Activists from seven campaigns against refugee detention centres met in Oxford last Saturday to discuss government plans to quadruple the number of asylum seekers locked up in camps.
The Barbed Wire Britain meeting followed a 100-strong protest at Campsfield, marking the eighth anniversary of the camp's opening. The meeting was buoyed by reports of the more than 100 people who attended a recent meeting in Bedford to campaign against the opening of the nearby Yarls Wood detention centre.
There have also been regular protests at Harmondsworth detention centre near Heathrow, outside Campsfield, and at other centres. The meeting agreed to back a conference next spring on the issue of defending asylum seekers, and to work towards a national demonstration at one of the detention camps.
It also heard of the plight of Syed Nasir Wajahat, a Pakistani journalist forced to flee after exposing the activities of the Taliban, who faced the threat of imminent deportation yet again on Friday of this week.
- Protest against the new Yarls Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire, Sunday 2 December, 2pm. Twinwoods Road, near Clapham Village.
- Hands off asylum seekers-candlelit vigil, Thursday 6 December, 6-7.30pm, St Martin's in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London. Called by the National Assembly Against Racism.
The Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers and the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns have produced special Christmas cards. Full colour cards are designed by Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, and are available from CDAS, BCM Box 4289, London WC1N 3XX.
Other cards are available from NCADC, 400 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester M8 9LE.