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With the Yarl’s Wood hunger strike (SchNEWS 711) into its fifth week, 55 detainees at Harmondsworth detention centre have also gone on hunger strike in protest against the UK immigration system.

The hunger strikers released a statement saying, “The immigration system in this country is a cold war that has separated families and their loved ones and has caused mental, physical and emotional torture to both detainees and their families.”

Across the country activists have been stepping up the solidarity campaign. Last Saturday (6th) Newcastle No Borders staged a city centre protest to draw attention to the migrants’ plight.

The five hunger strikers identified as the ‘ringleaders’ of the campaign remain banged up in Holloway prison. On Wednesday, activists gathered outside the prison for the latest in a series of demonstrations demanding their release.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyers are preparing a legal challenge on behalf of 11 women detainees. They are seeking a declaration from the court that the actions of the Home Office and privatised goons from Serco during February’s protest violated the women’s human rights.

The actions of the detainees and the constant on-the-ground campaigning has successfully brought the issue of detention conditions to the fore, with even mainstream media and MPs being pressured into taking an interest.

More actions are in the making. On Saturday (13th) No Borders Wales are planning a demo in Swansea while Detainee Solidarity London will stage a protest outside Harmondsworth.



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