On 14 June, Ayrshire Friends of Refugees held a gathering outside the Dungavel Detention Centre. Isolated in the rolling green Lanarkshire countryside, near to the picturesque market town of Strathaven, Dungavel houses people whilst they await deportation. The small crowd had travelled some miles, coming together to demonstrate ongoing solidarity with the inmates.
Several informal contributions were made, touching on the importance of maintaining support for refugee communities, particularly as the BNP gained MEPs in the June European Parliament elections. Another concern was that children are still being detained. In May 2009, Fatou Felicite Gaye was held with her four-year-old son, days after plans were announced to stop the locking up of children at Dungavel.
The Friends restated their intention to keep campaigning until Dungavel was closed, ending the assembly with a poignant rendition of Hamish Henderson’s “Freedom Come Ye All”. Gifts of cards, food and toys were handed in to the Centre.
And remember UNITY
The UNITY Centre (see PN 2503) has launched a £2500 Summer Appeal to ensure its survival. The Glasgow-based centre has supported more than 2,000 asylum seekers over the last two years, including 15 families who are currently facing deportation.