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Dawn Raids & Child Detention November 12, 2011

Posted by starglasgow in Uncategorized.

At the end of last year, the government pledged to end child detention by May 2011. It was a LibDem manifesto committment, and the coalition agreed to implement it as part of their post election coalition agreement. David Cameron described the process as a “scandal” and Nick Clegg released a statement describing it as a “shameful” process which “no innocent child should ever have to endure.
However, a year on this is still happening. According to the Guardian between May and August 2011 over 700 children were detained at south east ports, a third of whom were unaccompanied. Furthermore, they have opened a new centre for detaining children; Cedars.  According to the UKBA, Cedars is not a detention centre, it is a “pre-departure accomodation centre.” It has lots of bright colours, a play area and a pool table. It also has two boundary fences and is staffed by UKBA officials and the security force, G4S. (Yes, they are the same people who were responsible for the asphyxiation of Jimmy Mubenga on his deportation flight.) Instead of getting rid of child detention, the UKBA have rebranded it, added a play park and employed Barnardos to work with the children. They are still detaining children.
A few years ago, dawn raids on asylum seekers were stopped in Glasgow due to widespread opposition from communities. However, recently they have been used again. Many families with children are being dawn raided. Earlier this week, a single mother called Funke and her 5 year old son, Joseph, were woken at 7am by six or seven UKBA officials crashing through their door. Funke was handcuffed, while the UKBA men got Joseph out of bed, dressed him and took them both into detention. This is not uncommon but it is completely unnecessary. Funke had been to report at the Home Office the day before her arrest- there is no reason they could not have detained her and Joseph then but instead they chose to break into her house at 7am. They have been in detention since the raid, and are due to be forcibly deported at 10pm tonight (Saturday 12th.)

We are joining a protest against these things outside the UKBA office on Monday the 21st November, the day after Universal Childrens Day, at 10am. The UKBA office is on Brand Street, in Cessnock. It is very important that this protest is publicised as widely as possible, so please spread the word to everyone you know. There is a lot of preparation to do before the protest itself; if you can spare some time to help plan then please get in touch.

For more information about any of the above, feel free to drop us an email.

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