Posts Tagged ‘Immigration

21
Apr
09

Supporting prisoners

In the spirit of mutual aid and solidarity, Autonomous Nottingham wish to take a role in supporting prisoners and the struggle against prison. We have started a new prisoner support page in order to keep our readers informed about people in prison and ways to support them. We have started with the case of Hicham Yezza, the writer and activist imprisoned as the result of a string of events that followed a senseless terror raid last summer. The state-created climate of fear and suspicion regarding arabs and muslims has undoubtedly played a large part in his current predicament.

Hicham Yezza

Hicham Yezza

Hicham Yezza was wrongfully arrested under anti-terror legislation at the University of Nottingham in May 2008. Quick and simple checks by the university authorities or police would have established his innocence and could have avoided this course of events.

Following its policy of trying to deport foreign terror suspects, the Home Office immediately detained Hicham (who is an Algerian national) following his release and attempted a ‘fast-track’ deportation. A massive campaign of support got Hich out on bail but the Home Office continued its persecution of the writer and peace activist.

In March of this year, Hicham was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment for the immigration offence of ’securing avoidance of enforcement action via deceptive means’. He has always maintained his innocence and is preparing an appeal, but for now he remains behind bars. Please consider writing to Hicham at the address below. You can send books, magazines and CDs as long as you include the sender’s name and address on the envelope:

Hicham Yezza, XP9266, HMP Canterbury, 46 Longport, Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom, CT1 1PJ.

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23
Mar
09

Nottingham anarchists protest immigration prison

No Borders, No Nations

No Borders, No Nations

On Saturday, a number of No Borders activists from Nottingham joined about 150 others in marching from Bedford town centre to Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Yarl’s Wood is part of the UK Border Agency’s immigration detention gulag where migrants are held in prison-like conditions, often for years, without ever having been charged with a crime. Yarl’s Wood is particularly controversial because it specialises in the incarceration of families of migrants and women. The demonstration called for an end to indefinite immigration detention, an end to ‘fast-track’ deportations of migrants, an end to medical abuse and detention of victims of rape and torture, an end to the use of violence within the immigration system and a stop to the expansion of Yarl’s Wood and the ‘detention estate’.

Perhaps because we had the biggest banner, the Nottingham contingent found ourselves at the front of the march (often asking locals which way we had to go!) It was a long walk (over 5 miles) to the detention centre and we regretted bringing the big banner at times! Perhaps unsurprisingly, we encountered some hostility in the village of Clapham, the nearest habitation to the detention centre. It is likely that many of the workers at the detention centre live in the area. However, we made a strong and defiant stand against the degrading and dehumanising immigration system that reigns in this country. Outside the gates of Yarl’s Wood we heard moving testimonies from former inmates and, via speaker phone, from people inside. We must continue to show solidarity with those who are criminalised for having crossed borders and continue to take action against the Home Office and companies like Serco, who run Yarl’s Wood.