Up to 1,000 people could arrive for a protest outside the Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre this weekend.
It is expected to be the biggest ever show of feeling outside the controversial centre in Clapham and calls for an end to detention.
Women for Refugee Women are organising the rally and have just announced another trio of speakers. They are actresses Juliet Stevenson and Romola Garai and comic Josie Long.
Also lending their support on Saturday from 12.30pm are Bedford and Kempston MP Richard Fuller, leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett, leading human rights barrister Helena Kennedy and the director of Liberty Shami Chakraberti.
A spokesman for Women for Refugee Women said: “We have over 600 people signed up on the Facebook events page, and we know that over 400 people are registered to travel on the various buses from London, Newcastle, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.”
She estimates that between 500 and 1,000 people will take part.
Meanwhile, a councillor has revealed that a Bedford Borough Council review into Yarl’s Wood is proving to be a bigger job than expected.
Councillor Louise Jackson, who until recently was head of the Yarl’s Wood health services review sub-committee, said: “When we started the work we thought it could be done in a relatively short time span but a lot has happened since then, obviously there has been another tragic death at the site.”
The committee published an interim report before the General Election. It recommended that Serco’s management team take up council training on the safeguarding of vulnerable adults, that counselling services be introduced for detainees and asked that the Home Secretary investigates the decisions to detain pregnant women, people with mental health issues and the victims of abuse.