Solidarity with Yarl’s Wood women

8 Mar

On Saturday 6 March, a huge banner was dropped from the rooftops of the busy Eldon Square shopping centre, in the centre of Newcastle. A group of Newcastle residents, part of the No Borders network, went to great heights to show their solidarity with the women detainees at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre, who have been on hunger strike since 5th February 2010. The hunger strike, which initially involved some 84 women, was sparked by detainees demanding the end of the humiliating and unjust detention of migrants who seek refuge in Britain. Since their strike began, the women have endured further violence and mistreatment.

The Newcastle protestors were demanding the immediate release of the Yarl’s Wood women and an end to the unjust, arbitrary detention regime. They began their protest on the roof of Eldon Square, creating a spectacular sight for passing shoppers, while leaflets were handed out in the square below. Members of the public were shocked to hear about the treatment of the women, which has had surprisingly little press coverage. However, the protestors were moved on by heavy-handed security. They continued their protest within the shopping centre, but until being forcibly moved by four security guards.

Similar protests have taken place around the country since the hunger strikes began, as people speak out against the abominable practices of Immigration officials, and private companies such as Serco which are making profits out of the misery of migrants. Every year, thousands of innocent people, including torture and rape survivors, people with serious illnesses and over 2,000 children, are detained arbitrarily and indefinitely in detention centers across the UK, for the sole reason that they do not have the correct papers. Without access to legal representation or automatic right to bail, migrants are criminalized, further traumatized and imprisoned though they have committed no crime and have been sentenced without trial.

Migration is not a crime!

The demands of the hungerstrikers are online at
More background on Yarl’s Wood at


One Response to “Solidarity with Yarl’s Wood women”


  1. Yarl’s Wood Hunger Strike reaches fifth week. Demonstration in Swansea this Saturday « No Borders South Wales - 10/03/2010

    […] week. Solidarity demonstrations have taken place, outside the IRC itself, at Holloway Prison and around the country, now a legal challenge is being mounted. The hunger strike tactic has also spread to Harmondsworth […]

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