02/01/2010 - On New Year's Eve, friends, family and supporters of the Yarl's Wood 3 came together outside Holloway Prison for a noisy demonstration of solidarity. Over 100 people showed that the struggle for freedom for these three brave women, and all those in detention, will continue in 2011.
In February 2010 prisoners at Yarl's Wood immigration prison organised a hunger strike. They demanded an end to indefinite and abusive imprisonment. Their courageous protest lasted five weeks, despite violent attacks by guards at the detention centre.
As retribution several people involved in the hunger strike were moved to prisons. Three of those targetted in this way are still behind bars: Denise McNeil, Sheree Wilson and Aminata Camara. They have been away from their families, friends and communities for far too long.
With whistles, pots and pans, flutes, drums, rattles, megaphones, and a soundsystem, the demonstration could be heard by those inside the prison. Chants of 'Free the Yarl's Wood 3', 'Hunger Strikers are Freedom Fighters', and 'An Injury to One is an Injury to All', and 'No One is Illegal'.
After gathering around the entrance to the prison with lots of banners, people moved around to the side entrance, within sight of people inside, who waved and shouted back. Cars and buses honked in support, and residents of the surrounding housing came and joined in.
Messages of support from organisations and individuals in Britain, and around the world were read out. Support has come from Ireland, the US, New Zealand, France, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and elsewhere. In Sweden, a giant banner was hung in central Malmo, calling for ' Asylum for all in 2011', to coincide with the New Year's Eve demonstration.
Their struggle was “for everyone in detention”. We need to support those who take action on the inside. When they use prison to try to silence resistance we will fight back.
THE YARL'S WOOD THREE WILL ALSO HAVE BAIL HEARINGS IN THE COMING WEEKS. Your support is very welcome. If you would like to come to the court to show support for them contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Free the Yarl's Wood 3