First of all, a belated shout out to the UWE students who self-organised a benefit gig for Calais, and who made a trip there to distribute the blankets, shoes and other stuff they collected. It seems the French Authorities gave you a hard time…We hope that doesn’t put you off. The situation in Calais can be followed here.
Following the hunger strike at Yarls Wood, we now hear that three Doctors who worked for Serco (who run the immigration prison) have been reported to the GMC. This is after “complaints over numerous alleged cases of substandard patient care”. Clearly, this represents a conflict of interests, as even a Tory MP was forced admit: “If there is an issue over fitness to travel and the decision is made by a contracted company inside Yarl’s Wood, what chance is there of having confidence that it has not been influenced by the contract given to the contractors to get people out of the country?” This comes in addition to the Chief Inspectors of Prisons report which concluded that: “children were held at the Bedfordshire centre unnecessarily, with little consideration for their welfare”.
Phil Woolas, the weasly Immigration Minister responded that locking the entire family up (rather than splitting them up) was an humanitarian gesture. However, since the Prison Inspectors report also found that “force was being used to split or keep families apart before deportation”, including pregnant women and children, this rather undermines Phil’s claim that the UK detention estate is a an example of Human Rights ‘good practice’. An analysis of the kind of debate we can expect on immigration in the run up to the election can be found here
Meanwhile, London No Borders disrupted, and gave an alternative, and cogent presentation at Capita’s Conference “Policing the Borders” in London. Watch the excellent film here. Earlier in the week, it was reported on UK Indymedia that one of Sodexho’s outlets had been targeted.
A full call out has now been issued for the Brussels No Borders Camp 27th of September till 3rd of October 2010.