Later this month, a new detention centre for women is scheduled to open, with the detention of around 80 women under prison-like conditions.
Derwentside (previously known as Hassockfield) detention centre is in County Durham, in the north east of England. A local coalition of resistance formed as soon as the plans were made public, and this campaign continues with the first national demonstration on Saturday 4th December, in the nearby town of Consett.
The demonstration is being organised by Durham People’s Assembly, No to Hassockfield and Abolish Detention, and with support from numerous organisations across the country.
Here are some details from the event Facebook page:
Please join us and stand in solidarity against this abhorrent facility.
Our first national demonstration will take place on the 4th of December on Middle Street in Consett, at 11.30am.
The majority of those at risk of being detained here are innocent of any criminal activity and will be detained for unjust and unnecessary administrative purposes. A worryingly high number of women placed in immigration detention are victims of gender-based violence, torture, trafficking and abuse. This contradicts previous Home Office pledges to reduce the number of Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) across the country.
As a group of campaigners, we are committed to doing all we can to prevent this detention centre from opening. This site could instead be used for something that will bring benefit to those in the surrounding community, bringing jobs without being a site of inhumane exploitation and detention of human beings.
Let’s make the UK a welcoming, supportive and kind place that welcomes those who are forcibly displaced. No one chooses to be a refugee. It is time the Government abolishes its hostile policies and closing centres like these is the first step in doing so.
Please bring banners with your own messages – let’s show the Government, asylum seekers and refugees how we feel about this facility and asylum policies more broadly.
This demonstration is being organised by Durham People’s Assembly, No to Hassockfield and Abolish Detention, and we have support from numerous individuals and organisations across the country.