Tenth demonstration in solidarity with the women of Yarl's Wood

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On Saturday 3 December, the Revolutionary Communist Group supported a demonstration outside Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire, the tenth in a series called by Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary.  The demo was called in the wake of the Brexit vote to stand in solidarity with the 400+ women detained indefinitely at Yarl's Wood and to demand the closure of Yarl's Wood and all other detention centres.  There were approximately 2,000 people in attendance who had come from all over the country.

We assembled outside Twinwoods Business Park and marched to Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre.  When we eventually got to Yarl's Wood, we set up our 'Fight Britain's Racist Immigration Laws' banner, near where Movement for Justice had set up a sound system for speakers to give speeches.  The detainees from behind the fence could be seen at the windows and many stuck their hands out to wave, shake items of clothing and hold up signs they had written.  Many other demonstrators present were kicking against the fence that surrounded the detention centre.

Movement for Justice connected a mobile phone to their sound system and had the detainees inside Yarl's Wood give messages over the phone. They gave harrowing accounts of life inside the detention centre and the brutal treatment they receive from the guards there.  This was a very emotional and moving demonstration to attend, but there was a genuine sense of solidarity and connection between the demonstrators and the women inside Yarl's Wood, despite being on different sides of the fence.

Towards the end of the demonstration, some demonstrators went around the detention centre and to the visitors' entrance which displayed a big Welcome to Yarl's Wood sign, alongside the Serco logo, as though to create a guise of normality.  Several demonstrators managed to get inside, and this was followed by confrontations with the police.  Demonstrators formed a human barricade to protect each other.

Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary did a very good job running and organising this event and there was a genuine unity between all the demonstrators and with the women of Yarl's Wood.  As well as unity, there was also a strong sense of anger from everyone present at both the racist nature of Britain's immigration laws and the inhumane treatment of migrants in these detention centres.  We can expect the next Yarl's Wood demonstration to be even bigger as more people are mobilised against state racism in the wake of the wave of reaction growing across the world. In the meantime, we need to continue pushing for the closure of all detention centres and we need to continue the fight against racist immigration laws and deportations in every community and workplace.

Shut down Yarl's Wood!

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

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