Tag Archives: detention centres

A tale of migration to the “free world”

16 Nov


Activist blog about Calais and the wider immigration context.


Photo report : : Pennine house protest : : 21st of March

4 Apr

More than 70 people including No Borders activists from Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle took a successful action against the Immigration prison at the Manchester airport.

Protest demanding the closure of Pennine house, an asylum prison located at Manchester airport started with a rally in Albert square, Manchester.

Rally in Albert Square

The protest continued to the airport. Half of the No Borders activists cycled to the airport and the others travelled by train.

Critical Mass to the airport

Critical Mass to the airport

A huge police presence accompanied the Critical mass all the way to the airport. GMP mobilised a helicopter and motorbikes.

Critical Mass to the airport

When the both groups arrived to the Pennine house, the police officers and FIT team constructed a protest pen inside the detention prison car park. The protesters refused to enter the protest pen.

Protest at the Pennine House

Protest at the Pennine House

After the vibrant protest and speeches taken in front of the detention centre the group decided to move to the airport departure zone.

Protest at the Pennine House

Protest at the airport

Protest at the airport

The way back to the train station was dramatic as additional TAU, Police dogs nd horses were called in but not deployed. During this period, Terminal 2 was closed.

Protest at the airport

Protest at the airport

For more information see the BBC report here

Hundreds of migrants escape from detention centre in Lampedusa, Italy

27 Jan

It has emerged that on Friday the 23rd over 700 migrants being incarcerated at a detention centre in Lampedusa, a small island south of Sicily, tore down the centre’s gates and escaped.

The centre, which is intended to hold no more than 850 people, had inside at the time over 2000 migrants. Video evidence clearly shows that the conditions inside were massively overcrowded and appaulingly unclean. Groups such as Amnesty International and Save the Children have also highlighted possible human rights violations inflicted upon detainees, and denounced the actions of the local authorities.

The situation was further heated the following day with mass protests by migrants and local citizens alike calling for the abolishment of the centre. Some 4000 people took part in the demonstration outside the islands’ Town Hall. Escaped detainees joined in with chants of ‘Freedom’ and ‘Help Us’.

In another incident, a crowd of protesting citizens stopped a bus of 110 migrants destined for the detention centre.

According to the blog Fortress Europe: ” At least 1,502 migrants have died at the gates of EU in 2008. The figures decreased by 23% compared to 2007, but not in Sicily, where the number of the victims rose from 556 in 2007 to 642 in 2008, coherently with an increase of 80% of the arrivals in Lampedusa.”

Thanks to Indymedia Rome for the info.

The video shows the conditions the migrants are forced to live in, and also has clips of the march from the centre.

Disturbing video of conditions inside French Detention Centre

13 Jan


The French website ‘Liberation’ has been given a copy of a film made by a member of the French border police from inside of the detention centre at Mayotte just last month. The video, which you can watch online by clicking the link below, shows the horrific conditions inside the centre, which was built to house 60 people but which the members of the border police state regularly holds more than 100 and has held as many as 240. On the day this vidoe was shot there were 202 people inside the Centre.


It is revealing that it is members of the Border Police themselves who are coming out and denouncing the situation. One of them who spoke to Liberation called conditions
“unacceptable. […] There are only 60 mattresses… The showers are visible under the floor of men. There are no toilets for women and children. ”

Another officer who works at Mayotte goes further.
“The conditions of detention of undocumented migrants are appalling. People are treated like animals. And we, we have the pressure of the hierarchy to do our job without saying anything. The objective is to meet the expectations of the ministry.”

Inhuman conditions in detention centres are not limited to France. The conditions in UK detention centres are just as bad suffering not only overcrowding, but high levels of physical assaults on detainees and racist and sexist taunts by staff members. This has led to a series of hunger strikes by detainees.

The problem with detention centres, however, is not how badly they are run but that they exist in the first place. The detention system needs to be shut down and we need to stop the racist myths that exist in order to allow the government to justify this inhumane incarceration.