No Border activists and Unity volunteers picketed Barnardo's shops today in protest at their involvement in running controversial Cedars detention centre today. Hundreds of leaflets were handed out explaining
Children’s charity Barnardo’s run the UKBA’s family detention centre in Sussex in partnership with notorious security firm G4S. Here children are detained with their families after being arrested in raids on their homes by immigration officials.
Barnardo’s say they provide key welfare, safeguarding and support services for families at the detention centre but in reality they are colluding with a detention regime that has been condemned by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons after force was used against a pregnant mother from Glasgow this year.
The government says it has ended child detention. That’s a lie, they’ve just changed the name. Cedars, in Pease Pottage, Sussex, is officially called “pre-departure accommodation”, and has a playground and a nice garden. But since it opened in August 2011 more than 39 families, with 84 children, have been imprisoned there.
What goes on behind the trees at Cedars?
According to a new report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons:
- Cedars staff have used violence against children.
- Cedars staff have been caught assaulting a pregnant woman, dragging another woman by her hair and using “unacceptable force”.
- Family members have self harmed.
- Families are only supposed to be held at Cedars for 7 days but staff have got round this by detaining families repeatedly.
- Half (49%) of families detained at Cedars had no legal representation.
- Two members of staff have already been suspended for inappropriate behaviour.
- Unlike other UK prisons and detention centres, there are no clear rules about the use of force.
When Barnardo’s signed the Cedars contract, they said they would withdraw if certain “red lines” were broken. But that has already happened on a repeated basis, We know that lots of decent people working for Barnardo’s. We call on them to help turn Barnardo’s from part of the problem to part of the solution. If Barnardo’s pulls out of Cedars and speaks about what has gone on there it could be break through needed
More info and ideas on how to continue the action against Barnardo's here: https://network23.org/barnardosout/
Some pictures from today's pickets