The Case Against Britain's Mass Deportation Charter Flights
Corporate Watch and Stop Deportation invite all those concerned to the launch of our major new report: The launch, on Wednesday 20th November at 7pm, will be combined with a workshop involving legal practitioners and campaigners who work on this issue to explore ways we can challenge and stop charter flights.
The event will be held at Garden Court Chambers
Address: 57- 60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJ
Nearest tube station: Holborn.
Read more: <> Corporate Watch
Stop the 11% Pay Rise For MPs' Salaries
Online Petition by Tanya Byk
Within weeks David Cameron will be making a decision on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority recommendation for a 11% pay rise on MPs' salaries.
Initially the pay rise was meant to come with the scrapping of expenses (they use our taxes to pay for their daily meals, travel, expenses for second homes and duck ponds etc) but now they are demanding the pay rise whilst keeping their expenses intact. All the while they are cutting benefits for vulnerable families, freezing salaries for our most loved nurses and sacking the police we need to keep our communities safe.
The British people can't take much more of this, the blatant stealing from the poor to give to the rich is getting out of hand and it's clearly apparent that the current government are also silencing mainstream media to keep important changes from us.
We, the British public are part of a democratic society and need to express our disgust at the proposals to yet again, give bonuses and pay rises to those who not only don't need them, but don't deserve them! They should not receive a pay rise of any kind during this desperate economic time. MPs should refuse a pay rise or bonus to show that we're truly 'in this together.'
Please sign this petition and share with your family and friends, don't be complacent and believe this will all go away, or that it's too late; it's never too late to use your voice.
Much love and support to everyone who is struggling due to the actions of this Government.
You Can Sign the Petition <> here . . . .
Urgent Action Alert Evenia Facing Removal Thursday 24 October
Evenia Mawongera is 55 years old. She lives in Leicester and is from Zimbabwe. Evenia has been living in Leicester with her daughters and grandchildren, all of whom are British citizens, for close to 10 years. On Thursday the Home Office will try to forcibly return her to the country she fled from 10 years ago. You can help.
A big local campaign in Leicester is trying to stop the flight.
You can help, but You need to act fast - <> Take Action Now
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 345
Early Day Motion 603: Textile Workers In Bangladesh
That this House notes that Bangladesh is currently the world's second-biggest producer of textiles and garments, and that it's mostly-female workforce of four million people are the lowest paid in the world and face appalling working conditions on a daily basis for less than £28 a month; deeply regrets the tragic disasters at garment factories across Bangladesh in recent months, which have claimed well over 1200 lives, left tens of thousands too injured to work and pushed millions more into poverty; commends Global Citizen's See Through Fashion campaign, which is working with the British fashion industry to encourage retailers to sign up to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which will ensure better safety and working conditions for the people who make a majority of Britain's clothes; further commends industry leaders like Primark, Arcadia, River Island and Matalan for signing up to the Accord to ensure that their supply chains are transparent and do not expose their consumers to the moral toxicity of wearing clothes manufactured admidst such fatally-flawed business practices; condemns the deplorable delay of the remaining British retailers like Edinburgh Woollen Mill who also own Peacocks and Sports Direct, who continue to refuse to sign the Accord and who find themselves in an ever-shrinking minority of British retailers on the wrong side of both the financial and moral arguments; and urges them to sign up to the Accord at the earliest opportunity.
Sponsors: Clark, Katy/ Lavery, Ian / Bottomley, Peter
<>House of Commons: 22.10.2013
Two in hospital After fire at Campsfield House IRC
Firefighters were called to the Campsfield House immigration detention centre near Kidlington Friday night to tackle a blaze. Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the Langford Lane centre at around 9pm. Ten fire engines were called to the scene but the service would give no more details about the fire. South Central Ambulance Service said one person as taken to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital to be checked over for smoke inhalation and a further 244 were checked at the centre.
A Home Office spokesman said: "A fire at Campsfield immigration removal centre has led to more than half of the detainees being relocated to other removal centres around the UK. "All the detainees have been accounted for and two male detainees are now in hospital. The cause of the fire is being investigated by police and the fire service."
Campsfield House is a long-term detention centre where detainees are accommodated while their cases are resolved. It is run privately by MITIE and has bed space for 216 male detainees.
Read more: <>Oxford Mail, 19/10/13
Stop the Immigration Bill 2013 - 2014
Protest Tuesday 22 October 10:30 am
Opposite House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
(Nearest Tube Westminster )
Stop The Creation Of A Two-Tier Britain
Defend Migrants' Social And Legal Rights
The Immigration Bill being forced through Parliament has been described by one MP as 'the most racist piece of legislation I have seen' in his 16 years as an MP.
Britain's diversity is a real strength, migrants have played an invaluable part in making the UK a fantastic place to live. The contribution made by immigrants in the UK has been enormous economically, socially and culturally. Migrants don't come here to use the NHS, they come here to work in the NHS!
The Bill proposes:
- Landlords verify Immigration status of prospective tenants or face fines of £3000. Understanding immigration status is complex. This will lead to racial profiling and discrimination as already evidenced in some parts of the country.
- A complete shrinking of appeal rights and an increase in appeals that can only be made from abroad. Home Office decision making is poor and round 40% of appeals succeed. Taking away the right to appeal will make the system more unfair seriously impacting on people's rights.
- A charge on ALL migrants without indefinite leave to remain (no matter how much tax they contribute) changing the definition of 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for use of the NHS. This idea is based on the myth of health tourism. It will serve to further dissuade students, qualified workers and performers from overseas coming to the UK.
The Bill itself is a part of the Government's declared intention to make the UK a 'hostile environment' for irregular migrants. It won't stop desperate people coming to the UK nor will make those already here leave but it will push irregular migrants further underground and it will increase distrust of all migrants and ethnic minorities.
The only people who should find the UK a hostile environment are those who seek to promote racism and division in the pursuit of anti-immigrant votes and short term popularity.
Check http://movagxen.wordpress.com/ for more info.
The Movement Against Xenophobia is a coalition of more than 60 organisations committed to opposing the constant anti-immigrant, anti-immigration policies and rhetoric coming from the Coalition Government, the populist media and organisations such as Migration Watch.
From: Guy Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UKBA: Immigration 'Go Home' Texts Prompt Complaints
Officials have sent messages to almost 40,000 people they suspect of not having a right to be in the UK.
Home Office texts wrongly accusing people of being illegal immigrants have prompted more than 140 complaints. Among those contacted was a veteran civil rights campaigner who has lived in Britain since 1966.
Mark Harper, the immigration minister, defended texting people urging them to contact border officials to discuss their immigration status.
"We believe it is right to enforce the rules," the Home Office said.
"We are taking proactive steps to contact individuals who records show have no valid right to be in the UK."
It said only 14 people had been contacted in error. But two of them - campaigner Suresh Grover and immigration lawyer Bobby Chan - reacted angrily to the messages.
Read more: BBC News, <>18 October 2013
Still No Protection for Asylum Seekers
Written by Harmit Athwal, IRR, October 24, 2013
On 18 October 2013, a fire erupted at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre near Oxford. The centre, which can hold up to 216 men, suffered serious damage and those held there were transferred to other removal centres and prisons across the UK.
Reports have emerged from the centre that the fire was allegedly started by a detainee who had self-harmed and then set fire to his room. Campaigners from Corporate Watch were able to speak to people as the fire took hold in the centre while others watched the fire from outside and subsequent evacuation unfold. Allegations are also emerging about poor evacuation procedures and alleged brutality against detainees in the aftermath of the fire.
Very little 'official' information has emerged about what happened. Mitie, the private firm which runs the centre, has refused to comment and refers queries to the UK Border Agency. A somewhat uninformative statement was issued by a Home Office spokesperson: 'The fire at Campsfield immigration removal centre led to more than half of the detainees being relocated to other removal centres around the UK. All the detainees have been accounted for and two male detainees were taken to hospital. One has been released and the other remains in the hospital. The cause of the fire is being investigated by police and the fire service.'
However, the press release from Chief Fire Officers' Association (CFOA) was a little more revealing: 'Ten fire engines attended the fire at the Kidlington Centre and one casualty was rescued by fire crews, and remains in a critical condition. One hundred and eighty people were evacuated from the accommodation block where the fire started, and there was substantial damage to the roof and second floor of the building. Campsfield House did not have sprinklers fitted, despite an earlier incident involving the same accommodation block, during which Oxfordshire FRS had strongly recommended their installation.
We had an incident at Campsfield several years ago, and formally wrote to the Home Office recommending the fitting of sprinklers due to the nature and behaviour of the occupants, plus the high probability of another similar incident. The Home Office elected not to fit sprinklers during the refurbishment. There is a precedent for sprinklers to be fitted in immigration centres – as they were in Yarlswood[sic], Bedfordshire, and Harmsworth [sic] in London – following serious fires at those facilities. We would call upon the Home Office to install sprinkler systems in all similar properties…'
CFOA President, Paul Fuller also commented that: 'the extensive spread of the fire might have been halted before the lives of firefighters and the centre's staff and residents were put at risk, had the Home Office listened to Oxfordshire Fire Service's advice to fit sprinklers at the Campsfield Centre.'
The circumstances of the fire and its causes are currently being investigated. Eleven years after the fire at Yarl's Wood which destroyed the centre, it seems the Home Office is still playing fast and loose with the lives of vulnerable asylum seekers.
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 65
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 7th October and 22nd October 2013 - Volume 65 <> here . . .
Should we Have an Enforceable Right to Food
People are going hungry in England because England, to the detriment of the poor, has forgotten its legal history. Nearly eight hundred years ago, in 1216 English law first recognized a right to food. Yet between April and September this year over 350,000 people received three days' emergency food from the Trussell Trust food banks, triple the numbers helped in the same period last year.
Although justifiable outrage has been expressed at this increasing hunger in 21st century England, such hunger has not been regarded as an issue of human rights law, but only of charity. The United Nations, however, has made clear that the right to adequate food is indivisibly linked to the inherent dignity of the human person and is indispensable for the fulfilment of other human rights.
Read more: by <> 1 Crown Office Row
Fat priests, thin congregations - Exploitation of Man By Man In God's Name. The accumulative wealth of any congregation no matter how poor, ends up with the head priest. Read more: Nellie de jongh
The Right to Food, or the Right Sort of Food?
Growing up in the North of England in the 1920s and 1930s, I knew hunger as did my ancestors who despite the "charter of the forest" lived miserable, hungry, short lives while Britain's ruling classes grew fat on the spoils of Empire. What I experienced as a lad along with the rest of my working class generation was famine and despite recent news reports, we are not experiencing the wide spread hunger that occurred in my youth when there was no social welfare state.
This is not to say that there is not hunger in today's Britain because as joblessness increases poverty creeps back into this nation's villages and cities like an ebb tide. But malnutrition today is not caused by want of food but the type food on offer to the poor which is empty of nutrition but rich in fat, sodium and chemicals that only a food scientist without a moral conscience could devise.
The issue in this country shouldn't be about one's right to food, the issue must be about one's right to food that has quality and that is not going to happen unless we neuter the food lobby's influence on parliament and change the way food is farmed, processed and delivered to our stores. Don't get me wrong because what we face today is a crisis and too many lives have been ruined by this austerity. But no matter how real 21st century want is to those who must endure it,they still don't know, thank god, the ravenous despair of the Great Depression. Yet if we continue down this road of cutbacks who knows, perhaps my yesterday will be everyone's tomorrow?
Posted on UK Human Rights Blog: <>veteran blogger 1923thebook
UK: Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly And Association
Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. Official visit to the United Kingdom from 14 to 23 January 2013 to assess the situation of freedoms of peaceful assembly and association in the country.
Conclusion and recommendations
91. The Special Rapporteur reiterates the utmost importance of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in a democratic society. This is all the more important as the United Kingdom, like much of the world, is going through some serious economic challenges that will undoubtedly cause dislocation and discontent. It is in such difficult times, with angry and frustrated citizens, that the respect for such rights must be at its highest.
92. The Special Rapporteur further stresses the importance of maintaining a culture of learning and improving by systematically using a human rights-based approach in all areas pertaining to the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. He is confident that the Government will see the following recommendations as an opportunity to consolidate the improvements made over the years in relation to the realization of these rights in the country. This would no doubt have a deep resonance at the international level, and influence other countries positively.
Right to freedom of peaceful assembly - England and Wales
93. The Special Rapporteur calls on the competent authorities to:
• Adopt a positive law on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly whose purpose is to facilitate and protect such right, in full consultation with civil society and other relevant stakeholders;
• Undertake a judge-led public enquiry into the Mark Kennedy case, and other related cases, with a view to giving a voice to victims, especially women, who had been deliberately deceived by their own government, and paving the way for reparations;
• Review legislation governing undercover policing specifying that peaceful protest groups should not be infiltrated;
Adopt a law on intelligence gathering with a view to increasing the accountability of intelligence services;
• Delete any records on peaceful protestors on the National Domestic Extremism Database and other intelligence databases;
• Adopt a tighter definition of "domestic extremism" and instruct police officers that peaceful protestors should not be categorized as domestic extremists;
• End the practice of containment or "kettling";
• Ensure that law enforcement authorities which violate the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly are held personally and fully accountable for such violations by an independent and democratic oversight body, and by the courts of law; in this regard, command responsibility must be upheld;
• Law enforcement officers should wear identification badges at all times;
• Stop using pre-emptive measures targeted at peaceful protestors;
• Stop using stop-and-search powers in the context of peaceful protests;
• Stop imposing stringent bail conditions on peaceful protestors;
• Establish a protest ombudsman before whom protestors can challenge bail conditions;
• Stop enforcing private injunctions against peaceful protestors;
• Separate the protest liaison function from intelligence gathering;
• Always allow independent monitoring during peaceful protests and assemblies and ensure at all times the protection of those monitoring and reporting on violations and abuses in this context;
• Grant more powers to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, notably by allowing the Commission to report before Parliament, and increasing its resources; protestors should be able to bring complaints directly to the Commission; and a greater degree of diversity among the investigators should be achieved;
94. Private companies should not request private injunctions against peaceful protestors.
95. The Special Rapporteur calls on the competent authorities to:
• Ensure that the Parades Commission provides better and clearer reasons for its decisions, to enable the rationale for these to be understood, as well as making additional efforts at outreach and dialogue with the political classes;
• E nsu re that in the Parade Commission's procedures and guidance publications it is made clear that the primary responsibility for maintaining peace during a parade lies with law enforcement officials and not parade organizers;
• Ensure that blatant and provocative violations of the Parade Commission's determinations are prosecuted;
• Ensu re that PS N I actions are not only even-handed in terms of their management of law enforcement during parades and protests, but that they are seen to be even-handed;
• Stop using Attenuating Energy Projectiles (plastic bullets);
• Ensure that PSNls devise and fully implement training and policies aimed at preventing discriminatory practice on ground of gender.
96. The Special Rapporteur calls for political resolution of the issues - such as parades, flags and emblems - that still make the enjoyment of freedom of peaceful assembly problematic in Northern Ireland.
97. The Special Rapporteur calls on civil society organizations to continue facilitating dialogue between communities.
98. The Special Rapporteur calls on the competent authorities to:
• Amend the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 with a view to reducing the notification period to a few days;
• Ensure that the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is not subject to cost recovery measures
• Adopt a harmonized approach across local authorities to facilitating parades.
Right to freedom of association
99. In relation to the right to freedom of association, the Special Rapporteur calls on the authorities to:
• Ensure that measures taken by the State or by third parties in the context of counter-terrorism meet international human rights standards, in particular the principle of non-discrimination;
• Amend labour laws to establish a right not to be blacklisted, and to provide redress for those who have been victims of this practice;
• Ensure that the law also protects the right to strike, including secondary strikes in conformity with international human rights law.
You can download the full report <http://www.refworld.org/docid/525fab2a4.html>here . . . .