ballons on the fence of Yarls Wood

On Wednesday 21st of February a large group of women and men held in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre organised a coordinated 3-day hunger strike. The demands have been posted on the Detained Voices website.

This post first appeared on the SOAS Detainee Support website.

The demands of the strikers include:

  • Amnesty for those who have lived in the UK 10 years and above
  • End indefinite detention – Detention periods shouldn’t be longer than 28 days
  • End Charter flights – Charter flights are inhumane because there are no prior notifications, or only an oral notification with no warning. They give no time to make arrangements with family.
  • No more re-detention – Redention should not be allowed – if you have been detained once, you should not be re-detained if you are complying with the laws they have applied. This is a contradiction, you are being punished for complying with the law; it ruins the whole purpose of expecting compliance.

After receiving no response from the Home Office, the protesters have extended their strike.

“After an initial 3 day hunger strike where the Home Office refused to acknowledge the hunger strike, it is clear that they are not listening to us. On Monday 26/02/18, we will cease to participate in detention, we will not eat, use their facilities or work for them.”

Here are a number of ways those of us on the outside can support the protests:

  1. Sign the Petition –  calling on the Home Office to grant the demands of Yarl’s Wood strikers.
  2. Send a letter to you MP outlining what the strikers are calling for. Use this template, use the Write to Them website.
  3. Tweet Solidarity photos – tweet, retweet and share photos holding signs of support for Yarl’s Wood strikers, and share using hashtag #HUNGERFORFREEDOM
  4. Attend the Demo in London – Emergency protest outside the Home Office on Wednesday. Here are the details.

Ways of creatively amplifying the demands of the protesters, bringing them offline to new audiences are much appreciated.