She managed to see us. Diane Abbott the shadow home secretary was here this morning with her entourage. One of them was Shami Chakrabarti, the human rights lawyer.
We, as a group of people who are detained here and are on hunger strike, we wanted to show the management here that we wanted to see her. In case they wanted to stop us, we went down to the reception corridor. We wanted to stop them showing her the better places and stopping our grievances being heard.
I was the first person to say what was happening about me because I was at the front of the group.
We had to go into the sports hall because there was no space where we were. The poor woman had a chance to talk to us all, one by one to hear our stories. She had, to sit down and listen to our grievances of most us, even though she didn’t have enough time for everyone. Even though she was there for 15 minutes, she managed to hear each and every one’s story. Which is what we want- we want people to hear our cry.
We were really crying to her. Even herself she was emotional as well to see us in that state. If you see someone crying if makes you emotional too. Because so many people wanted to talk to her about their experience here. When we saw her, we had all wanted to see her. She was Someone we had always wanted to see.
Her secretary was saying that there was not enough time to hear from everyone and she said we should write our stories and concerns, put it in an envelope or send it through emails. So far, we are happy that at least there are a lot of people are supporting us.
Oh my god, there were people who were crying. People who were detained for 10 months 12 months 14 months. We spoke about how we are not allowed to work outside. But when we came here they want to employ us for £1 per hour for 3 hours in a day. She heard us. If that they can employ us here, why can’t they let us work out there and contribute to the country? Especially those who have lived here for so long.
What we want is for her to go to talk to those people who are in power. To take action and deal with our situation here.
We are women, we have a life. We need to work. Our children came to the UK when they when they were young and now they are being detained. Everything here is depressing.
I want to say to Diane Abbott that we have been waiting for that moment. That she was indeed a shoulder, the only shoulder we have, to cry on. They should act on all the demands we have made. They are all critical. And, please, even if they will not meet all of our concerns, make sure the young people and people who have no lives elsewhere are not detained. The young people are the future of Britain, why do they want to detain them?
They should never call us illegal immigrants – we are undocumented migrants – I can’t wait for it to end, my daughter can’t wait.
Last night a lot of us on the wing we watched question time. There was this lady, Ash Sarkar, who said ‘why do you detain women who are pregnant and vulnerable women and women with health issues and refugees who have cases that have still pending and have rights of appeal in Yarl’s Wood’. And the man, who was part of the government said, they don’t detain such people as asylum seekers. That is a bloody lie. That was a lie from the pit of hell. How can you say that you only detain illegal immigrants who you are about to deport, but then you release them and then you redetain them over again and cause trauma to them for obeying your rules to go and report?
When I saw that, I felt that something is happening out there. And maybe certain action might be taken concerning our grievances and our cry.