one showing a telephone number which prisoners could call to relay testimonies and messages. The lively demo was met with lots of interaction from the people inside shouting and banging on windows, clearly in a resistant mood. People inside and out shouted messages of solidarity and defiance to each other whilst a line of riot cops looked on. Whilst demonstrators banged on the outer line of five meter steel fences prisoners inside began to throw objects out of the windows.

After some time a fire broke out in one cell and people were led out of the wing into the courtyard near the fences close to the demonstration while the fire began to rage. Guards began pushing prisoners on the fire escape.

One prisoner managed to climb the fences out of the centre to freedom, where he then disappeared into mid air. Others occupied the rooftop.

As more police arrived to “pacify” the revolt, activists showed solidarity, staying close to the centre in support.

The roads were blocked with police surrounding the centre and cordoning off traffic in the nearby village of Steenockerzeel. The train station has also been closed down. As of late evening, TV crews from the Belgian networks were still in the area. Recent reports say that one wing has been destroyed, with prisoners moved to other dention centres.

Solidarité avec les revoltés. In solidarity with the fighting spirit of the immigration prisoners of Steenockerzeel, locked up for no crime in the “Capital of Europe”. No borders, No nations.

See the main steam media video of today’s events here: http://video.rtlinfo.be/GED_vp/00230000/237200/237206.swf?bEmbed=1&bHideInfo=0&VideoID=278151
NOTE — images from capitalist media, too late to blur faces.

brussels indymedia:




articles in capitalist press with more images:




arnaud borderer
– Homepage: http://gettingthevoiceout.wordpress.com/

Filed under: Uncategorized

G4S whistleblowers confirm detainees’ allegation

Bristol - Fri, 18/02/2011 - 00:25

By Dr Frank Arnold, Emma Ginn and Harriet Wistrich

17 February 2011

The Guardian reported last week[1] that whistleblowers within G4S, the private company contracted to carry out forced deportations, say that staff warned management of inappropriate use of force. Yet, after the death in October 2010 of a deportee[2] who had been restrained and complained he couldn’t breathe, a top G4S manager claimed he was ‘not aware’ of any staff concerns.

In response to our 2008 Outsourcing Abuse (http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/content/view/411/88/) dossier of nearly 300 assault complaints, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) Chief Executive implied that our motivation was to ‘damage the reputation of our contractors’ and trashed our claims of widespread abuse while, according to the Guardian, they knew of G4S staff allegations. Our warnings were not exaggerated; a man later died. Their apparent disregard and lack of control was noted in 2009 by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons who found UKBA contract monitors did not work to any clear criteria and sometimes ‘appeared to be part of the escort team’ that they were meant to be monitoring.


UKBA have been aware of allegations of excess violence and abuse by escorts all along through their own complaints procedure and legal challenges by deportees. In its last report, the Home Office’s own Complaints Audit Committee reported ‘endemic and enlarging problems’ in misconduct investigations, that 79 per cent of serious misconduct complainants were not interviewed, and that 65 per cent of responses to them were not defensible. Doctors associated with Medical Justice have examined dozens of detainees who have suffered injuries consistent with restricted breathing during failed deportation attempts.

Forty-two cases in Outsourcing Abuse included restriction of detainees’ breathing. Eighteen of these detainees were identified in the report and data from all forty-two cases contributed to the findings. The UKBA response to most assault allegations we made was that injuries were regrettable, but the force used was in accordance with approved Control & Restraint (C&R) methods, yet the whistleblowers reveal a frequent failure to use approved C&R methods. Many allege assault after a deportation is aborted, when escorts say they lost money as a result. Whistleblowers have confirmed the suspected motives for the gratuitous assaults complained of.

The whistleblowers’ evidence should trigger a further review of some of the complaints in our dossier. A parliamentary committee should conduct an inquiry into the use of force in the deportation process. As there is no evidence that UKBA have made any meaningful changes towards avoiding another death the use of force should be suspended meanwhile.

Emma Ginn, Co-ordinator, Medical Justice

Dr Frank Arnold, Clinical Advisor to Medical Justice Harriet Wistrich, Birnberg Peirce & Partners Solicitors Authors of Outsourcing Abuse: The use and misuse of state-sanctioned force during the detention and removal of asylum seekers, which can be downloaded here (http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/images/stories/reports/reportonoutsourcingabuse.pdf) (pdf file, 940kb). —-

FOOTNOTE [1] ‘G4S security firm was warned of lethal risk to refused asylum seekers’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/08/g4s-deportees-lethal-risk-warning-mubenga), Guardian, 8 February 2011 and ‘Staff on deportation flights played ‘Russian roulette’ with lives’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/08/staff-deportation-flights-g4s), Guardian, 8 February 2011.

[2] See ‘Security guards accused over death of man being deported to Angola’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/oct/14/security-guards-accused-jimmy-mubenga-death), Guardian, 14 October 2010; and ‘Justice for Jimmy Mubenga’ (http://www.irr.org.uk/2010/december/ha000012.html), IRR News, 9 December 2010.

Read about Outsourcing Abuse (http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/content/view/411/88/)

Filed under: Uncategorized

Bristol Based Mitie Enter Immigration Detention Buisness

Bristol - Sun, 13/02/2011 - 22:00

Mitie are a fairly large[3] “outsourcing company”; anything from providing security guards at courts[4] and nuclear weapons labs[5][6] to cleaning the Scottish Parliament[4]. This is the first time they’ve tried managing a detention centre[2]. These companies specialise in taking over a service and then squeezing it for profit; finding more ways to exploit staff or cut corners.

An appropriate example: migrant cleaners are hired because their “illegal” status makes them vulnerable and easy to exploit, then handed over to the authorities when it suits management, eg if they attempt to organise[7]. In one incident, Mitie bosses were seen “laughing their heads off” while distressed migrants were intimidated and insulted by police[8].

Mitie’s CEO was one of 35 who signed a high-profile letter to the Telegraph backing the cuts[9], in the interests of “a healthier and more stable economy”. What they really mean is in the interests of their profits; as Mitie’s annual report says: “The public sector faces … considerable pressure on expenditure … this will create significant opportunities for the outsourcing market”[9].

None of this bodes well for the 200 or so people locked up in Campsfield. Mitie’s bid was selected because they offered the cheapest service[1], and though the details have yet to emerge, it seems likely that it will be the detainees who suffer the results.

There Bristol Office had previously attracted attention due to their abusive behaviour towards migrant workers:





[1] http://www.publictenders.net/tender/86990

[2] http://www.mitie.com/Interim-Management-Statement_Jan

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MITIE_Group

[4] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/9732796e-2d71-11e0-8f53-00144feab49a.html

[5] http://www.awe.co.uk/Contents/Publication/347f9d9Ass%20Report%20November%2007.pdf

[6] http://www.aldermaston.net/blog/roving_reporter/401

[7] http://thecommune.co.uk/2009/07/02/alberto-durango-i-am-for-justice-and-the-truth/

[8] http://thecommune.co.uk/2009/07/29/testimony-of-a-mitie-worker-in-an-immigration-detention-centre/

[9] http://thoughcowardsflinch.com/2010/10/18/mities-conflict-of-interest/

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: cuts, detention, Mitie, oxford, scum

Child Detention: The Lowdown

Bristol - Thu, 10/02/2011 - 12:23

In May 2010, the new coalition government committed to ending child detention for immigration purposes. The ‘commitment’ had to wait another few months to materialise (only last week reports revealed that a 11-year-old girl had been detained at Tinsley House detention centre, near Gatwick, over Christmas). Meanwhile, the UK Border Agency has been experimenting with a new deportation process for families, spun as “a new, compassionate approach to family removals.” Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg went as far as claiming that this marked “an enormous culture shift within our immigration system.” But while many serious concerns regarding the rights and welfare of migrant families remain, the new system appears to have created a new market for detention and deportation profiteers.

New old pilots

The new deportation system for families involves three stages, euphemistically named Assisted Return, Required Return and Ensured Return. The idea is that measures taken to persuade or force a family to leave the country will get increasingly tougher the further through these stages the case progresses (for more details on the new system, see this ILPA info sheet). Along with these, three new schemes have been piloted in London and the North West: Family Conferences, Limited Notice (of removal) and Open Accommodation. Until 22nd November 2010, only the first two stages of the new process were being tested. In the six months since 1st June, however, out of 96 cases only two families took up the Assisted Return option and only one family was deported under Required Return. The Home Office appeared to be rather disappointed with the results, of course (see this interim assessment). And thus, two secure hostels, run by private accommodation providers, were identified in Liverpool and London to “ensure” the return of families who have exhausted the Assisted and Required Return routes but have “failed to comply” with the deportation orders. Here, families will be kept for a minimum of 72 hours before being forcibly deported, but can be kept for up to a month where removal is not possible for one reason or another. In line with the immigration newspeak, these new deportation hostels are being called ‘open accommodation’. A UKBA document, dated November 2010 and titled “Open Accommodation: Accommodating Families Outside of Detention”, describes the pilot scheme as “a radically different approach” to the way the UKBA deals with migrant families due for deportation that is designed to “secure departure without the need for immigration detention.” Explaining the rationale behind the pilot, the document goes on to state that, “We know that there will be some families who, despite our best efforts, will not comply with offers to leave… We consider that moving such families out of their existing accommodation and away from community links and ties they have built up will signal to them that they have reached the end of the road and enable them to understand that their removal will happen.” In other words, uprooting families from their communities will make deportation easier as families would not have access to the support networks they would have if they stayed in the community. Similar practices are followed by other European countries that already operate similar systems. This is not the first time that different types of temporary accommodation to house families prior to deportation have been used, with one such scheme still ongoing in Glasgow. A similar pilot was also tried for 10 months in 2007-2008 in Millbank, Kent. Evidence suggests that this pilot actually decreased the likelihood of families complying with the immigration authorities and many reported feeling “coerced and frightened” (see this independent evaluation). However, the use of the new deportation hostels differs from past attempts in that it is part of the last stage of a new deportation system to ‘ensure return.’ In other words, families are not taken to these hostels with the aim of ‘persuading’ them to leave the UK ‘voluntarily’. They are, rather, flagged for ‘open accommodation’ by a newly formed Family Returns Panel, on the recommendation of the UKBA ‘case owners’, due to their perceived ‘non-cooperation’ in the past. In most other cases, deportation will be carried out from the families’ existing accommodation (provided under sections 4 or 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999). But this might change soon if deportation hostels are rolled out. That, in essence, is the coalition government’s response to ending child detention.

Brigstock House

One of the places identified for the ‘open accommodation’ pilot is an anonymous-looking hostel in Thornton Heath, near Croydon. Brigstock House (57 Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, CR7 7JH) is an eight-room, double-fronted detached Edwardian house, which has undergone some alterations. Since January 1991, it has been used as a residential care home for adults with learning disabilities, run by BDC Supporting Services, an umbrella group incorporating four residential care homes in the area (see here). According to UKBA documents, it has recently also been used for initial asylum accommodation, where people are housed temporarily upon arrival before they are ‘dispersed’ to other parts of the country. Following the announcement of the pilot scheme, it was decided to ‘convert’ part of Brigstock House to accommodate a selected number of families to be deported under the Ensured Return option, who will apparently be kept in a separate wing of the hostel on a full-board basis, with access to the communal bathrooms. Until June 2010, most asylum and bail hostels in the Greater London area were managed by private accommodation provider Clearsprings (Management) Ltd. The company is the third-largest asylum accommodation provider in the UK after the Angel Group and United Property Management, and is the main provider in the London area. In March 2006, it was awarded, along with seven other companies, a five-year contract worth £153,119,067. The Angel Group’s contract’s value was £275,441,736, and UPM’s £170,152,129. The division of the Clearsprings Group responsible for short-term accommodation has recently been renamed Ready Homes (see here). In June 2007, a new a government-funded scheme called Bail Accommodation and Support Service (BASS) was introduced to provide accommodation and ‘support services’ to people released from prison on bail or home detention curfew (HDC) but do not have a suitable address. For three years, BASS services were provided by ClearSprings. On 18 June 2010, a new three-year contract was awarded to housing charity Stonham (see here). A division of Home Group Ltd, Stonham is one of the UK’s largest providers of housing and support services for vulnerable people (see here). The UKBA has indicated that the new deportation hostels will be initially run be third-sector organisations – a typical first stage in privatisation processes. Brigstock House has a 24-hour ‘reception’ service, which will register families when they move in and out of the hostel and ask them to sign a daily register. The UKBA claims staff will not monitor the normal comings and goings of individual people but will know if a family does not return to the hostel and inform the immigration authorities immediately. The local immigration enforcement team to be responsible for Brigstock House is based at Becket House immigration reporting centre, near London Bridge.

How open is open?

The Home Office insists that “open accommodation is not detention.” Accommodation to be used in the pilot scheme is described in the afore-mentioned UKBA document as “a residential building where families will be free to come and go as they please.” This will apparently be similar to the initial accommodation used at the beginning of the asylum process before people are dispersed to privately provided accommodation in other parts of the country. Detention under immigration powers is defined as holding a person on UKBA-designated premises, whether they are taken there by an immigration officer or after attending there voluntarily, for any length of time (Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009). In other words, their freedom of movement is restricted and they are deprived of their liberty. Deportation hostels are clearly not ‘open’ in that sense as families are required to stay there overnight and their movement is constantly monitored. If anything, it is more like a house arrest. This is illustrated more clearly in another proposed ‘open accommodation’ facility in Crawley, Sussex (see below). A letter by the Home Office consultants sent to local residents to ‘reassure’ them about the new ‘pre-departure accommodation’ states that the facility will have a 2.5-metre perimeter fence. The UKBA also claims that transfer to Open Accommodation will be “on a voluntary basis.” However, families will be threatened that, if they refused to move, they might lose their existing accommodation and become destitute. That is hardly voluntary. The initial length of stay for families in ‘open accommodation’ will be 72 hours, or three days and three nights. Should their removal fail, however, their case will be referred back to the Family Returns Panel for further consideration, while the family remains in the hostel. The Panel will then consider whether any extension of stay is appropriate on a case-by-case basis. According to the pilot scheme proposals, the Panel may authorise an extended stay for up to 28 days. Where removal fails again (for example, if travel documents could not be obtained), the family will be transferred back to Section 95 or Section 4 accommodation in their previous region, but not at the same address where they were previously housed. It is not difficult to see how things could go wrong at each and every step of this process. After all, how many asylum seekers have been staying at the same ‘temporary’ accommodation, often in bad, uninhabitable conditions, for months and years?

Short notice

As indicated above, another new scheme introduced recently, besides Open Accommodation, is known as Limited Notice. This means issuing Removal Directions, or deportation order letters, without specifying the precise date for which the removal is set (see here). Like with charter flight deportations, which are subject to “special arrangements”, the letters only state that the removal will take place within 21 days and no sooner than 72 hours. There have already been legal and other challenges to this practice, as it often creates practical barriers to migrants accessing legal representation to challenge their removal and, therefore, increase the risk that people who have well-founded fears of persecution in their countries of origin may be forcibly deported from the UK. The uncertainty that this situation creates is also proven to cause considerable distress to families (see here, for example). Other options that are being considered by the Home Office include increasing the use of electronic tagging, increasing reporting restrictions, detaining one parent, or any combination of these. In the new family deportation system, when the local Immigration Team refers a ‘non-cooperating’ family to the Family Returns Panel, it will only notify the family and their legal representatives, seven days in advance of the move, that they will be moved to another accommodation in a different area, without making it clear that this will be to an ‘open accommodation'; “just in a different area and in different accommodation,” as the UKBA instructions state. Once there (at Brigstock House, say), they will be served with removal directions by an immigration officer from the local London region, with the ‘no sooner than 72 hours, no later than 21 days’ notice. Moreover, the immigration authorities will also inform the local authorities of the family’s move and that the family will “continue to be supported by UKBA, just in a different area,” in order to pre-empt any request by the family to the local authority for emergency accommodation on the basis that they will become homeless.


The UKBA documents outlining its ‘open accommodation’ plans claim that vulnerable families with specific medical needs are “not suitable for the open accommodation pilot.” However, the UK’s detention history shows that the agency simply disregards such concerns unless it is, occasionally, forced to revise its decisions by campaigners or courts. Indeed, hundreds of torture victims, people with HIV, pregnant women, children and people with serious medical problems have been swallowed by the brutal detention and deportation machine. The plans also claim that ‘open accommodation’ is consistent with Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, which requires the Home Office to “safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the United Kingdom,” and with the recommendations of the Child Detention Review that ended child detention. It is difficult to see how uprooting families from their communities and forcing them into poorly equipped, temporary hostels can be regarded as safeguarding their welfare. For example, the UKBA does not intend to “provide an exhaustive list of medical issues” that may prevent families being moved into open accommodation. Instead, the Family Returns Panel will be assessing families “on a case-by-case basis.” Brigstock House is allegedly provided with an “on-site health facility” that is staffed by a nurse. A GP is said to visit two days a week. Yet, it is well known from previous experience (in family detention centres) that this structure of provision is not capable of dealing with serious issues, such as distress and other psychological problems created by the asylum system. In fact, whereas detention centres such as Yarl’s Wood were provided with some sort of schooling for children, deportation hostels will have no such facility. Instead, children will be offered “age-related work packs.” This is justified with the argument that “families will be in Open Accommodation for as little as 72 hours,” despite admissions that they may stay for up to a month in some cases. Moreover, families in the pilot scheme will not be provided with any cash support. They will, therefore, have no money for travel to visit legal representatives, for example.


The UKBA claims that all deportation hostel staff will be “fully CRB-checked, have had disability training and food safety training where appropriate, and have received training in conflict management.” However, judging from similar facilities run by private providers, such as initial asylum accommodation hostels, this sounds rather exaggerated. For example, many migrants who have been through such hostels confirm that ‘conflict management’ often means simply shutting people up or, where a distressed person or child may have caused ‘disruption’, calling the immigration authorities or police. Deportation hostel staff will also be instructed to immediately call the police when “third parties (for example, family associates or campaigning parties) interested in a particular family’s case” turn up at the hostel and “cause disruption.” The Family Returns Panel will be made up of members of the UK Border Agency and professionals from other agencies, who “may include” representatives from social services, the Department for Education and, “in some cases,” a health professional. The aim is that the Panel will consider the welfare of the family to decide what is the “most appropriate way” for the UKBA to ensure that the family leaves the UK. This aim, or assumption, will inevitably lead to a culture of institutional abuse and negligence, as detention centres have long shown.

New business opportunities for detention profiteers

As the ‘open accommodation’ pilot was being devised, the UKBA insisted that “any new approach to managing families must be affordable within the UK Border Agency’s settlement in the Comprehensive Spending Review.” The other consideration was “improving the speed of asylum decisions and case conclusions.” Indeed, the document outlining the plans was “first shared with corporate partners” on 8th November 2010, before being released to the public. The UKBA’s Corporate Partner Group, which provides “a forum for the agency’s chief executive and board to work more closely with our key partners on strategic issues and to share information regularly,” consists of representatives from a number of selected business and NGOs involved in the immigration and asylum system. These include the Board of Airline Representatives, the Confederation of British Industry, Refugee Council, the UNHCR, Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and so on (you can find a full list here). The group meets quarterly, enabling “open and constructive discussion” about how the UKBA should develop and deliver its policies. The agency also publishes a bi-monthly update for its corporate partners called UK Border Agency News (see here). These may be a good source of information but are also places where commercial intentions and plans are communicated to businesses looking out for new opportunities in the immigration market. Another such channel is the Commercial Operational Managers Procuring Asylum Support Services (COMPASS), which was launched in 2009 to “provide ongoing contract provision for asylum and refugee support services.” After two ‘successful’ supplier conferences in October 2010, the UKBA has held a series of one-to-one meetings with “interested potential commercial partners” to “discuss the feasibility of the different contract delivery models.” And this brings us to another recent ‘open accommodation’ plan.

‘Pease pottage hot, pease pottage cold’

It has recently transpired that the UKBA has applied for planning permission to convert another facility, a residential school for children with behavioural and learning difficulties in Pease Pottage, Crawley, Sussex, into a ‘pre-departure accommodation facility’ – another euphemism for deportation hostels. The Crawley Forest School is owned by Crossroads Childrens Education Services Ltd., a private company wholly owned by its director Sunita Arora, the wife of Surinder Arora, the owner and founder of Arora International Hotels. No open procurement tendering process for the facility, as required by EU and UK legislation, has taken place, which suggests that there may have been some dodgy, behind-closed-doors deal between the UKBA and the Arora Group, following the latter’s failure to gain a slice of the detention market last year (see below). The school itself, which has been told to vacate the property by 1st April 2011, was apparently unaware of the new plans until it was contacted by campaigners. The new facility, which will have the capacity to accommodate eight families, is intended to open in mid-May. The Home Office will lease the building from Crossroads, whilst the day-to-day running of the centre will be outsourced to a ‘third-sector’ provider. In an attempt to avoid a repeat of previous embarrassing experiences, a ‘consultation letter’, dated 25th January 2011, has been sent to local residents on behalf of the Home Office by private consultation firm CgMs Consulting, trying to convince them of the new project (a copy of the letter can be found here). Citing the coalition government’s policy on ending child detention, the letter argues that “the need remains to provide a suitable facility to accommodate families whose removal from the UK is being enforced.” And this “pre-departure accommodation,” it claims, “provides that solution.” This is partly justified by the site’s proximity to Gatwick and Heathrow airports, implying that this would make deportations easier. The letter then reassures residents that the facility already has a 2.5m palisade fence, with electronic entrance gates, and that “there is no requirement to alter this boundary treatment.” It also claims that families will be accommodated for a maximum of 72 hours or, in exceptional cases, for up to one week, which is not exactly accurate. As to the timescale, the letter apologises for the short notice and claims that this was due to “the closure of previous facilities” (meaning family wings at immigration detention centres) and that it is important for the government’s new plans that the new facility is operational by 11 May 2011. The letter also claims that the Crawley Forest School currently has only 8 residential pupils, despite having the ability to house 35 residential and 35 day pupils, making the project “unviable.” The school management, however, disputes this claim and says the school was only ever equipped to accommodate 12 to 18 pupils. CgMs has worked for the Home Office as a “consultant on property matters” since 1997 (see here). Its portfolio includes “providing advice on numerous existing and new Removal Centres nationwide.” These apparently include “20-30 proposed Immigration Accommodation Centres nationwide before the Accommodation Centre policy was changed by the Government.” The company has also been involved in “advice, applications and appeals for related Reception, Induction, Reporting and Hearing Centres.” The reason for this, in the words of the company, is that “because of the nature of the users, these have nearly always proved controversial, involving sensitive and comprehensive consultation with local residents, councillors and other stakeholders.” In 2009, Arora Management Services, which owns a series of luxury hotels close to airports, applied to the Crawley Borough Council for permission to convert its four-star hotel Mercure, near Gatwick, into an immigration detention centre, driven by “a decline in business” (see this Corporate Watch article for details). The move sparked a concerted campaign against Arora by No Borders and other anti-detention activists, with protests and actions taking place at Arora hotels across the country. The Crawley Borough Council’s Development Control Committee eventually rejected the planning application. Since news of the plan for the new deportation hostel in Pease Pottage transpired, No Borders has announced that it will immediately start a campaign against the new facility (see here). “If Arora thought they can get this through without anybody noticing it,” a spokesperson for the group said, “they have failed”.

Article Produced by Corporate Watch

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: child detention, condems, corporate watch, deporatation, famiklies, no borders, pedge, uk borders agaencym nick clegg, ukba

Cameron’s Munich speech marks securitisation of race policy

Bristol - Tue, 08/02/2011 - 09:24

> By Liz Fekete (Institute Race Relations)

7 February 2011, 4:00pm

Cameron’s speech signals a fundamental departure in British race relations.

Why did British prime minister Cameron choose to attack ‘the doctrine of state multiculturalism’ and indicate the parameters of the government’s new counter-terrorism policy at an international security conference in Munich?

The Munich International Security Conference was founded in 1962 and focuses on transatlantic relations and global security, attracting an audience of leading US and European politicians, military, security experts, scientists. media etc. In delivering his speech, Cameron clearly had in his sights a domestic audience, wooing the Sun and the Daily Mail, both of which, in calling for the disciplining of Muslim communities, have promoted a crude British nationalism based on uncritical support for the armed services and military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Only the day before. the Daily Mail had carried a feature attacking two Birmingham Muslim councillors, Salma Yaqoob and Mohammed Ishtiaq, for refusing to participate in a standing ovation for a British soldier awarded the George Cross for bravery in Afghanistan.) But Cameron’s speech was also intended to send a clear signal to the United States and the European center-Right that Britain would no longer pursue different ethnic minority and race policies from its European counterparts. In particular, Cameron was showing his support for Angela Merkel and her German Christian Democrat party’s idea that security and cohesion are brought about not through integration and pluralism, but through monoculturalism and assimilation into the dominant Leitkultur (lead culture).

Cameron’s speech was reported as a trailer for the up-and-coming government counter-terrorism review and Lord Carlile’s review of the Prevent strategy. And it is here that Cameron indicated to a German security audience support for the German intelligence services’ approach to the compartmentalisng of Muslim organisations into ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’, with greater surveillance of those deemed ‘illegitimate’. In his speech, Cameron promised that the British government would no longer fund or share platforms with Muslim organisations that, while non-violent, were also a part of the problem because they belonged to a ‘spectrum’ of Islamism. While those who openly support terrorism are at the ‘furthest end’ of this spectrum, it also includes many Muslims who accept ‘various parts of the extremist world view’ including ‘real hostility towards western democracy and liberal values’.

In this, what should be feared is that Cameron is indicating that the government’s review of counter-terrorism policy has been greatly influenced by the approach taken by the German intelligence services (Verfassungsschutz) which has at its base a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate Muslim organisations coupled with the most widespread system of religious profiling in Europe. Verfassungsschutz manuals also outline a ‘spectrum’ of radicalisation’ and include a classification scheme for Muslims which regard the highly religious as just a notch or two below the potentially violent on a continuation of radicalisation. (In fact, the pyramid structure that the German intelligence services use to express this spectrum of radicalisation has already been adapted by the British intelligence services.) The upshot of the German approach is that a number of representative Muslim organisations, while not proscribed as terrorist organisations, are deemed unconstitutional and a threat to German values. As such, they are kept out of official government dialogue mechanisms and do not receive any public funding. Not only are they placed under state surveillance, even though the government acknowledges that they do not promote violence, but members of so-called unconstitutional organisations may also be subjected to reduced employment opportunities in certain professions, and excluded from citizenship via naturalisation. It is an approach that, in 2007, came under severe criticism from the International Crisis Group which defined it as comprising a ‘slippery slope’ view of Islamic extremism, which by lumping together many non-violent organisations with ‘a few potentially violent group’s created a blunt instrument for countering terrorism that leads to stigmatisation (Read an IRR News story: ‘Germany: intelligence services target Muslims’ (http://www.irr.org.uk/2007/april/ha000010.html)).

Another point of note is that Cameron in attacking ‘the doctrine of state multiculturalism’ was sending a signal that government policy in future will not be built on pluralism or integration but monoculturalism, assimilation, exclusion (and surveillance) of those Muslim organisations which refuse to play ball. With the ditching of multiculturalism, also goes the ditching of ‘race relations’ based on the Roy Jenkins model of ‘equal opportunity accompanied by cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance’. And if we are really to go down the German route of monoculturalism, ‘race relations’ policy will also transform beyond recognition, as monoculturalism presupposes the subsumption of the minority under the majority. From now on, ‘ethnic minority’ policy will not only be securitised but will act as an adjunct to anti-terrorist laws.


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: cameron, islam, munich, securitisation

Is Child Detention Really to End?

Bristol - Fri, 04/02/2011 - 14:59

...because London No Borders have got hold of a letter from a hotel company planning to turn a former childrens home into a immigration detention centre.The letter makes no secret that the facility is planned to replace the use of Yarl’s Wood and nearby Tinsley House detention facilities for holding families and children, and explicitly refers to this fact as an explanation of the need for urgency. The letter also explicitly refers to children inside the holding centre.

Lets make One thing clear: imprisonment  is unacceptable for adults or children.

Full article by London No Borders Below:

ondon NoBorders has received information that the hotel company Arora
International ( in form of their branchArora Management Services
Limited) has started a second attempt to make money from the Home
Office’s deportation business. The company plans to use the site of a
residential school for children with behavioural and learning
difficulties in Pease Pottage, Crawley, Sussex owned by the Arora Group
subsidiary “The Crossroads Childrens (sic) Education Services Ltd.”,
into an immigration detention facility. It is the second attempt by
Arora Hotels to extend their business into detention following the
company’s failure to gain planning permission to turn one of their
hotels in Crawley into a holding facility for immigrants in 2010.
Crawley Forest School has been told to vacate the property by 1 April

First Contact

On 25th January planning consultant CGMS sent out a letter informing
about Arora Hotel’s plans. They plan to push the process through within
weeks, having the detention facility ready by mid-May.

The letter makes no secret that the facility is planned to replace the
use of Yarl’s Wood and nearby Tinsley House detention facilities for
holding families and children, and explicitly refers to this fact as an
explanation of the need for urgency. The letter also explicitly refers
to children inside the holding centre. Not only is the UKBA extending
their detention capacity, but the government is also breaking their
pledge to end the detention of children.

Arora try to legitimise their rush by starting some kind of “community
process”, but silently hoping that the process would go through
unnoticed. In this they have failed.

CGMS ends their letter saying that they “would welcome any comments you
may have on the proposal and [they] would be happy to answer any

So they want your feedback, and we think they should get it.

What to do?

We are asking people to do exactly what they ask for: contact CGMS and
Arora Hotels and let them know your opinion about the planned detention
centre for families. To make it easier for them to deal with incoming
queries and to bundle the feedback nicely, we propose that you contact

between Monday 7 February 10am and Tuesday 8 February 5pm.

Stay polite, stay firm!

Spread the word!

Arora/CGMS wanted to push this through without being noticed. Help us to
spread the word, ask your friends to join #Operation_FirstContact.

link to : http://london.noborders.org.uk/firstcontact

Who to contact?

Convieniently, we have collected a list of public contacts of both Arora
Hotels and CGMS here:

Tel: 020 7583 6767

Tel: 0121 616 4850

More contacts at:


Head Office:

Press and Media

Head Office enquiries

Public Inquieries:
+44 (0)20 8757 7770

+44 (0)1293 530 000

+44 (0)20 8759 7777

+44 (0)161 236 8999

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: aurora hotels, bristol no borders, child detention, condems, detention centre, end, irc, lies, london no borders, pledge, sussex, Yarls Wood


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