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Bristol and Bath students join detained asylum seekers' protest
- Close Yarl's Wood! End detention! Grant the right to work!
Robert Alexander, Bristol North Socialist Party
Just outside a sleepy Bedfordshire village lies Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre. Bristol and Bath Socialist Students organised a coach of students, socialists and ex-detainees to join protests at the racist and inhumane system Yarl's Wood epitomises.
Detainees are mainly women and families who have escaped repression or war in their native countries.
They have not committed any crimes, but are locked up without sentence until the state grants asylum. Britain is the only EU country which does not have a limit on detention length.
They protest through collective non-cooperation and hunger strikes, and solidarity actions are important to help them keep up their strength.
Detainees waved back after protesters chanted, drummed and kicked on the metal fences. The mood became more solemn as current detainees spoke and led chanting from within via loudspeaker.
Their actions have rippled out to Westminster, with parliament now conducting another inquiry into detention.
We must pressure parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee to listen to the voices of refugees over the private corporations, such as Serco, Capita and G4S, that profit from their incarceration.
Socialists Students demands the closure of detention centres. Those seeking asylum must have the right to work and education so they can take part in society rather than living in limbo.
We demand a £10-an-hour minimum wage without exemptions - and jobs for all, workers already here as well as migrants.
The Refugee Rights campaign encourages refugees to join trade unions as part of the fight for jobs and decent pay and conditions.
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