Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dignity Not Detention

Matt, a member of Sheffield STAR took part in a three day march to raise awareness of the plight of asylum seekers.

On the weekend of 26th-28th October, a group from South Yorkshire went on a three-day “Dignity not Detention” march to Lindholme Detention Centre to raise awareness of the plight of asylum seekers in Britain and to protest against the inhumane way they are currently treated by the asylum system, in particular the detention of asylum seekers in “asylum removal centres” such as Lindholme.

We began on Friday in Sheffield, with rallies outside the Home Office building and the Town Hall, before marching up to Burngreave, where many of Sheffield’s asylum seekers and refugees live, for a demo on the green. We then marched to Rotherham for the night. In the morning, after a demo in Rotherham town centre, we made our way to Doncaster, where we stayed another night, before setting off for Lindholme on the Sunday.

Once we reached our destination, Lindholme Detention Centre, we held another demonstration. We saw some of the detainees inside, and heard them shout, “Freedom!” We echoed their shouts, carried on protesting, and held a vigil for those asylum seekers who have died while in detention.

The march got broad coverage in the local press, and the reaction from those who saw us on the march was mostly positive. It was a success, it was the first of its kind in South Yorkshire, and we are already planning more events. On a personal level, I had a great time and got to know many great people along the way. It was a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

Posted by Russell Brooks on 22/11/2007 at 11:32 AM