After the visit to the Verne, we moved round the coast and last week, 5 to 11 October, Unlocking Detention ‘visited’ Dover detention centre. 

We had some great blog posts throughout the week – first up was Fraser from Samphire‘s article on Dover and how improvements to conditions at the detention centre don’t make up for the fundamental injustices experienced by those detained there – “soft furnishing don’t hide the bars

none of this hides the fact that detention centres are places for imprisoning people. The people detained see the same locks, bars and security searches as a prison. The detention centre management will therefore always be fighting a losing battle in dressing this place up as something other than a prison. The illusion that this is ‘detention’ rather than ‘prison’ helps both the Prison Service running it and the British public who have voted for it cope with the brutality of imprisoning people with no time limit. It does little to ease the pain for those subjected to it.

We also heard from Joe, who was detained in Dover for three years, and describes it as a “place of mental torture”.

Also on the blog, Waging Peace wrote about their experience at the House of Commons when parliament debated immigration detention last month.  And we heard from Gemma, on how detention affects communities in Nottingham, a long distance from the a physical site of detention but with the threat of detention never far from people’s minds.    There was also a great event on indefinite detention in Bristol, which you’ll hear more about later in the tour!

We heard music and spoken word from people currently or previously detained in Dover, thanks to Music in Detention.

Many of the tweets reminded us that the grim realities of the detention centre are a sharp contrast to the beautiful countryside nearby (just like when we visited The Verne).

Out of sight, out of mind?

We again ended the week with a live Q and A, this time with Grzegorz who is currently held in Dover.  Thank you to everyone who sent in questions, and for Grzegorz for sharing his thoughts with us.