Creating Welcome to counter the hostile environment for people in detention by Anna Pincus and Pious Keku Page 1.
So what’s Corrymeela like then…? by David Grundy Page 7
QSS Book Group Page 10
Recognising all of who we are by Davy Marcella Page 11
Ada Salter Community Fund Page 15
Credits Page 16
Countering the Hostile Environment
On the evening of 22nd November 2021 fifty-one people, from all over the UK and various other parts of the world, took part in the second Salter Seminar which was held on Zoom.
The speakers were Anna Pincus, who is Director of the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group (GDWG) and Pious Keku who is a trustee of the charity and a former detainee. The aim of the GDWG is
to improve the welfare of people being held in indefinite immigration detention in
the detention facilities near Gatwick Airport (which are run by the outsourcing company SERCO). The group offers friendship, support and also advocates for the fair treatment of detainees.
The correct name for detention centres is Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs). The Gatwick IRC can hold up to 700 people at any one time. There are ten IRCs in various parts of the UK and we were told that approximately 26,000 people are being detained nationwide. The buildings are stark and are built on the category B prison model, with razor wire surrounding them. Anna said that detainees are often traumatised by the buildings and the regime, as they are reminded of past experiences in their countries of origin. Pious Keku said that from the outside they look like warehouses and inside people are kept in small cubicles with sealed windows, so there is no fresh air. It is part of the “hostile environment” policy and Pious described being inside as “terrifying”….
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