Campaigners calling for the closure of Yarl’s Wood detention centre stepped up their protest at the weekend by scaling a perimeter wall.
Activists used rope ladders to climb up and drop 10 metre long banners on both sides of the fence reading ‘Shut Down Yarl’s Wood and all Detention Centres’ on the outside and ‘Keep Fighting’ on the inside.
The protest, organised by Black Dissidents, was held on Saturday when campaigners marched around the site near Clapham chanting ‘no woman is illegal’.
Activist Kay Oz said: “Even the chief inspector of prisons has called Yarl’s Wood ‘a place of national concern’.
“We know that these detention centres do not serve as anything but an extension of the immigration-industrial complex and the racist, sexist, xenophobic policies of the current government.”
In August, Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said conditions at the detention centre had deteriorated since his last inspection.
He said decisive action was needed to ensure that women are only detained as a last resort.
Earlier this year, an undercover investigation by Channel 4 News revealed ‘racist, sexist and generally abusive and degrading language towards detainees’ by officers.
It led to the controversial centre being discussed by MPs and Ministers in the House of Commons.