Gagged! A South Wales Anarchist Newsletter

The following articles are from Gagged! the South Wales Anarchist newsletter, which can be found at http://www.gaggedanarchist.tk/


In the run up to Christmas there has been a marked increase in
immigration raids in South Wales, with arrests in Cardiff, Merthyr
Tydfil, Newport & Rhondda as well large raids in North Wales. 9
people were arrested following a raid by cops & Borders & Immigration
officers on a restaurant on City Road, Cardiff, on 28th November
(coinciding with a visit by Immigration Minister Liam Byrne). The
Hawaiian restaurant was hosting the annual Albanian celebration of
independence, one of the party commented “I thought I was in Stalin’s
Russia, not a civilised country like Britain. This was not just a raid.
They had guns & dogs. They stormed into the building.” People who had the correct documents on
them were forced to wait outside in the rain while the remaining diners’ identities were checked. 6
of the arrestees may be deported. These controls mean that thousands of vulnerable people are
sent back to often dangerous & impoverished situations that they have risked everything to leave.

It has been discovered that
‘snatch squads’ who carry out
dawn raids on asylum seeker
families operate out of the
‘Border & Immigration Agency’,
General Buildings, 31-33
Newport Road, Cardiff. As part
of the fight against unjust &
racist migration controls
worldwide, activists from No
Borders Wales have conducted
early morning monitoring of
immigration staff at General
Buildings & have witnessed
‘snatch squads’ leaving the
building on a number of
occasions at around 6am in the
morning. Activists who have
followed the ‘snatch squads’
have been stopped &
questioned by cops who
accompany & aid immigration
officials in their activities.
The brutal truths about ‘dawn
raids’ are rarely reported in
the media. Doors battered
down; families dragged from
their beds & parents beaten in
front of their children. What
we get instead are racist lies
about Britain being ‘swamped’
by migrants who have come
here because it’s a ‘soft touch’
& to steal ‘our’ resources. But
migrants are not the problem.
The real enemy is the state,
the corporations they serve, &
unaccountable global
institutions like the IMF & the
World Bank whose economic
policies cause the poverty,
wars & environmental damage
that migrants want to escape.

Asylum seekers may once again be locked up without charge in Cardiff Jail, despite assurances that
this barbaric practice had ended. Sources in the prison itself have confirmed this is true, though
there have been official denials.
In May 2001 it was revealed that asylum seekers were being held behind bars alongside remand
prisoners. It has now been 7 years since the removal of the “final” asylum seekers from the jail was
welcomed by then Minister for Finance & Local Government, Edwina Hart, who stated “I hope that
the prisons in Wales will never need to be used for this purpose again in the future. Prisons are not
the appropriate place for asylum seekers."
However, the further detention of asylum seekers at HMP Cardiff in 2004 led to protests outside
the prison. A cross-party consensus was reached in Sept 2004, at a meeting of the Welsh Assembly
Equality of Opportunity Committee, that it was not appropriate to house asylum seekers in prisons.
Worryingly, during a visit to HMP Cardiff this October, a prison officer told our source that asylum
seekers who have committed no crime continued to be detained at the Prison, due to lack of space
at other immigration detention facilities in England.
This information was then passed on to the Dr. Brian Gibbons, the Welsh minister for social justice
asking him to investigate the situation. He claims that the Border & Immigration Agency have
provided reassurances that under no circumstances would asylum seekers be detained in prisons.
However they did admit asylum seekers were being held in police cells in South Wales & that a lack
detention space in the region is a problem.

Constance Nzeneu & her 5 month old son Andreas face imminent
deportation to Cameroon following the Home Office’s rejection of
her asylum claim.
Constance fled Cameroon over two years ago when her father tried
to force her into an arranged marriage which would have meant
undergoing Female Genital Mutilation, which is widespread there.
When Constance refused him, the ‘fiancee’ took her to court. Knowing
she would lose, Constance left her family home. A search warrant was
issued, involving the police. Her father also put an announcement in a national newspaper offering
a reward to anyone who returned her to the family because if the marriage didn’t go ahead they
would owe the ‘fiancee’ the dowry money & be shamed within the community.
Constance faces a dangerous & uncertain future if she is forcibly deported to Cameroon. There
will be recriminations from the police, the court, the ‘fiancee’ & her family. Constance has said
she will fight until she & her son Andreas, who was born in the UK, are allowed to stay.
Constance’s case is not unique. The UK government, which prides itself on its supposed
humanitarian character, arbitrarily deports tens of thousands of people every year, back to
places where they face persecution, torture & often murder, all in the name of ‘managed
migration’. Check out: noborderwales.org.uk


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