I was there on Saturday.

I was there on Saturday. The ladies were really psyched about the demonstration outside. I was one of the people getting people together. I have been outside with Movement for justice when I was out.

It gives people so much hope. The more people that shows up at the demonstration, the more hope that is given to people in here. The more ladies were gathering inside, the more officers were hanging around. This was quite intimidating for the ladies. The ladies would come out from the rooms where they could see the protesters. The officers were saying we should get down from the tables and stop shouting. They were saying they would be put in trouble.

They had set up bingo for the time of the protest and the door is locked the whole time for bingo. So you can’t go outside and see the protest. A few people went. Some people think that the Serco people are going to help them get released. They get scared.

There is one woman, she doesn’t take nonsense from the officers. She will talk back to them. They are always searching her, they don’t give her a break. If they see you hanging around her then the officers say why are you hanging around her? It will go on your file. They don’t like seeing us with her. These things scared people.

From my side on Dove I could say around 50 ladies saw the protest and around 30 were participating with them shouting. But there were also people from the other units who saw it.

The protest was a sort of empowerment. Some people didn’t know about protests but when they saw it they were moved. They kept saying that this is good, this is good. It gives me courage to go on and maybe one day one time they will be closed down.

This is my second time in Yarl’s Wood. When you get to detention centre the first time I hated the fact I was locked up. I was there for 7 months. That time messed me up so much, even when I was outside. The second time is worse. It was harder than before because I was released for three months and now I’m back. It makes me feel that I didn’t do much. For the first 1 and half month of being released, I was still trapped. I didn’t go out, I only went out for appointments. I used to feel that they were watching me like the cameras and the officers. It was weird. I wasn’t able to do anything for my case and I feel like I wasted that time because these things time. People don’t deserve to be in here.

There are different women in here, with different cases and different issues and they’re all put in the same place. And people harm themselves. And even those who don’t think of that, they see it and get scared. It doesn’t make sense. It is a weird place to be in.

I want to talk about work

First of all, I am a fulltime student which give me the right ot education in the UK and is a human right. I am a full time student of construction at a college – The college gave me full support yet the home office put me in detention. I have a partner here and I’m not a criminal. I find it pretty disgusting – it’s a kind of ethnic cleansing. I don’t see why I should be in detention. – I was one of the best students in my department.

I want to talk about work. There is no induction for people who start work in detention. They pay £1 per hour for any job. I was specifically told that I had no right to work outside of detention. If any company out there employ ‘illegal migrant’ then the company get prosecuted and fined and the migrant get arrested and jailed. But G4S, GEO, SERCO and MITIE all run these detention centres contracted to the Home office  and all employ illegal migrants. They should be prosecuted and fined. They make lots of profit and pay us under minimum wage and treating us like slaves. I find this very disgusting. Why are we being treated in this inhuman way.

People work as cleaners, in the kitchen, some people who wash pans, some that work in the library as an attendant, those who clean tables, people who clean the showers. Every essential part of the centre apart from security staff are all done by detainees who are paid £1 an hour.

The health and safety situation is poor as well. One of my colleagues went to the showers. Under the health and safety rules and regulations under the slips trips and falls – wherever there is a hazard of falling they should put a sign so that people don’t. But that was not there until a week ago. A pad mate slipped and fell and almost brought a claim.

In normal circumstances the first thing that gets done when you’re employed is induction. There are no induction packs whatsoever. No one knows their rights from left. I’m quite educated but for most people in here the system is shambolic. IT’s a place where they cage them just to remove them. Everyone is classified as a danger to the public yet they’ve committed no crime and they come from a war torn area. I’ve seen lots of papers and its like a template, they just classify people. IT’s an administrative thing – categorising migrants all into on section. Once an immigrant family, they designate them a danger t the public and need to remove.

It’s not the Britain I used to live in. It’s all politically motivated. No body is talking about this. WE are being used to make profit, as cash cows for the home office and for the security companies. G4S £148 million last year – where are they making this profit? They are making it from those in prison, from detainees. If they employed people outside to work here, they would be paid 6, 7 pounds an hour. Any other job they would punish people for paying £1 an hour. I think this is double standards.

If I’m allowed to work in here, and I get released – I will not be allowed.

Why do I say that the Home office is involved in this? Because before you get a job in a detention centre, the Home office have to clear you. So they know! They have to clear you, so they are involved. If they don’t clear you, then you don’t get a job. They know this is how much they pay. They know exactly what is going. The Home Office, the medical care and the companies are all involved in this. They know about it – so why is it different? Why should we be marginalised and almost enslaved?