Britain, like any other country of the western world, is a huge prison for thousands and thousands of people who come here in search of a better life, the so-called ‘asylum seekers’. It’s not by chance that so many desperate people try to enter the U.K. as well as the other rich countries. They can’t do otherwise. In their homeland not even the basic conditions of surviving are left.
The globalisation of capital requires the maximum production at the lowest cost. That’s how the bosses move the centres of production from one country to the other searching for the cheapest labour cost. And that’s also the way they spread poverty and desolation and rob millions and millions of their resources. When the occasion occurs, the bosses and their armed mercenaries invade other countries to steal their oil or in order to keep some geopolitical context in equilibrium
As a result millions of people are reduced to starvation and com- pelled to get another place to live in. Unfortunately when they arrive in Britain, or everywhere in rich Europe, they find a hell which is not much better than the one they left. British and European laws on immigration are racist and aim to get rid of anyone who is not useful to production.
We are talking about millions of people, not just a few..
These people are welcome at first by immigrant-prisons and then by expulsion orders or, if they are allowed to stay in this country for a while, by exploitation and destitution.
In Britain, migrants working both ‘illegally’ and ‘legally’ are in the hands of unscrupulous gangmasters or local bosses who give them starvation wages and have total control of their lives. Most of the immigrants coming to Britain, however, end up in the infamous detention centres where in some cases they are held for years before being released or deported.
Like any other prison, the asylum detention centres are hellish places where people are deprived of their freedom and human dignity. So there is no scandal in the news the media reported recently, about abuses inflicted to the prisoners in those centres. There is no scandal, it’s the normality of prison.
Last May (04), at Harmondsworth detention centre near Heathrow airport, a Turkish prisoner in his twenties was taken to a segregation unit, where he was subjected to a series of blows by guards who left him cuts to the face.
In another case, a middle-aged Kenyan woman was alledged to have recieved serious facial injuries after apparently resisting being put on a flight by three cops from a detention centre.
These cases, together with a great number of other de- nounces for illtreatment also concerning the length of time prisoners spend in the centre (some detainees have been held for up to three years!) and the way detainees are being transported around the country, spending hours locked up in vans with no food or water, all this led to a criminal investigation over alledged assaults in various British asylum detention centres. An investigation has also been launched into the death last April, of an asylum seeker at Haslar detention centre, which was the scene of riots and breakouts in 2003.
These investigations, of course, will not bring any justice to the prisoners who have denounced the abuses or to the ones who have died during their detention. Not only because the judiciary, at best, will just condemn a few ‘responsible’ people without contesting the whole asylum system and the law supporting it, but also because the real problem lies in the very existence of the detention centres, and in the reasons why thousands of people become ‘immigrants’.
It will not be an investigation carried out by the supporters of law to stop the pain and humiliation inflicted to asylum prison- ers.
Abuses, suicides, beatings and murders are the routine procedure in these prisons. The only way to stop them is to destroy the detention centres once and for all.
Imprisoned asylum seekers have given us some good sugges- tions on various occasions. They have revolted. They have put fire in those hellish centres. They have attacked their jailers.
They have attempted to escape, sometimes with success.
The solution is therefore to attack the whole system, starting from some very concrete targets such as the detention centres, and anyone and anything connected to them.