Green councillors Charlie Bolton and Carla Denyer supported an event at College Green in Bristol by The Channel, a project which opposes the UK’s hostile immigration policy. The Channel connects people on the outside world with those in immigration detention, by providing a telephone booth which people can use to send and receive voice messages.
Speaking after the event on 17th September, Southville councillor Charlie Bolton said:
“It is appalling that the UK continues its practice of holding migrants in indefinite detention, in many cases in appalling conditions, and at a cost to the taxpayer of over £100 million per year. The Government have been slowly reducing the number of people locked in these ineffective and inhumane centres, but that is not anywhere near good enough. Nobody should be locked up without a time limit. This is about basic humanity, treating people as they deserve to be treated. The government needs to stop detaining innocent people – it’s as simple as that.”
Carla Denyer, Green councillor for Clifton Down, added:
“The Green Party has been calling for an end to immigration detention, which should start with the Home Office immediately putting a time limit on detention, and exploring compassionate, community based alternatives.”
The UK is the only country in Europe with indefinite detention and the Greens are the only UK political party calling for an end to the policy. Last year co-leader Jonathan Bartley wrote a piece in The Huffington Post and pointed out that:
“The UK in fact operates one of the most draconian systems. In France, migrants can be detained for a maximum of 45 days. In the UK, unlike any other country in Europe, has no limit.
Those, often already traumatised can be detained for months, or even years, often without hope and any idea when their incarceration will end.”
Image: Deputy leader Amelia Womack at a protest at Yarl’s Wood detention centre in 2017.