I went to the salon to get my hair done in Croydon.

I went to the salon to get my hair done in Croydon. The Immigration officers came in and asked for our papers. I felt like I wanted to fall down and die because I didn’t have them. They took my prints and they said I’ve been here since 2007 and asked why I don’t want to go home. Well I have no one at home. They put handcuffs on me and the man said I was rude. But I didn’t want to run away because I was scarred: there were like 8 officers inside the shop. I wanted to go to weewee but I couldn’t go –  I weeweed on my trousers there in the shop. So I was cold I needed my jumper. And then they told me I was a liar and that I wasn’t cold. And they put me on the van and took me to home office in Croydon and then to Heathrow for three days.

I had a bad ulcer and they gave me some medicine to take and then they took me to yarls wood. They give us chips but I’m not meant to eat chips. It’s so hard for me to eat because what I want to eat is not here. They don’t want to do anything about. They’re not giving people tickets anymore. They’re not giving information. Now they come in the night they will tell you they are waiting and tell you to pack.

The protest was very nice. I loved it. My prayer is to let the doors come open and so people can see what is happening here. They treat us like slaves. That’s what is happening here. We want our freedom and we want Nigeria to stop issuing travel documents. I have been here 8 years, I’ve lost my brother and lost my dad who are in the UK, I don’t have any family in Nigeria.

The way things are going in this house we are not happy

The way things are going in this house we are not happy. The food they give us is not good so sometimes we don’t go to dinner.  At the moment all we have to say is people should keep working for us because it is difficult most of us have no money. Some people have just been taken away because they have no money for lawyer. It is good for us to write it down.

We are not eating, we try to do something.

We are still writing all the problems. We are not eating, we try to do something.

People settle down their whole life is in the country, hundred percent people don’t like to go so people living five years six years everything they settle down in this country, they like to take them back to India, Sri Lanka, wherever. They can’t go some people have children they have family here. We can’t go, we stay here in the detention centre, that’s why we are fighting. The room, the food is not human, we are like butterfly, the human they want freedom. This is like a zoo, the people telling ok that animal got the freedom, but freedom means no cage they can jump that’s the life.

This is like a two metres by two metres space, they give you food. The human wants to see so many places the human is liking outside, this is like a headache place now. All the people don’t like to wait here, we like to go out as soon as possible, we know that United Kingdom is amazing big place, this is like a 100 yard 100 yard place, we like to go soon as possible out that’s it.

The best thing we can write it down. Most of the people can’t talk English so it is best that we write it down. Everything we write it down in a letter we put our room numbers on it and we will send it in a couple of hours.

It would be good if the protest was on the news so that everyone will here it.

It would be good if the protest was on the news so that everyone will here it. If everyone would hear it then this immigration would have to change their way. Parliament would have to change the legislation which is affecting us here.

I can’t imagine they would take people without the ticket. They don’t give the tickets, they keep them and call you to legal or the unit office and then take you. They take people unawares. They collect her phone so she cannot contact anyone – her lawyer or anybody. The officers will go to her room and get her things and take them. She cannot change her clothes. They’ve done this to three or four ladies.

There’s no good care. No good food. No good water. No good place to sleep. There’s these little bed bugs over the beds. The water is affecting their skin. People are having serious stomach ache and there’s no good medical care. And if some people have an appointment in the hospital they will have to handcuff them as if they were a criminal. Arriving here without a visa is not a big crime that they have to handcuffed to go to hospital.

The protest yesterday was good. You guys out there are feeling for us. You are feeling what we are going through. Because we are here unlawful. They say we will resettle people after 10 years 12 years 20 years. There is a woman here who has been here 21 years. Her lawyer applied for the 20 year rule and she was refused. She is being removed on a charter flight on the 24th of November. I want everyone to know about this Charter flight to November and to stop it.

I have been here for 18 years. This is the first time they are arresting me here. They got me when I went to sign. I don’t have any where to go. I left Nigeria when I was in my 20s. I came here in my 30s. I am 51 now. The whole of my family are dead, I don’t have any body. To start with, I went to South Africa but they took my South African passport. When I visited Nigeria in 2000 I was almost killed by extended family who thought I was coming for inheritance. I had to run. Now they say I have to return to where I was almost killed.

I grew up in the UK since I was in year 4.

Basically I work in the family unit. I serve food. You know you have jobs in detention. I work service assistant – basically we serve the food. They are all on hunger strike. I like serving but the only bad thing is you can’t get extra things – you can’t give people extra because the officers will tell you off. You get paid £3 a day. I 12.30-1-30, 5.30 til 6.30. People come here with no money.

At the moment I’m facing deportation. My human rights and asylum has been refused. My case is very strong but my solicitor is very weak. Other solicitors can’t do legal aid so I can only go with this one. I have a deportation order.

The staff is really really crap. They don’t treat us with respect. They don’t let us have bowls and cutlery in our rooms. They use bedding and towels that have been used by other people and have only been washed with hot water.

When there’s a fire we have to stay inside our rooms but normally we should go to the fire assembly point. There was a fire last month, late last month when one lady put herself on fire and a couple of people got injured. They just said we should stay inside. There was ambulance there was police and fire brigade.

I grew up in the UK since I was in year 4. Since then I was in the care system under section 31. I used to abscond because I didn’t let me see my mum, I could only see her supervised and if I saw her alone you’d get in trouble. When I was 16 committed robbery and I went to prison for 3 years and 6 months I was told to do half. I served the sentence but then I was taken away by immigration. I was told to finish my whole sentence by immigration. If I had my early release I would be out but I’m still in for the full time. And then they took me to Colnbrook Detention centre and I came to Yarl’s Wood in March 2015

They want to deport me now. It took them 8 months to even make a deportation order and they refused my asylum and human rights. I also suffer from mental health problems and ADHD.

It’s horrible what detention does to people. You leave prison and come here and no one its like a new subject that you have to learn. They separate you from your family. They make you feel like you have no hope. I want to get bail but it was withdrawn by the judge three times. I could have got bail but the first time I didn’t have my probation letter to say I could stay at the address. The second time my friend had temporary accommodation so I couldn’t get released to it. The third time my sister was pregnant so she couldn’t come and she was going to be my surety.

Its unfair becauser Social Services could have applied for british citizenship when I was young because I’ve lived there for so long. But now I’m 18 they can’t and they can’t give me support. And now I’m being deported.

It’s not fair that someone who has been brought up in this country. I was born in Venezuella and I’ve been here when I was 4. I came to the UK and they want to deport me to Guyana where my mum is from. But my whole family is here.

I’ve been here 8 months I want people to know what it’s like.

I’ve lived here for 13 years, since i was 15. I’ve been to school here, been to university.

I’ve lived here for 13 years, since i was 15. I’ve been to school here, been to university. I’m married to a man who has British citizenship. He has British children, I have have British step-children who we have 50:50 parentage for. 

They have been refusing my application for very silly reason. Saying I can go back to my country of origin and continue my relationship with my husband with Skype and whatapp, that modern technology allows us to do that. They told me I should sign on while my application was being processed, which i did. All the dates they asked me to go I was there. The last time I was there they said, ‘You have an interview today’. They took me to a room and asked me about my husband and step-children. They were asking about dates and stuff which I answered all correctly. That man then left, saying he was going to speak to someone and get back to me. Another officer came in and tried to contradict me. We see our step-children all the time, we have a good relationship with them and i pick them up from school but the officer came in and was trying to contradict my story. I rebuked him and told him no, and re-told my story. He left then after about an hour he said, ‘We are going to detain you today’. Usually they detain you if you have absconded or have a criminal record. But I have never absconded, I don’t have a criminal record, I have kept in contact with the home office for the last 13 years. 

They took me Colnbrook. When I got there they did the protocol and everything then put me in room with three beds with air-conditioning on in October. We asked them to turn it off but they said it was centralised so they couldn’t. I got really sick, to my bones, and asked to see a doctor. They didn’t let me see a nurse until three days later when they sent me to YW. The three days I was there they gave me clothes, they were supposed to be new clothes but they were so dirty. They had all been used. Even the towels and stuff. I know its not a hotel but they don’t wash them properly.

Yarl’s Wood is just crazy. Even though it is mainly women there are a lot of male staff. It is very demeaning for me to ask a male officer for sanitary products. They are in a pot but if they aren’t there you have to ask the officers and a lot of them are men.

The water is so bad. The food is so bad, it doesn’t taste of anything so you have to put loads of salt in the food which is bad for your health. I have stopped eating there and I’m eating biscuits and noodles from the shop. I don’t want to eat so much salt and damage my health before I leave here.

Theres older people here, like 65 and 70. Theres a lot of pregnant women here too. Under the circumstances everyone is doing the best they can. There was a lady here who was 8 weeks pregnant, and she just found out. She was crying all the time. her pregnancy was delicate and she was worried for her life and her baby’s life. When she had pain they gave her paracetamol, they didn’t examine her. When she asked to be examined they said you have a stomach ache – so you get paracetamol for that. They seem to be giving everyone paracetamol for everything here.

The beds are very uncomfortable, just rubber mattresses, and they are dirty from how many people have slept there. They only clean the room if two people have left, but not if one person leaves, even if they have been there for months. It is not healthy. 

Women have come from all over the country, from Scotland and Newcastle. I feel bad for the women here because their families can’t come and visit them. People’s families have to work extra hours to pay for the solicitors. 

Some of the officers are nice but you forget about them when the others look at you like you are nothing.

People try to kill themselves here. It is such a depressing atmosphere. People take the bit out the wardrobe that you hang the clothes on and harm themselves with it. 

Also there is a lady here who has clearly lost her mind. I say that respectfully. I am told she has been here for 8 months. She shouts at people and tells them not to look at here or she will get them. She goes to the gym and sits outside where people leave their shoes and she rubs her armpits with the shoes. I am scared for my own safety but for her – for her too. The officers say there is nothing wrong with her but it is clear there is. She need to be in a place where she can be cared for properly.

Before we would know for about a week before your deportation tickets. Now they just take you unaware. They call you into legal and tell you your flight is in the morning so you don’t have time to speak to your lawyer. Also people have been called to legal and leave the same day. We knew who had a ticket before. At this point it will only take a miracle of god to cancel a ticket like that. 

When people who are unwell and are taken outside to a hospital or specialist appointment, they take most of them handcuffed. We are not criminals, they take most of us unaware to bring us here. They handcuff them. They are weak and unwell, they do not resist. The officers do it because they are scared they are going to run away. Everyone looks at you like a criminal, if you are lucky they put a cloth over your hands to hide the handcuffs.

People are not criminals here. Most of us have been here for years, and contributed. I have obeyed everything they have said and not worked because I wasn’t allowed. But I have done charity work and showed them records to say I am a good citizen and trying to contribute to this society. But they don’t care.

The worst thing for me is you don’t know how long you are here for. If you are a criminal you know you are in prison for a year. But you go to legal to ask them something and they say they don’t have that information. People have been here for 2 months, 6 months,  8 months. You don’t know how long for. Thats the worst thing for me.

The protest today there were lots of people outside in the rain. Thank you, it was good.

The officer here has closed the door, the door to have access to the internet. Here in the family unit 36 family refuse to have food. Everyone here has the same problem and want home office to review all their cases. Nothing else. Some people are victim of the solicitor some people cannot speak English. To take one solicitor you need to pay £10,000.  The people now are all in the corridor in the family unit demanding the home office review their cases and release them.

The protest today there were lots of people outside in the rain. Thank you, it was good.

The officers closed the computer room so no one can have access to the internet.

The officers closed the computer room so no one can have access to the internet. There’s 36 family in the corridors. They want two things. We want everyone released and their cases can be reviewed. They make decisions are refused they are victims of the solicitors. Private soliccitors cost like £10,000 most people are victims of the solicitors. They have closed the fast track but people had decisions made then and are still here.

Everybody is in the corridor. Every family.

Everybody is in the corridor. Every family. No family is in their room. In hummingbird wing in Yarl’s Wood. It’s the family unit. We have 36 families – 36 couples. Husband and Wife. Everybody has problems. We decided to do a small strike. They have put a note on the complaint book but they didn’t reply. Everybody is suffering in Yarl’s Wood. They have families outside. They don’t listen about the emotional outcomes of it. In my case, my grandmother is alone. I’ve told temporary admission twice – she is doing toilet in bed – but they don’t listen, they don’t release me. But everyone has problems. We’ve been in here more than 60 days.

The officers came to say we should eat. We said we’re not eating today, take the food back.

We have lots of support from people outside. They came here standing in the rain. So we support them as well. They know our problems – they want to support us.

There are lots of people with healthcare problems. They go to the nurse and they are very rude to them. Everyone is given paracetamol. They only take action when it increases or we are going to die. But other’s no point.

[chanting in background: “We have everybody in the corridor – and don’t go in the room”]