We are still traumatised due to yesterday’s events, I can’t tell you how unsettling this is, I haven’t spoken to a single officer today and I don’t see how I can, I can’t even look them in the eyes, I just keep thinking “I wonder which one of you is going to put their hands on me” after what I saw last night I keep having flashbacks, I feel guilty like I should have done something more, it was very tense and I thought it was going to kick off at one point, we were crying shouting at the officers to let her go, and they were shouting in our faces and threatening us. I can’t get that image of her strapped like a Guantanamo inmate out of my mind.
I have never felt so vulnerable in my life and I have been in some shitty situations, I’m so anxious I can’t relax, it’s like I’m in the wolf’s den and I will get eaten eventually, I don’t know what is worse, the anticipation of the event or the event itself.
I can honestly say I have never felt so alone and hopeless in my life, but I have never felt such anger either.
I hope we can all stick together and stop this happening again, all detainees should stop being afraid, or use that fear to fight for their own and each other’s survival.
We have to make a stand for not just our rights but for what is right.
Unity and Solidarity is what will make the difference.
There is a problem. There is a woman who has been in Yarl’s Wood for a year. She was in the kitchen all day working. They told her nothing.
Tonight, 7 male officers came to take her. They put her in handcuffs. It was very violent. She cried. She cried so much. She was shouting help me, help me, help me.
Everybody jumped from their rooms into the corridor. We went to the door. We said “go away leave the girl alone”. The officers were shouting back at us. The officers were saying “What the fuck are you doing? Go in your rooms. Shut your mouths.” They talk like that, you understand. It’s not funny. What is wrong with people here. We said why are you being rude to us, like the gestapo. They bully, bully bully you. It’s not nice. It’s violent, it’s very violent.
Why are we not allowed phones with cameras in here? They are hiding something you know, they are guilty. And they feel guilty because they are hiding something.
I am confident that I speak for all detainees and not just those here in Yarl’s Wood when I say how terribly aggrieved we are at the prosecution of the Stansted 15.
The severity of the charges and the lengthy sentences they face are hard to accept and troubles me personally and I can only hope that justice will prevail in this matter.
Their actions did not cause any loss of life or damage to property yet the sentences they face are graver than say a drink driver who mows down a child, or a rapist would face.
All they did was bring attention to an unjust practice which still continues to be practiced by the Home Office.
Although I am shocked by this it is sad to say that I am not surprised, and as I have said before, because the home office acts with impunity regarding immigrants, their actions will trickle down to other parts of society and I am truly fearful for the liberty of all.
I hope the Stansted 15 know that we are with them in spirit, we appreciate all they have done and it is because of principled people like them that all advancements are made regarding human rights and civil liberties, and being oppressed by the powers that be is standard procedure in these cases as history has proven time and again.
I feel a kinship with them because of what they are going through and I understand completely how they feel and no matter what happens they are all going to fine. I know they must be strong people because their actions prove that.
I hope that justice prevails and your liberty remains intact so that you can continue in your noble fight for the liberty of others.
You are a true inspiration
Love, Solidarity and gratitude from the Yarl’s Wood Strikers
I am so grateful to Diane Abbott and others who helped to stop the deportation of my friend who was snatched from us without warning on Friday.
Although I am so glad she is back as she is dear to me and I was afraid of what might happen to her in ********, I am still afraid after hearing how she was taken.
She told me how after being summoned to healthcare, she saw the doctor because she was still not eating, and then straight from there they took her to the segregation unit which is directly outside healthcare, where she had no phone until much later when officers retrieved it from her room along with all her belongings, not that it did any good as there is no signal and she couldn’t contact anyone. But most shocking is that she was fully restrained from the segregation unit up until the deportation was cancelled. What I don’t understand is that she is 5f2 very thin and frail, as well as being one of the most passive pacifists I have ever met and she did not resist.
They even restrained her legs because she started to cry.
I am so terrified I can’t imagine how she felt, literally tied like a sacrificial lamb to the slaughter.
I dread my turn and it will come, I am more afraid than ever and there is nothing I can do but be detained and have this threat over my like a guillotine.
There has to be a better way.
Today has been a very emotional day for me personally,
I am struggling to see anyone in healthcare here in Yarl’s Wood and even going to get my anti-depressants is a struggle now as I just don’t feel I can have any sort of contact with the healthcare staff as I feel vulnerable when I do and I can’t make myself vulnerable in that environment.
So that being said one of my dear friends and fellow activist was segregated today, this is what they do now before you are deported, and even though she is still here I fear she might be lost to me forever.
One faint ray on sunshine is that Stuart McDonald and hopefully Yvette Cooper are visiting us today and we, though diminished in number, are still very grateful for the opportunity to speak with members of the select committee.
We want to know if anything is being done regarding our plight but I also need to know if the Home Office will be held to account for their oppressive treatment of detainees, and when will it’s practices be regularised by a truly independent body, it cannot be allowed to continue it’s immoral and even illegal practices with impunity any longer.
A serious investigation needs to take place into how the Home Office choose to interpret policy and how it enforces these policies, but ideally we would like a clear change in policy with no room for interpretation because our very lives are affected by this bureaucratic administrative body.
I speak for myself and many others when I say the situation for us is getting worse, we are not coping with the constant pressures on us and how can we fight our cases in this sorry state. For most of us it is a fight for life as we know it, if not for life itself.
It is this reality, this desperation I face and deal with every day, not to mention my own personal hell that is dealing with my own case, from the purgatory that is Yarl’s Wood.
I keep thinking about my friend *****,
She was deported to India on Saturday, after escaping her family who were persecuting her because she wouldn’t agree to a forced marriage and married for love instead and out of cast. She suffered terrible abuse before escaping to Britain. She studied and worked here for 7 years, she made a life for herself here and even though she was abandoned by her husband she did ok here.
She wanted to claim asylum but was given bad legal advice and withdrew her claim as she was told to claim asylum when you are being removed and instead the lawyer took her money for other applications which were bound to be unsuccessful.
When she tried to claim asylum before she was removed they told her that she could not, is that even legal? Who knows what’s legal anymore? I certainly don’t.
I worry about what is happening to her I hope she is safe. It’s really bothering me.