At the start of 2021, news emerged that a new Immigration Removal Centre was to be opened in County Durham. It soon came to light that this was to be a site for women, and was to replace Yarl’s Wood as the main IRC for women in the UK. In March 2021, groups of cross-party, human rights campaigners came together to set up The No To Hassockfield Campaign, which would stand against this site and battle for its closure and the release of all those to be imprisoned. The site was officially opened at the end of last year, with the first women transferred on the 28th of December… an incredibly cruel period between Christmas and New Year.
Along with Abolish-Detention – Hassockfield, and Durham People’s Assembly, we host monthly demonstrations at the site itself on the third Saturday of Every Month. Prayer vigils, organised by multiple faith groups, also take place monthly. In early December, 2021, we hosted our first cross-organisation National Demonstration in Consett. This was co-organised by No To Hassockfield, Abolish Detention, Durham People’s Assembly and Women for Refugee Women. We had a great turnout of between 200 and 300 people and had some amazing media coverage.
We wanted to do a call out to other refugee support and anti-detention organisations to inform you of the next National Demonstration taking place in Durham City Centre on the 14th of May (12-3pm). We have chosen Durham city centre because Durham is a city of Sanctuary and is only 25 minutes away from the site. We hope that by hosting in Durham where there are better transport links, that more people are able to attend, and we can help spread the word even further. We also have some incredible musicians and performers lined up for the day. We are encouraging people to wear orange , the colour of solidarity and compassion for those forcibly displaced, if you are able to do so, as well as bring signs of love and support, to show the government what we think of their asylum and immigration policies.
Hassockfield/Derwentside IRC may be strategically located (or hidden) in an out-of-the-way, middle-of-nowhere site, but that does in no way mean this is a hidden issue. This is a national issue, and one we are trying to make extremely visible. We must come together to oppose this site, and all other inhumane, expensive, and unnecessary immigration prisons across the country.
Here’s how you can support us or get involved now:
- Please help us circulate and advertise the National Demonstration happening in less than a week’s time. Plese feel free to share our graphics and link to the Facebook Event here: https://fb.me/e/
- Please attend our national demonstration if you can! It would be so incredible to have organisations from across the country there in solidarity.
- Follow us on Twitter: @NoTo Hassockfield
- Visit our website for more information and a link to where donations can be made to help us continue spreading the word and provide us with the means to host future demonstrations like the one on the 14th of May: https://notohassockfield.
org.uk/We hope to see some of you on the 14th of May in Durham. Thank you for taking the time to read this message.
No 2 Hassockfield Campaign