There are many events taking place across the UK that highlight the damage immigration detention causes and call for a change. If you would like your events listed here, email us at detentionforum(at)gmail.com and we will do our best to include them. Also if you have attended these events and want to file a short report on it (up to 500 words and 200 – 300 words is sufficient), do get in touch – we can give you our blog guidelines. Past events are periodically moved to our Archived Events page here.
Please note that we cannot guarantee accuracy of the information below. Any queries should be sent to the event organisers – thank you!
30 May 2015, 12:00, #ShutDungavel demonstration, Scotland
The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) is organising a demonstration outside Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in Scotland on 30 May 2015. Dungavel IRC is the only detention centre in Scotland where up to 259 men and women are detained without a time limit. The centre is regularly visited by one of our members, Scottish Detainee Visitors, and has attracted much attention and criticism after the publication of the parliamentary detention inquiry report in March 2015. Speakers at the event include President of STUC, Church of Scotland, Catholic Church, Muslim Council of Scotland, Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, one of the Glasgow Girls. For more information, visit the STUC webpage here where you can book your place on coaches. The hashtag for the event is #ShutDungavel – let’s send them a message of support.
6 June 2015, 12:30 – 3:00, Shut Down Yarls Wood – Set Her Free, Bedfordshire
One of our members, Women for Refugee Women, says “On Saturday 6th June, Women for Refugee Women and many other individuals and organisations will be protesting outside Yarl’s Wood. Speakers will include Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty; Helena Kennedy, lawyer and member of House of Lords; Richard Fuller MP; Nimko Ali, anti-FGM campaigner; Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party; Caroline Criado-Perez, feminist activist; and Zrinka Bralo, refugee campaigner. There will also be singing led by WAST Manchester and Lips Choir. Bring your instruments (tambourines, drums, triangles), your voice and your banners – all messages are welcome! The protest is from 12.30-3pm. More information is at https://www.facebook.com/events/672659356197107/”
6 June 2015, 1pm to 5pm, Surround Yarls Wood, Bedfordshire
Movement for Justice is also organising a demonstration outside Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre on 6 June 2015. Their demo will start 1pm and finish at 5pm. For coaches from London, meet at 9.30am at Euston station, Eversholt St, which will be back in London by 6.30/7pm. There are other coaches travelling from other locations, so more information email email@example.com – they will request donation on the day. Movement for Justice has organised regular demonstrations outside Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, next to Heathrow Airport, London. For more information about the event, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/837488373012376/
13 to 21 June 2015, Refugee Tales – Dover to Crawley, via Canterbury.
The Refugee Tales will be a unique walk, on paths taken by travellers over the centuries along the North Downs Way from Dover to Crawley via Canterbury, while reflecting on the long and dangerous journeys that many refugees make fleeing war and persecution, seeking a safe place to live. There will be 35 walkers undertaking the full 80 miles over 9 days and other walkers can register to join any part of the walk. Nightly events explore our relationships to and experiences of the harsh reality of immigration and exile, involving an exciting array of writers, performers and musicians, including Ian Sinclair, Denise Riley, John Hegley, Sameen Zahra, Abadulrazak Burnah, Ali Smith and others. The event is organized by one of our members, Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group. Their excellent website is definite worth a visit. Find out more on Twitter by following @RefugeeTales and send them a message of support using a hashtag #RefugeeTales.
15 June 2015, 11:00 – 4:00, Immigration Detention – a British addiction, Teeside University, Middlesbrough
Immigration detention does not stop at the gates of the detention centres – it affects many communities across the UK. Join us for this special public event on immigration detention in the UK, the recent Parliamentary Inquiry on Detention, and how you can get involved in the fight for detention reform. Earlier this year, people in the North-East spoke out about this unfair, disproportionate and unnecessary loss of liberty. Locals both directly and indirectly affected by immigration detention came together and gave testimony to the first-ever Parliamentary Inquiry on Detention, who published their report in March. The event is organised by North of England Refugee Service, Regional Refugee Forum North East, Detention Action and Detention Forum. For more information, visit the webpage here and you can book your place here.
17 June 2015, 5:30 – 7:30, ‘Expensive, ineffective and unjust’ – challenging immigration detention, Glasgow
Our member, Scottish Detainee Visitors, and Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network invite you to a discussion event as part of Refugee Festival Scotland 2015. In March 2015, the report of a cross party Parliamentary Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention in the UK argued that the current detention system is “expensive, ineffective and unjust”. Its key recommendation was that indefinite detention should end and that there should be a time limit of 28 days. In Scotland, a broad civil society movement challenging detention is growing and it became a key issue in the 2015 general election campaign with SNP, Labour, LibDems and Greens all pledging to reform the system. Where do the results of the election leave the campaign for change? Join speakers including Jerome Phelps from Detention Action for a timely debate to consider the way forward. For more details, please visit the webpage here.
20 June 2015, 12 onwards, End Austerity Now National Demo, London
Many friends and colleagues of the Detention Forum are joining “Immigrants not to blame, anti-racism & anti-fascism bloc” at the “End Austerity Now” demo on June 20 in London. Looking forward to seeing many of you there. More information is available here https://www.facebook.com/events/642344809233603/
26, 29 and 30 June 2015, The Scar Test (performed in London, Bedford and Colchester)
Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre. Bedford. 2015. A time you will know but a place you cannot. With unique access through the Yarl’s Wood Befrienders, Untold Theatre brings you stories from the inside. The play takes its title from a procedure used to determine whether detainees have undergone torture in their home countries, but not all forms of torture leave scars… An unlikely tale of humour, love and hardship, using different languages, physical and verbatim theatre The Scar Test will take you on an unforgettable journey through a dark world under lock and key. All proceeds will go to one of our members, Yarls Wood Befrienders. More information here.
2 July 2015, Ex-detainee Conference, London
One of our members, Samphire, who visits people held in Dover Immigration Removal Centre, is hosting their annual ‘Ex-detainee’ Conference in London. We will add more information about the event when the details are confirmed.
5 July 2015, ‘Time for a time limit’ Interfaith Tent, Harmondsworth, 10:30am to 9:30pm
Our member Rene Cassin is callin on people of all faiths and none to gather near Harmondsworth Detention Centre – the biggest detention centre in Europe – to fast, pray, listen and raise our voice in solidarity with the strangers at our gates. Rabbi Natan Levy – Tzelem, Imam Mamadou Seydou Bocoum – Director of Interfaith through the Arts & Interfaith Consultant for Faith Matters and Most Rev Kevin McDonald – Emeritus Archbishop of Southwark, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Committee for Other Faiths and of the Committee for Catholic-Jewish Relations will be leading interfaith teachings and discussions. More information is here.
29 July 2015, London Churches Refugee Network event on immigration detention – to be confirmed