On Friday 7th December, Christine N was released from Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Her release is a tremendous victory.
Hundreds of women in Yarl’s Wood detention centre protested to stop the brutal attempt to deport Christine on the 15th October. Many, many people took action against the attempted deportation, and the fight was successful.
Christine has been absolutely steadfast in her fight. Like the women currently still held, returning to her country is not an option, it is a return to abuse and destitution. The women held in detention are there because at some point they have made a break for freedom, rejected suppression or harassment, chosen to assert their identity or sexuality, refused a marriage, or made some other stand for their own dignity and right to equal treatment. Yarl’s Wood detention centre is the central battle ground in Britain for the rights of asylum seekers and the rights of women. The women are fighting by every means necessary.
What Christine stands for is the struggle of hundreds of women detainees, and thousands of asylum seekers making the decision to fight and trying to work out what is possible.
If Christine can fight off 8 attempts to force her back into the hands of her oppressors, be an outspoken leader to other women, be involved with MFJ, an organisation that is openly critical of government policies; If she can face the racism in the immigration system that routinely treats immigrants as less than human and rather than plead – let it be known that she is a fighter and can get out of detention…. then it is right for all of us to fight with the same passion and determination.
The fight for Christine’s asylum continues, and to free the other women who took a bold and courageous stand. We call on everyone to help build publicity, organise rallies in towns and cities, and on campuses to promote the demand of asylum and freedom for the women of Yarl’s Wood. Invite MFJ and Christine to come and speak about Yarls Wood and how we fight to win. Read the MFJ statement on YarlsWood, get tthis message, declaration of a victory and method to win out far and wide; inside detention centres, at immigration reporting centres and throughout our communities. Our fight can close down Yarl’s Wood and end detention.
Flights cancelled under pressure of movement
Another victory – spread the method! build MFJ/BAMN!
Within 20 minutes of MFJ holding a protest at Egypt Air HQ, deportation flights were cancelled for Frank – lesbian asylum seeker from Uganda detained in YW, and Asuman – gay asylum seeker from Uganda, detained in Dover. Egypt Air have confirmed that they will never fly someone they know is not going voluntarily – spread the word, hold them to it!
In both the cases of Asuman and Frank they have stood up as leaders and organisers in MFJ. Airlines have no interest in associating with forced deportations; under the gaze of publicity from a growing movement many airlines will refuse the flight. Thanks everyone who also made calls, and emails in this case, and to Qatar Air who had been due to assist deporting Christine. Let’s keep this pressure on!
The perspective and leadership of the Movement for Justice is to build leaders, inspire and teach others who are oppressed how to fight for themselves by organising collective mass action, speaking the plain truth about racism, sexism and anti-gay bigotry. It is possible to win, by building the strength of an independent, integrated youth-lead civil rights and immigrant rights movement. If you agree and act on this perspective, you are part of MFJ/BAMN.